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[$$] A tale of two systems: urban development in China and India

Jamil Anderlini

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.