Might be last official meeting with Manmohan: Wen

Meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here on Monday, outgoing Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao remarked that it was their 14th meeting in eight years, and probably also the last time the two met officially.

Phnom Penh: The new Chinese leadership will give great importance to relations with India, outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday as the two appreciated working with each other over the last eight years, in what was most likely their last meeting.

Wen, who met Singh for a 15th time today in eight years, said he has had a "memorable experience" of working with him. Singh reciprocated by saying he too valued the experience of working with Wen.

Wen also conveyed to Singh that this would be possibly their last meeting as he would be demitting office in March as part of change of guard in Beijing.

In his opening remarks at their meeting on the sidelines of ASEAN Summit here, Wen said he cherished working with Singh.

"We established good working relationship and friendship between us. This is reflection of friendship between our two great nations," he said.

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.

Wen is expected to be replaced by Li Keqiang as Premier.
Singh offered congratulations on the successful conclusion of the 18th National Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

At the conclusion of the Congress, the CPC elected Xi Jinping as its new General Secretary. Xi will replace Hu Jintao as the communist nation`s President in March.


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