Modi to do a Madison square in Shanghai during China visit

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 06, 2015 20:10 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will do a repeat of his Madison Square Garden act during his next month's visit to China that will make him the first Indian leader to address the communist nation's burgeoning Indian community, whose numbers have swelled to 45,000.

As diplomats held hectic consultations to work out a wide agenda for his high-profile visit, Indian associations in different Chinese cities sent out invites to their members asking them to be ready to assemble in Shanghai to take part in the meeting with the Prime Minister to be held in the second or third week of May.

Going by the invites, the event has been modelled on the ones addressed by Modi at New York's iconic Madison Square Garden and Allphones Arena in Sydney that made waves in India and around the world.

He is also expected to address a similar event in Toronto next week during the third and final leg of his three-nation tour to France, Germany and Canada.

It is perhaps a novel effort by an Indian Prime Minister to attempt the same in China as the numbers of the Indian professionals and businessmen were on a steady rise in the dragon country regarded as hostile for decades after the 1962 war.

According to an official estimate prepared during the February visit of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, about 45,000 Indians currently work and reside in China.

Though this will be Modi's first visit as Prime Minister, he is a familiar figure in China as he made several visits here as Chief Minister of Gujarat to study the Chinese developmental model and to scout for investments from the world's second largest economy.

Modi's May visit will have several new facets, especially the Hometown Diplomacy as he would travel to Chinese President Xi Jinping's home province Shaanxi.

Xi was expected to host Modi in the city of Terracotta Warriors in a reciprocal gesture to the latter hosting him in Gujarat during the Chinese leader's India visit in September last year.

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