Beijing: Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Wednesday met China’s Vice Premier Li Keqiang, who is expected to succeed Premier Wen Jiabao next year, and discussed a host of bilateral issues.
Krishna and Li met in the Great Hall of the People on the sidelines of the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
They reviewed trust-building initiatives sealed in March, including the proposal for a maritime dialogue, the border mechanism and intensification of economic and trade ties. “It is an opportunity to enhance cooperation under the SCO but also bilaterally,” Li said after shaking hands with Krishna.
Krishna said before the two sat down for talks: “This is my second visit to China. When the Chinese president came to India for BRICS, 2012 was declared the year of India-China friendship. “I am overwhelmingly impressed by the amount of progress I see every time I visit Beijing,” added Krishna.
The meeting marks a series of engagements for India to get an insight into the thinking of the next generation of Chinese leadership which will take charge after a leadership succession later this year.
Li is expected to carry forward the upswing in bilateral ties witnessed during the tenure of President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen.
In January 2013, Hu will make way for Xi Jinping, China’s current vice-president, and Li will succeed Wen. President Pratibha Patil met Xi in China in 2010.