Beijing, May 4: Reaching out to Chinese people ahead of his first visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, May 4 made debut on 'Sina Weibo', becoming the first Indian leader to open an account on the popular Chinese miocroblogging site.
"Hello China! Looking forward to interacting with Chinese friends through Weibo," Modi wrote in his first post in Chinese language on the platform, which is akin to Twitter and Facebook, evoking mixed response with majority welcoming his move, while a few posted comments backing China's claims over Arunachal Pradesh.
Over 25,000 people posted their comments to Modi's first post on Monday. Indian officials said about 3.56 million people read his comments by afternoon on Sina Weibo which has over 500 million registered users.
Weibo, meaning microblog has virtually become an alternative media to the China's state-run media. Weibo has emerged as the biggest social media platform in China as Twitter and Facebook are banned.
你好中国!期待通过微博与中国朋友们互动. Hello China! Looking forward to interacting with Chinese friends through Weibo. pic.twitter.com/yQcKn9bqTE— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 4, 2015
Modi followed up his first post with a second one later in the day highlighting the links forged by Buddhism between India and China its potential to make this century an Asian century.
"I would like to convey my greetings to all of you on the occasion of Buddha Purnima. Today we remember the august ideals & mission of Lord Buddha, who spread the message of harmony & brotherhood & envisioned a peaceful world. Buddha is a binding force that connects us, Asian Nations. It can emerge as a strong unifying force to make this century an Asian Century."
Seasoned observers of Weibo said vast majority of users reacted with positive emoticons, while few others also wondered when the Chinese leaders themselves will open Weibo accounts to interact with people.
"Ha ha ha, Indian Prime Minister has opened an account on the Chinese Weibo," read one while another said "Xi Dada (nick name for Chinese President Xi Jijing) when would open a Weibo account?"