They share a border, have fought a bitter war and continue to compete for geopolitical supremacy in the region. Political ambitions and distrust on either side have sometimes been at the cost of better economic sense.
But in recent years there have been attempts to mend and strengthen the relationship through bilateral visits from both heads of state. And while Indian manufacturers, like their counterparts elsewhere, complain about inexpensive Chinese products flooding the market, Indian consumers are lapping up everything from cheap Chinese phones and toys to clothes made in China.
Imbalance in trade
China is India's largest trading partner and like with many other countries, this relationship too is imbalanced. Trade between the two countries has been expanding annually at 15 percent since 2007, according to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), a trade body. Unfortunately for India, so has its trade deficit with China.
In the financial year that ended March 31, India exported a little over $9 billion worth of goods to China, while it imported goods worth $61.7 billion, taking the trade deficit to a whopping $52.7 billion, according to trade body FICCI's East Asian Division.