China reminds me a little of Germany in the 20th century and in the Industrial Revolution: very organized, very focused and determined, facing trade-offs head-on and being gutsy on a large scale to leapfrog everybody. Chinese engineers are very good at reverse engineering the best hardware and reproducing it at lower cost. For the future, China also reminds me of Singapore with its very systematic and well thought through world class technology development, education and environment protection.
India reminds me of Italy in the 15th century, with its creativity, individualism, talent, spirituality, respect of its cultural heritage … and systemic chaos. It is not by accident that India produces herds of very talented software developers as it takes a fairly unstructured thinking to excel in this field. I was not surprised to see a dozen of biotech start ups, founded by Indians, leveraging the most diverse genomic pool in the world. I predict that, beyond software, India will become a world power in biotech over time.
In design, form follows device function. In geopolitics, function follows cultural form.
If you want the 900 page version, read this.