I attended a private dinner where the discussion was on Sino-American relationship, the rise of Africa, and China – India equation among other things. Those attending were leaders from British business and government from across the globe. There were as many views about China and the state of economoy in the US as there were participants. One interesting view was that South East Asain countries do not look at India as a super power, but view it as a very effective business partner. Democracy, poor governance and fragmented political power structure in India works against any ambitions that it might have of being a super power. China on the other hand is unfettered by these and is able to marshall its resources in a focused manner effectively.

In another debate on Can India be a Super Power – led by Gideon Rachman of the FT and Jo Johnson, MP the consensus was that India has always held back from military action even when provoked – the recent 26/11 attacks was one such instance. Speakers found absence of reprisal from India despite overwhelming evidence of Pakistan’s involvement in the terror attack as a sign of a nation that was content with its economic growth and soft power.