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Thursday, May 7, 2015, 13:00

Chinese hail Indian PM's Weibo account

By Xinhua

Chinese hail Indian PM's Weibo account
In this photograph taken on Sept 18, 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greet each other after issuing a joint st atement in New Delhi. (AFP PHOTO / RAVEENDRAN / FILES)

BEIJING - Indian Prime Minister Modi opened an official account on China's microblog Sina Weibo with a warm welcome from Chinese web users on Monday.

The account has already attracted 42,170 followers. The prime minister has sent six tweets so far, all of which are in Chinese.

The Indian embassy in China confirmed the news and said the Weibo messages had been personally vetted by Modi prior to publication.

The move has been interpreted as a diplomatic prelude for his first visit to China during May 14 to 16, at the invitation by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Modi's left his first message at 12:28 on Monday - "Hello, China. Look forward to interacting with Chinese friends on Weibo."

The tweet has been forwarded 8,678 times and also gained 18,388 likes and 12,990 comments.

Most of Modi's followers have lauded the gesture.

"Welcome to China, prime minister. Wish your trip in China a great success, and long live the friendship between the Chinese and Indian people," wrote Weibo user "Bohai".

Some users invited Modi to visit their hometown, while some wondered at the Indian prime minister's ability to speak Chinese.

Although this is his first time on a mainstream Chinese social network, Modi has significant presence on various other networks. He has more than 28 million followers on Facebook and 12 million on Twitter.

During President Xi Jinping's visit to India last September, both leaders agreed to build a closer development partnership between China and India.

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