Cultural extravaganza in store for Chinese President at airport

Ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s scheduled arrival here on Friday to take part in an informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Mamallapuram, the Tamil Nadu government has put together a grand reception for the visiting guests.

As per the current plan, Governor Banwarilal Purohit and Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami are likely to receive the Chinese President on his arrival at the Chennai international airport on Friday afternoon. Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong will also be present.

Assembly Speaker P. Dhanapal and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam may also be among the dignitaries receiving the guest. Officials have hinted at the possibility of a senior Union Minister being present for the reception.

CM extends welcome

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr. Palaniswami welcomed both Mr. Xi and Mr. Modi on behalf of the Tamil Nadu government and the people of the State.

“I thank the Prime Minister for having chosen Mamallapuram as the location for the summit, and I welcome both the leaders on behalf of the people of Tamil Nadu and the Tamil Nadu government,” Mr. Palaniswami said and called upon the people of the State to extend a warm welcome and a rousing reception to both leaders.

A cultural event has been organised inside the airport to welcome the Chinese delegation.

School and college students will welcome the visitors with placards and flags of both countries.

Cultural extravaganza in store for Chinese President at airport


Multiple teams have been tasked with organising cultural programmes, both inside and outside the airport premises.

Chief Secretary K. Shanmugam has chalked out a comprehensive plan delegating tasks to officials, including IAS and IPS officers. Eight IAS officers have been designated as the nodal officers to supervise a total of 34 coordinating officers from various departments, who will man various spots along the VVIP routes within the city and on the way to Mamallapuram.

Three senior IPS officers have been designated specifically for coordination on security-related issues at the Chennai airport and in the city, while the Kancheepuram Superintendent of Police will handle security in his district.

The Chinese President’s aircraft is expected to remain in the Chennai international airport from Friday afternoon till his return on Saturday.

Mr. Xi is expected to travel mostly by road during his visit to Chennai and Mamallapuram, informed sources said.

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