Modi rings Chinese Premier Li; discusses increased cooperation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today sought to make amends for the exclusion of China from his swearing-in last week, to which all leaders of SAARC countries as well as Mauritius were invited.

India's new Prime Minister today spoke on the phone to his Chinese counterpart Premier Li Keqiang; and according to an external affairs ministry statement, ''discussed high-level interactions''.

Li was the first foreign head of government to congratulate Modi when he took over as prime minister. During the 25-minute telephonic conversation, Li reportedly told Modi that China desires to establish a robust partnership with the new government of India; and Modi responded that China was a priority in India's foreign policy.

Thanking Li for his earlier message of felicitations, he underlined his government's resolve to utilise the full potential of "our strategic and cooperative partnership with China and his keenness to work closely with the Chinese leadership to deal with any outstanding issues in bilateral relations by proceeding from the strategic perspective of our developmental goals and long-term benefits to our peoples".

Modi also sought greater economic engagement between the two countries.

The two leaders agreed to maintain frequent high-level exchanges and communication.

In the conversation, Modi invited China's President Xi Jinping to pay a visit to India this year.