Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers

World Bank Raises China Growth Forecast

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on June 18, 2009

The World Bank’s China Quarterly Update released today in Beijing contained some good news, and some not-so good news. First the good news: the Bank has raised ts forecast for GDP growth in 2009 to 7.2% as against its March forecast of only 6.5% growth for this year. Although the March report made no projection for 2010, the June report expects the Chinese economy to expand at 7.7%. This reflects a growing consensus view that China’s $586 billion fiscal stimulus package is doing the trick.

Now the not-so-good news. The World Bank projects China’s fiscal deficit as a percentage of GDP will hit 4.9% this year, a major upward revision from its March forecast of only 3.2% deficit. This reflects not only the impact of the fiscal spending, but also lower-than-expected revenues, largely because of an increase in VAT export rebates. This is a whopping increase over the 0.8% 2008 deficit, and considerably higher than the government’s budgeted amount of 3% this year. The Bank warns that if China tries to goose the economy further this year—which it might be tempted to do in order to reach its official growth target of 8% [the level generally accepted necessary to generate enough jobs to accommodate new entrants to the labor force] then it will hamper its ability to stimulate the economy in 2010.

But how serious is this matter? The World Bank admits China’s fiscal position is strong enough to handle the deficit. After all, China has nearly $2 trillion in foreign reserves, and with economic growth that other countries can only dream of, tax revenues will continue to grow. And as any Keynesian will tell you, deficit spending is exactly what a downturn needs, And it’s also what the rest of the world needs too. Although China still runs a trade surplus, it’s still a huge importer too. China’s economic engine may not be strong enough to pull the rest of the world out of its slump, but if China weren’t growing, the global picture would be even worse.

Reader Comments

Cheung The Chinese Man

June 19, 2009 3:13 PM

I hope that China will soon turn into an economic engine, and we don't have to solely relay on the US.


June 19, 2009 7:26 PM

Don't forget that India is the superpower of the world in 5 years. No one can stop us from getting the very top of the world.


June 19, 2009 10:29 PM

The World Bank is embarrassed by its miscalculation or probably pure ignorance or maybe biasness toward China. The Chinese government usually succeed in every program they plan. But the west usually criticized China at the beginning and only later admit that China has succeeded but of course with a warning in attempt to cover for western incompetence. This is the same too.


June 20, 2009 4:25 PM

About one thing I always admired Chinese government---determination and self-confidence in the midst of Western attacking machines, almost the entire Western media.


June 21, 2009 9:14 PM

I have been keeping track on the World Bank, IMF and Western investment bankers predictions on China's growth through the years and never for once they manage to get it right at all - their predictions always tend to be on the too low side.


June 22, 2009 1:12 AM

China's strategy of growth by export to the US has definitely backfired. In order to keep exporting, China has to keep its currency low against the dollar. That means it has to keep buying dollars and lend a big portion of the money back to the US. Now the US is simply printing more dollar bills to pay back the loans. China stands to lost hundreds of billions of dollars because the money that the US is paying back is highly dilluted. Only now is the Chinese government starting to think about fostering a domestic market. As long as the exchange rate of the dollar against the yuan remain roughly the same, the bubbles will continue to build. At this point, neither governments want to change it, despite the rhetoric from Washington. The US will continue to spend while China will continue to lend. The only difference is the US government rather than the American people is spending it. In the end, both governments will go back to the same old game and claim to have defeated the crisis, but the bubble continues to grow.


June 22, 2009 9:36 PM

Jia Ming, I think it is not true to say that the Chinese government is only now thinking of fostering a domestic market. It was in the works for a long time but now it will be more urgent to hasten the process because of the international conditions. I don't think China's strategy of export-led growth has been wrong at all. In the beginning when China started the reforms in the 1980's, it was dirt poor. Where was it going to get the money for domestic development other than through trade and exports? Now that it has amassed a stash of money, it has more options. You certainly can't say the export strategy backfired. It has served well its purpose to pull China up. Germany and Japan are exporting machines too which has been responsible for their growth to the top. And are they really that bad off now compared to the consumer type countries like the UK and USA?


June 22, 2009 11:55 PM

This is what I call is the 'spin' that media provides. Many congratulations to China on its fantastic economic growth. 7.7% in 2010 is amazing. However BW and Balfour haven't mentioned the most important of the WB forecasts in the same report. India will grow at 8%, becoming the world's fastest growing economy in 2010 (ahead of China).

This confirms China's worst fears. Currently China is already firing on all cylinders (and India is not), but what happens when India will.


June 23, 2009 1:28 AM

June 22, 2009 11:55 PM

This is what I call is the 'spin' that media provides."
What is the problem with those Indian? They seem to beg for attention whenever China is mentioned! It seems that there is some underlying mental problem with their own insecurity! China is not competing with India in anything and that is only in India imagination that China is trying to surpass India or China is actually competing with India! Fear and insecurity display constantly by the India rant and cry against China!


June 23, 2009 3:25 AM

China is pretending that it is not competing with India. If it was not then it would not have:

1. Tried to scuttle the India-US Nuclear Deal.

2. Scuttle India's place in the UN Security Council Permament Membership.

3. Tried to deny India its $2.9 B loan from ADB.

China of course failed in 1 and 3 and will eventually fail in 2.

I hope it is clear who is more insecure. Remember that China being ahead has more to lose (than India). On the other hand India has nothing to lose.


