"Modi likely to be pragmatic towards China," the ruling Communist Party of China's flagship English newspaper Global Times said in its lead story on the front page with mixed projections by official Chinese think tanks.

The experts suggested that while Modi could pursue a "more flexible" economic policy toward China, he may follow a tougher line on the border dispute, Tibet and the Dalai Lama.

"Narendra Modi, projected to become India's next prime minister according to multiple exit polls, is expected to present a tougher stance on political disputes but take a more flexible economic policy toward China," the daily's report said highlighting the exit poll results projecting the victory for BJP-led alliance.

In fact this is the second report by Global Times in just over a week projecting positive prospect for Sino-India ties if Modi takes over as Prime Minister.

An article on May 6 by an official think tank, the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, said relations between India and China will get closer if Modi were to head the new government in India.

Today's story even gave a bigger projection for the BJP leader, who visited China four times in the past as Chief Minister of Gujarat and interacted with the leaders here while successfully courting Chinese investments in the state.

"Modi, 63, who serves as Chief Minister of Gujarat in western India, is famed for his pro-business approach, and has made four trips to China to woo Chinese investment," the Global Times report said.

Judging from Modi's governance in Gujarat, the daily said he places emphasis on infrastructure development, attracting investment and the establishment of special economic zones.

"Economic development and improving people's livelihoods are expected to be high on his agenda once he is elected prime minister. There is the possibility that he will expand Sino-India economic and trade cooperation and seek more Chinese investment," Fu Xiaoqiang, a research fellow with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said.

(Agencies)

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