GUANGZHOU (China) (Reuters) The emerging Asian giants of China and India may be locked in a battle for economic supremacy, but on the sporting front at least, China has sprinted well ahead of its southern rival. In an illustration of some of their relative strengths and weaknesses in tackling complex infrastructure and policy-making challenges for big events, Chinas slick preparations for the Asian Games in Guangzhou have contrasted sharply with Indias chaotic Commonwealth Games preparations in New Delhi. Some of the problems plaguing Indias Games, such as poor governance and shoddy infrastructure, carry poignant lessons as the country strives to prove itself against an aggressive, entrepreneurial and powerful competitor to the north. While India was racing to finish venues, scrub clean an athletes village and restore battered public confidence in the four-yearly Commonwealth Games, the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou was finishing preparations for the Asian Games, second in size to the Olympics, with 50 days to go. Weve made comprehensive preparations, said an organiser, Hua Shan, during a tour of the Asian Games Town sprinkled with lakes, apartments for athletes and stadia built in about two years. Weve seen the reports from India and are confident well do much better, she added. Our government is fully behind this and weve had experience of putting on these big events before. Over the past nine years, China has hosted at least six major sporting events including the 2008 summer Olympics and two East Asian Games, leading some liberal commentators to dub Chinas president Hu Jintao a national pride-seeking sports fanatic. Sport is the new arena for asserting Chinas soft power, said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a Hong Kong-based political scientist. Besides Chinas urban infrastructure and deep budgets to bankroll such spectacles, inter-regional rivalries have also played a role in ensuring smooth and safe implementation. (Guangzhou) is clearly the third city in China after Beijing and Shanghai and they want to have their share of the cake and their share of fame, both domestically and on the international stage, added Cabestan, of Hong Kongs Baptist University. SOCIAL PRICE For India, meanwhile, images of a collapsed footbridge by a main stadium and other shoddy construction have thrown the spotlight on its infrastructure problems. While now Asias third largest economy, for competitiveness, India is ranked just 51st overall globally by the World Economic Forum. India has a deficit and public debt has increased. Its a little bit difficult to mobilise resources and focus on infrastructure and its more decentralised so I think there are some striking differences (with China), said Jong-Wha Lee, chief economist of the Asian Development Bank. Besides logistics problems, Indias Games have been marred by security worries, including a suspected militant attack on tourists and the possibility of religious violence flaring. Chinas showcase events, however, have come at a social cost in many cases including mass evictions, media censorship and the silencing of dissidents as seen for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the Shanghai Expo. In Guangzhou, hundreds of villagers in older urban areas have clashed with riot police as bulldozers razed homes in a blitz of development ahead of the Games, fuelled in part by soaring real estate prices. Many villagers voiced anger at perceived official corruption and collusion with developers with billions ploughed into public works and as the pressure to force evictions with minimal compensation grows. The Asian Games have led to a tightening of freedoms, said Zhu Jianguo, a political commentator in nearby Shenzhen. Thats the main aim of these games, to demonstrate the countrys prosperity and the legitimacy of the ruling party. It also brings power and opportunities for corruption.