June 23, 2009 6:25 AM

Indians like to brag that India will be ahead of China but it is always sometime pushed and pushed into the "future". Sometimes, they like to base it on something said by a Western institution. I remembered Credit Suisse was saying that India will beat China in GDP growth in 1998. Did it happen? And there was this report which I think originated from a report from the German Deutsch Bank sometime in the earlier part of this decade which said India will be beating China also around 2008 due to a demographic dividend. Did it happen? On almost every economic indicators, China beats India hand-down and yet Indians are protesting they are going to beat China . I am most amused at the Indians' optimism and wishy-washiness that "somehow" they are going to "beat" China without really thinking of what they must do and what is required of them in order to attain that objective. Imagine you have a friend that behaves like an Indian, always doing self-praising to bring himself to the notice of others as if scared that others will miss noticing his "achievements". You will conclude that the person is highly insecure, don't you. That's what India is, a country with a huge inferiority and insecurity complex. What are the reasons for this? I leave you to think about it.

Frederik Balfour

June 23, 2009 6:51 AM

Newbie has pointed out that I didn't mention India in my blog about Chinese GDP. This was deliberate. Many critics of the Eye on Asia blog have accused us in the past of luring readers into the China vs India debate. The fact that comments have veered in this direction suggests that this is a legimate debate for international investors and businesspeople that will continue with or without our writers bringing it up.


June 23, 2009 8:37 AM

"The fact that comments have veered in this direction suggests that this is a legimate debate for international investors and businesspeople that will continue with or without our writers bringing it up." Either its only you businessweek writers who will veer it in this direction or an Indian will pop-up to veer it in this direction. Your contention then there is a "legitimate debate with or without our writers bringing it up" is a rather weak argument.


June 23, 2009 11:20 AM

There are but 2 things I dread most in my life:

1. Indian's future tense: India "will" be ....
Such as: India will be the center of the universe.

2. Korean's past tense: Korea "was" ....
Such as: Korea was the center of the universe.


June 23, 2009 3:12 PM

Most of the article about China in BW is usually written by non-Chinese writer while most of the articles about Indian in BW is mostly written by Hindu! You get the idea on the relevance of India in the world stage or lack of relevance of India in the world stage! India main selling point to the West is to be some sort of counter-weight against China like the Nuclear agreement between the USA with India.
Anytime that India develop a new nuclear weapon, the India military stated that is used to bomb Beijing like the Agni 3 and Agni 4.
India started a trade war with China by banning Chinese toys in India because of safety issue due to lead paint while Indian toys have the same amount of lead paint issue!
Well, being a counter-weight it mean to be a tool to be used and discarded when there is not more use!
China was used as an counterweight against the Soviet Union during the cold war period and at the end of the cold war, China got discarded but China opened up and improve greatly. Now, can India move from being a counter-weight to China to truly an independent nation?


June 23, 2009 3:56 PM

Is Newbie=Frederik Balfour?
I wonder if this is some pulling some stunt to justify article on India in BW or India vs China article?! You create an incident or excuse to keep producing those China vs India article or that India will rule the world type of article. It look suspicious if one think about it!

C. H. Ng

June 23, 2009 10:08 PM

I couldn't help but amused at some of the comments posted by the Indians whenever blogs on China issue were mentioned. For these so-called "kiasu" (typical Hokkien word meaning scared-to-lose mentality) Indians, I would like to suggest to you all to quietly sit back and fully reflect on those areas where your country failed miserably before you tried to brag about her greatness (if there is).

Or take leaf from the blog on Coke's chairman and CEO, Mr Muhtar Kent's plan to further invest USD2 billion in China rather than India at this junction and his frank comment on the infrastructure systems between these two countries. For a man who can sit at the top level of a multinational company, surely his words carried more wisdom and weight than the whole bunch of us ordinary people who talk and argue until the cows come home.

Btw to those "kiasu" Indians who still want to argue and compare, please don't just use China; how about Brazil and Russia for a change? People all over the world are now talking about the achievements of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Are you people trying to imply that the first two countries are not up to India's standard or not worthly for your silly comparison??


June 23, 2009 10:24 PM

Using India as a counterweight to China is just pure waste of energy and time!

C. H. Ng

June 23, 2009 11:57 PM

Further to my comment posted earlier, I would like to point out to the writer of this blog, Mr Federik Balfour, on his comment that he had deliberating ommitted India to avoid luring people to the China-India debate.

Even though you have tried not pull India issue into your blog this time, what you or your fellow writers had done before have already created a much hotted debate between the Chinese & Indian. I won't say it's deliberately done intentionally or unintentionally.
What I know is that if we are to look at the history of those nations & their people who were colonized by white powerful nations before, it's noticably the Indians & Africans were more submissive to their white masters than other races of those nations who were similarly under colonialship in the past. In fact till today, I have notice even in my country (Malaysia) such culture still persist especially among the Indians compared to the Malay or Chinese. Many a time at high class restaurants or eatery outlets, Indian parking attentants would tend to greet & attend to Westerner clients promptly and w/o fail park their cars for them willingly. But not to other races.

What I am trying to say is that it seems like western medias might have known very well such Indian's mentality
and deliberating making use of them to act as counterweight to China in the white suprmists' fear of a growing Chinese power.


June 24, 2009 4:19 AM

Since you are from Malaysia, you surely would have heard of 'ang-mohs' and how Chinese women drool over 'ang-moh' men to get hitched by them.


