1. Racial and religious homogeneity (91% Han)In contrast, India is much more diverse. The Hindu nation has over 150 million Muslims, making it home to the third largest Islamic population in the world.
2. No neighbor as hostile as PakistanWhile China may eventually butt heads with another nuclear power, Russia, over Chinese expansion into Russia's vast and resource rich territory east of the Urals, it has no conflict with a neighbor that approaches the animosity that exists between India and Pakistan.
3. A higher GDP and higher growth rate, and far better infrastructureIn 2006, foreign direct investment in China was nearly six times greater than FDI in India, in spite of the CPC's notorious cautious approach toward such inflows. Capital markets are providing insight into where the bulk of the growth is going to be.
4. The possible wild card: the ability of the Communist party to push genetic engineeringIn 1993, 91% percent of Chinese genetic scientists reported that they supported eugenic policies for the betterment of the nation. The one-child policy has already prepared Han Chinese (to whom it applied) for demographic engineering, and a Confucian ethos is compatible with it. So I agree with all four of his points.
Godless cites a larger Chinese male surplus as a potential disadvantage for the Middle Kingdom. But the CIA factbook's most recent data puts the male advantage under 15 years of age at 17 million for both countries. Since China has a couple hundred million more people, that means the Indian female shortfall is more acute than is the Chinese, not the other way around and Godless asserts. Further, there is a larger market for Southeast Asian wives in China than in India, where arranged marriages and caste considerations are still common.
Then there is what may be the most important Chinese advantage of all--a more intelligent (if truculent) population. In IQ and the Wealth of Nations, Lynn and Vanhanen estimate China's average IQ to be 100, compared to India's 81. Among the nations of the world with an average IQ near or above the three-digit threshold, China is virtually alone* in its relative poverty. The breakdown of staggeringly inhibitive governmental controls seems to be propelling China to its 'rightful' seat at the top of the economic pack.
The WSJ offers another reason India is going to have trouble keeping pace (also here):
In today's India, high-caste privileges are dwindling, and with the government giving extensive preferences to the lower-caste majority, many Brahmins are feeling left out of the economy's rapid expansion. ...I've never seen Indian IQ scores broken down by caste, if such a thing has ever been done, but I've always presumed that Brahmin scores are considerably higher than those of the lower orders, in part due to Brahmin advantages in attributes that proxy for IQ, and in part due to my own personal experience (I've known one Indian in the US who is Kshatriya while the rest have all been Brahmins).
In Tamil Nadu, nearly 70% of government jobs and public-college slots are reserved for people from lower castes and other historically disadvantaged groups. Although he says he graduated near the top of his high-school class and had strong test scores, Mr. Parameswaran couldn't get into any of the state engineering colleges. His family had to borrow from friends to send him to a second-rate private college.
While this mandated affirmative action isn't going to make the most efficient use of India's human resources, it's not as overwhelming as it might first appear. The quotas aren't as high in other areas of India (around 50%), and while 70% seems an enormous figure, only 3% of Tamil Nadu's population is Brahmin. Of India's nearly 1.1 billion people, only 55 million (5%) or so are Brahmin. Even the members of this relatively small elite are not universally privileged. Far from it, in fact, as nearly two-thirds of Brahmins (amounting to 35 million people) earn less than $1,200 a year.
Many Indian industries that are private in the US, like banks and railways, have extensive governmental involvement on the subcontinent. If the choice is between marginal employment and a government position, though, it's hard to see how keeping a better educated and more intelligent Brahmin out is going to be helpful.
But these quotas still apply to government positions, after all. I can't back it up, but I've always had a hunch that the imperial examination system that encouraged China's most promising striplings to concentrate their intellectual energies on performing well on the examination system--and then snatched up those who performed well and put them in official bureaucratic positions--was a bane on China's development from the 7th century on.
*North Korea is likely another. I hopefully await (with excess dollars) the day that Kim Jung Il's regime collapses and something similar to South Korean democracy takes root in its place and begins seeking foreign investment.