Seventy years ago, India and China stood at the crossroads of change. Freed from the shackles of imperialism — British and Chinese — India in 1947 went the secular democracy way, while China in 1949 embarked on the road to Communism "with Chinese characteristics". Now, China is a veritable superpower and has lifted a humongous 850 million people out of poverty. In contrast, India is still a rising middle-power that has made moderate but significant achievements in various development sectors.
The turning point for China came almost three decades after it declared itself People's Republic of China. In 1978, the Indian and Chinese economies were roughly of the same sizes and both countries had similarly large populations. But since then, China has undergone a series of radical economic reforms which officially constitute the ‘initial stage of socialism’, and hence imply a transition from central planning to a mixed economy.
When Deng dumped Maoism
Mao Zedong might have led the might of Chinese communism, but it was Deng Xiaoping who oversaw the transformation of China into what it is today. He might have been just 5 feet 1 inch, but when one looks at the economic history of China it would appear that Deng is the tallest Chinese leader.
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