Modi did a lot to win Nepali hearts: Chinese media

Keeping a close tab on Narendra Modi`s visit to Nepal, where China has increased its presence significantly in recent years, the Chinese official media on Monday said the Indian Prime Minister has done a lot to win hearts despite failure to clinch the power agreements.

PTI| Last Updated: Aug 05, 2014, 00:25 AM IST

Beijing: Keeping a close tab on Narendra Modi`s visit to Nepal, where China has increased its presence significantly in recent years, the Chinese official media on Monday said the Indian Prime Minister has done a lot to win hearts despite failure to clinch the power agreements.

"Modi has spoken and done a lot to warm and win Nepali hearts to take the relations to a new height," China`s state- run Xinhua news agency said in its commentary on the visit by Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Nepal in 17 years.

"The Indian PM won thunderous applause on Sunday from Nepali lawmakers when he mentioned that Buddha was born in Nepal`s Lumbini while addressing the Constitution Assembly/ Parliament, as the first foreign head of government since the restoration of parliamentary democracy in 1990," it said.

"This is also a sensitive issue rousing deep passion between the two counties because some quarters of India claimed that Buddha was born in India," it said.

The report said two "much-talked about agreements on the development and sale of hydropower" failed to materialise.

"Nepal`s suspicion regarding possible monopoly of India facing power scarcity over Nepal`s abundant water resources in the future dominated, mainly causing the delay in pact signing for the second time during Modi`s two-day sojourn which, Modi himself wished, `will open a new chapter` in India-Nepal ties," it said.

Modi`s visit evoked considerable interest in Chinese media as China stepped up its relations with Nepal with liberal aid and trade deals.

Nepal in recent years has stepped up its crackdown on Tibetan refugees imposing curbs on their freedom of assembly and expression to prevent any anti-China protest.