PM Manmohan Singh meets Xi Jinping, raises Brahmaputra dam issue


In the first-high level contact after the new Chinese leadership took over, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met President Xi Jinping and raised the issue of Beijing's proposal to construct three dams across the Brahmaputra river on its side.

According to an official, the theme of the discussion was to scale up engagement with a view to find long term solutions particularly on achieving more predictability on Chinese future intention on building dams along the Brahmaputra river in China.

While China has maintained that these are run of the river projects, the Indian side has felt that prior consultations would help build greater confidence.

During the meeting, Singh said, "The relationships with China is of great importance to us. As the Prime Minister of India, it has been my great privilege to interact regularly with the Chinese leadership over the last decade... I hope to to intensify this dialogue and communication with you and the new leadership of China to put our relationship in an even higher growth trajectory."

Singh also extended an invitation on behalf of President Pranab Mukherjee to Xi. He recalled the invitation given to him from Chinese Premier Li Kequang during their recent phone conversation and hoped to visit soon. Official sources indicated that Singh may undertake a vist later this year.

While the situation in the South China Sea did not come up in the conversation, the officials emphasised all other issues were touched upon in the 45-minute meeting. They seemed to suggest that issues like the Sino-Pak relations and the concerns in Tibet did also find mention

Earlier in the day, during a lunch for BRICS leaders, Xi told PM that he was keen on continuing the personal equation Singh had achieved with his predecessor as as former Premier WenJiabao. The PM recalled this in the bilateral meeting and said this was the time for both countries to step up engagement in all spheres,

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