President James Michel has praised the continued growth and rejuvenation of Seychelles-China relations following bilateral talks with President Hu Jintao and members of the State Council in Shanghai.
“We had a very good discussion. We have excellent relations with China, and this meeting represents a rejuvenation of our relations, a new momentum, for the development of cooperation and exchanges,” said President Michel following the meeting.
President James Michel said that the Seychelles-China relations could serve as an excellent example for relations between developing countries, and on his part, President Hu agreed and said that these relations could also be deemed as an excellent model for relations between countries with different sizes and social systems.
President James Michel said that during the meeting, President Hu pledged economic aid to Seychelles worth 40 million Yuan (approximately US$6 million dollars) for development projects in areas to be agreed upon by both sides.
“Seychelles greatly appreciates the friendship, assistance, and support of China, and we look forward to strengthening our relations in areas of mutual interest,” said President Michel.
President Michel also welcomed President Hu’s remarks that Chinese enterprises would be encouraged to invest in Seychelles and participate in the country’s economic development.
“China is willing to join hands with Seychelles to push forward the friendship and cooperation between the two countries in a comprehensive manner,” said President Hu Jintao.
President James Michel also stressed the urgency with which the regional piracy problem needs to be addressed by international partners and called on China for assistance in tackling this problem. President Hu said he would examine the possibility of assisting Seychelles with a new patrol ship for anti-piracy patrolling in the Seychelles Exclusive Economic Zone.
President Hu also called for more efforts to promote exchanges between China and Seychelles in the fields of culture and education and he pledged 52 scholarships for Seychellois students in the 2010-2011 period.
President Michel also noted that Seychelles strategic position in the Indian Ocean could serve as a bridge for Chinese investors in Africa. President Hu also expressed China’s willingness to work closely with African countries including Seychelles to implement the follow-up programs of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.