Li seeks to impress with ‘namaste’ informal style

New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) Chinese Premier Li Keqiang elicited smiles and applause from his audience Tuesday morning with his informal and friendly manner, not the least by beginning his address with a “namaste”.

Addressing an audience of diplomats, China experts, students and business honchos at the Taj Palace Hotel here, Li said he remembered the Indian form of greeting from his memorable visit to India 27 years ago.

He said he was happy he had got the opportunity to use the Hindi word once again and asked the audience “I hope I have pronounced it properly” – which had everyone laughing and clapping.

Li said he had “deep respect for the people of India” and had “candid and friendly talks” with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on a wide range of issues, and both sides were “satisfied” with the talks.

Li had the audience laughing when he said he had “checked the headlines” in the morning and found the media, including international, had “spoken positively of the visit”.

At one point the loudspeaker made a loud noise, drowning his speech. Li immediately quipped: “That is the effect of my remarks” – eliciting applause.

The Chinese premier is on a three-day India visit.

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