From K J M Varma Beijing, May 9: The first centre for Gandhian studies in China will be inaugurated at Shanghai's Fudan University next week by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who will also announce the setting up of a Yoga College in the country during his three-day visit.
The Centre for Gandhian Studies will be established at the Fudan University in China and the staff for it will be provided by Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), officials here said. The university already has a centre for Indian studies.
However, this is the first time a centre dedicated to Gandhian studies is being established in China even though a few books on Gandhian thoughts have been published in the Chinese language earlier.
Though contemporaries, Gandhi and former chairman of the Communist Party of China Mao Zedong advocated contrasting philosophies for national liberation. While Mahatma Gandhi advocated non-violent struggle, Mao firmly believed in the dictum of "power flows trough the barrel of the gun".
Rabindranath Tagore and Jawaharlal Nehru were regarded more popular in China than Gandhi as the two figured among the 60 foreign leaders who most influenced China in a poll conducted in 2009. Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Sabarmati Ashram along with Modi during his visit to Ahmedabad last year.
Modi, during his visit from May 14-16, will also announce the setting up of a Yoga College in China where the ancient Indian physical and spiritual discipline has become immensely popular in recent years.
The college will be established at Yunnan Minzu University in China's Yunnan province. India will provide Yoga specialists and help China to bring about a standardisation of Yoga techniques for the first time as it has become a very popular fitness programme in China in recent years.
Modi along with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will attend a special Yoga and Chinese martial art Tai Chi show at Beijing's famous Temple of Heaven on May 15.
Modi will arrive in Chinese city of Xian on May 14 where he would hold informal talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and later travel to Beijing on May 15 for formal talks. He would wind up his visit in Shanghai where he would attend a series of events including an address to the Indian community.