June 24, 2009 4:48 AM

Actually you can’t really blame the west for manipulating India base on its insecurity and inferiority complex. Like the Chinese saying goes “If a cow duns drink; she can’t lower her head”. Just want to point out some reality check here:
1) What we see in the internet is just one portion of Indian mentality in their society. The inferiority complex and slave like mentality, utter racism and inflated ego/emo. On the other hand there are also a lot Indian that do not like western world and fight for a better integration with the east. Because of all this diversion India is such a chaotic country.
2) Despite all this Hindu nationalist throwing hatred towards the Chinese, the irony is of all the orients in the Far East, the closets the Indian ever be are also Chinese. Just look at Singapore, HK and Taiwan, Shanghai, Beijing even Malaysia itself where the majority are the Malays with the religion Islam. The largest Indian population is living in these places. All these countries with exception of Malaysia are dominated by Chinese be it politically, economically and culturally. Ironic isn’t it? Fight? Hatred? You dun have what it takes to fight becoz when the real fight comes the first wave you have to face is your own overseas Indian that reside in these countries, Chinese dominated places. And let mention another thing, its 1st world status places. These overseas Indian has found hope and life where India failed to give.
3) This kind of Hindu Nationalism does not direct at Chinese only although most of time it is, if you have been reading the internet for quite some time you will notice the same kind of attitude is directed to anyone that tried to criticize India or put India in an ugly spot light. Even slightest critics will invite the wrath of these Hindu nationalist. It’s the attitude problem. A good example is when David Milliband visited India and mentioned the Kashmir issue and the Indian caused a lot of fuss on it. This is not being reported around the world, but was reported shortly by Indian media. In the end ppl just dun care. Unfortunately Indians do not know or understand what this “dun care” means and how much is the impact being directed at its progress. Like I say before when ppl at root level ignored you, its equivalent to indirect sanctioning, and all this internet hindu troopers only make matter worse.
4) The east and west took 100 years ++ to bridge the gap in between far east and west. To reach this level of relationship in today, sacrifices a lot of work and generations from both sides. In HK, the ppl are still loyal to Queen E, in fact if I m not mistaken, you can still find the pic of queen e in the govt office. Yet they are also patriotic towards mainland China. This is their unity, their cultural similarities and their pride. No political system, no war, nothing will ever change that. You do not understand what this means. You have no idea what Chinese means and how far the cultural branching is around this world. Remember it took more than 100 years to reach this kind of maturity relationship, just becoz some of you Indians crying foul and make noise wishing others will burn so that you can be better is D E L U S I O N A L to the extreme. You can wish until the sun dies also it will not happen. Common sense and wisdom of the ppl will never allow this to happen. That is an absolute guarantee.
5) Integration. This is what a lot of ppl do not understand, you can see a lot of bad coverage on china, a lot or negative comments, some of it is with wicked intention there is no doubt about. However there are also a lot with good heart and sincerity to help. Chinese a lot know this especially older generation ppl who are more wiser. Its simple just take the good to fight the wicked and problem solved. Its just the yin and yang thing. Like the saying goes the best and the worst comes from the west, and its quite true come to think about it. Irregardless, one thing remind unchanged is its integration. So long there is integration and attention focused on, nothing will change. It can only be better and the gap will slowly be faded away.
6) Courage has to come from within. First you need to look within urselves and solve all of India gigantic issues before running around bragging and boasting none stop. This is one thing, but you have to go 1 step further by putting down others and wishing them burn is really stupid.

Look at Malaysia, Indians never be able to look for them selves. There is Indian party available to look at the welfare of the Indian. However these Indian parties only know how to talk but never do the walk. I have seem a lot of local issues concerning Indians like losing IC, being converted to Islam without consent, missing child, rape and abuse went and cry in front of the Chinese party for help. What happen to the Indian party? Another ironic thing on how these hindu nationalist have the guts to bad mouth and show hatred towards the Chinese. How ironic indeed.

India raver

June 24, 2009 1:18 PM

Here example of India POV on China and Asia
Rony wrote:
I humbly disagree with the content of the British article.If History is taken as a precedence as the author does, then it wont be China, but India that would dominate the future.This is nothing to do with being pro-Indian or anti-Chinese, but strictly by using the same yardstick which the author is using which is historical precedence.Strictly speaking,china's influence never reached beyond East Asia and even its limited influence in south east asia is nothing comparable to the historical Indian influence there.On the other hand, India's influence reached beyond Indian Subcontinent ('South Asia' in Anglo-American terms).Entire South East Asia including what is now called 'Indo-China' was called 'Greater India' for centuries.The Chinese never militarily penetrated any terrorities beyond Manchuria in the east and Xinjjiang in the west.In other words, today's china's borders (which was a gift of non-Han manchus who united the nation with current borders)are the greatest extent to which any chinese empire penetrated.On the other hand, Historical India was far larger and far powerful than historical china.Economically in the last 2000 years, Historical India was the World's largest economy for 1600 years, historical china mearly for 200 years.Militarily, Indian Empires in different time periods penetrated as far as Persia in the west during mauryan times and Indonesia-Malyasia in the east during the chola times.And Zheng He 's 'voyages' of attacking small coastal areas are nothing compared to the Chola's 'invasion's' of huge established empire and Kingdoms.In terms of ideas and culture, historical china itself is a recipient of historical India's superior idea's and culture.If you take historical precedence as yard stick, from every angle it will be India that would be dominant in Asia once again in the long term, not china IMVHO.

