China / Government

Envoy smooths way for Xi's India trip

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-09-10 08:16

Modi returns gesture of goodwill, as countries pledge to build relations

Beijing and New Delhi felt the warmth of coming ties two days ahead of President Xi Jinping's first visit to the neighboring country, with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi sending a special envoy to pave the way for Xi's visit.

Meanwhile, a senior Chinese diplomat discounted any rivalry between the two Asian giants on Tuesday, saying that China is not seeking to contain India by military or any other means.

Xi will make his first visit to India, as head of state, on a regional trip starting this week that will also take him to Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Tajikistan, according to the Foreign Ministry.

On Tuesday, Modi's special envoy, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, delivered a message from Modi to Xi, saying India's government and people have been warmly anticipating his visit.

"I am sure the state visit paid by President Xi to India will surely deepen the understanding, friendship and trust between our countries, and will become another important milestone in the development of bilateral ties," Modi was quoted as saying by the special envoy.

Xi said the sending of a special envoy ahead of the visit shows the great importance that Modi attaches to the visit and bilateral ties, and also sends a positive signal to outsiders.

"I am looking forward to the visit and meeting Prime Minister Modi again, to discuss cooperation plans and enhance understanding and trust to push for greater development of bilateral ties," Xi said.

Sources said Modi has attached great importance to Xi's visit, and wanted Xi to pay a visit to Modi's home, Gujarat State.

Fu Xiaoqiang, a researcher on South Asian studies from the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said Xi's visit would map out the relationship's future, especially in the economic sector.

Modi's focus on boosting India's economy is driving the country to learn from, and cooperate with, its top trading partner, China, said Fu.

Ye Hailin, a researcher of international relations at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said both sides are likely to strengthen cooperation in various fields, including infrastructure, high-speed railways and telecommunications.

China and India have made a particular effort to reach out to each other since Modi's inauguration in May. Xi sent Foreign Minister Wang Yi as his special envoy to India shortly after Modi won the election, making China the first major country to send a special envoy.

While China and India have close economic and historical links, some lingering suspicions are fueled by a border dispute, as well as by competition. They are the world's two leading developing countries.

Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao said on Tuesday that the leaders of China and India had pledged to work together to manage and control their differences.

"China has never, and will not, use so-called military or other means to try to hem in India," he said.

Xi will begin his trip in Tajikistan, where he will attend a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on Thursday and Friday, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Wang Xu contributed to this story.

Contact the writers at and

Hot Topics