NEW DELHI - Relations with India are "fragile", China's ambassador said on Monday, but the two countries can work together to emerge as a "world factory and a world office".
Ahead of a visit to India on Wednesday by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, ambassador Zhang Yan said trust was badly needed between the neighbours.
"It is a fragile relationship and it needs special care," Zhang said.
Taking up the view that Asia can accommodate the rise of both countries peacefully, Zhang stressed how both had different strengths - China in manufacturing and India in the IT and outsourcing sectors.
"The two neighbouring countries should work together as a world factory and world office," Zhang said at a summit organised by an industry body in New Delhi.
Wen's two-day visit sees an agenda topped by festering border disputes that have vexed ties for decades between the world's most populous countries.
In New Delhi, Wen is expected to highlight increasing two-way trade in talks with his counterpart Manmohan Singh.
India is likely to raise concerns including their competing claims over two Himalayan border regions - a bone of contention over which they fought a war in 1962 and which has come to the fore again with recent strong assertions by China of its territorial rights.
"Both sides should not allow the border issue to effect other aspects of the equation," Zhang said.
India's Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said New Delhi looked forward to a growing economic partnership and invited fresh Chinese investment in infrastructure.