Recalling his fond memories of India visit, Xi told Swaraj "I still cherish the fresh memories in my mind about the gracious hospitality extended to me by the government and people and particularly I cherish the fond memories of my trip to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's hometown in Gujarat state."

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"The Prime Minister himself accompanied me on the trip (in September last year). Please convey my best regards and cordial greetings to President (Pranab) Mukherjee and Prime Minister Modi," he said.

Xi said that since his visit to India relations between the two countries have entered into a new state and the positive side of China and India relationship is growing.

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"I believe that good progress will be achieved in the growth of bilateral relations this year," he said.

Responding to him, Swaraj said Prime Minister Modi had sent him greetings and best wishes for the Lunar Year of Sheep which begins later this month.

"I have been told that Lunar Year of Sheep is known as the year of creativity and innovations," she said.

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"I feel that your India visit was about creativity and innovations" and new ways have been devised to improve relations between India and China, she added.

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