Prime Minister Manmohan Singh touched base with the new Chinese leadership in a telephonic conversation with the newly appointed Chinese Prime Minister, Li Keqiang.

Dr. Singh is likely to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Durban later this month. The first meeting between the two leaders is expected to last 45 minutes to an hour, said sources.

In the conversation with Mr. Li, Dr. Singh congratulated him on his appointment and expressed a desire to work together with him to realise the full potential of the relationship between India and China.

Dr. Singh expressed satisfaction with the progress in bilateral relations in the recent years and expressed confidence that they would expand further in the years ahead.

Boosting ties

Mr. Li thanked the Prime Minister and reaffirmed the significance of ties between India and China. He looked forward to working with Dr. Singh to further strengthen bilateral relations. He noted that Dr. Singh would have an opportunity to interact with the new leadership of China on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit.

The two leaders emphasised the need for maintaining high-level exchanges and invited each other to pay bilateral visits at their earliest convenience.