Seychelles: An Invitation for China

Jody Ray Bennett
 ISN Insights

The Republic of Seychelles has issued China with an open invitation to establish an anti-piracy base in the small island republic. If accepted, this invitation will have security and strategic consequences for the region.
On December 3rd 2011, as part of a ‘goodwill’ trip to the Indian Ocean island nation of Seychelles, Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie met with Seychelles President James Michel and announced a boost in military cooperation between the two states. It was the first time a Chinese defense minister had visited the islands in the nations’ 36 years of ‘uninterrupted partnership’.
During the trip, Michel announced that the island republic would officially invite China to establish a military base there to help with its ramping up of efforts to combat piracy. The Republic of Seychelles spans an archipelago of over 100 islands approximately 1,500 kilometers off the eastern coast of Africa, just north of the island nation of Madagascar. Despite efforts by the international community and the constant patrolling of warships, this region is still heavily affected by organized (and unorganized) piracy by non-state actors.
Foreign Affairs Minister of Seychelles, Jean-Paul Adam, stated, “Together, we need to increase our surveillance capacity in the Indian Ocean [...] as Seychelles has a strategic position between Asia and Africa.” According to one report by Agence France-Presse, Seychelles and China signed on to a military cooperation agreement in 2004 which “has enabled some 50 Seychelles soldiers to be trained in China.” Adam reminded the media that China has already given two light aircraft to the Republic, with the visit by Liang signaling a renewed agreement with China for increased financial support, military equipment and further military training. Chinese media reiterated Seychelles’ adherence to the One-China policy.
But while this cooperative agreement may seem rather insignificant, military analysts in Washington have cited this agreement as a “warning” that demonstrates China’s ambitions in the Indian Ocean.
“China certainly has an interest in combating piracy in the Indian Ocean. They have requested that regional countries grant them naval base facilities – as happened in Kenya. They currently have warships patrolling the pirate corridor, and no official place for them to rest. Trade is a huge part of their economy; protecting trade is clearly a matter of national security for China,” Deborah Brautigam, professor at the American University’s School of International Service, told ISN Insights.
A String of Pearls?
China’s recent launch of an aircraft carrier is fueling these anxieties in Washington. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, “An often-quoted classified report by US government consultant Booz Allen Hamilton in 2004, which was later partially leaked to the media, said China was trying to acquire a ‘string of pearls’ of naval bases that would eventually encircle India. That hasn’t happened so far, and China has made a concerted effort to dampen speculation about its ambitions.”
One analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington explained to the Los Angeles Times that “[China is] going out of their way to say that [this] is not a base, the same way that the United States doesn’t want to use the word in connection with Darwin, Australia.”
The move has some American analysts concerned, specifically because Seychelles already houses a small American drone base used to patrol pirate activity and conduct US surveillance missions over Somalia. India is also likely to be concerned by this development.
“If [China] sets up a base in the Seychelles this would be a huge step, but an inevitable one. They aren’t going to depend forever for their security on our Western defense umbrella,” Brautigam explained.
“The exact nature of the base is important. If the Seychelles is offering up a massive base, with shipyard support, fuel depots and airfield, that could have a huge strategic meaning in the Indian Ocean and East Africa region. On the other hand, if the offer is simply one of allowing a few days of rest and recreation for Chinese crews along with ordinary refueling and replenishment, that has much less strategic importance. A small ‘anti-piracy’ base may mean that the Chinese counter-piracy force has a convenient rest area to break up long deployments and a staging area for combating piracy near the Seychelles,” retired Navy Reserve Captain Mark Tempest told ISN Insights.
Like all major economic actors throughout history, China has a rightful concern about security along trade lines – especially when it comes to those routes where access is only possible by sea. Because piracy off the coast of Somalia has proven to be relatively resilient and resistant to the increased patrolling efforts of Western countries, a Chinese ‘anti-piracy’ base is a probable indication of its willingness and capability to protect its growing economic interests on the African continent.
“It is [also] in Seychelles’ best interests to encourage as many naval powers as it can to participate in counter-piracy operations because Seychelles cannot afford the types and numbers of ships that are needed to fight piracy on the high seas (or even in Seychellois national waters). It is essentially offering up bases in exchange for protection,” Tempest explained.
For the short term, this development enhances China’s rising role in Africa, which is perhaps indicative of its larger grand strategy. For the long term, the more relationships the Chinese establish and maintain around the globe, the less effort in accessing key strategic military bases if and when the US’ status as sole superpower diminishes or is lost. Until then, the island nation of Seychelles is welcoming China with open arms – and the waters off the eastern coast of Africa are set to gain yet another naval actor.


