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Obama visit hype missing this time

India's biggest neighbour, China, is the world's biggest economy after the US. But the hype that surrounded US President Barack Obama's visit in November is not expected when Premier Wen Jiabao lands at Air Force Station Palam at 1.45pm on Wednesday for a three-day visit.

delhi Updated: Dec 15, 2010 10:08 IST
HT Correspondent

India's biggest neighbour, China, is the world's biggest economy after the US.

But the hype that surrounded US President Barack Obama's visit in November is not expected when Premier Wen Jiabao lands at Air Force Station Palam at 1.45pm on Wednesday for a three-day visit.

If the US were keen on photo-ops, the Chinese are the opposite.

Obama had addressed a stand-in press conference with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, but Wen doesn't want any press conference at all. There will be signing of agreements and a joint communiqué issued.

At the most, the Chinese might entertain one or two questions from scholars to the Premier when he delivers a lecture at the Indian Council for World Affairs on December 16.

Unlike Obama, who got deals worth $15 billions and French President Nicholas Sarkozy $20 billion (including future deals to be signed), the Chinese seem to be believing in giveaway.

Chinese projects worth over $20 billion are expected during the visit, mostly in the area of infrastructure.

"Economic ties constitute literally the bedrock of our relations and we expect China would emerge as the single largest trading partner of India in goods during 2010..." MEA spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said.

Economic ties, though important, doesn't dictate the relationship the way geo-political issues do. There are a host of sticking points with China.