SEYCHELLES AND CHINA PLEDGE TO STRENGTHEN AND DIVERSIFY COOPERATION
Seychelles and China are set to boost and diversify their long-standing relations of cooperation. This emerged today in talks between President James A Michel and the Chinese Vice-President. Mr. Xi Jiling.
Noting that this year marked the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the two leaders stressed the importance that they attach to the further strengthening and diversification of bilateral relations so that they continue to remain a model of South-South cooperation and a model of partnership between one of the smallest and greatest countries in the world.
A wide range of issues was discussed in the meeting between the two leaders. These included climate change and renewable energy, the establishment of air links between the two countries, piracy in the Indian Ocean and the security of maritime routes.
Noting that China had become a leader in the sector of renewable energy, President Michel called upon Chinese entrepreneurs to use Seychelles as a hub for the transfer of technology to Africa.
“The importance of direct air links between China and Seychelles and onward to Africa cannot be overemphasized…… This will bring more Chinese visitors to our shores and also more business not only to Seychelles but also to Africa.” said President Michel.
President Michel called upon Vice-President XI to consider Seychelles as a bridge linking the two countries to the African mainland:
“Seychelles is strategically placed to offer China the possibility of raising its visibility and enhancing its action in the region.”
An issue of great concern to Seychelles and China is the threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean. Both countries have been afflicted by this scourge and need to work together and in tandem with the international community to seek long term solutions to this problem.
A memorandum of understanding on piracy is to be signed during President Michel’s official visit.
As a gesture of its solidarity and friendship with Seychelles, Vice President XI announced that the Government of the People’s Republic of China had decided to make a grant of Yuan 40 million, which is equivalent to approximately 80 million Seychelles Rupees, as well as 10 buses to Seychelles to commemorate President Michel’s visit to China.
In addition, China will continue to provide technical assistance, training and scholarships in diverse fields.
The delegation accompanying the President is holding talks with transport and civil aviation officials, tourism representatives and business leaders in renewable energy.