Kolkata: Stressing that world peace will depend on how India and China manage their relations, former IAF chief Air Chief Marshal (Retired) Arup Raha on Wednesday said both the countries ignore each other but India should focus on a "neighbours first" policy.

"Strategically, peace and tranquillity in the world will depend on how India and China, two big nuclear and naval powers, handle each other and manage relations. We cannot ignore each other. So far whatever statistics have come indicate that we ignore each other totally," Raha said here.

He mentioned that the two countries should know themselves and each other very well.

"I think India's policy should be neighbours first. It is better to have a good relationship with a neighbour than with a friend thousand miles away," he said while announcing the 'Annual Calcutta Dialogue 2019'.

The former Indian Air Force (IAF) chief said that "strategic autonomy" should be the foundation policy of India's relationship with any country - be it China, the US, Russia, Japan or South Korea. "These relations should be one to one."

Former Army Chief General Shankar Roychowdhury, present at the event, said they "want to promote contact with China" through the seminar.