Why are Indians more successful than Chinese abroad?

The foreigner, or rather the Western world, has long been a source of fascination in China; a four-character expression describes this phénomène,崇洋媚外, chóngyáng mèiwài, blind admiration for the foreigner. With the song of the present time and the theme of the Great Renaissance 大复兴, the foreign rating is going down (see article). Nevertheless, in the population, the number one in the world (more for a long time think some) remains very observed. The United States is still the yardstick of success despite all the recent turmoil. Biden’s very likely accession to the White House (Trump has not yet exhausted all his avenues of appeal) highlights the future vice-president and potential president, Kamala Harris, whose father is of Jamaican origin and whose mother is Indian. Chinese articles ask the question: Why is the Indian community abroad more successful than the Chinese diaspora? A former Chinese consul had already raised the subject, see the article. The Tigger Trend Research Bureau is looking into the matter. It is interesting to see how a Chinese author considers this phenomenon, so I have summarized his text’s interesting parts.


So far, the United States has had two governors of Indian origin; Bobby Jindal was elected in Louisiana in 2008 and Nikki Haley in South Carolina in 2010. These two states are not easy. Located in the South, they have been significantly marked by racism. Haley will later become the U.S. representative to the United Nations. South Carolina and Louisiana do not have a high concentration of Indians, so it takes a lot of skill to be elected governor.
The federal-level had civil servants of Indian origin during the Obama years. The most important of these positions was Atul Gawande, an excellent surgeon, who became the president’s advisor on health policy. He played a crucial role in the creation of the health care bill during Obama’s term.
The Trump administration promoted many Republicans of Indian origin, an ethnic group that gained unprecedented political power and status. Assistant Secretary of State Manisha Singh was born in India. On the list is Ajit Varadaraj Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Neil Chatterjee, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Interestingly, the director of Trump’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Seema Verma, was responsible for repealing Obamacare and establishing a new health care policy. So it was the Indians who found the Obamacare bill, and it was the Indians who abolished it. The Indian media estimate that Biden should have twenty people in his administration in senior positions. Seema Nanda is the current leader of the Democratic Party.
As for the community of Chinese origin, they are not numerous: for the most important, Elaine Lan Chao (from Taiwan) held the position of Secretary of Labor under Bush Jr., and the famous Locke was ambassador to Beijing under Obama.
(The research bureau elude the presence of 余茂春, Miles Yu, human rights defender, who became Pompeo’s adviser. Sensitive subject!)

During the elections, Biden received the probable support of 65% of the Indian community. When we look elsewhere, we see Indian faces in the United States and Western countries. Former Irish Prime Minister Varadkar is half Indian, Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is also of Indian origin.
Britain has the largest number of senior civil servants of Indian origin. They hold three positions in Johnson’s cabinet: Chancellor of the Exchequer, Secretary of State for Home Affairs, and Secretary of State for Business and Energy Industries. British colonialism ruled India for more than three centuries. Who would have thought that one day it would be the Indians’ turn to rule Britain?

Diploma Advantage

In the United States, the Chinese have money but no power. They don’t ask questions about the state’s affairs; the Indians have political ambitions and financial weight, the development dynamic is powerful.
“We Chinese are known to work hard and get rich, but Indians work harder. According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics for 2014, the average annual household income of Indians is $91,195, ranking Indians first among all ethnic groups in the country, and Chinese second with $84,300.
We Chinese are good at university exams, but Indians are better. Nearly 64 percent of Indians – adults – have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 55 percent of Chinese in the United States.
The educational race in India is similar to that of the Chinese, where parents demand that their child be number one. Chinese and Indians have much in common: they seek to progress, they are not dependent on state welfare, and they study a lot, especially in practical subjects. Physicians are one of the highest-paid and most challenging professions, and one in ten physicians in the United States is Indian. Indian immigrants are even more impressive in the high-tech field, with one-third of Silicon Valley’s engineers coming from India.

