Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit on Monday. Both the leaders emphasised that there is enough space for India and China to grow and develop. Both expressed satisfaction that a robust dialogue architecture has been put in place between the two countries to take their relationship forward.
Premier Wen Jiabao and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, meeting perhaps for the last time (Wen retires from his post in March), recalled the great personal equation that both had been able to build over the last eight years. Premier Wen, according to Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, who briefed the Indian media on the meeting, pointed out that this was their 14th meeting in the last eight years. Wen also said that the new leadership in Beijing will give equal if not more importance to relations with India.
Premier Wen said Beijing and New Delhi has built up a strategic Cooperative Partnership, has put in place a joint mechanism to maintain peace and tranquility on the boundary issue. There have also been many more people to people contacts, he added.
Although they did not touch upon the prickly issues of either South China Sea or East China disputes in their bilateral meeting, Premiers Wen and Manmohan Singh stressed on the need to utilise the East Asia summit coming up on Tuesday as a forum to accelerate development and economic cooperation between the nations in the region.
PM Manmohan Singh emphasised the need for China to give greater market access to Indian pharma, IT and Services sector. Both the leaders agreed that there is a need to correct the imbalance in bilateral trade. They finally said, India and China have had convergence on many important global issues.