Beijing, May 7: Chinese netizens have praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiative to open a microblog account on Weibo, China's popular social media network.
The account has already attracted 42,170 followers, state-run Xinhua news agency reported under an article titled 'Chinese applaud Indian PM Weibo account'. [After hometown, now its social media diplomacy]
Modi opened his account on Weibo, akin to Twitter and Facebook, on May 5 and announced on the forum his three-day visit to China, scheduled to take place from May 14 to 16.
Over 500 million Chinese use the service mostly through their mobile phones.
"Welcome to China, prime minister. Wish your trip in China a great success, and long live the friendship between the Chinese and Indian people," Xinhua quoted a Weibo user 'Bohai' as saying in his post.
Some users invited Modi to visit their hometown, while some wondered about the prime minister's ability to speak Chinese, it said.
Although this is his first time on a mainstream Chinese social network, Modi has exerted expertise on various other networks like Facebook and Twitter, the report said.
One Weibo user, while responding to Modi's tweets, said negative reporting by media has become barrier for the two countries to improve relations.
"In 1984, Rakesh Sharma was India's first astronaut to travel in space, but most Chinese people do not know. The largest barrier between China and India is between the media who mostly report on negative information about each other, rather than objective and accurate reporting," a post by name 'flyinghighbear' from Singapore said.
"Hope this trip to China by Prime Minister Modi can completely change all that so that through the power of the media people from both countries get a comprehensive understanding about each other and eliminate misunderstandings...," it said.