The Problem

The Chinese like to study and work hard just as much as the Indians, so why are they always outsiders?
In middle-class American society, a college degree is essential, but it is not the only factor. The typical characteristics of the white Protestant elite in the United States are entrepreneurship, eloquence, enthusiasm, open-mindedness, excellent athletic ability, and the ability to handle all aspects of social relationships.
We have probably all heard the phrases “Don’t play with those who don’t study well” or “Don’t go on vacation, stay home and do your homework” when we were kids. During adolescence, when they most need to play and contact their peers, Chinese students are bored. When they arrive at work, they don’t have the social skills required for work, and they can’t communicate with their clients and co-workers.
Indian children are expected to study too, but their social life is not neglected. Indians in American companies have always been more proactive than Chinese, and Indians have been successful in industries other than Silicon Valley IT. Indraa Nooyi became CEO of Pepsi, Punit Renjen CEO of Deloitte, the Indo-Indian, and Ajaypal Singh Banga, CEO of Master Card International. These industries require a combination of skills, not just good grades in science. Chinese parents focus solely on teaching books, which is not conducive to children’s future development. The Chinese rarely get involved in politics. U.S. politicians do not reach the highest positions through exams. They take to the streets to solicit votes, gain the confidence of voters, find allies. These skills are not taught in textbooks. Add to this the Chinese tradition of being introverted, not showing their faces, and stifling their political participation behind closed doors. Indians have actively engaged in politics to fight for their own ethnic group’s rights and interests, which has been beneficial. The Chinese have immigrated to the United States since the end of the Qing Dynasty. The situation is still difficult, partly because there is no political support.

When the United States adjusted its racial policy, it was difficult for the Chinese to protect themselves. The Indians also took advantage of the situation to trip up the Chinese. Kamala Harris lobbied for S386 while in California in 2009, a bill dubbed the New Chinese Exclusion Act, which on its face is fair and provides for the distribution of green cards on a first-come, first-served basis. In practice, it favors Indians, who are the first ethnic group to apply for a Green Card. If nationality quotas were the rule, it would be much easier for the Chinese to obtain a Green Card.
When the Sino-American conflict is escalating, it is unlikely that a person with Indian roots becoming vice president of the United States would be a blessing to the Chinese at home and abroad. Harris had openly criticized China on various occasions, attacking it on Hong Kong issues when she was a senator. If something happens to Biden and Harris takes over the presidency, there will be even less backsliding between China and the United States.

It would be suitable for China if there were more Chinese in the United States. During World War I, the United States was slow to declare war on Germany because of the large number of German and Italian immigrants in North America. At that time, the first largest ethnic group in the United States was white Anglo-Saxons, the second largest was Germans, and large villages in the Midwest were settled by Germans, with no signs or billboards in English, only German. Fearing that he would lose the German vote and provoke opposition from the German community, President Wilson did not immediately enter the war.
In 1990, the U.S.’s Chinese-born population reached 1.6 million, then 2.4 million in 2000, and about 5 million in 2020. Statistics show that it is one of the fastest-growing ethnic minorities in the United States. Over time, as the percentage of Chinese Americans increases and voter turnout rises, Chinese Americans’ voices could be heard more often, which would affect U.S.-China relations. Today, Chinese Americans’ positions and preferences in the United States have never been more important to their home country, 母国.

Trigger Trend forgets to mention that the English proficiency of Indian students is a tool in integration. Perhaps it is difficult to recognize the benefits of colonization, which are not limited to the spread of globalization’s language? Is it the Chinese’s lack of political commitment in the United States that would explain the difference in success between the two communities? One may wonder why they do not get involved in this field. Let’s look at what’s happening in China. They don’t cultivate political commitment and struggle. We let the government “manage”! It would have been relevant to show the differences in the two countries’ political systems, influencing behavior, and destinies. But, the subjects are delicate to handle in China.
The author develops another argument: an education that does not promote the culture of social life. It is undoubtedly necessary to also dig in this direction to understand the reasons.
He recalls that in 2015, the appointment of Sunder Pichai, of Indian origin, to the position of CEO of Google had struck people’s minds. In China, people prefer to develop their own Google, Baidu, who was largely “inspired” by Google. To meditate!

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21 November 2020

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