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Manmohan meets Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao

Manmohan meets Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Phnom Penh, Nov 19 : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Monday met one-on-one for about 45 minutes in this Cambodian capital, probably one of their last official meetings.

The two leaders discussed a gamut of regional and bilateral issues during the meeting, which comes ahead of the East Asia Summit to be held here Tuesday.

The prime minister is visiting Phnom Penh from Nov 18-20 to attend the 10th ASEAN-India Summit and the 7th East Asia Summit

Commerce Minister Anand Sharma Sunday told newspersons India believes that with the once-in-a-decade leadership change in China effected last week, "there is going to be continuity and stability in relations and our engagement, which is important to both the countries and the entire region and for economic stability".

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping is set to become president after being anointed general secretary of the Communist Party of China, while Li Keqiang is to be the premier, taking over from President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao respectively in March 2013.

Sharma had said talks were on between Indian and the new Chinese leaders.

"Some of us have engaged with the new leadership, both at the government to government level and, at a fairly structured level, between the Communist Party of China and the Indian National Congress," he said.

Sharma also said that India wanted to discuss with China the issue of market access for IT and pharmaceuticals.

India-China bilateral trade hit a record $73.9 billion last year, but the ballooning trade deficit in Beijing's favour rose to over $27 billion.

Bilateral trade registered a $12.2 billion increase in 2011, taking the total to $73.9 billion as against $61.7 billion in 2010, according to official trade figures for 2011.(IANS)