On an official tour of several African countries, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming paid a courtesy call on President James Michel yesterday at State House.
He was accompanied by the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Seychelles, Yin Lixian.
President Michel welcomed Vice Minister Zhang Ming to Seychelles and said his visit shows the importance of relations between the two countries which he described as an excellent relationship that has been built over the years. The President thanked China for all the support it has provided to Seychelles in the past.
“We look forward for a fruitful visit to further discuss and expand our collaboration. Thank you for the support of China, for its interest for Africa. Your collaboration in the development taking place in Africa again shows an expression of support and ensures that Africa can become very strong as it develops its economic potential. Our partnership with China is crucial for the achievement of our economic prosperity that is required for Africa to emerge as a strong continent,” said President Michel during the meeting.
Mr Michel and Mr Zhang exchanged views on topics of mutual interests for both Seychelles and China, such as promotion of bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, renewable energy, people-to-people contacts, tourism and the fight against piracy. Furthermore, interests in the Blue Economy concept, climate change issues, among other topics, were discussed.
“Together, China and Africa, we have to unite our efforts and we have to remain strong to defend our interests. Thank you for your support for the small island states. The Seychelles are African islands, so we want to benefit from the developments and projects that are taking place on the African continent.
Here we welcome the support of China and of that it gives to the African islands in its programme of development. Because too often in the past Africa has forgotten these islands and we have been left aside in the development of infrastructure. With China’s support, I am confident that we would be able to change that perception and ensure that the islands are also included in the future development of infrastructure,” said President Michel.
During the meeting, Mr Zhang expressed China’s commitment to continue helping Seychelles in its economic and social development.
In an interview with the local media, he highlighted the primary purpose of his visit to Seychelles.
“I have come here to Seychelles to launch the political consultation between our two foreign ministries. We have a long history of our bilateral relations, our friendship and cooperation have grown rapidly over the recent years, so it is necessary for us to have a regular consultation to promote our friendship and cooperation….We have maintained close communication and coordination of global important issues such as the development of small island states, the post-2015 development agenda, climate change and UN Security Council reform and this time the political consultation will allow us to have discussion on the global and regional issues of common interests,” said Mr Zhang.
Present for the courtesy call were the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport, Joël Morgan, the President’s Diplomatic Advisor, Ambassador Callixte D’Offay, Ambassador Designate to China, Vivienne Fock Tave, deputy director general of African Department of Foreign Affairs of the PRC, Dai Bing, Wu Yuan, deputy section chief of the African Department of Foreign Affairs of the PRC, Wu Xiaofeng, second secretary of the Administrative Department of Foreign Affairs of the PRC, Qiu Shaoke, attaché of the African Department of Foreign Affairs of the PRC.