Durban: In the first-high level contact after the leadership
changes in China, Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh met Chinese President Xi Jinping and pledged to take
the ties on a "higher growth trajectory", even as he raised the issue
of Beijing's plan to build three dams on the Brahmaputra river.
Singh called on Xi, 59, who took over as President earlier
this month as part of the once-in-a-decade change of guard in China, on the
sidelines of the BRICS Summit which the two leaders attended here. This is the
first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders at the highest level.
"The bilateral relationship with China is of
great importance. As the Prime Minister of India, it has been my great
privilege to interact regularly with the Chinese leadership over the last
decade," Singh said.
"I Hope to intensify such dialogue and communications
with you and the new leadership of China to put our relationship on an
even higher growth trajectory," he added.
Former Chinese President Hu Jintao and ex-Premier Wen Jiabao
met with Singh more than 14 times in the last few years on the sidelines of
BRICS and other international conferences.
On his part, Xi hailed 80-year-old Singh as a statesman and
noted that he had contributed a lot for bettering China-India ties. He said he
would like to continue to build on that relationship with India.
"Water was discussed," official sources said
tersely following the 25-minute meeting late last night after the summit
without getting into specifics.
The Prime Minister is understood to have conveyed to
President Xi concerns in India
over the Chinese proposal to construct three dams across Brahmaputra.
said the proposal would affect water flow to India
says it was just run-of-the mill project that would not hold water.