China-Seychelles relations |03 November 2020
‘China looks forward to continue to strengthen bilateral traditional friendship and expand cooperation in various fields with Seychelles’ – Ambassador Guo Wei
When addressing the Seychellois nation during his inauguration at State House on October 26, 2020, President Wavel Ramkalawan acknowledged the support of friendly countries.
“We are a nation very open to the world. That is why on this very day (the day of the investiture) I would like on behalf of the Seychellois people to sincerely thank the international community that you represent. We say thank you for your contribution to the development of our country. The international community cannot prosper without the active participation of its members – large and small. International order will only be fair if independent states align themselves in the exercise of their sovereignty and respect for international standards. To all our partners and to the international community, now more than ever, we need your friendship and solidarity. The months and years to come will be difficult, the Seychellois people are counting on you and counting on a win/win partnership. We invite you to stay with us for the next 250 years. The door is always open and the friendship palpable,” President Ramkalawan said in his inaugural address.
Seychelles NATION has contacted three embassies for a conversation around this topic. On Saturday we published an interview with the French ambassador. Today, we speak with Chinese ambassador Guo Wei.
Seychelles NATION: How did you experience the presidential and legislative elections in Seychelles?
Ambassador Guo Wei: The Seychelles’ presidential and legislative elections were conducted in a peaceful atmosphere and in an orderly, well organised and transparent manner. The voter participation rate was quite high with the turnout figure of nearly 88.5%. We also commend the Seychellois people’s enthusiasm and patience throughout the elections and the peaceful transition after the elections.
Seychelles NATION: On two occasions, in his inaugural speech, President Wavel Ramkalawan alluded to aid granted by friendly countries. What does this mean to you?
Ambassador Guo Wei:Since China and Seychelles established diplomatic relations 44 years ago, our two countries have respected, trusted and supported each other. China and Seychelles have maintained a good momentum of growth in bilateral relations, realising fruitful cooperation in economics, trade, education, culture and other areas. China is ready to work with Seychelles to consolidate friendship and mutual trust, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and international coordination, and elevate bilateral relations to a higher level.
Seychelles NATION: China is one of the countries that has always been present in Seychelles and which continues to help us, how will this help continue?
Ambassador Guo Wei: China and Seychelles have always been good friends, good partners and good brothers. On the basis of equality and mutual benefit, and mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, China has been carrying out friendly cooperation with Seychelles and has been providing assistance within its capabilities. China looks forward to continue to strengthen bilateral traditional friendship and expand cooperation in various fields with Seychelles.
Seychelles NATION: What are the major projects that China is currently implementing in Seychelles?
Ambassador Guo Wei: One project funded by the Chinese government is on construction right now, namely a new SBC Building, which will come along with the cutting-edge broadcasting equipment. Despite setbacks of Covid-19, adverse weather and ground conditions, the SBC House project is progressing well.
In addition to intergovernmental cooperation, the private sectors of the two countries work closely as well. The raising of the La Gogue Dam project by Sinohydro Group Ltd., which aims to increase the capacity of the dam by 60 percent, from 1 million cubic metres to 1.6 million cubic metres in a bid to improve water security in the country and to accommodate for increasing demands especially in moments of drought, is also going well currently.
Seychelles NATION: What are the major projects that have been completed in Seychelles?
Ambassador Guo Wei: Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreements between Seychelles and China have been signed routinely in the past 44 years. Within the framework of these agreements, the Chinese government has provided substantial financial aids to Seychelles. In Seychelles many projects were built by the financing of the grants, including National Swimming Pool, the National Assembly Building, Palais De Justice, the Anse Royale Hospital, the Glacis primary school and crèche and many other projects. On August 6, 2020, the Residence Project was successfully handed over to the Seychellois government, which is the latest achievement of cooperation between the two countries in the field of people's livelihood. These projects not only symbolise the friendship between the Chinese and Seychellois people, but also bring real benefits to the local communities.
Seychelles NATION: Being a small island state, how do you see the development of Seychelles (democracy, economy and social)?
Ambassador Guo Wei: Over the past 44 years Seychelles has achieved fruitful outcomes in economic, health, education, environmental protection and many other fields, which China highly appreciates. Although it is a small island country, Seychelles is a big maritime nation and has made great achievements in the Blue Economy and environmental protection. We are confident that Seychelles will make greater progress in different areas in the future under the leadership of the new government and National Assembly chosen by the Seychellois people.
Seychelles NATION: What is your wish for our country which is living a historic moment?
Ambassador Guo Wei:China sincerely congratulates His Excellency Mr Wavel Ramkalawan on his election as President of Seychelles. We believe that under his leadership, the government and people of Seychelles will work in solidarity for a better future andmake new and greater achievements on the path of national development.
Seychelles is a good friend and partner of China in Africa, and the traditional friendship between China and Seychelles is profound. The Chinese embassy is willing to continue to serve as a bridge for promoting the development of bilateral relations and enhancing friendship between our two peoples.