Beijing: India and China on Friday signed a record 24 agreements in key sectors, including in railways and education, on Day 2 of Narendra Modi’s first visit to China as India’s prime minister.

Protocol for setting up Consulates-General at Chengdu and Chennai besides an MoU on consultative mechanism for cooperation in trade negotiations were among the 24 agreements signed in the presence of Modi and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang. An action plan between the Indian Railways and China National Railways on enhancing cooperation in the railway sector was also signed.

Here are the highlights of Modi’s China visit

*** Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived Shanghai today for the third and final leg of his three-day China visit that also took him to Xi’an and Beijing.

Modi arrived Thursday in Xi’an where he held summit-level talks with President Xi Jinping. He then moved to Beijing where he held wide-ranging parleys with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang today.

Tomorrow Modi will meet with CEOs of top Chinese companies and a number of agreements worth USD 10 billion are expected to be signed. Modi will also address the Indian community here before leaving for Mongolia on the second-leg of his three-nation tour that will also take him to South Korea.

***India and China today agreed to enhance cooperation in the rail sector as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang chalked out an action plan for progress on various projects, including for raising train speeds to up to 160-kmph on existing routes.

Training for handling heavy haul operations and assistance in the setting up of a railway university, too, were in the focus during discussions between the two leaders in Chinese capital Beijing, rail officials said here. Railways had identified nine routes, including Delhi-Agra and Chennai-Bengaluru-Mysore, for running trains at an increased speed of 160-kmph.

Railways is keen to raise train speeds on the existing lines with an upgrade of the signalling system and strengthening of tracks. China will also be conducting a feasibility study for running trains at 300-kmph between Delhi and Nagpur, part of the proposed Delhi-Chennai Diamond Quadrilateral corridor project. The Delhi-Nagpur route is being taken up as part of the first phase of the Delhi-Chennai corridor.

***In a rare show of everyman charm from one of China’s most elite politicians, Premier Li Keqiang appeared in a grinning selfie with visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday. Modi, who is visiting China this week to boost economic ties and discuss a persistent border dispute, is known for being at ease with social media, including a large follower base on Twitter.

But such spontaneous displays online are rare for leaders in China, where discussion of politicians’ personal lives is taboo and details such as their exact birthdates are considered a state secret. The selfie, which shows the leaders at a historical site smiling shoulder to shoulder, with Li squinting slightly in the sunlight, was posted on Modi’s Chinese microblog account.

*** Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said both India and China face the threat of growing extremism and terrorism whose source “is in the same region", in a veiled reference to terror networks in Pakistan. Modi, while addressing students at the Tsinghua University in Beijing, asserted that India and China face instability in their “shared neighbourhood" that can threaten the security and slow down the economies of the two countries. “The spreading tide of extremism and terrorism is a threat we both face; for both, its source is in the same region," he said in an apparent reference to the cross-border terrorism faced by India and China originating in Pakistan.

*** China and India, the world’s No. 1 and No. 3 greenhouse gas emitters, projected a united front on climate change with a rare joint statement that asked rich countries to step up efforts to reduce global carbon emissions.

The statement asked wealthy countries to provide finance, technology and other necessary support to emerging countries to help reduce their own emissions.

The two countries also said they will submit plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions “as early as possible" and “well before" the December international conference on climate change in Paris.

*** India and China vowed to seek a “political" solution to the boundary issue and proactively resolve it as early as possible amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis that the dispute should not prevent progress in ties which have been “complex" in the recent decades.

Modi asked China to “reconsider" its approach on some matters, like visa policy towards residents of Arunachal Pradesh, as he asserted that the two nations have a “historic responsibility" to turn the relationship into “a source of strength for each other and a force of good for the world."

*** India and China have agreed to set up high power task force to address New Delhi’s concerns over increasing trade deficit and lack of access to its pharmaceuticals, IT and agricultural products following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s talks with Chinese leadership. Read more.

*** Prime minister Narendra Modi announced that the second route for the Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra will become operational next month, allowing more Indians to undertake the pilgrimage. “The Nathu La route for Indian pilgrims to visit Kailash Mansarovar will become operational in June. I want to thank China for that," the Prime Minister said in his address after 24 agreements were signed between India and China

*** Modi speaks of cooperative and competitive federalism, in which states compete with each other to attract investments and jobs.

*** Narendra Modi and Li Keqiang attend the launch of India-China Forum of State and Provincial Leaders.

*** On the boundary question, Narendra Modi said that both India and China agreed to continue to explore a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable resolution. Click here to read Modi’s complete statement.

*** Modi said India is committed to set a new direction to its ties with China, adding that his discussions with President Xi and Premier Li have advanced the relationship on that path.

*** China and India need to strengthen mutual political trust so that together they can build a fairer and more reasonable international order, China’s Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday. Li was speaking to reporters after a meeting with Narendra Modi.

*** Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed a record 24 agreements with China after delegation-level talks with Chinese premier Li Keqiang. A full list of the agreements was tweeted by the spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs Vikas Swarup.

*** Narendra Modi begins bilateral talks with Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of People in Beijing. The two sides were expected to discuss a host of issues including the border row as well as Chinese investments in India.

Several agreements were expected to signed after Modi-Li talks. This is the second round of talks Modi is having with the Chinese leadership during his current three-day China trip. Today’s talks were the extension of Thursday’s Modi-Xi talks. Modi arrived in Beijing last night from Xi’an.

*** Prime Minister Narendra Modi was accorded grand reception at the Great Hall of People in Beijing when he arrived for talks with Chinese premier Li Keqiang on the second day of his visit to China. Together with Li, he inspected the guard of honour and then settled for formal talks with him.

PTI and Reuters contributed to this story.

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