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Modi announces his visit to China from May 14 to 16 on Weibo


Beijing:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi today officially announced his visit to China from May 14 to 16 on the microblog website Weibo, saying he is looking forward to have productive discussions with top Chinese leadership.

“Looking forward to visiting China from 14-16 May to strengthen friendship between our two ancient civilisations and the two largest developing countries,” Modi wrote on the Chinese microblog that has over 500 million users.

“Eagerly awaiting my visit to Xi’an, Beijing and Shanghai and my productive discussions with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang,” he said in another post.

This is the first time his visit has been officially announced.

Modi yesterday made his debut on Sina Weibo, the popular Chinese microblog akin to the Twitter and Facebook, ahead of his visit, saying “Hello China! Looking forward to interacting with Chinese friends through Weibo.”

He followed by another post later in the day highlighting the links forged by Buddhism between India and China and its potential to make this an Asian century.

“I would like to convey my greetings to all of you on the occasion of Buddha Purnima. Today, we remember the august ideals & mission of Lord Buddha, who spread the message of harmony & brotherhood & envisioned a peaceful world. Buddha is a binding force that connects us, Asian Nations. It can emerge as a strong unifying force to make this century an Asian Century.”

His posts drew wide response with over 25,000 commenting on them.

Modi would kick off his visit to China as the Prime Minster from ancient Chinese city of Xi’an where he would be hosted by President Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan to reciprocat the hometown bonhomie displayed by the Indian leader when the Chinese leader visited Ahmadabad in September last year.

Xi’an is the provincial capital of Shaanxi province, the home province of President Xi.

It is rare for Chinese leaders to receive foreign guests in cities other than Beijing and according to officials Xi was keen to reciprocate warm and innovative welcome extended by Modi when he visited India.

Besides entertaining Xi and Peng with a Jhula ride, which topped the collection of their photo album of foreign visits last year, Modi also took them to Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmathi Ashram where he and Xi spun the Charkha in Gandhian style.

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