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Monday, March 12, 2007 : 0315 Hrs


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    India's dominance in the billionaires club shocks China

    Beijing, March 12. (PTI): Indians topping the Forbes' list of Asian billionaires, replacing the Japanese, have flabbergasted the Chinese, who are regularly reading that India is not shining as reported by the Western media and experts.

    "I am surprised that Indians have topped the Forbes' list of Asian billionaires," Chen Yu, a media consultant said.

    "I must change my distorted impressions about India," she said.

    With 36 of its citizens worth over a billion dollars, India replaced Japan as Asia's top breeding ground for the super-rich, the Forbes 2007 listing of billionaires said this week.

    Amongst the top dozen Asian billionaires, there were eight Indians led by steel baron, L N Mittal. Asia added 54 new billionaires in the last one year, 14 of which were from India. In other words, every fourth new Asian billionaire was from India.

    Compared to the impressive performance by Indian entrepreneurs, the only mainland Chinese to figure among the top 70 richest amongst Asians was Yan Cheung, the self-made woman entrepreneur of Nine Dragon Paper Co, who is the richest in China.

    Ting Guo, an executive with a multinational company said, India's rise is also as impressive as that of China but mostly went unreported or underreported in the Chinese media.

    Zhang Jing, a Chinese journalist with the China Information World also said that she was unaware of India's growth story and had a good impression of the software sector.

    Of late, the state-run Chinese media, especially the Communist Party-backed 'Global Times' has been writing a lot of stories, telling the Chinese readers that India was not shining as reported in a section of the Western media.

    "What kind of country is India? The detailed information is more likely to come from the description of Western media other than domestic India. The praise for India from western media might surprise Indian themselves as well. Comments such as "to catch up with and surpass American's economy in 2050", "possible to become the pace maker for "BRICs" (Brazil, Russia, India and China), etc have waken up India's dream of longing for a "powerful Country", one article in the 'Global Times' reported.

    The report based on a February edition of Fortune magazine to show that about half of the people starving in the world are living in India; 47 per cent of the children below 5 years old in the country have cacotrophia or stunt problem; more than 5.70 million population is infected with AIDS; more than 1/4 Indian citizens live on less than one dollar as their living expense per day; only 61 per cent of the adults are educated, which is no better than Rwanda.

    "These data attack the soft spot of India's economy and social development in the aspects of education, food, healthcare, and rich-poor gap, etc. It says Indians are "hugging themselves on the achievement" by dreaming to be a powerful country now.

    The report also quoted, 'The Economist' magazine to doubt India's economic structure. The report said, 99 per cent of the companies in India are over-loading now that India's inflation has exceeded six per cent.

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