Xi Jinping in Chennai/ PM Narendra Modi strikes a chord with Chinese President at Mahabalipuram

Chennai: In the backdrop of the seventh-century monument of Pancha Ratha, overlooking the Coromandel Coast of Bay of Bengal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday took a stroll and sipped fresh coconut water in a relaxed informal setting, creating positive atmospherics in bilateral ties strained over the Kashmir issue.

Dressed in a Tamil attire of veshti, white shirt and an angavastram, Modi played the perfect host and took Xi for a guided tour of the famous world heritage sites of Arjuna’s Penance, Krishna’s Butterball, the Pancha Ratha and Shore temple.

The prime minister explained to the Chinese leader the historical significance of the monuments and Xi, wearing a white shirt and black trousers, was seen showing keen interest in the seventh century monuments built during the Pallava dynasty in this coastal town which had historical links with China’s Fujian province.

Modi and Xi, assisted by one translator from each side, sat down for around 15 minutes at Pancha Ratha complex — an example of monolithic Indian rock-cut architecture, and engaged in intense talks while sipping coconut water — images reflecting warmth in personal chemistry between the two leaders of two emerging economies.