Prime Minister Narendra Modi warmly received Chinese President Xi Jinping, who began a three-day India sojourn Wednesday.
Modi set aside protocol and received Xi, who arrived in Ahmedabad from Colombo , became the first world leader to begin an India visit from Gujarat. .
Both leaders smiled, shook hands and waved at those who had gathered at Hotel Hyatt.
Three MoUs are expected to be inked.
In the second leg of his India sojourn, Xi flies to New Delhi late Wednesday.
On Thursday, Modi and Xi would hold talks which would be followed by the signing of several agreements, including on infrastructure and railways, between the two sides.
A guard of honour was presented to Xi on the tarmac of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport of Ahmedabad by the women contingent of Gujarat Police.
A warm and traditional welcome was accorded to Xi who was accompanied by his wife Peng Liyuan and a high-level delegation.
Traditional “chaniya choli” wearing Gujarati women put a kesar-kumkum tilak and offered rice and flowers to Xi.
Airport sources told IANS that Xi flew into Ahmedabad in a Boeing 747 aircraft of Air China.
Governor O.P. Kohli and Chief Minister Anandiben Patel as well as senior officials from the central and state governments were present.
Due to the warm and sunny weather, attractive and decorated umbrellas were held over the first couple of China.
A troupe from the tribal belt of Gujarat presented a folk dance with traditional costumes and a Scottish Pipe Band from Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan, Maninagar, Ahmedabad also performed.
The president’s flight was delayed by 30 minutes, sources added.
On the road from the airport to the hotel in Vastrapur area, welcome hoardings in Mandarin, English and Gujarati were placed.
In a first, Modi will receive the Chinese president at a hotel here after which the two sides are to ink several agreements related to the region.
For the second leg of his India sojourn, Xi flies to New Delhi late Wednesday evening.
On Thursday, Modi and Xi would hold talks at Hyderabad House which would be followed by the signing of several agreements, including on infrastructure and railways, between the two sides.