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SPEECH ON THE OCCASION OF THE 59TH NATIONAL DAY OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA FRIDAY 26TH SEPTEMBER 2008

26.09.2008

Your Excellency,
Ministers
Distinguished guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

I feel proud and greatly honoured to join Ambassador Wang Weiguo, his staff, the Chinese Community in Seychelles, on this auspicious event of the 59th National Day Celebrations of the People's Republic of China.

At the outset, I wish to convey a message of congratulation from President James Michel, the Government and People of Seychelles, to President Hu Jintao, the Government and People of China on this special day.

Whilst we also congratulate China for having successfully hosted one of the best Olympic Games, it is also my intention to renew our sympathy for all the disasters that have hit China this year, the most devastating one being the earthquake in Sichuan Province.

Our thoughts to the victims of these tragedies.

Excellency,

After more than 3 decades of exceptionally good relations based on well understood bilateral interests, as well as a similar vision of China - Africa Cooperation and co-development, I had the privilege of opening the first ever Seychelles Embassy in Beijing in September, 2007.

Today, I can safely confirm that this bold and enterprising initiative by the Government of Seychelles is clearly contributing to the promotion of our economic, trade, investment, cultural, sporting, fisheries, tourism as well as our off-shore interests.

Numerous activities are now taking place in China by various Seychellois stakeholders in order to elevate the profile of Seychelles in this part of the world.

I would also like to say that the roadmap of our cooperation was further defined when President James Michel and President Hu Jintao met in 2006 and 2007 in Beijing and Victoria, respectively.

Seychelles is willing to pursue and strengthen its political friendship with China and at the same time develop our partnership by encouraging further investments in the fields highlighted above.

We place on record our appreciation to the Chinese Government for all forms of assistance provided to Seychelles over the years.

Today China is host to 44 young Seychellois nationals studying in 22 Chinese Universities.

Since the Beijing Summit of 2006, Seychelles has greatly benefitted from Chinese assistance in various fields.

You have witness ongoing projects such as the Baie Lazare and Au Cap Schools, as well as the new National Assembly building.

Other projects in the pipeline are in the field of electricity, water, transportation and other infrastructure, vital to the development of our country.

We therefore consider China to be an important and privileged partner of Seychelles.

May I reiterate Seychelles full / non negotiable / non questionable support to the One - China - Two Systems policy and for the peaceful reunification of Taiwan with the mainland.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I now have the pleasure to invite you to join me in a toast to the good health and prosperity of His Excellency, President Hu Jintao and to the everlasting friendship and partnership between Seychelles and China.

I thank you.

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