Ministry says no Chinese military base planned here


14-December-2011

He said widespread reports saying there were such moves have only caused confusion within media circles, but in the diplomatic arena the situation is clear.

The reports apparently arose from a translation error which talked of a base rather than military presence.

Mr Adam said the fact that Seychelles has been calling for more support in the fight against piracy is well known, noting President James Michel has been heading the appeals to world leaders, many of whom are responding positively by boosting anti-piracy forces in the Indian Ocean.

“The first ever visit by a Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie was another opportunity for us to make a similar appeal, and we are pleased the Chinese are very interested in being involved in the Indian Ocean but this is not a question of a base but one of increasing resources to fight piracy, which is what Seychelles has asked for.”

Mr Adam said the large amount of interest is recognition for the role Seychelles has been playing in the fight against piracy, and a positive response to President Michel’s appeal for more intervention against piracy.

China reacted to the reports by saying its navy is considering taking on supplies in Seychelles during escort missions to tackle piracy.

“Military experts stressed the move did not equate to establishing military bases.

"According to escort needs and the needs of other long-range missions, China will consider seeking supply facilities at appropriate harbours in Seychelles or other countries," China’s Ministry of Defence said in a statement on its website on Monday.

It is China’s policy not to set up military bases abroad, so world media were saying if it set up one here it would be the first such base.

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