President Hu Jintao’s forthcoming visit to Seychelles
The President of China, Hu Jintao, will be visiting only a few countries in the Africa region, and Seychelles is the only one in southern Indian Ocean on his itinerary..
Seychelles will be the last country for him to call at during his tour, and also one of the few in which he will spend a night.
Seychelles’ Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Patrick Pillay, said this in an interview on Friday January 26 (afternoon), saying President Hu’s personal ties with President James Michel have played a major role in the Chinese President’s choice of Seychelles.
“The visit is a culmination of a personal friendship between Seychelles President James Michel and President Hu Jintao, both of whom were vice-presidents when they first met.
“And when they met last year in the November I could see there was a personal connection between them
“There is a human connection between President Michel and President Hu Jintao, who is a very warm person. You realize this soon after meeting him. He is like former South African President Nelson Mandela, and President Michel is also very warm and a good listener. I think they connected when President Michel went to China in November.
“It’s only three months since he was invited and now he is coming here. There must be good reason why he has accepted and I think it is partly also because of the economic progress that we have made. I am sure he has followed the economic reforms that President Michel has undertaken which are akin to his own approach.
“The results of what he has done and what President Michel is doing are the same and for the welfare of the people,” Minister Pillay said, adding that:
“It is particularly important President Hu has chosen Seychelles out of a large number of countries and certainly the only country in the southern Indian Ocean region. It is something that we ought to be very proud of.
“We should also not forget that Seychelles is a very beautiful country and that is likely also to have contributed further to President Hu choosing to come here among the few countries he is visiting.”
Regarding preparations being made ahead of the President’s arrival, Minister Pillay said:
“We are doing our level best, jointly with the Embassy of China here, to prepare for this visit which we consider as extremely important for Seychelles, firstly because it is a political aspect in that we have supported China in international fora, and also its policy of one China
“There is the economic aspect, whereby China can invest here and also tap from our fisheries and other resources in a mutually beneficial relationship.
“There is a committee that is arranging for the coming of the president and security is obviously very tight because President Hu is not just another person. He is a key person in the world.
“In many countries he will spend only the day and fly to another country but he will be here for a total of 26 hours,” Minister Pillay said.
President Hu is expected in Seychelles on February 9 and will depart on February 10.
Diplomacy China’s President to visit Seychelles
The President of the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Mr Hu Jintao, is to pay a State visit to Seychelles next month at the invitation of President James A Michel, a communiqué from State House has announced
President Hu will be in Seychelles from February 9 to 10.
His visit will be part of a tour of eight African countries.
According to the communiqué, President Hu will lead a large delegation comprising State Counsellor H.E. Mr Tang Jiaxuan, several ministers and other high-level dignitaries.
The announcement of the visit, only three months after the one undertaken by President Michel in November 2006, denotes the high level of friendship and esteem that exist between Victoria and Beijing, the communiqué notes.
It was during his meeting with President Hu in Beijing last year that President Michel extended the invitation to the Chinese leader to visit Seychelles.
President Hu Jintao will be the first Chinese Head of State to come to Seychelles since the two countries established diplomatic relations in July 1976.
It will also be his first visit to the Indian Ocean region
Exports to China up by 73%
The volume of trade between Seychelles and China increased by 73% in 2006 and for the first time, Seychelles exported 600,000 USD worth of goods to China, an increase of 6000%.
The Chinese Ambassador to Seychelles, H.E. Geng Wenbing, said this Thursday Frebruary 1 at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Seychelles, which is situated at St Louis.
Ambassador Wenbing was speaking to all sectors of Seychelles media, ahead of the coming to Seychelles of the President of China, H.E. Hu Jintao, who is expected to arrive here on Friday next week for a two-day visit, the first ever to Seychelles by a Chinese President.
Mr Wenbing said he was addressing the press at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Seychelles.
“I am very pleased today to meet the press of Seychelles to introduce the friendly relationship of cooperation between China and Seychelles, and pertinent information of President Hu Jintao’s State Visit to Seychelles at the invitation of President Michel,” he said.
“This will be the first visit of a Chinese President to Seychelles since we established diplomatic relations 31 years ago. During his visit, President Hu will hold discussions with President Michel so as to further deepen and enhance the friendly relationship of cooperation between China and Seychelles. They will also exchange views on regional and international issues of interests.
“After the meeting between the two heads of state, they will host a signing ceremony of certain agreements. The details of the agreements are still under discussion between both sides. I am confident that this visit will certainly consolidate the traditional friendship, deepen the mutual beneficiary cooperation between our two countries and push our relationship forward to a new level,” the ambassador said.
President Hu is on a tour of eight African countries namely; Cameroon, Liberia, Sudan, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, and Seychelles will be his last stop.
Mr Wenbing said these eight countries are located in different sub-regions in Africa and embrace strong significances. The aim of President Hu’s visit is to follow up the outcome of the first ever China-Africa Summit within the context of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, which was held in November 2006, and to fully promote the China-Africa Cooperation.
Regarding the relationship between China and Seychelles, he said that many friends of China in Seychelles are witnesses of the development of the friendly relationship between our two countries.
“In the past 31 years since we established relationship, the bilateral relationship has developed smoothly. Especially, in recent years, we have observed closer ties in such sectors as economy, university education, health, tourism, fishery and so on. We also have seen fast development of trade, although the volume is not big. The trade volume increased by 73% in 2006 and for the first time, Seychelles exported 600,000 USD worth of goods to China, an increase of 6000%.
“Besides, China increased the scholarship to Seychelles from one to 11 in 2006, I would like to tell you that, because of different customs and language problem, these 11 students were not used to the life in China in the first month; but now they all study and live well.
“During his visit to China last year, H.E. President James Michel met with these students. All of them told President Michel that they were very lucky to have the opportunity to pursue their University studies in China.
“Last year, the Chinese Government sent the eleventh medical team to Seychelles. And in January last week, China sent 10 volunteer experts to work here, including five doctors, two nurses, two music instructors and one Chinese language teacher. Their arrival will greatly solve the shortage of doctors and nurses at the Victoria Hospital, satisfy the wishes of Seychelles’ students to learn to play piano and violin, and also solve the problem of lacking Chinese language teacher in Seychelles. They will work here for one year, until a new team arrives,” he said.
He said that after 30 years’ development, the relationship between China and Seychelles has entered a new era of comprehensive cooperation and that the main topic between President Hu and President Michel will be focused on improving the traditional friendship and enhance comprehensive cooperation.
“I believe that the friendship between China and Seychelles will be the model of friendly relationship of cooperation between big and small states in the world,” he said
Ambassador Wenbing said that with only one week left before President Hu arrives, there is a lot of work to do to make sure the visit will be as successful as expected