Lot of good information there Rony, thanks, made for a good reading...


June 24, 2009 11:42 PM

Everybody knows that indian like to boast themsilves and think they are whiter than Chinese. Reason? It is because they were colonised by white people for too long and they can speak English even thought with funy accent. I give you another example for indian boasting. You know that recently a lot of indian students in Australia were attacked at night? Most australian and their media think that indian students are poor and unwise compared to students from other countries such as China or Korea. Indian students have to take night work no other student want to becuse indian students need money and indian students tend to walk to home after working at later night instead by taxi or car (that indian students can not affort). Therefore indian students attracted a lot attacks at night. You know what indian community leader in Australia say? They said that "the reason that indian students were attacked is that indian student always carry valuable items such as mobile phone or laptop". What a joke? the fact is that Chinese and Korean students carry much more valuable items than indian students. The reason of that Chinese and Korean students did not attract attack is because most of them do not (need to) work at night and most of them drive a car or by taxi if they go out at night. They are much richer than indian students. You see? How indian can boast themselves? No metter where they are, in india or somewhere else. They are hopeless, do they?


June 25, 2009 12:14 AM

Looks like we have another Indian self-praiser in Indian Raver. See what I have meant?


June 25, 2009 3:28 AM

Most of the Hindu nationalist like Rob or assuming that he or she is actually a Hindu nationlist deserved to be censured. I don't approve the attack on the Indian students in Australia since they have not broken any law by working late and living in dangerous neighborhood due to need to money for their study.
Agree that many of the Hindu nationalist are a loud mouth lot but we can not blame the whole nation for a groups of rotten jingos!

India Raver

June 26, 2009 12:15 AM

More India "history" on China. According to India, China originated from India according to Indian historian
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 12:00 am
Posts: 6525
Useful post...

By dhu in IF today.


The cultural relations between India and China can be traced back to very early times. There are numerous references to China in Sanskrit texts, but their chronology is sketchy. The Mahabharata refers to China several times, including a reference to presents brought by the Chinese at the Rajasuya Yajna of the Pandavas; also, the Arthasastra and the Manusmriti mention China. According to French art historian, Réné Grousset, the name China comes from “an ancient” Sanskrit name for the regions to the east, and not, as often supposed, from the name of the state of Ch’in, the first dynasty established by Shih Huang Ti in 221 BC. The Sanskrit name Cina for China could have been derived from the small state of that name in Chan-si in the northwest of China, which flourished in the fourth century BC. Scholars have pointed out that the Chinese word for lion, shih, used long before the Chin dynasty, was derived from the Sanskrit word, simha, and that the Greek word for China, Tzinista, used by some later writers, appears to be derivative of the Sanskrit Chinasthana. According to Terence Duke, martial arts went from India to China. Fighting without weapons was a specialty of the ancient kshatriya warriors of India. Both Arnold Toynbee and Sir L. Wooley speak of a ready made culture coming to China. That was the Vedic culture of India.
Until recently, India and China had coexisted peacefully for over two thousand years. This amicable relationship may have been nurtured by the close historical and religious ties of Buddhism, introduced to China by Indian monks at a very early stage of their respective histories, although there are fragmentary records of contacts anterior to the introduction of Buddhism.
Gerolamo Emilio Gerini (1860 -1913) has said: «During the three or four centuries, preceding the Christian era, we find Hindu dynasties established by adventurers, claiming descent from the kshatriya potentates of northern India, ruling in upper Burma, in Siam and Laos, in Yunnan and Tonkin, and even in most parts of southeastern China». The Chinese literature of the third century is full of geographic and mythological elements derived from India. «I see no reason to doubt, — comments Arthur Waley in his book, The Way and its Power, — that the ‘holy mountain-men’ (sheng-hsien) described by Lieh Tzu are Indian rishi; and when we read in Chuang Tzu of certain Taoists who practiced movements very similar to the asanas of Hindu yoga, it is at least a possibility that some knowledge of the yoga technique which these rishi used had also drifted into China».

Chinese early religion was based on nature and had many things in common with Vedic Hinduism, with a pantheon of deities.
«Never before had China seen a religion so rich in imagery, so beautiful and captivating in ritualism and so bold in cosmological and metaphysical speculations. Like a poor beggar suddenly halting before a magnificent storehouse of precious stones of dazzling brilliancy and splendor, China was overwhelmed, baffled and overjoyed. She begged and borrowed freely from this munificent giver. The first borrowings were chiefly from the religious life of India, in which China’s indebtedness to India can never be fully told». (D. P. Singhal, India and World Civilization).

Arnold Hermann Ludwig Heeren (1760-1842) an Egyptologist and author of Historical researches into the politics, intercourse, and trade of the Carthaginians, Ethiopians, and Egyptians observes that «the name China is of Hindu origin and came to us from India».

«M. de Guigues says that Magadha was known to the Chinese by the name Mo-kiato, and its capital was recognized by both its Hindu name Kusumpura, for which the Chinese wrote Kia-so-mo-pon-lo and Pataliputra, out of which they made Patoli-tse by translating putra, which means son in Sanskrit, into their own corresponding word, tse. Such translation of names has thrown a veil of obscurity over many a name of Hindu origin. Hindu geography has suffered a great loss». (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Volume V).

