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Manmohan bids Wen farewell

world Updated: Nov 20, 2012 01:33 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times
Jayanth Jacob

The occasion was laced with nostalgia, a sense of achievement while managing a complex relationship, and an assurance that the new regime in Beijing is convinced that ties with India are "important" as Manmohan Singh met with his counterpart Wen Jiabao here some forty minutes and bade the outgoing premier farewell.

Premier Wen Jiabao recalled it was the 14th time the two have met in the past eight years and it could well be their last meeting. The two leaders fondly talked about the distance they covered and the distrust they tried to address.

They famously shared the view there is enough space in the world for the two countries to grow peacefully and didn't let other issues hamper the growing trade ties.

India-China bilateral trade was $10.84 billion in 2004 and it reached a record $73.9 billion last year, and looks like it is clocking the target of $100 billion before the set deadline of 2015.

There were many instances of upping the ante in the past eight years, but the trade progress remained on track. In a note of farewell, Singh also hoped that he would meet with Wen Jiabao in "some other capacities".

The outgoing premier who also gave a parting hug to the prime minister said the next leadership also sees India as an important relationship.