“In the US, there are nine cities with more than 1m inhabitants. In China, there are 49. You can be travelling across China, arrive in a city that is twice the size of Houston, and think: I’ve never even heard of this place.”
That’s from The Silicon Valley of China by Rob Gifford in the latest issue of Prospect. The volume of fascinating reportage from China is enormous, but there seems to be plenty of room to astound and provoke readers (minor example: the very witty article by Peter Hessler on driving in China in the latest issue of The New Yorker – and not available online). I think Gifford’s comparison between India and China was particularly striking. It’s worth reading his lengthy series of comparisons, but I think New Economist was right to single out the following:
Incidentally, a post on Davos Newbies comparing China and India elicited an unusual number of comments for this blog. The good news is that the two most populous countries in the world are making great strides in bringing hundreds of millions of people out of severe poverty and deprivation. Beside that fact – one of the great accomplishments of the modern-day world – the comparisons seem far less important.