The cutting of the ceremonial cake by the Chinese chargé d’affaires (2nd right) and other Seychelles’ government representatives at a reception at the Savoy Seychelles Resort and Spa. (Seychelles News Agency)
Seychelles’ cooperation with China has yielded tangible results, contributing to the improvement of the lives of the Seychellois people, said Seychelles’ Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism in a ceremony to celebrate the 74th anniversary of China on Wednesday.
The Chinese Embassy in Seychelles hosted a reception at the Savoy Seychelles Resort and Spa in the northern district of Beau Vallon to celebrate the partnership between the two countries and to renew bilateral economic and commercial cooperation.
In his address, foreign affairs minister Sylvestre Radegonde announced that Seychelles is looking forward to its “participation in the Third Belt and Road Initiative Forum for International Cooperation next month in Beijing.”
The Forum is primarily aimed at to stimulating and encouraging global trade infrastructure.
Radegonde said that the initiative is one where China mainly focuses “on connectivity, collaboration, and mutual benefits, and has opened up new opportunities for cooperation and development.”
Over the years China has assisted Seychelles through the building of several infrastructural projects. These include the National Assembly building, the Palais de Justice which holds the Supreme Court, the Anse Royale hospital and large housing projects.
Recently, China has assisted Seychelles in the construction of a digital forensic laboratory, the renovation of the Palais de Justice buildings, the La Gogue Dam expansion as well as the upcoming donation of electric public buses for the Seychelles Public Transport Corporation (SPTC).
A still ongoing project is the new headquarters for Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation, funded by the Chinese government.
Radegonde added that “China has been a steadfast partner in our development endeavours, offering valuable support and assistance in various fields.”
The Chinese chargé d’affaires, Mu Jianfeng, pledged that China “is ready to work with Seychelles to further deepen bilateral relations.”
He said this will be in the domain of tourism, fisheries, agriculture, the Blue Economy, ecological conservation and addressing climate change.
China will soon launch “the Plan for China Supporting African Agricultural Modernisation to support Africa in transforming and upgrading its agricultural sector,” said the chargé d’affaires.
He also revealed that his country will launch the Plan for China-Africa Cooperation on Talent Development to support Africa in strengthening education and innovation.
In addition to having diplomatic relations that have spanned over four decades, Seychelles is also the home to a significant Chinese community.
Three well-known people in Seychellois history with Chinese heritage are the country’s first president, the late Sir James Mancham, the first ordained Seychellois Catholic priest, the late Father James Chang-Tave, and the first Anglican bishop and Archbishop of the Indian Ocean, the late Archbishop Emeritus French Chang Him.