President Michel Gifts Giant Tortoises to People of China
A ceremony has been held on the 31st May last week at the Beijing Zoo to officially unveil the two giant tortoises, pledged by President James Michel to the People of China during his visit to the People’s Republic of China last year which he described as a symbol of the warm ties of friendship between the two peoples, during bilateral talks with the Vice President H.E Mr. Xi Jinping.
Ambassador Philippe Le Gall, Seychelles Resident Ambassador to China, who presented the gift on behalf of President Michel, thanked all those involved in contributing to making the handing over a success, with special mention to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, the management and staff of Beijing Zoo and Mr. Cui Yong’an, Secretary General of the Organizing Committee of China International Friendship and Culture Festival, who he described as pivotal to the realization of the project.
Ambassador Le Gall went on to state that, “Such gift also demonstrates, better than any speech, our confidence in the future of our two countries’ friendship and China-Africa’s friendship. The Seychellois tortoises will be your special friends not for 10 or 20 years but for one hundred or 200 hundred years and maybe even more.”
From the Chinese side, H.E Ambassador Lu Shaye, Director-General of the Department of African Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, thanked the Government and people of Seychelles and advocated that this was “a token of the friendly sentiments of the Seychellois people towards the brotherly Chinese people.”
The two tortoises arrived in Beijing during the month of March and had to stay in quarantine for the duration of one month. This also gave the Management of the Beijing Zoo the time to design and customize the shelter to comfortably habitat the tortoises.
The ceremony was attended also by, Mr. Zhao Huimin, General Director of Foreign Affairs office of the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality, Ms. Liu Ying, Deputy Director General of Beijing Municipal Administration Center of Parks, Mr. Cui Yong’an, Secretary General of the Organizing Committee of China International Friendship and Culture Festival, Mr. Wu Zhaozheng, Director of Beijing Zoo, Mr. Wang Chongqing, Secretary of the CPC of Beijing zoo, African Ambassadors accredited to China, as well as Seychelles Embassy staff.