China builds on 'old ties' with Modi

When most Western countries had declared then Gujarat Chief Minister  a pariah, owing to his government's failure in controlling the 2002 communal  in Gujarat, it wasn't only Japan, but , too, that had aggressively courted Modi.

South Block feels Chinese Premier 's phone call to Prime Minister Modi on Thursday and 's decision to dispatch its foreign minister to meet the new Indian leadership are efforts by China to "build on the head start" it has in dealing with Modi.

While he was Gujarat chief minister, Beijing hosted Modi thrice, nearly as many times as Tokyo did. Modi previous visited China in November 2011. On each occasion, he returned with commitments of greater Chinese investment in Gujarat.

Bureaucrats who accompanied Modi on his last visit to China said he was accorded a reception typically reserved only for heads of state or government. This included being hosted at the Great Hall of the People.

During his visits, Modi met important second-rung leaders of the . Some of them, who headed provincial and city governments then, now hold important positions in the central leadership, following the generation shift in 2012-13. "In Shanghai, Modi was hosted by the head of the provincial government; currently, he is a member of the politburo," said an official who had accompanied Modi on the visit.

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