New Delhi: Ahead of their meeting later in March 2013 on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Durban, newly-installed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang spoke to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday and both expressed a desire to work together to boost bilateral ties.
Manmohan Singh congratulated Li on his appointment and "expressed a desire to work together with him to realize the full potential of the relationship between India and China. PM expressed satisfaction with the progress in bilateral relations in recent years and expressed confidence that they will expand further in the years ahead", said an official source.
Li thanked Manmohan Singh and "reaffirmed the significance of ties between India and China".
"He noted that PM would have an opportunity to interact with the new leadership of China on the sidelines of the upcoming BRICS Summit in Durban, South Africa, later this month."
"The two leaders emphasized the need for maintaining high-level exchanges. They extended invitation to each other to pay bilateral visits at their earliest convenience. Both leaders gratefully accepted the invitation and looked forward to an early opportunity to interact," the source added.
China formally installed Li Keqiang as the country's premier on Friday. Li, who has held the number two position in the Communist Party of China since November 2012, succeeds Wen Jiabao.
The National People's Congress officially selected Xi Jinping, Communist Party chief, as president on Thursday in a similar vote.