Where does the heart of the relationship between the dragon and the elephant lie?
Is it in their increasingly public bickering over disputed land on the Himalayan border, where Indian officials have accused China of 270 line-of-control violations and 2,285 instances of aggressive border patrol last year?
Or is it in a burgeoning economic relationship that has seen China become India’s largest trading partner, with bilateral trade leaping from $15 billion to $40 billion in the past five years — and is expected to grow to as much as $60 billion in 2010?
Does it rest in China’s aggressive support of India’s arch-rival, Pakistan; Beijing’s strategy of building roads and ports in countries around the Indian Ocean as a “string of pearls” designed to choke India; and its efforts to block a $2.9 billion Asian Development Bank loan to India?
Or is it anchored in the remarkably united front India and China presented in Copenhagen, where they stood together to ensure that developed countries did not extract unilateral concessions on climate change from developing ones?
Right now, the answer seems to be both.