From handsome to Tibet, PM Modi's Weibo media debut gets mixed response from China

Beijing: Narendra Modi became the first Indian leader to make  his debut on 'Sina Weibo', the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, ahead of his first visit to China as Prime Minister from 14 to 16 May.

One of the most social media savvy world leaders, Modi  opened his account on the popular Chinese microblogging site with over 500 million users on Monday, as a means to interact with the people before his visit.

 From handsome to Tibet, PM Modis Weibo media debut gets mixed response from China

A screengrab of PM Modi's Weibo profile. Image Courtesy: Twitter @narendramodi

"Hello China! Looking forward to interacting with Chinese friends through Weibo," Modi wrote in his first post in Chinese language on the site.

He then spoke about Buddha and Asia, the elements that bind the two countries culturally, with his next post reading,  "I wish everyone happiness on Buddha's birthday. Today we remember Buddha’s ideals and commands, he preached the ideals of harmony and brotherhood and had a vision of a peaceful world. Buddhism is a unifying force across Asian countries. It can be one form of strong cohesion as the world enters the Asian era,” according to a report by The Hindu.

你好中国!期待通过微博与中国朋友们互动. Hello China! Looking forward to interacting with Chinese friends through Weibo. pic.twitter.com/yQcKn9bqTE

His account, Connect with PM Narendra Modi, registered over 7,000 hits in the first hour after it was opened with many welcoming his initiative to join the most popular interactive social media platform in China.

While one blogger praised him as handsome another greeted him saying welcome to Weibo. "One more international personality joined Weibo," read one post.

However, not all of the Chinese response to Modi's Weibo account was positive. A number of users posted caustic comments about Tibet, Arunachal Pradesh and Pakistan, which have all been contentious issues in the Ind0-China relationship over the years.

“Zangnan belongs to China”, and “Welcome, welcome! By the way, Zangnan is ours,” said one of the responses. Another said: “The southern part of Tibet belongs to China, and Kashmir belongs to Pakistan," continues The Hindu report.

Modi is a regular Twitter user and has over 12 million followers. While his Weibo account might not reach those kind of numbers, it definitely going to go a long way in increasing his online reach in China, where access to Twitter is limited.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Updated Date: May 05, 2015 12:22:22 IST