Forging ahead together to build a China-Seychelles community with a shared future |28 June 2021
As Seychelles prepares to mark the 45th anniversary of its independence, the Chinese ambassador H.E. Mrs GUO Wei also reflects on the commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Seychelles diplomatic relations on June 30, 1976.
Seychelles, the pearl of the Indian Ocean, is an important cooperative partner of China in Africa and the Western Indian Ocean, and a country that has long been friendly with China. On June 30, 1976, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Seychelles officially established diplomatic relations, thus opening a new chapter in the China-Seychelles friendship.
During the 45 years after independence, Seychelles has made significant progress on its economic and social development for which we would like to express our warmest congratulations. Over the 45 years, the two countries have always treated each other as equals and the bilateral relations have enjoyed sound momentum of growth with fruitful results in practical cooperation, setting a good example of sincere friendship, solidarity, cooperation, mutual benefit and win-win outcomes between big and small countries.
Review of the extraordinary 45 years relations between China and Seychelles
45 years of sincere friendship, the political mutual trust between China and Seychelles has been continuously deepened. The frequent high-level exchanges charted the course for the development of bilateral relations.
Successive Seychelles former presidents France Albert René, James Michel and Danny Faure have all visited China. Numerous cabinet ministers and political dignitaries have also visited China on many occasions. Chinese former President Hu Jintao, Premier, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and other state leaders have paid official visits to Seychelles as well.
At the beginning of this year, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi paid an official visit to Seychelles, during which he reiterated that China is ready to make joint efforts with Seychelles to elevate bilateral relations to a higher level.
The two sides exchanged views on strengthening bilateral cooperation in the blue economy, tourism, green environmental protection and signed the implementation agreement on the construction of low-carbon demonstration zone in South-South cooperation.
“We have always respected each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests and major concerns. China firmly supports Seychelles in taking a development path suited to its national conditions and in the governance efforts of the new Seychelles government, highly appreciates Seychelles’ adherence to the one-China principle”.
45 years of solidarity, unity, practical cooperation between China and Seychelles has achieved fruitful outcomes
Following the principles of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, China has made joint efforts with Seychelles by promoting bilateral economic and commercial cooperation and providing government assistances for its economic and social development. All these have resulted in fruitful outcomes. The Palais de Justice, National Assembly Building, Anse Royale Hospital, Corgate Residence projects and the SBC project are all the most telling witnesses of our solidarity and friendship.
In response to Seychelles’ concerns on sustainable development and clean energy, China is building a Low-carbon Demonstration Zone in Seychelles, the first of its kind overseas.
Regarding Seychelles concern on maritime security, China donated two aircraft and a patrol vessel, hoping to help Seychelles strengthen its capacity to safeguard maritime security. Over the past decades, bilateral trade has grown steadily and reached a record in 2019 with a year on year increase of 7.12%. The new Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation, signed during the State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to Seychelles in 2021, will certainly boost the future bilateral development cooperation.
45 years of mutual enrichment and harmonious interaction, people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and Seychelles have been getting more and more flourishing
China and Seychelles have conducted frequent cultural exchanges at various levels with numerous highlights.
Since 2014, ‘Seychelles China Day’ has been successfully held for eight years, becoming a brand project and is widely welcomed by Seychellois people. For many years, the Chinese training courses covered more than 1,600 Seychellois and nearly 200 Seychellois students got Chinese government scholarship. Lots of them are now serving in different sectors in Seychelles.
The Chinese Medical Team and Chinese volunteers have served in Seychelles for decades. Since 2013 when the two countries signed the Mutual Visa Waiver Agreement, a large number of Chinese tourists came to Seychelles. Although the epidemic results in a significant fall of tourists in these two years, we believe that more and more Chinese will come back after the epidemic.
The exchanges between sister cities and in academia, media and youth have also been continuously promoted.
By 2020, about 1,940 Seychellois have learned Chinese in the Confucius Institute. To support Seychelles efforts for people’s well-being, the Chinese embassy helped to accomplish some mini projects, such as the playgrounds at Baie St Anne and Anse Royale, mini grandstand and changing room at Pointe Larue, bus shelters at Anse Boileau etc…
Facing the Covid-19, China and Seychelles have worked together in solidarity, vividly illustrating the vision of a global community with a shared future and our friendship through thick and thin.
In the early stages of the Covid-19 outbreak in China, Seychelles showed its support at the earliest time which we will never forget.
The Chinese side is also deeply concerned about the evolving Covid-19 situation in Seychelles.
“We appreciate the measures taken by the Seychelles government to fight against the epidemic and revitalise the economy. In June 2020, the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against Covid-19 was held and injected strong positive energy into the China-Africa cooperation. Previously, the Chinese government and other organisations have donated many batches of medical and daily supplies to the Seychelles side, including about 360,000 masks, 4 respirators and testing kits, thermometers, sanitisers etc”.
At the beginning of this year, the Chinese embassy and the Seychelles-China Trade and Business Promotion Association responded to the call of President Ramkalawan and made their contributions to the Covid-19 Relief Fund. At the critical moment in Seychelles’ fight against the epidemic, we do believe that the 60,000 national flags could encourage the Seychellois people and the 25,000 Sinopharm vaccines doses could help the vaccination campaign and bring the strong protection required to fight the virus.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-Seychelles diplomatic relations and is also the Year of the Ox in China, which is a symbol of loyalty, hard work, prosperity and also harvests.
On this occasion, the Chinese embassy designed some special souvenirs decorated with a special ox pattern in collaboration with Mr George Camille, the well-known Chinese descendant Seychelles artist. On the ox pattern, a strong red bull is surrounded by auspicious clouds with hooves forward. Its body is decorated with coco de mer, sea turtles, paille en queue and other Seychelles characteristic species. The design, integrating traditional Chinese culture and Seychelles Creole elements, symbolises the profound traditional friendship between our two countries. The red and gold color, full of positive, optimistic and hardworking spirit, implies the bright future and full vitality of China-Seychelles relations.
The world today is undergoing profound changes. Meanwhile, there are prominent destabilising factors and uncertainties in international security. The numerous common risks and challenges facing all humanity especially the sudden outbreak of the Covid-19, have proved again the importance of building a global community with a shared future.
During the 45 years, China and Seychelles have always worked together on the basis of mutual understanding, respect and support.
Both of us are peace-loving countries. Our leaders, governments and political parties have common goal which is making the country prosperous and people happier. The year 2021 is of special significance to both of our two countries. Seychelles is celebrating the 45th anniversary of its independence, while China will commemorate the centenary of the Communist Party of China.
Standing at a new historical starting point, we are ready to make joint efforts with Seychelles to deepen political mutual trust, maintain close coordination on international and regional affairs, expand cooperation on green development, blue economy and people's livelihood.
We will continue to provide assistance to the best of our ability, for Seychelles national construction and social development so as to take our relations to a new level and build a community with a shared future for both sides.
Long live Seychelles, long live China, long live China -Seychelles friendship!
Viv lanmitye Lasin ek Sesel!
Mrs Guo Wei
Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Seychelles