Chinese premier hails Singh's visit as 'landmark' event

Beijing, Oct 23 (IANS) Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Wednesday hailed Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to China as a 'landmark' event in bilateral relations, which will inject new impetus to ties between the two countries, reported Xinhua.

"This is another high-level visit between China and India after my visit to India in May, and it is the first time since 1954 that the Chinese premier and Indian prime minister visit each other in the same year," Li said during talks with Manmohan Singh.

Li said the Indian government and people have effectively responded to the recent powerful tropical cyclone in the country's east, which caused deaths and property losses. He expressed condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims and those affected.

Li also thanked India for successfully rescuing 17 Chinese ship crew members near waters off India's eastern coastline earlier this month.

Manmohan Singh recalled his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Durban in March on the sidelines of a BRICS summit and Li's visit to India in May.

He said Li's maiden trip to India shows the importance that the new Chinese leadership attaches to its ties with India.

Manmohan Singh arrived in Beijing Tuesday on a three-day official visit to China.

President Xi and top legislator Zhang Dejiang will also meet with Singh separately.

The Indian prime minister will deliver a speech at the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

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