China on Monday welcomed Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s decision to grant e-visas to Chinese tourists during his three-day visit last week but remained noncommittal about reciprocating the move.
Last week, Modi made the announcement while addressing students and faculty at the Tsinghua university here, saying it was an effort to build bridges between the two countries.
When asked on Monday whether China was likely to grant similar e-visas to Indian tourists coming to China, foreign ministry spokesperson, Hong Lei did not indicate any reciprocal move.
“During his visit, PM Modi has announced issuance of e-visas for Chinese tourists. We welcome this move,” Hong said at the regular press briefing on Monday.
Hong added that China was keen to facilitate exchanges between the citizens of the two countries.
“China is willing to make joint efforts with India under the Chinese laws and regulations so as to facilitate the exchanges of China and Indian people and seek for new development.
Talking about Modi’s high-profile visit last week, which was a mix of bilateral diplomatic and cultural agenda, Hong said the talks between the leadership was “successful”.
Modi held talks with President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Zhang Dejiang during three-day visit to Xian, Beijing and Shanghai.
“They exchanged views on bilateral relations and comprehensive strategic partnership for peace and prosperity and reached important consensus in this regard,” he said.
“They also signed 24 agreements covering different areas and the companies from the two countries signed $22 billion worth of agreements. We will implement important consensus reached by the two leaderships and elevate China, India relations to a new high,” Hong said.
Talking about the future opportunities to Tsinghua university students, Modi had said: “Above all, as we look ahead, we must build more bridges of familiarity and comfort between our people. About 33 percent of the world's population is either Indian or Chinese. Yet, our people know very little of each other. We must seek inspiration from the pilgrims of the ancient times, who braved the unknown in search of knowledge, and enriched us both”.