In a first, Chinese Prez Xi Jinping to start India visit from Gujarat

Chinese President Xi Jinping, arriving here tomorrow, will be perhaps the first head of a major foreign state to start his official India visit from Gujarat, where he will preside over signing of three MoUs and have dinner with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reports said on Tuesday.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 16, 2014, 21:56 PM IST

Ahmedabad: Chinese President Xi Jinping, arriving here tomorrow, will be perhaps the first head of a major foreign state to start his official India visit from Gujarat, where he will preside over signing of three MoUs and have dinner with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reports said on Tuesday.

Highlighting the importance New Delhi is attaching to Xi's visit, Modi will receive the Chinese President.

State visits to India generally start off in the national capital, from where foreign dignitaries go to other cities if they are on their itinerary.

Modi, who arrived here today, said visiting heads of states should travel beyond New Delhi and see the small town India to understand the country's diversity better.

The visit, for which elaborate security arrangements have been made, will witness signing of three MoUs between China and Gujarat, Modi's home state.

Foolproof security would be in place for Xi's visit. Gujarat Police with the help from Central security agencies have made necessary arrangements.

During his around seven-hour stop here, Xi along with Modi, will attend a business meet, visit Sabarmati Ashram and riverfront, where a walk and dinner has been arranged for the President and the delegation accompanying him.

One of the MoUs, to be inked between China Development Bank (CDB) and Industrial Extension Bureau (iNDEXTb) of Gujarat Government, relates to development of industrial parks in the State.

Another pact will be signed between China's Guangdong province and Gujarat Government. And the third MoU will be between Guangzhou and Ahmedabad cities for cultural exchange.

Top industrialists from both the countries will take part in the business meet. The dinner to be served at a dome on the Sabarmati Riverfront will consist of only Gujarati delicacies and attended by 22 VVIPs.

"It is a very crucial affair as far as security goes as both Chinese President as well as the our PM will be in Ahmedabad. Our security arrangements for that day will be of both national as well as international level, leaving no space for any error," Gujarat DGP P C Thakur said.

Xi, who will arrive in the afternoon, will leave for Delhi late in the evening.