DURBAN (TIP): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on March 27 met Chinese President Xi Jinping during the summit of the BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – in Durban, South Africa. This was the first structured high-level contact between the two countries since the change of leadership in China. The meeting lasted for 45 minutes. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Dr Singh said India values its ties with China. “The bilateral relationship with China is of great importance. As Prime Minister of India, it has been my great privilege to interact regularly with the Chinese relationship over the last decade.
I hope to intensify such dialogue and communications with you and the new leadership of China to put our relations on an even higher growth trajectory,” Dr Singh said. The two leaders discussed all contentious issues, including the boundary and Chinese dams along the Brahmaputra River, said sources.
Sources said the Chinese President was all praise for Dr Singh for his statesmanship and was hopeful that he would continue to improve ties between both the countries. Jinping said relationship with India is important to China. “The Chinese President, in fact, himself told Dr Singh that he knew about the good bonding our prime minister shared with his predecessors,” an Indian official said.
Chinese Prime Minister invited Dr Singh to China and the Prime Minister invited the Chinese President to New Delhi. Both the leaders have accepted each other’s invitations; the dates are yet to be worked out. Jinping had last week propounded five proposals for improving bilateral ties with India. These included keeping aside differences on various issues while improving mutual ties and accommodation of each other’s concerns while dealing with “core interests”. He had also suggested that peace and tranquility should be maintained on the boundary pending settlement of the issue.