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Chinese think India backward

Findings from a 2009 survey of 4,500 Chinese reveal that the Chinese still have an outdated view of India and Chinese parents don’t encourage their children to study and travel across the border because they assume India is ‘not advanced’.

world Updated: May 16, 2010 01:37 IST
Reshma Patil

India may be the fastest growing economy after China, but most Chinese still don’t know that.

Findings from a 2009 survey of 4,500 Chinese reveal that the Chinese still have an outdated view of India and Chinese parents don’t encourage their children to study and travel across the border because they assume India is ‘not advanced’.

“Very few Chinese know that India is a rising power. They don’t perceive India as a rising economy,’’ Yuan Yue, CEO of Horizon Research Consultancy Group, that tracks the Chinese view of India with annual surveys since 2000, told the Hindustan Times.

Yuan told a seminar in Beijing on Friday that ‘Chinese people don’t believe India has good leadership’.

The two largest Asian nations mark their 60th year of diplomatic ties this year. But in 2009 India scored the third rank as the most threatening nation to China according to the Chinese surveyed. The US and Japan topped the list with worse scores.

The Indian view of China is a positive contrast. “Indians think that China is a rising power that will surpass the US,’’ said Yuan. “More Indians are willing to travel to China than the Chinese are willing to travel to India. The Chinese feel India is not advanced for travel and education.”

The findings are significant feedback as New Delhi urges Beijing to expand education, business and tourism ties with China, and change the standard Chinese view of India as a nation of Buddhism and Bollywood more than technology.

At the seminar, ambassador S Jaishankar said India and China have a ‘blue skies’ relationship this year, but he cautioned against complacency to guarantee that the tension of 2009 will not recur. More Chinese feel that Pakistan is China’s partner than India, but mass opinion on both sides is improving.

In 2009, about 45 per cent Chinese had a ‘good attitude’ toward India, compared to 35 per cent in 2003. About 46 per cent Indians have a positive view of China.

As expected, Indians score a plus for their English skills. “Indians’ English is difficult to understand,’’ said Yuan.