New Delhi: It’s the Mamallapuram Summit effect. After the culmination of the successful informal summit at Mamallapuram near Chennai last Sunday, between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, China now plans to push in more investment into Tamil Nadu, is interested in a direct flight from Chennai to Beijing, and is also keen on greater inflow of Chinese tourists to the ancient Pallava dynasty-era architectural site.
Sources said Chinese ambassador Sun Weidong is extremely interested in the start of a direct fight from Beijing to Chennai and that this was conveyed to top functionaries of the Tamil Nadu government during the summit. Overwhelmed by the warmth and hospitality shown to President Xi and his 91-member delegation during the summit, sources said China is now actively considering a massive push for investment in various sectors in the southern state that will generate more employment among people there.
“There is considerable interest generated among people in China about the ancient site at Mahabalipuram (also known as Mamallapuram). Following the successful summit, Chinese tourists are keen on visiting the ancient Shore Temple and other architectural sites there that their President has just visited. The coming years will see a large increase in Chinese tourists going to Mahabalipuram. That is why a direct flight from Chennai to Beijing is necessary,” sources said.
Sources also said that despite the well-known differences between the two sides on certain historical issues, relations between India and China are on a greater upswing following the successful summit.
Chinese President Xi Jinping was apparently “amazed” and very pleased with the warm welcome that he received both in Chennai and Mamallapuram. It may be recalled that foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale had said last week that both President Xi and PM Modi had expressed great appreciation for the efforts and arrangements put in place by the state government and people of Tamil Nadu towards making the summit a resounding success.