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Indian students in China hail Modi-Xi meet, say visit will improve ties

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Chinese city of Wuhan for a two-day informal summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

world Updated: Apr 27, 2018 23:23 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Wuhan
Narendra Modi,Modi in China,Wuhan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan on April 27.(PTI Photo)

Indian students at the Wuhan Medical University hailed the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, stating that the PM’s visit would help improve the ties between the two countries.

Meenakshi Santhosh, an Indian student at the university, said it was a “good move” on Modi’s part to meet Xi.

“It will help India and China improve their bilateral ties,” Santosh, who is among the 500 Indian students studying at the university, said.

The students were also brimming with excitement at the prospect of catching a glimpse of Modi. Close to 100 students had gathered opposite Modi’s hotel to see him on Thursday night.

After reaching the hotel from the airport, Modi made it a point to wave in the direction of waiting students.

Indian student Alwin Lukose Thomas, who was waiting outside the hotel, said he got to know about the visit through a post on a mobile application that is popular among the Chinese. “We were very excited,” he said.

Both Thomas and Santhosh said they did not face any hostility from the locals or university administration during last summer’s Doklam standoff between the two countries. “We didn’t face any problems. The locals were as normal as always (during the standoff),” Meenakshi said.

According to local media, the number of Indian students studying in China has increased over the past decade.

“We didn’t face any problems, of course. The locals were as normal as always (during the standoff),” Santhosh said.

Talking to state-run China Daily, Liu Yebing, director of the student affairs office at the School of International Education at Wuhan University, said all but five of the 465 students from India are pursuing medical degrees. “Many students have successfully become doctors in India when they graduate from the university,” she said.

“Dancing performances given by Indian students are popular at the university’s talent shows,” she added.

State-controlled Global Times tabloid recent reported: “Starting in 2004, China opened its doors to foreign students looking to study medicine. This has led to a surge in the number of Indian students coming to China in the past decade. Statistics from Project Atlas show that, by 2015, the number of Indian students studying in China reached 16,694, compared to 765 only 10 years ago.”

First Published: Apr 27, 2018 23:14 IST