Seychelles and China long friendship moves towards practical cooperation: Minister Morgan and Vice Minister Zhang hold talks
As part of his African tour, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Mr Zhang Ming met with Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport, Mr. Joël Morgan this morning at Maison Quéau de Quinssy to hold bilateral talks and to discuss areas of mutual cooperation and explore avenues for further collaboration in the future. The Chinese Vice Minister also sought to launch political consultations between the two nations foreign ministries.
Minister Morgan elaborated on the multi faceted relationship spanning numerous fields that exist between the two countries. The discussions centred on the assistance that Seychelles enjoys from China most notably in infrastructural development projects, the support for the Blue Economy, tourism development, education and Chinese assistance in ensuring peace and security through the recent donation of a naval vessel to complement the forces of the Seychelles Coast Guard to securitise the western Indian Ocean.
Minister Morgan also requested that Chinese entrepreneurs look to Seychelles for investment opportunities specifically in the tourism sector. The Minister conveyed that Seychelles tourism could benefit greatly from an increase in Chinese tourism. He also informed Mr Zhang of his wish that Chinese tourists would account for the largest portion of visitor arrivals to Seychelles in the coming years.
“Even a small nation like Seychelles has a pertinent voice in international affairs and our contribution is valued by China. China views Seychelles as an equal state in the international arena. This show of mutual respect forms the basis of our excellent relations both bilaterally and on a people-to-people basis,” said Minister Morgan.
Mr Zhang expressed support for Seychelles, and other small island developing states, in its development trajectory and articulated his desire to ensure viable reductions in carbon emissions, which further compound the problem of climate change. Mr Zhang noted that Seychelles and China work closely on core global and regional issues, such as the United Nations Security Council reform.
Mr Zhang noted, “the development of our friendship sets a clear precedent for cooperation and shows the world that small and large countries can work together successfully for the mutual benefit of their people.”
The Chinese delegation also expressed their desire to transform long-standing friendship with Seychelles into tangible and practical cooperation, which would directly benefit the people of Seychelles.
In view of this,the Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne and the Chinese resident Ambassador accredited to Seychelles, Madame Yin Lixian signed a Small Scale Grant memorandum, which would disburse funds amounting to 3.5 million Seychelles rupees to help improve the lives of Seychellois people at a grass roots level. The funds are a grant from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Also present for the meeting were the Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, Ambassador designate to China, Ms. Vivienne Fock-Tave, Chinese Resident Ambassador accredited to the Republic of Seychelles, Mrs Yin Lixian, Deputy Director General of African Department of Foreign Affairs of the PRC, Mr. Dai Bing, Mr. Wu Yuan, Deputy Section Chief of the African Department of Foreign Affairs of the PRC, Mr. Wu Xiaofeng, Second Secretary of the Administrative Department of Foreign Affairs of the PRC, Mr. Qiu Shaoke Attaché of the African Department of Foreign Affairs of the PRC.