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Abstract

China and India, the world's two most populous countries, will exercise increasing influence in international affairs in the coming decades, and each country's role on the world stage will be affected by the progress that it makes and by the competition and cooperation that develop between them. This monograph focuses on the progress China and India seem likely to achieve from 2010 through 2025 in four domains: demography, macroeconomics, science and technology, and defense spending and procurement. In each domain, the authors seek answers to these questions: Who is ahead? By how much? and Why? The authors find that India has distinct advantages over China in terms of demographics; that the two countries are surprisingly close in terms of forecasted economic growth, although China's overall economic output is likely to remain significantly higher than India's; and that, for both science and technology and defense spending and procurement, China's current substantial margins over India are likely to rise but by amounts that will vary widely depending on several alternative scenarios. The monograph concludes with implications for policy and for further research.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Objectives, Background, Context

  • Chapter Two

    Population Trends in China and India: Demographic Dividend or Demographic Drag?

  • Chapter Three

    China-India: A Macroeconomic Assessment

  • Chapter Four

    Science and Technology

  • Chapter Five

    Chinese and Indian Defense and Defense Procurement Spending to 2025

  • Chapter Six

    Conclusions and Implications

  • Appendix A

    Meta-Analysis of Economic Growth in China and India

  • Appendix B

    Detailed Calculations for, and Additional Figures Showing, the Projections in Chapter Four

  • Appendix C

    Analytic Tables

The research described in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The research was conducted in the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by OSD, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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