Beijing, March 8: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday said that China and India should be "free of mental inhibition" and build mutual trust, which is a "precious commodity" in their ties.
Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the Chinese parliament session, Wang said that both countries, which nearly came to war over a two-month military stand-off along their border last year, should replace suspicion with trust.
Sounding positive on bilateral ties in the coming year, the minister said: "The Chinese dragon and Indian elephant must not fight each other but dance with each other."
Sino-India ties took a nosedive after their militaries faced-off each other in their worst stand-off at Doklam in the Sikkim section of their boundary.
China's opposition to a UN ban on Pakistani terrorist Masood Azhar and India's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group has also tested their relationship.
"Despite some tests and difficulties, the China-India relationship continues to grow. In the process, China has both upheld its legitimate rights and interests and taken care to preserve the relationship.
"Chinese and Indian leaders have developed a strategic vision for the future of our relations. The Chinese dragon and Indian elephant must not fight each other but dance with each other," Wang said.
He emphasised that mutual trust was a key factor between India and China.
"China and India must do everything to empathise with and support each other and avoid mutual suspicion and attrition.
"In this, mutual trust is the most precious commodity in China-India relations. With political trust, not even Himalayas can stop from friendly exchanges. Without it, even level land cannot bring us together," Wang said.
"Let me put this to our Indian friends, our shared understanding far outstrips our differences and our far outweigh our frictions. China is willing and ready to inherit and forward traditional friendship and be a friend and partner of the Indian people."
"I hope the two sides will be free of the mental inhibition and meet each other halfway. Let us replace suspicion with trust, manage differences with dialogue and build a future with cooperation," the Foreign Minister added.
After resolving the Doklam crisis last year, both countries have attempted to repair their relationships and have shown willingness to engage in more dialogue.
Last month, India's Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale quietly visited Beijing and met Wang and China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi.
The visit by the former ambassador to China was seen as a key development in the ties. Gokhale is understood to have set the tone for more talks between both countries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Shanghai Cooperation Summit in China in June.