New Delhi: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Thursday called up Prime Minister Narendra Modi and conveyed Beijing's desire to establish a "robust partnership" with the new Indian government. Modi told Li "China was always a priority in India's foreign policy".
According to an official statement from the Prime Minister's Office here, Li congratulated Modi on his victory in the recent election and conveyed his government's desire to "establish robust partnership with the new government in India for further development of relations between the two nations".
Modi thanked Li for the greetings and underlined the Indian government's resolve to "utilise the full potential of our strategic and cooperative partnership with China".
He also expressed his "keenness to work with the Chinese leadership to deal with any outstanding issues in our bilateral relations by proceeding from the strategic perspective of our developmental goals and long-term benefits to our peoples".
Modi welcomed greater economic engagement between the two countries.
The two leaders agreed to maintain frequent high level exchanges and communication, the statement said.
Modi extended through Li an invitation to Chinese President Xi Jinping to pay a visit to India later this year.
The prime minister's telephonic conversation with Li was his first with a foreign head of government since taking charge.
After the visit of SAARC leaders here to attend Modi's swearing-in ceremony May 26, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is scheduled to arrive June 8 as special envoy to Xi Jinping, official sources said.