Updated: April 22, 2015 9:11:25 am
Chinese President Xi Jinping looks to replicate the warm welcome extended to him by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to India when the Indian leader arrives here next month on his first visit to China.
Modi will begin his three-day China sojourn by arriving in the ancient city of Xian, the capital of Xi’s home province Shaanxi, where the Chinese President and his charismatic wife Peng Liyuan set to play the host, showcasing the local culture and warmth.
It is rare for Chinese leaders to receive foreign guests in cities other than Beijing, and according to officials, Xi was keen to reciprocate the warm and innovative welcome extended by Modi when he visited India in September last year.
Besides entertaining Xi and Peng with a Jhula ride, which topped the collection of their photo album of foreign visits, Modi also took them to Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmathi Ashram where he and Xi spun the charkha.
Chinese officials say that efforts were on to extend a warm welcome to Modi in Xian where Xi would accompany him to the Wild Goose Pagoda, a spiritual structure build to highlight famous Chinese Buddhist monk Xuan Zang’s journey to India in 645 AD through the ancient Silk Road. The Xi couple will host a banquet for Modi in Xian after which the Indian Prime Minister would arrive in Beijing where he would hold in talks with Xi on the sticky border dispute issue and on ways to improve bilateral relations with large Chinese investments. Ahead of Modi’s visit, however, Xi made the high-profile visit to Pakistan unveiling of the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. There is unease among officials from both sides about its likely impact on the outcome of Modi’s visit.
Besides talks with Xi, Modi would also meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and other officials, address students of Tsinghua University and attend a Yoga event at the famous Temple of Heaven in Beijing.
The Indian Community Associations in China invited their members to register to attend a high-profile public meeting on the lines Madison Garden get together in New York to be addressed by Modi on May 16 in Shanghai.
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