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Xi Jinping Visits Gujarat in the Company of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India

2014/09/18

On September 18, 2014, President Xi Jinping was in Gujarat of India for a visit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India accompanied him throughout the visit. The leaders of both countries had a sincere meeting and jointly visited Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's former residence and the riparian park development project. They recollected the past, talked about today and looked into the future, and discussed with each other the development of the bilateral relations and major topics of common interest.

Xi Jinping and his wife Mme. Peng Liyuan were warmly welcomed by Modi when they arrived at the hotel they would stay. Modi warmly welcomed Xi Jinping’s visit. Modi said that the first stop of President Xi Jinping's visit is his hometown Gujarat and the people of Gujarat feel much honored. In July this year, they had a good meeting in Brazil and President Xi Jinping said that the two of them feel like old friends at the first meeting and he feels the same. He proposed that India and China are "two bodies with one spirit," and the phrase is widely spread in India. India and China share the same vision of development and can surely enhance cooperation. The first two letters of the country names of India and China in English spelt together, is the word "inch". To welcome President Xi Jinping's visit to India, he specifically published an article in Indian newspapers, in which he proposed that the two countries should push forward the development of the India-China relations in the spirit of "inches towards miles".

Xi Jinping said that I'm very glad that once stepping on the land of India, I came to your hometown Gujarat. And this is the place that Chinese eminent monk Xuan Zang of Tang Dynasty had passed on his way westwards on a pilgrimage for Buddhist scriptures and it has a special role in the long history of friendly exchanges between the two countries. China and India are important neighbors to each other. They are both countries with ancient civilizations and also major developing countries and are committed to development and revitalization. Therefore, the two countries should respect each other, learn from each other, keep good neighborly and friendly relationship and go forward hand in hand. My visit this time is a journey of friendship and cooperation. Thank you for making a special trip to accompany me to visit your hometown. There is a famous Chinese saying, "A thousand-mile journey takes every single step." We should make persistent efforts to push forward the China-India relations in a down-to-earth and well-grounded way. I am willing to make joint efforts with you to accomplish this mission.

Under the witness of Xi Jinping and Modi, the two sides signed agreements on the establishment of industrial park of electric transmission and transformation equipment and forging friendly relationship between Guangdong Province of China and Gujarat of India, and sister cities between Guangzhou City and Ahmedabad.

On that afternoon, accompanied by Modi, Xi Jinping visited Gandhi's former residence. With red tiles and white walls and trees giving welcome shade, Indian teenagers were chanting Gandhi’s celebrated dictum on the lawn. Wearing the traditional Indian jacket presented by Modi, Xi Jinping arrived at Gandhi's former residence and Modi went forward to greet him. In Gandhi’s image exhibition room, Modi introduced Gandhi's life and struggling experiences to Xi Jinping. Then Xi Jinping respectfully strewed flower petals to the bronze statue of Gandhi. In Gandhi’s living room, Modi introduced Gandhi’s poor and austere lifestyle and presented to Xi Jinping the hand-spun cotton yarn symbolizing the peaceful and industrious spirit of "Gandhiism". In accordance with the local custom, Xi Jinping hung the cotton yarn in front of the portrait of Gandhi to pay homage to him. Xi Jinping himself turned the spinning wheel that Gandhi had used. Modi presented to Xi Jinping the books about Gandhi and the poster with which the Chinese living in South Africa showed support to Gandhi in those years. Xi Jinping pointed out that the two peoples of China and India sympathized and supported each other in the struggle against colonialism and the fight for national independence and hence forged a profound friendship. We should inherit and carry forward it.

After leaving Gandhi's former residence, Xi Jinping and Modi came together to the downtown and visited the riparian park development project.

By the Sabarmati River, the evening lights were just lit and the gentle breeze was blowing. Xi Jinping and Modi walked along the river and enjoyed the scenery and Modi himself made the explanation for Xi Jinping. The people of Gujarat performed the traditional dance of different regions and different styles of the state. They were dressed in festive costumes, playing gongs and drums, dancing merrily and singing with the sound of songs floating. Xi Jinping walked in front of them and applauded warmly. India's unique folk arts were placed on the lawn and Xi Jinping appreciated attentively. Xi Jinping and Modi sometimes stopped and sometimes sat down for a sincere conversation. Modi said that the riparian development project is India's largest shantytown modification project. In recent years, Gujarat has combined economic growth, improvement of people's livelihood and environmental protection together and has achieved remarkable results. And the Indian government is now promoting this mode of development.

Xi Jinping expressed that, I thank Prime Minister Modi for the elaborate arrangements and warm hospitality he has done for me, making me appreciate the development achievements and colorful customs and culture of Gujarat. I have felt the vitality of Gujarat. Both Chinese and Indian sides are exploring the development path conforming to our own national conditions and we can learn from each other.

By sunset, Modi invited Xi Jinping into his tent to continue their in-depth discussions and exchange on governance and administration of state affairs. As a response to Modi, Xi Jinping briefed the conditions of China’s “two centenary goals”, comprehensive deepening of reforms, strengthening of building the ruling party and other aspects. Modi said that the Indian side is willing to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with the Chinese side.

September 17 marked Modi’s 64th birthday and Xi Jinping wished Modi a happy birthday. Modi said that he celebrated his birthday together with President Xi Jinping and it is very meaningful and memorable to him. He is looking forward to continuing talks with President Xi Jinping in New Delhi tomorrow.

Peng Liyuan, Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu and Yang Jiechi attended relevant events.

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