China

Chinese and Indian media hope for better ties after PM Modi's visit

Mr Modi, left, and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang have pledged to improve bilateral ties between India and China Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Modi, left, and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang have pledged to improve India-China ties

The mood of euphoria and optimism continues in Indian and Chinese media outlets as Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets senior officials in Beijing.

Mr Modi started his three-day visit on Thursday from Xian where he was welcomed by President Xi Jinping.

The first day of Mr Modi was mostly about "cultural diplomacy".

Mr Xi took his guest on a tour of an ancient Buddhist temple amid a traditional welcome ceremony.

The body language of the two leaders appeared friendly and positive.

The mood was reflected in the way media outlets in China and India covered the meeting.

However, some papers, in both countries, have mentioned the unresolved boundary dispute.

Some Indian newspapers also showed their displeasure over what they called the use of a "distorted" Indian map by China's state-run broadcaster CCTV.

But the overall mood appears positive among pundits and media commentators.

Papers in the two countries argue that business ties outweigh the differences.

The Global Times says "it is becoming the mainstream mentality in both China and India that the nations need to develop friendly ties even if they haven't resolved the border dispute".

The state-run Xinhua news agency agrees, hoping "that the decision-makers in Beijing and Delhi seize the current positive momentum to boost bilateral ties".

"One has to bear in mind that good relationship between the two giant neighbours is significant... given the size of their populations and the fact that they have long been considered the two major players when it comes to ushering in the so-called 'Asian Century'," a commentary in the agency says.

Commentator Han Hua tells the China Daily that the two countries need to focus on trade ties while trying to resolve other disputes.

"China and India have to make more concrete efforts to keep bilateral economic ties healthy and sustainable because issues like trade imbalance, a lack of direct investments and latent security threats are yet to be resolved," he argues.

Indian papers and pundits are also positive about the outcome of Mr Modi's visit.

The Indian Express highlights economic discussions between the two nations.

"While the two leaders were discussing trade and commerce, Mr Modi raised the issue of 'trade deficit' which is plaguing the economic relationship between the two countries. There is almost a $40-bn trade deficit between the two countries," a report in the paper says.

The Times of India praises China's decision to host Mr Modi at the Buddhist temple in Xian.

"Both countries are keen to develop their own Buddhist circuits. This has the dual advantage of improving connectivity and infrastructure while boosting two-way tourism. This in turn will help facilitate greater people-to-people contact," it says.

Social media: Humour, criticism and hope

Social media users in both countries have also been commenting on Mr Modi's visit.

Many web users on Weibo, China's Twitter-like service, have welcomed Mr Modi and sound hopeful about better India-China ties.

But others have highlighted the boundary dispute in the their comments.

And some users seem to have disliked that Mr Modi touched the statues at The Terracotta Army museum in Xian.

"What are you trying to say when you visit the mausoleum with your sunglasses on? And you're even touching the figures? This can't be right. If you want to touch them, you should've worn gloves," one user wrote on Weibo.

Mr Modi's visit to the museum has also sparked interest in India, with some users giving their take through humorous memes.

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image caption Mr Modi is shown as asking "if the statue is also wearing a jacket similar to his".
Image copyright Twitter

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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