Chennai: A red carpet was rolled out on Friday to welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping in the city with a grand cultural performance at the airport and school students waving flags of India and China in full display. Children in a large number were also seen holding cute panda soft toys.
With Xi’s photo in the backdrop, children stood in a pattern to say ‘welcome’ in Chinese. ‘Hearty welcome’ was also written in yellow close to the formation of the pupils, who were dressed in red T-shirts.
The Chinese President arrived here to kick start a two-day informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Mamallapuram, a coastal town located about 56-km south of Chennai.
Xi will proceed to Mamallapuram amid tight security by road, where he will meet Prime Minister Modi.
The Chennai airport was also decked with flowers, banana leaves and flags of both India and China in the honour of the Chinese President.
Security has also been heightened across Chennai and Mamallapuram. Normal traffic in the city has also been diverted at many places in a bid to ensure safety.
Xi is accompanied by China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Politburo members on his visit.
The Chennai informal summit will provide an opportunity to the two leaders to continue their discussions on overarching issues of bilateral, regional and global importance and to exchange views on deepening India-China Closer Development Partnership, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
In the summit, the focus of the talks is likely to be on steps to ensure mutual development and expanding overall ties between the two countries.