Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon has expressed his optimism that relations between India and China are expanding and changing for the better despite their boundary dispute.
The local daily Times of India quoted Menon as saying Thursday that ties between India and China are now more "evolved and nuanced" and have changed "fundamentally".
He said the boundary dispute between the two sides "has failed to limit engagement in other areas" and the two sides have maintained status quo over the issue.
Menon also said both India and China should be cautious against resorting to protectionism to deal with the world economic meltdown, which he said would hurt both economies in the long run.
"For either of us, India or China, to respond to the economic crisis through protectionism, no matter how attractive it would be in the short term, would only hurt our economies," he was quoted as saying.
China has overtaken the United States as the largest trade partner of India with a total trade volume of more than 50 billion US dollars last year, according to Chinese official accounts.
Menon made the comments at a releasing ceremony of a new book on Indian-China relations, "India- China Relations: The Border Issue and Beyond," written by Indian scholars Mohan Guruswamy and Zorawar Daulet Singh.
(Xinhua News Agency March 20, 2009)