China visit will set new milestone for Asia: PM Modi

SansadTV Bureau

PM_ModiwhiteFaced with irritants like the boundary issue and China’s plans for infrastructure projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have a tough task as he meets the Chinese leadership during his three-day visit to China from Thursday which he hoped will set a “new milestone” for Asia.

PM Modi, who is undertaking his first visit to China as Prime Minister, will reach the ancient city of Xi’an, the home town of President Xi Jinping, for a summit meeting, an unusual departure from normal protocol and seen as a reciprocal gesture by the Chinese leader who was hosted by Modi in Ahmedabad when he visited India in September last year.

“I am looking forward to the trip to China . . . the 21st century belongs to Asia,” the Prime Minister told Chinese media ahead of his visit.

The Prime Minister, who spoke in Hindi, hoped that his visit will “further deepen” India-China relations and set a “new milestone” for Asia and developing countries.

Besides making efforts to settle border disputes in peace, the two sides also reached agreement on various international and regional issues, he said.

“I believe that my trip to China will not only deepen the China-India friendship, but also set a new milestone for the relations between developing countries in Asia as well as around the world. There is no doubt about that,” he told state-run CCTV ahead of this visit.

He said India and China have made great progress in bilateral relations in recent years and managed their differences with patience and maturity.

“Interacted with the Chinese media, where I highlighted the strong potential of India-China ties,” Modi tweeted, the imperial garden in Beijing where the top Chinese leadership resides.

This is first time since Xi took over power two years ago that he will be receiving a foreign leader outside Beijing and will spend considerable time informally interacting with Modi.

He said India and China have made great progress in bilateral relations in recent years and managed their differences with patience and maturity.

Modi will be arriving on Thursday in Chinese city of Xi’an, the provincial capital of Shaanxi and the home province of President Xi Jinping, where he will have informal interaction with Xi before coming to Beijing late in the evening.

He is scheduled to hold talks with Premier Li Keqiang next day and go to Shanghai where he would address a business get-together, inaugurate the first Mahatma Gandhi chair at Fudan university and address Indian community.