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Chinese Prez arrives; visit to strengthen ties

By Super

New Delhi, Nov 20: Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived here this evening on a four-day State Visit, reflecting the warmth in the Sino-Indian ties that have been ''difficult'' in the past.

He was received at the Air Force Station by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

The visit, at the invitation of President A P J Abdul Kalam, is the first such after ten years and the first high-level visit since last year when Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao came to India in April and signed the Strategic Partnership.

The Chinese President will be given a Ceremonial Reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan tomorrow after which he will hold a ''restricted meeting'' with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Prrime Minister will host a lunch for the Chinese President.

The meeting will be followed by delegation-level talks on various important bilateral, regional and international issues and signing of agreements.

The two countries will sign ten agreements including the Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement (BIPA). However, no Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is on the cards.

Various leaders including Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi will call on him tomorrow.

In the evening, he will have a meeting with President Kalam.

He will also give an address at the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA).

On Wednesday, Leader of Opposition L K Advani will call on him.

After that Mr Hu will leave for Agra and Mumbai. In Munbai he will meet Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.



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