Unfazed by China's great leap forward, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that India, a "functioning democracy" cannot be a "carbon copy" of its communist neighbour.
"Well, I have no hesitation in saying that I think development in India cannot be a carbon copy of what happens in China. And the Chinese system is very different," Singh said when asked during an interview with CNN about China's high growth and eye-popping infrastructure development speed.
"We are a functioning democracy. And even if you want to acquire land, I think you run into serious problems, and there's for -- of operating a democracy. And democracy is slow-moving. I always believed that it may be slow-moving in the short-term, but in the long run, an arrangement which has the backing of the people will prove to be more durable," he said in the interveiw, aired ahead of his state visit here.
At the same time, Singh, the economist-turned- politician, was quick to praise China for its achievements on the economy front. "I think the rise of China has contributed handsomely to sustaining the growth momentum in the world economy," he said.
On the oft-said India-China competition, the prime minister noted that he had repeatedly said that the two Asian neighbours were "not in competition."
"I have said it many times that India and China are not in competition. We believe that there is enough economic space for both our countries to realise the growht ambitions of our respective countries. And that's the attitude which guides us in dealing with China," Singh said.