Ambassador Shi Zhong Jhu
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
People’s Republic of China (PRC)
RE: PRC Military Base and Presence in Seychelles
Dear Mr. Ambassador Jhu:
I am writing to you concerning the recent public announcement of the People’s Republic China (PRC) and Government of Seychelles intention to establish a military base and satellite base operation in the Seychelles Islands and the Indian Ocean.
Most recently you led a delegation of over Forty (40) top military officials to meet with Seychelles sitting President Mr. James Alix Michel and made the announcement of the bilateral intention to set up a military base in Seychelles.
I advise you, that under the Constitution of Seychelles 3rd Republic, we are a sovereign nation. This being the case, all defense matters are constitutionally assigned to the Seychelles Defense Forces, which are soldiered by our own people, the Seselwa Rasin people.
It is Seychelles Freedom Party’s (SFP) position, that the presence of a PRC military installation in the region will destabilize the existing relations of peace and cooperation the entire region enjoys with the United States, India, the European Union, and other African states, that consider the Indian Ocean
their respective sphere of influence.
If the Indian Navy set up a base next to Taiwan, how would the PRC react to that act of consolidation?
Given the seriousness of your government’s intentions, I must make our position clear and simple: given the PRC over involvement in Seychelles over the past years, to the point that your government has buttressed a dictatorship whose expiry date has been long past, a regime that has no regard for democratic practice or rule of law, I must advise you that your presence in Seychelles is not welcome.
Given that your presence has extended beyond mere country to country cooperation, for which I can site numerous examples like the funding of our National Assembly, when your country does not respect the democratic process, the funding of our Judiciary when justice is not done towards Tibet and other minorities, we cannot consider your funding to be legitimate for these institutions of democracy.
Nor can we consider your military presence in Seychelles condusive to fostering peace or progress in the Indian Ocean region, particularly the Republic of Seychelles.
With that said, Mr. Ambassador, I want to set the record on the matter at hand, that your further enhanced military presence in Seychelles is not welcome.
We the members of Seychelles Freedom Party (SFP) consider the presence of PRC military to be illegitimate and an unwarranted, interference into our internal affairs to prop up a dictatorship that has not respected democratic norms for Eighteen (18) years since moving from Seventeen (17) years of one party state dictatorship to a multi party set up, which we now all know has been a political farce all along.
If there is any foreign military presence in the Seychelles, it is our position, that because this involves the compromising of our sovereignty , that such presence must be put to REFERENDUM to be voted for by the rightful People of Seychelles, the Seselwa Rasin.
Unless this issue is put to Referendum, such presence is illegal and contrary to our laws and international law.
Most recently, I have watched carefully as the PRC has extended a hand to develop a large deep water port in Pakistan that cost your government a tidy sum of $ 1.2 Billion.
The recent effort to lure Pakistan into Seychelles diplomatic circles, and expand their sphere of influence in the Indian Ocean region is a highly charged and volatile move between your government and the Republic of Seychelles.
This is another example of your interference in our internal affairs. We do not approve of this reckless diplomatic move on your behalf.
I ask you and your country, to take note, that you are not welcome in Seychelles if your objective is to expand your sphere of influence into the Indian Ocean, and using our tiny island nation as a geo political football at the expense of the well being of the People of Seychelles.
Your country has done all that it can do in recent years to prop up a dictatorship. On one occasion, you even invited the Leader of the Opposition to Beijing to soften him up to accept your meddling in Seychelles internal affairs. The VIP trip worked, and he was practically silenced on your involvement in Seychelles. You will be happy to know, that in SFP of the Six (6) executive committee members, Three (3) have already studied in PRC.
In the most firm diplomatic language, that can be used, I ask you to cease this conduct and this course of action that will only bring about greater instability to the Indian Ocean region.
Seychelles Freedom Party
Cc: Indian High Commission
United States Embassy, Port Louis
British High Commission
Republic of France
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mauritius