Lin Yutang (1895-1976) author of The Wisdom of China and India wrote: «The contact with poets, forest saints and the best wits of the land, the glimpse into the first awakening of Ancient India’s mind as it searched, at times childishly and naively, at times with a deep intuition, but at all times earnestly and passionately, for the spiritual truths and the meaning of existence — this experience must be highly stimulating to anyone, particularly because the Hindu culture is so different and therefore so much to offer». Not until we see the richness of the Hindu mind and its essential spirituality can we understand India». «India was China’s teacher in religion and imaginative literature, and the world’s teacher in trignometry, quandratic equations, grammar, phonetics, Arabian Nights, animal fables, chess, as well as in philosophy, and that she inspired Boccaccio, Goethe, Herder, Schopenhauer, Emerson, and probably also old Aesop».

Sir William Jones (1746-1794) came to India as a judge of the Supreme Court at Calcutta. He pioneered Sanskrit studies. His admiration for Indian thought and culture was almost limitless. He says that the Chinese assert their Hindu origin.

Amaury de Reincourt (1918 - ) was born in Orleans, France. He received his B.A. from the Sorbonne and his M.A. from the University of Algiers. He is author of several books including The American empire and The Soul of India, he wrote: «The Chinese travelers’ description of life in India… reveals great admiration from all concerned for the remarkable civilization displayed under their eyes».
«India sent missionaries, China sending back pilgrims. It is a striking fact that in all relations between the two civilizations, the Chinese were always the recipient and the Indian the donor». «Indian influence prevailed over the Chinese, and for evident reasons: an undoubted cultural superiority owing to much greater philosophic and religious insight, and also to a far more flexible script» (Amaury de Riencourt, The Soul of India).

It is well known that in the Mahabharata the Cinas appear with the Kiratas among the armies of king Bhagadatta of Pragjyotisa or Assam. In the Sabhaparvan this king is described as surrounded by the Kiratas and the Cinas. In the Bhismaparvan, the corps of Bhagadatta, consisting of the Kirtas and the Cinas of yellow color, appeared like a forest of Karnikaras. It is significant that the Kiratas represented all the people living to the east of India in the estimation of the geographers of the Puranas. Even the dwellers of the islands of the Eastern Archipelago were treated as Kiratas in the Epics. The reference to their wealth of gold, silver, gems, sandal, aloewood, textiles and fabrics clearly demonstrates their association with the regions included in Suvarnadvipa. Thus, the connection of the Kiratas and Cinas is a sure indication of the fact that the Indians came to know of the Chinese through the eastern routes and considered them as an eastern people, having affinities to the Kiras, who were the Indo-Mongoloids, inhabiting the Tibeto-Burman regions and the Himalayan and East Indian territories, the word Kirata being a derivation from kiranti or kirati, the name of a group of people in eastern Nepal.

In early Indian literature China is invariably shown to be connected with India by a land-route across the country of the Kiratas in the mountainous regions of the north. In the Vanaparvan of the Mahabharata the Pandava brothers are said to have crossed the country of the Cinas in course of their trek through the Himalayan territory north of Badri and reached the realm of the Kirata king Subahu. The Cinas are brought into intimate relationship with the Himalayan people (Haimavatas) in the Sabhaparvan also. The land of the Haimavatas is undoubtedly the Himavantappadesa of the Pali texts, which has been identified with Tibet or Nepal. In the Sasanavamsa this region is stated to be Cinarattha. Thus, it is clear that China was known to the Indians as lying across the Himalayas and was accordingly included in the Himalayan territories. In the Nagarjunikonda inscription of Virapurusdatta, China (Cina) is said to be lying in the Himalayas beyond Cilata or Kirata. These references to the proximity of China to the Himalayan regions, inhabited by the Kiratas, show that there were regular routes through the Tibeto-Burman territories, along which the Indians could reach China.
Some such land-route is implied in the remark of the Harsacarita of Banabhatta that Arjuna conquered the Hemakuta region after passing through Cina. Of course, the route across Central Asia is perhaps alluded to in the itinerary of Carudatta from the Indus Delta to China across the country of the Hunas and the Khasas, described in the Vasudevakindi, and there is probably a reference to the sea-route, passing through Vanga, Takkola and Suvarnadvipa, in the Milindapanho. But there is no doubt that in a large number of ancient Indian texts China is mentioned near the eastern Himalayan regions, through which regular routes, connecting this country with India, passed from fairly early times. It was along these routes that India came into contact with China for the first time and developed commercial relations with her, that are referred to by Chan K’ien in the second century BC.
In Yunnan there is a large number of old pagodas. Some of them are the oldest and most beautiful in China. Their cornices and corner decoration, showing rows of pitchers (mangala ghata), betray unmistakable Indian influence. Many bricks of these pagodas bear Sanskrit inscriptions, containing Buddhist mantras and formulae in a script, which is identical with that current in Nalanda and Kamarupa in the 9th century. The beautiful bronze statue of Avalokitesvara from the pagoda of Ch’ung Sheng Ssu near Ta-li is an index to the high standard of culture and craftsmanship attained by the Buddhists of Yunan.
In earlier times, the people of the east, Magadha and Videha, were in contact with Yunan, as the traditions of Purvavideha show. The two names, Purvavideha and Gandhara, seem to represent these two successive eastern and western streams of Indian colonial and cultural expansion in this region.
Henry Rudolph Davies says that Besides Buddhism, Shaivism was also popular in Yunan as is manifest from the prevalence of the cult of Mahakala there. This ancient Indian colony in the south of China was the cradle of Sino-Indian cultural relationship for a long time.

