As Chinese President Xi Jinping embarks on a landmark visit to India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that the relationship between the two countries goes beyond “plain arithmetic” and he was confident that the neighbours can “script history” by enhancing cooperation.
Reflecting the importance India attaches to the visit, Modi said India and China have a “unique chemistry” that can make for a defining moment and create a bright future for the entire mankind.
“India and China are bound by history, connected by culture, and inspired by rich traditions. Together they can create a bright future for the entire mankind,” Modi told.
Xi will arrive at Ahmedabad on Wednesday on a three-day visit to India which will be the third by any Chinese president to India. President Hu Jintao had visited India in 2006 and Jiang Zemin had come here in 1996.
Referring to the large population base of India and China, Modi said that when India and China gain, almost 35 per cent of the world’s population benefits.
Modi and Xi will hold talks on two occasions — first when the Prime Minister will host a private dinner for the visiting dignitary after his arrival in Ahmedabad on September 17 and then in New Delhi on September 18 in restricted and delegation-level format.
Modi will welcome Xi, accompanied by a high-level delegation including two senior members of Politburo and the Chinese Commerce Minister, at a hotel in Ahmedabad.
Xi is expected to announce investments to the tune of billions of dollars in India’s railway, manufacturing and infrastructure projects.
China’s foreign exchange reserves, the largest in the world, reached a record USD 3.95 trillion in March and it plans to invest around USD 500 billion overseas in the next five years, a share of which is expected to find India’s way.
With growing Outbound Direct Investment (ODI) which last year crossed USD 90 billion, China’s investments in India, which so far remained a paltry USD 400 million, mostly in Gujarat, are now expected to surpass Japan’s.
60-year-old Xi, who took over as the head of the ruling Communist Party in 2012 and President and military chief in March last year, had been sending clear signals of boosting bilateral relations with India.