Tamilnadu welcomes Narendra Modi, Xi Jinping

Chennai: Amid much expectations and hype around the second informal Indo-China summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and China President Xi Jinping reached Chennai today and were given warm welcome at the airport.

Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam, Ministers and former Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan received Modi at the airport. Grand arrangements were made to welcome Modi and Xi.

Modi reached Chennai around 11.30 am. He immediately left for Kovalam in helicopter. From there he travelled to a resort in Mamallapuram by car. Jinping who landed at 2 pm, travelled on road to a luxury hotel in Guindy from where he left for Mamallapuram in car.

Living up to the city’s tagline of ‘Singara Chennai’, the entire stretch from airport to Mamallapuram was given a fresh look. Stages were set up in several locations on which various dances were performed. The whole stretch was brought under tight security blanket with close to 15,000 cops deployed on duty.

Modi tweeted, ‘Landed in Chennai. I am happy to be in the great land of Tamilnadu, known for its wonderful culture and hospitality. It is gladdening that Tamilnadu will host President Xi Jinping. May this Informal Summit further strengthen ties between India and China’.

Later today, Modi will take Jinping to three iconic monuments of Mamallapuram — Arjuna’s Penance, Panch Rathas and the Shore temple.

Then the two leaders will witness a cultural programme at the temple complex. They will sit together in the lawns of the Shore temple and exchange views on charting a new roadmap of development and cooperation.

Then, Modi will host a private dinner for Jinping at the temple complex.
On Saturday, the two leaders will have an one-on-one meeting at the Fisherman’s Cove resort which will be followed by delegation-level talks.

After the talks, Modi will host a lunch for Jinping, and the Chinese leader will leave for Chennai airport at 12.45 pm, sources said.

All the monuments in Mamallapuram to be visited by Xi and Modi were spruced up while colourful gates have been erected along the routes from Chennai to the coastal town.

A grand ornamental arch to welcome the two leaders has been prominently put up at the entrance to Mamallapuram from the East Coast Road. Traditional arches made of banana trees and sugarcane have been put up in front of the hotel where Xi will stay.

Five Tibetian arrested
Despite the tight security arrangements, five Tibetian students including three girls attempted to protest outside a hotel in the city this morning where Jinping is scheduled to stay. They were immediately detained by the cops.

NT Bureau