It was an important outpost of Indian cultural expansion along the eastern land-routes, which Colonel Gerolamo Emilio Gerini (1860 -1913) author of Researches on Ptolemy’s geography of eastern Asia (further India and Indo-Malay archipelago) has described as follows: «During the three or four centuries, preceding the Christian era, we find Indu (Hindu) dynasties established by adventurers, claiming descent from the kshatriya potentates of northern India, ruling in upper Burma, in Siam and Laos, in Yunnan and Tonkin, and even in most parts of southeastern China. From the Brahmaputra and Manipur to the Tonkin Gulf we can trace a continuous string of petty states, ruled by those scion of the kshatriya race, using the Sanskrit or Pali language in official documents or inscriptions; building temples and other monuments after the Indu (Hindu) style and employing Brahmana priests for the propitiatory ceremonies, connected with the court and state. Among such Indu (Hindu) monarchies (Theinni) in Burma, of Muang Hang, C’hieng Rung, Muang Khwan and Dasarna (Luang P’hrah Bang) in the Lau country; and of Agranagara (Hanoi) and Campa in Tonkin and Annan». «The names of peoples and cities, recorded by Ptolemy in that region, however few and imperfectly preserved, are sufficiently significant to prove the presence of the Indu (Hindu) ruling and civilizing element in these countries, undoubtedly not so barbarous as the Chinese would make them appear». «It is evident through the medium of those barbarians that China received part of her civilization through India».
Among these colonies Tagong and upper Pugan were called Mayura; Prome was Sriksetra; Sen-wi (Theinni) was Sivirastra; Muang Hang, Chieng Rung and Muang Khwan were the three divisions of Ching Rung kingdom, which the prince of Yong, named Sunandakumara, united under Mahiyagananagara; Luang P’hrah Bang was Dasarna; Hanoi was Agranagara; Tagaung was Brahmadesa (P’o-o-men), where a Sanskrit inscription, dated in Gupta era 108 – 426 A.D. refers to Hastinapura, situated in that country; and, of course, Yunana was Purvavideha or Gandhara. Thus, from Arakan, where the Mrohaung inscriptions attest the efflorescence of Indian culture, language and literature, to Yunnan, whose history we have traced above, Indian culture made a triumphant advance in ancient time.

China, like Southeast Asia too, was colonized to some extent by the ancient Hindus. The religion and culture of China are undoubtedly of Hindu origin. According to the Hindu theory of emigration, Kshatriyas from India went and established colonies in China. India was known as T'ien-chu to the Chinese.
Colonel James Tod (1782-1835) author of Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan: or the Central and Western Rajput States of India has written: «The genealogies of China and Tartary declare themselves to be the descendents of ‘Awar’, son of the Hindu King ‘Pururawa’.
According to the traditions noted in the Schuking, the ancestors of the Chinese, conducted by Fohe, come to the plains of China 2,900 years before Christ, from the high mountains Land which lies to the west of that country. This shows that the settlers into China were originally inhabitants of Kashmir, Ladakh, Little Tibet and the Punjab, which were parts of Ancient India».
Kakuzo Okakura, speaking of the missionary activity of Indian Buddhists in China, says that at one time in the single province of Lo-yang there were more than 3,000 Indian monks and 10,000 Indian families to impress their national religion and art on Chinese soil.
Hu Shih, (1891-1962), Chinese philosopher in Republican China. He was ambassador to the U.S. (1938-42) and chancellor of Peking University (1946-48). He said: «India conquered and dominated China culturally for two thousand years without ever having to send a single soldier across her border».
Court Bjornstjerna (1779-1847) author of The Theogony of the Hindoos with their systems of Philosophy and Cosmogony says: «what may be said with certainty is that the religion of China came from India».
Chinese authors, too, according to Mountstuart Elphinstone (1779-1859) noted Indian ambassadors to the court of China.

How China was part of the Indian Vedic empire is explained by Professor G. Phillips on page 585 in the 1965 edition of the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. He remarks, «The maritime intercourse of India and China dates from a much earlier period, from about 680 B.C. when the sea traders of the Indian Ocean whose chiefs were Hindus founded a colony called Lang-ga, after the Indian named Lanka of Ceylon, about the present gulf of Kias-Tehoa, where they arrived in vessels having prows shaped like the heads of birds or animals after the pattern specified in the Yukti Kalpataru (an ancient Sanskrit technological text) and exemplified in the ships and boats of old Indian arts».
Chinese historian Dr. Li-Chi also discovered an astonishing resemblance between the Chinese clay pottery and the pottery discovered at Mohenja daro on the Indian continent. Yuag Xianji, member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, speaking at the C. P. Ramaswamy Aiyar Foundation, Madras, March 27, 1984 said, «Recent discoveries of ruins of Hindu temples in Southeast China provided further evidence of Hinduism in China. Both Buddhism and Hinduism were patronized by the rulers. In the 6th century A.D. the royal family was Hindu for two generations. The following Tang dynasty (7th to the 9th century A.D.) also patronized both Hinduism and Buddhism because the latter was but a branch of Hinduism. Religious wars were unknown in ancient China. There was extensive maritime trade and religious exchanges between India and China at this period (Ad 1-600) and the massive expansion of Indian influence into southern China through Jih-nan and Chiao-chih, in what is now northern Vietnam.
Albert Etienne Terrien de Lacouperie, author of Western Origins of Chinese Civilization states that the maritime intercourse of India with China dates from about 680 B.C. when the sea traders of the Indian ocean whose “Chiefs were Hindus” founded a colony, called Lang-ga, after the Indian name Lanka, about the present gulf of Kiaotchoa… And throughout this period the monopoly of the sea borne trade of China was in their hands».

