Mission to China: Seychelles Vice President Faure talks direct air links and Maritime Silk Road
Seychelles Vice President Danny Faure (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Vice President of Seychelles, Danny Faure has ended his trip to the Far East on a high note after meeting his Chinese counterpart, Vice President Li Yuanchao on Friday.
According to a press statement issued by the Seychelles Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday, direct air links between China and Seychelles as well as courting the support for Seychelles’ call to have an African representative on the United Nations’ Security Council were some of the main points to have come out of the meeting.
Vice President Li also proposed that the Seychelles’ promotion of the Blue Economy concept – the sustainable development of the country's vast ocean resources – could be tied in to China’s ambitious trade project known as the Maritime Silk Road.
Vice President Faure arrived in Asia last week to represent President James Michel at the commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Asian-African Conference (ACC) and the 10th Anniversary of the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP) summit in Indonesia held from April 22 to 24 aimed at promoting peace and cooperation in the Asian and African regions.
At the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Faure thanked Vice President Li, who is also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China-Central Committee, for the contribution that China had made to the small island developing state of Seychelles.
China has been one of the Seychelles’ main sources of grants and infrastructure projects gifted to the population of 90,000 people in recent years, including schools, hospitals and the parliament and judicial buildings at Ile du Port.
“China has always treated us as an equal partner regardless of our geographic size and we have mutual respect for each other,” Vice President Faure remarked in the statement.
“China appreciates the support from Seychelles in the international arena and China will never forget this.” Vice-President Li Yuanchao expressed.
According to the latest figures from the National Statistics Bureau, visitors from China have risen by four percent so far in 2015 when compared to the same period in 2014. China has in the past two years become an important emerging market for the country’s tourism sector, which is the mainstay of the Seychelles economy.
Noting that although the relationship between Seychelles and China was “a model of relations between large and small countries”, the Vice President of China also said that Seychelles was a large country in terms of its Exclusive Economic Zone.
According to the statement, both China agreed to push for a stronger representation of African countries on the United Nations Security Council.
Seychelles announced in 2012 that it would bid for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council for the 2017-2018 term.
Vice President Li was invited by his Seychellois counterpart to visit the Seychelles in 2016 to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Seychelles and China.