Military conflict between China and India is unlikely as the Asian giants strive to emerge as major powers on the world stage, India's Foreign Minister, Yashwant Sinha, said yesterday. In a rare and candid outline of the Indian government's perceptions of China, Mr Sinha said that its China policy was not based on the premise that a conflict was inevitable. Mr Sinha said some international analysts who foresaw a looming battle for supremacy between India and China had spoken of the inevitability of a conflict owing to overlapping areas of influence. 'Let me debunk these theories completely and state with full conviction that India neither pursues nor makes policies towards China based on the belief that conflict between the two is inevitable,' he said. Mr Sinha insisted India's policies would not be based on fear of Chinese power nor envy of its economic achievements. 'They will be based on the conviction that a prosperous India is inevitable. So is a strong and prosperous China,' he said. The comments were made at a conference in the Indian capital, New Delhi, titled 'Asian security and China in 2000-2010'. India and China fought a war in 1962 over a border dispute which remains unresolved. But both sides have sought to improve relations in recent years. Mr Sinha's speech showed New Delhi had moved forwards from its mindset in 1999 when Defence Minister George Fernandes identified China as 'threat No 1'. However, Mr Sinha acknowledged that some of the wounds of the 1962 conflict had been 'slow to heal and the scars have not fully disappeared'. He also identified important differences between the two neighbours. 'Reliable and widespread reports of Chinese nuclear and missile proliferation to Pakistan cause deep concern,' he said. 'The Chinese position on issues such as [the state of] Sikkim's integration with India and New Delhi's candidature for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council [both of which Beijing opposes] sows doubts,' he said. 'There is also a sense of disappointment over the pace of improvement in relations. 'Let me, however, assure everyone gathered here that India's approach to relations with China is and will remain forward-looking and infused with a sense of optimism,' he told the conference.