India had contact with China from the early period through three routes. One was through the Central Asian region, the second was through Yunan and Burma. The third was by sea to the South Indian ports. The Arthasastra, the Mahabharata, and the Manu-Smriti show knowledge of China. Through all these routes trade and Hindu culture passed to China. Indian arts and sciences were carried to China along with Buddhism. Images, rock-cut caves and the fresco paintings show distinctly Indian influence on the Chinese art. Indian astronomy, mathematics and medicine were spread in China by the scholars who visited it. Several Sanskrit works on these sciences were translated into Chinese.
Chushu-King, a Chinese monk started for India in 260 A.D. But he returned from Khotan. Fa-hien, the first Chinese pilgrim to India stayed here during the Gupta period for some years. Che-mong another monk accompanied by a few others spent 20 years (404-424) in the pilgrimage of India. Hieun Tsang and I-Tsing during the 7th century are well-known. On his return to China, Hiuen Tsang was given a great national welcome by his emperor and the people as well.

The famous Shao-lin style of boxing is also attributed to Indian influence. Bodhidharma, (8th century AD) who believed in a sound mind in a sound body, taught the monks in the Shao-lin temple this style of boxing for self-defense for rejuvenating the body after exacting meditation and mental concentration.
According to the History channel martial arts were introduced in China by an Indian named Bodhidharma, who taught it to the monks so that they could defend their monasteries. He was also said to have introduced the concept of vital energy or chi (prana corresponds to this). This concept is the basis acupuncture.

The University of Nalanda built in the 4th century BCE was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education. The Chinese scholar and traveler Hiuen Tsang (600-654 AD) stayed at the Nalanda University in the 7th century, and has left an elaborate description of the excellence, and purity of monastic life practiced here. He found Indians “high-minded, upright and honorable”.
China received Mahayanic Buddhism and Sanskrit texts from the Central-Asian provinces of India in 67 A.D. After that China became Hinduized not only in theology and metaphysics, but in every department of thought and activity. Thousands of Hindus lived in Chinese cities, eg. at Changan in the N.W. and at Canton on the sea, as priests, teachers, merchants, physicians, sculptors and "interpreters." The name of Chinese tourists, students, philosophers, and translators, also, in India is legion. The Chinese founded their drama on Hindu precedents, imported musical instruments (stringed) from India, and introduced even some of the acrobatic feats, dances and sports prevalent among the Hindus.
During his Indian tour the great Itsing (634-712) mastered Hindu medicine at the University of Nalanda. Hindu mathematics and logic were cultivated among the intellectuals of China; Sanskrit treatises on painting and art criticism, eg. Sadamga (six limbs of painting) in Vatsayana's Kamasutra (erotics), Chitralaksana (marks of painting), etc. furnished the canons of the Chinese art during its greatest epoch (Tang and Sung Dynasties 600-1250); and the traditional Confucianism had to be reinterpreted, eg. by Chu-Hsi (1130-1200) in the light of the imported Hindu philosophy. China became a part of “Greater India” in poetry, aesthetics, folk-festivals, morals, manners, and sentiments. The “Augustan Age” of Chinese culture, the age of the mighty Tangs and brillant Sungs, was the direct outcome of the ‘holy alliance’ for centuries between India and China.

In conclusion, it can be said that China was more influenced by India than India by China. Whilst Chinese monks came to acquire knowledge and take it back, the Indian monks went to China on specific religious missions to impart knowledge. There is hardly any evidence that the Chinese monks brought with them any work which was translated into an Indian language. It seems that during this period of Sino-Indian contact, the psychological atmosphere was one in which India was naturally accepted as the giver and China as the taker. Whilst the best in Indian thought was carefully studied and carried back to China, Chinese ideas filtered through India whether they represented the best of their culture or not.
According to Jawaharlal Nehru in his book The Discovery of India
«The most famous of the Chinese travelers to India was Hsuang Tsang who came in the seventh century when the great T'sang dynasty flourished in China and King Harshavardhana ruled over in North India. Hsuang-Tsang took a degree of Master of the Law at Nalanda University and finally became vice-principal of the university».
His book the Si-Yu-Ki or the Record of the Western Kingdom (meaning India), makes fascinating reading. He tells us of the system of the university where the five branches of knowledge were taught. 1. Grammar 2. Science of Arts and Crafts 3. Medicine 4. Logic and 5. Philosophy. Hsuan-Tsang was particularly struck by the love of learning of the Indian people. Many Indian classics have been preserved in Chinese translation relating not only to Buddhism but also to Hinduism, astronomy, mathematics, medicine, etc. There are supposed to be 8,00 such works in the Sung-pao collection in China. Tibet is also full of them. There used to be frequent co-operation between Indian, Chinese and Tibetan scholars. A notable instance of this co-operation, still extant, is a Sanskrit-Tibetan-Chinese dictionary of Buddhist technical terms. This dates from the ninth century and is named the ‘Mahavyutpatti.’
Soon after Hsuan-Tsang's death in China, yet another famous pilgrim made the journey to India — I-tsing (or Yi-tsing). He also studied at Nalanda University for a long time and carried back several hundred Sanskrit texts. He refers to India as the West (Si-fang), but he tells us that it was known as Aryadesha — arya means noble, and desha region — the noble region. It is so called because men of noble character appear there successively, and people all praise the land by that name. It is also called the Madhyadesha - the middle land, for it is in the center of a hundred myriads of countries.
Yet Chinese culture had some influence on India. The gabled roofs of houses on the western coast of India show a Chinese influence, as do the temples and houses in the Himalayan regions. Some Chinese influence is noted on Gupta coins. The use of a certain kind of silk (china-msuka) in India, different kinds of fruits including pears (cinaraja-putra), peaches (cinani), and lichis, the technique of fishing in the backwaters, and the porcelain industry all owe something to Chinese influence. Indians also learned the art of papermaking from China.

