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发表于 2018-6-10 12:19:00 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
On paper, India’s transport infrastructure is on a par with China’s. Yet anyone who has travelled to both countries can tell you there remains a vast gap between them.
India’s road and rail networks are only slightly shorter than China’s. But far more of the latter’s roads are multi-lane paved highways, compared with single-lane dirt tracks, and China’s bullet trains outclass India’s lumbering locomotives on virtually every metric.
The comparison between the world’s two most populous countries and their approach to building and maintaining cities and infrastructure is irresistible, especially since China has outpaced India so comprehensively over the past few decades. While the countries’ economies were roughly the same size as recently as 1980, China’s gross domestic product is now four and a half times the size of India’s.
In India, even politically important projects such as the “golden quadrilateral” highway network connecting the country’s four major metropolitan centres of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata have been hampered by chronic delays and obstacles.
In 1999, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee broke ground on the road project, which had a projected completion date of 2006. But the highways were not opened to traffic until 2012 and to this day upgrades and extensions remain bogged down by legal challenges, funding shortfalls and the inability to acquire land.
1999年,印度总理阿塔尔•比哈里•瓦杰帕伊(Atal Bihari Vajpayee)为“黄金四边形”工程举行了开工仪式,当时预计的竣工时间是2006年。但是该公路直到2012年才通车,时至今日,该道路的升级和扩建仍然因法律挑战、资金短缺和无法获得土地而停滞不前。
By contrast, China is already halfway through a three-decade, $300bn expansion of its motorway system that will connect all Chinese cities with a population of more than 200,000 people.
The scale of the country’s road-building frenzy is matched by the creation of hundreds of new cities and the world’s longest high-speed rail network. All of this construction is reflected in the incredible scale of Chinese cement production. China accounts for about 60 per cent of total global cement production and in just five years from 2012 China produced nearly three times as much cement as the US did in the entire 20th century.
India is on track to build 100 new cities of its own and add roughly 300m people to its population by 2050. Yet although it is now the second-largest producer of cement in the world, India’s annual output is only about a 10th of China’s.
There are many reasons for the disparity in the pace of urban development and interconnectivity but analysts in both countries tend to focus on their different political systems as the most important factor.
“We can’t take land away from people like they can in China and our system is not centralised in the way theirs is,” a senior Indian economic official told the FT recently.
印度一位高级经济官员最近向英国《金融时报》(Financial Times)表示:“我们无法像中国那样把土地从人民手中夺走,我们的制度也不像他们那样中央集权。”
In a one-party authoritarian state such as China that prioritises development of the nation over the interests of individuals it is far easier to appropriate land and mobilise resources to build infrastructure mega-projects.
In a vibrant, messy, decentralised democracy such as India, opponents of all stripes, from environmentalists to disgruntled contractors, can block developments at a political and judicial level for years or even decades.
Some analysts have also pointed to rampant corruption in India as a reason why the country’s infrastructure buildout has lagged so far behind China’s.
“Indian policymakers have allowed the private sector the chance to profitably create infrastructure in return for sharing the spoils,” says Ritika Mankar Mukherjee, senior economist at Ambit Capital in Mumbai. “Not surprisingly, therefore, some of the biggest corruption scams . . . in India in the Noughties related to the infrastructure sector.”
“印度政策制定者给予私营部门通过建设基础设施赚钱的机会,以换取从中分一杯羹,”孟买Ambit Capital的高级经济学家利提塔•曼卡尔•慕克吉(Ritika Mankar Mukherjee)表示,“因此,21世纪头十年里,印度一些最大的贪污诈骗案……与基础设施部门有关就不足为奇了。”
Analysts and participants in Chinese infrastructure construction say that corruption in China is equally egregious, however. The main difference is that corruption scandals in India are far more frequently exposed by the country’s vigorous and free press compared with China, where the ruling Communist party exercises very tight control over all forms of media.
The Indian and Chinese approaches to urban slum dwelling and clearances are another area where the difference between their political systems is thrown into sharp relief.
In China, all citizens are classified under the hukou household registration system that decides what benefits, such as education and healthcare, they receive from the state. There are nearly 300m internal “migrant workers” in China living away from their place of registration and most of these people find it impossible to transfer their hukou to their place of work. This makes their lives in the city temporary and tenuous and allows the authorities to remove them as necessary.
Meanwhile, in India, people are largely free to migrate to the cities and settle into the massive slums that ring every large city. Slum clearances are often met with stiff opposition.
Given its relative economic success in recent decades, China is becoming a model of development for other countries from the “global south”.
However, such developing countries often have political systems that more closely resemble India’s and it is unlikely many of them would be open to authoritarian adjustments so they can follow China’s path.


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