President Xi starts Indian visit

Updated: 2014-09-17 17:20

By WU JIAO in Ahmedabad, India and ZHAO SHENGNAN in Beijing (

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Backgrounder: Major events about China-India relations

On July 14, 2014, Chinese PresidentXi Jinpingmet with India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the first time during the BRICS Summit in Brazil. "Joining hands for peaceful, cooperative and inclusive development to enable the 2.5 billion people in both countries to live a better life, and to promote the peace and development in the region and the world, are our biggest common interests," Xi told Modi.

In March 2013, Xi met with then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the BRICS Summit in South Africa. On May 18, PremierLi Keqiangmade his first foreign visit to India to stimulate economic relations and increase diplomatic cooperation.

President Xi Jinping arrived in the western Indian state of Gujarat on Wednesday afternoon on the start of a three-day visit during which a number of key agreements will be signed.

The visit will be marked by a departure from the normally strict protocol procedures and will include a riverbank stroll with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a birthday celebration.

The first day of Xi's visit will be spent in Ahmedabad, the largest city of Modi's home state that he ran for 12 years.

After holding talks, both leaders are scheduled to visit Sabarmati Ashram, home of late Indian nationalist leader Mahatma Gandhi. They will then take a stroll at the Sabarmati Riverfront Park, before celebrating Modi's 64th birthday on Wednesday at a dinner in a tent by the riverside.

One of the agreements to be signed in Ahmedabad involves setting up industrial parks in India, according to media reports.

Xi will also announce investments in India's railways during the visit, the Press Trust of India reported.

China is India's largest trade partner, with bilateral trade reaching $65.5 billion in 2013. Modi is keen to attract large-scale foreign direct investment inflows from China to upgrade India's creaky infrastructure.

After the dinner, Xi and the large delegation he leads, will leave for New Delhi, where he will end the trip on Friday, the first by a Chinese president to India since 2006.

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