A lot of info to think over. Wonder if Mao Tse Tung's Cultural Revolution was to de-Indianise the Chinese?

We need to study more of our Eastern neighbors hisotry and links with India.


June 26, 2009 2:22 PM

Don't know how India is related to this discussion. India does not matter in any case.

Let's take a look at the largest economies:

1. US
2. Japan
3. China
4. developed countries
5. more developed countries
6. who's India?
7. India does not matter
8. India is a joke
9. Try harder India
10. pathetic india
11. nope almost there...
12. INDIA!!!! yay! hA-hA! (laughter a la Nelson)'ve now made it!

Nave R.

September 10, 2009 10:27 AM

I don't know why this debate always comes up - India Vs. China. Just flip through history and you will be amazed that India and China have been the best and the biggest friends the world has ever seen (until 1962). I am an Indian and have been to Malaysia and have quite a few Chinese friends there. No one consider India as a threat or as their enemy. In fact, they were all frank in admitting their religious roots to India (through Buddhism). From classics like "Journey to the West" to Guan Yin to Bodhidharma, India's influence has been deep-rooted in China. Unlike others, India never forced its religion Buddhism upon the common population of China. The following quote by the former Chinese ambassador to US "India conquered and dominated China culturally for two thousand years without ever having to send a single soldier across her border (mostly through Buddhism)". Let's stop all this animosity and let's prevent another Cold War from brewing. Hail India China friendship. Usher in a new “Asian century”.


November 10, 2009 7:38 AM

Great..everyone gave comments..but no one tried to look into the real reasons why INDIA is not able to achieve its goal..??.....


India is a multi-RELIGIOUS,multi-CULTURAL,multi-LINGUAL country....its not easy for any govt. to satisfy all sections of people..any law or any proceeding carried out by da govt. here(INDIA)will be definitely against some or the other comunity of people..this makes the government difficult to enforce the law or acts meant for development...yes, every country does face similar problems, but their severity is much less than in INDIA..with a population of over 1.27 billion ..different political parties have hence born supporting different community of people..this has even worsen the decades long growth story of INDIA.but the situation in china is entirely DIFFERENT..the communist strict over its policies and never cares even its its own people while enforcing them..i hope everyone is aware how ruthless and unethical is chinese govt...but can u expect india to follow china.! never..its impossible for such a large democratic country...ALSO,though india is democratic,unexpextedly,the working group(labour) is over powered,there are merely no laws that control their acts..they get what they demand,they do what they want...this is making the industries to invest more on their work force,leading to less growth in production capacities in india, this is driving new companies to can raise a question.."why dont india regulate this situation,?". answer: as i said,different political parties support different community of people,here in this case all parties support the working group(labourers)..and this is because,as there is a considerable population of this class,both the ruling and the opposition parties work in favour of them competatively,expecting votes in return..and so on..there are many odd problems that INDIA friends i invite comments related to this...


November 11, 2009 1:46 AM

Talk about it? What is there to talk about anyway? The thing is we been through this way long long time ago here in BW if you indians even have the time to browse through all the past articles.

The thing is you just cannot handle the truth.

Alot of the comments are not by Chinese or Pakis yet you brand them as one, what to do? Remember on the web only opinion matters. Ppl just lol at your ability to debate.

Its not difficult to see the obvious isnt it? Despite all the saying on how china gonna go down, how lousy china is, how unstable, blablba...anything imaginable that can put forward to bad mouth.

Instead of saying why China is bad or how China going to fall and all the futuristic prediction which sadly to say is just a prediction using fancy statement yet nobody cares except indians becoz is written and given by indian.

Instead of doing all this why not ask yourself how and why China can do it and am still doing today but you urself cannot?

How many years already you been doing this?

China is secretive, yes and yet the world keep focusing on it becoz of its nature. Which means there is integration and with it advancement. Simple logic. Can you say the same for India? Why the world keep focusing on it? WHY? Why not india?

Yes, India is a democracy
Yes, India is an open book (which i doubt) but let say it is.

BUT WHY, there is so little integration, Why the rest of the world dun look up India for inspiration. Is it becoz India is an open book that why the world choose to ignore becoz india is so perfect they dun need help or attention or even a slight criticism. Or is it something more darker and worse where you indians will nv have the guts to admit nor the will to resolve.

Look at this world today, despite all the bad that is China, why today APEC of SE Asian countries they want to include China and USA but not India. Why Japan propose an East Asian Economic bloc like Europe which consist of Japan, China and SK but not India? Are ppl stupid? All all ppl of this world stupid expect you indians?

Why Why and Why. You can never get the answer. The day you find the answer is the day India will gain the respect and attention of the world. Mark my words on it.

You just cannot understand this world outside of India.

Post a comment



Bloomberg Businessweek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!