Beijing: Pillars of India’s soft power such as Buddhism and yoga will take centrestage during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China in May as President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang will join him at some high-profile events tracing the roots of cultural links between the two countries.
While Mr Xi is expected to take Mr Modi to the Wild Goose Pagoda, a spiritual structure in the ancient city of Xian, built to highlight famous Chinese Buddhist monk Xuan Zang’s journey to India in 645 AD, Mr Li will join Mr Modi at the iconic Temple of Heaven in Beijing for a public demonstration of yoga and the Chinese martial art of Tai Chi.
Hectic preparations are underway for Mr Modi’s visit expected to take place from May 14-16 during which he would visit Xian, the capital of Mr Xi’s home province Shaanxi, followed by Beijing and Shanghai.
While officials were tight-lipped about the programme, the visit was expected to be high on optics with rare outings of Chinese leaders accompanying visiting dignitaries.
Chinese officials told PTI that Mr Xi was keen to reciprocate the warm and innovative welcome accorded to him and his wife Peng Liyuan in Ahmedabad by Mr Modi when they visited India last September with a host of cultural performances and visit to Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram. A similar reception awaits Mr Modi on May 14 as a Chinese official said China will not lag behind in extending a warm and hearty reception to the Prime Minister on his first trip to China.
Mr Xi was expected to recreate the hometown diplomacy, which Mr Modi displayed in Ahmedabad to strike a chord with him.
Also, Mr Li is expected to join Mr Modi in a grand event demonstrating India’s yoga and China’s Tai Chi the twin fitness practices of the two ancient Asian civilisations. The event is being organised in coordination with Chinese Wushu Association....