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China donates two aircraft to Seychelles

China donates two aircraft to Seychelles ( The People's Republic of China has today handed over two aircraft in a ceremony held at the Seychelles International Airport yesterday morning following a pledge they made earlier this year.

In the presence of Seychelles President James Michel and other high-ranking government and military personnel, the two Y12 aircrafts were officially transferred from the Ambassador Wang Weigou to the Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, who accepted the donations on behalf of the Seychelles government.

"These aircrafts are a gift of the government of China to the people of Seychelles. It's a sign of friendship and cooperation between our two peoples," said the Ambassador.

"The intention of the Chinese government to give aircrafts to Seychelles is to help Seychelles enhance its economic capacity," added the Ambassador.

The donations follow a pledge made by the Chinese government during a visit by the Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China, Mr. Wang Qishan, in March this year.

In his remarks at the ceremony, Minister Adam thanked the Chinese government for their generous donation and continued support for the development of Seychelles. He explained that initial discussions on the planes began in 2006 on the basis of a concessional loan, however, the ensuing financial crisis hampered this initiative but that the Chinese government, recognizing the critical need for such increased capabilities, turned the proposed loan into a grant.

"Now, more than ever, we need a hand from our international partners," said the Minister, “One of the Y12 aircrafts will be used for surveillance in order to better protect our Exclusive Economic Zone from foreign threats, be it pirates, illegal fishing activities, and drug smugglers. For this, we are truly grateful to the government of China."

The Minister explained that the second aircraft would be dedicated to improving communications and access between Mahe and the outer islands and allowing for greater capability and efficiency.

The Vice President of the plane manufacturers, Mr. Sun Zhiwei, was also present for the handover and remarked that the company, China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC), was committed to assisting the Seychelles government in the long-term care of the two aircrafts, worth US$10 million. The company has also provided the necessary training to Seychellois personnel for the operation and maintenance of the aircrafts.

In the past, the Chinese government has funded several projects, including the Au Cap and Bai Lazare schools, Anse Royal hospital, the Seychelles Bureau of Standards building, the new National Assembly building, and more recently, the commencement of the new Judicial building complex, among many others.

MEDIA CONTACT: Alain St. Ange, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board, Email:

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