PM meets Wen Jiabao, says bilateral relations in good state
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao today shared the view that bilateral relations were in good state and endeavour was to make these "stronger, wider and deeper".
Singh and Wen, who met here on the sidelines of ASEAN Summit, reviewed the ties during possibly their last meeting as the Chinese leader would be demitting office in March.
In his opening remarks, Wen said he cherished working with Singh over the last eight years during which they met for 14 times.
"We established good working relationship and friendship between us. This is reflection of friendship between our two great nations," Wen said.
"This is possibly the last meeting between us in my remaining tenure," he said, while referring to the change of leadership in China under which he will demit office in March.
Singh hailed Wen's personal endeavour to make the bilateral relationship "stronger, wider and deeper".
He specifically referred to Wen's two visits to India in 2005 and 2010, saying these helped make the ties "stronger".
During the first visit in 2005, the two countries established Strategic and Cooperative Partnership while the second visit in 2010 marked 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties.
"I personally value working with you," Singh told Wen.
Yesterday, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma had said that India expects continuity and stability in its relations with China after the once-in-a-decade leadership change in the Communist nation. China is India's largest trade partner but the trade deficit between the two economies has ballooned to USD 23 billion in China's favour in October this year, as India continues to import more than what it exports to the country.
India and China have a set a target of taking their total trade to USD 100 billion by 2015. The total bilateral trade reached a high of USD 73.90 billion last year but the figure dropped to USD 55.6 billion in the first 10 months of this year, a drop of 8 per cent.