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AP Photo/Greg Baker

China’s top executives are now making twice as much as India’s

By Heather Timmons

Mainland China’s top managers have made up for lost time and are commanding salaries equal to or greater than most of their peers in the Asia Pacific region. India, meanwhile, is bringing up the rear.

According to a recent report by human resources company Towers Watson, ”C-suite” Chinese executives now command $215,000 a year, versus $94,000 in India.

In 2011, Indian professional salaries were rising faster than anywhere else in the world, according to the Wharton School of Business, at well above 11% a year in all pay grades, and were predicted to rise 12 to 15% a year for the foreseeable future. But the country’s economic slowdown nixed those projections.

China’s recent and somewhat confusing creation of a Free Trade Zone in Shanghai, and the re-opening of the mainland stock markets for IPOs has also helped push up mainland China’s top salaries beyond Hong Kong’s. Salaries at the bottom of the white collar ladder, though, are still comparable with Thailand and Taiwan—a fact some Chinese citizens realized painfully and publicly with the release of an online global wage calculator.