China rolls out red carpet for PM Manmohan Singh
Beijing: Rolling out the red carpet for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Chinese leadership on Wednesday conveyed a message of friendship, serving him some exotic Chinese dishes mixed with Bollywood and Western music.
As the two countries signed nine agreements, including one on strengthening the cooperation on the trans-border rivers, the Chinese military band played Flowing River as the background music for the well laid out banquet hosted by Premier Li Keqiang in honour of Singh.
There were other old Bollywood numbers - the likes of `Mera Naam Choon Choon`, `Baar Baar Dekho`, `Gore Gore` - to strike a chord with music loving Indians.
Also, the background music played `Red Dates for Family` topping it with `Our Life Full of Sunshine`.
The gourmet has some interesting quintessential Chinese dishes Sponge Bamboo and Mushroom soup, Bean curd with vegetable topped with Grouper to provide a taste of ancient Chinese cuisine.
In many ways Singh`s visit, dominated by strategic issues like border differences, had a striking informality.
Besides meetings, it was marked by back-to-back banquets hosted by both Li and President Xi Jinping.
Singh is also being hosted by former premier Wen Jiabao. It is very rare to see a retired Chinese leader resurfacing to host a visiting dignitary.
The two leaders, who met numerous times in their nearly decade long tenures, want to meet again for the old times sake, officials said.
Also Li, 57, took Singh today for a walk at the famous Forbidden City giving him a guided tour, another informal gesture rarely displayed by the Chinese leaders.
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