  1. We have to prepare for real demonstration and invade the land to State House with camping in the street.
    Not to combat piracy to watch ass of criminals afraid seen some guys have told pp they are coming 2016 to take them out Michel mal rouge what the f**k you are signing with out Seychellios decide if its good for us or not?Be careful you don't sign your death.

    Chinese are up for some revenue it can be PP have so debts from countries like India China Sri Lanka pay our rice Michel don't gave them our land and island its for Seselwa rasin( voler) no wonder foreigners are landing like aliens on the island.A small island like this ,they must be something wrong in the head of this old mal rouge the way foreigners are grabbing with both hands,

    Don ou fes osi Michel

  2. Americans can be idiots at times. Reading this, one only wonders how stupid books can make people.
    Of course China will have an all inclusive base in Seychelles. But it will not be like Pearl Harbor fellows all stuck in one little corner of Hawaii.
    The Seychelles government will use the PRC desire for presence in the Indian Ocean to develop the islands, and place infrastructure on all the islands and hence spread out the location of the ship repair yard, the bunker base, the supply provision base.

    Just this week it was announced that IDC will build a runway on Cosmoledo. That run way is not for collecting birds eggs fellows.

    On Coetivy, they have reestablished a small prison. You think it will stop there on that huge island?

    Yanks can be wankers until the situation gets out of hand. Then they just bomb you to correct their intellectual shortcomings.

    Seselwa Unite!
    Sesel Pou Seselwa!

    Christopher Gill
    Seychelles Freedom Party

  3. At least there are elections in the U.S, like I have said before, democracy is not perfect, it is the only system that works. As for China, even the people of Hong Kong are reluctant to be part of a future gobal super power, because the people cannot vote to choose who will be their leader. Doing business with anyone is fine as long its accountable and open to scrutiny. However I find it very disturbing having a military base which will be a Chinese sovereign territory in Seychelles, because they are not a democratic country. This is nothing more than Le Pep prostituting our motherland so that they can keep living the high life and bribe their way to another election victory.

  4. I say, why all these arguments. Let the people of Seychelles decide in a referendum with a simple question: Do you want a Chinese military base in the Seychelles? Yes or No !!

  5. Athens region is heading into dangerous waters. I wonder what Michel has for breakfast that makes him blind to his idiotic antics?

    1. Two words....... Election victory.

  6. This will definitely upset the Indians, cold war in the Indian ocean between China and India. We have to think very carefully, Indians in the north, Indians in the west (Kenya with a large Indian population), Indians in the south (Mauritius), Yanks in the east, both being the world's largest democracies...... We fucked !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Michel stated in a statement to Seychelles News Agency to allegations of corruption against President James Michel as “unfounded” and has strongly denied any wrongdoing on the part of the President, according to a report in local daily newspaper ‘Today in Seychelles..............The President’s Office described the article as a “rehash of old news concerning the deficiencies of the Seychelles offshore sector in the past” and claimed it aimed to damage the reputation of the Seychelles....... Mr Michel, stop diverting the accusation from yourself on to Seychelles, the fact is that Mr Rene, you and Le Pep/SPPF/SPUP were in charge of the country and still is. What we need is a full independent inquiry into the allegations made against you, Rene and your party, NOT Seychelles.

  8. If Seychelles is a Democracy, it cannot and should not accept a PRC communist baser essence and facilities for stock, ship repair, logistics.

    But Seychelles is a communist country.

    Remember this all readers: SPPF and pl, have repeatedly professed their affiliation with the Communist Party of PRC.

    USA has not gotten that yet, after all these years.

    Now they will just bomb us.

    Seselwa Unite,

    Sesel Pou Seselwa!

    Christopher Gill

  9. Gill gill is right.
    USA will just surgically bomb installations as they go up.
    They will use drones.
    Michel is a real moron.
    You cannot play USA. They are not. Tin pot country. They are what is referred to as a SUPERPOWER.

  10. It was the press corps of State House that made this statement to TODAY paper. It is TODAY that published this important statement without further QUESTION, as if it is a mouthpiece of STATE HOUSE. The rehash of old news, has never been refuted. It is prima facie case of fraud and attempt to defraud, because no sitting President should even register an offshore account and company.
    The allegations also address collusion by Michel and Glennyn Savy in business. They are not just government functionaries. They are partners in BUSINESS. Savy wife handles his company according to the source.

    Today went to sleep big time on this story.

    Editor should resign.

    Take up a judgeship for PL unless she breaks the story as she should have in the first place. Walking on fences can get you cut with broken bottles on the wall at times Nicole Tirant.

  11. The allegations of corruption are long standing allegations against the Michel Administration and predecessor Rene Administration which he formed a part of as Minister of Defence, Minister of Finance, and Vice President.
    These allegations have never been denied by the Michel Administration.
    This is the first time ever, that Michel Administration denies an allegation in TODAY.
    What leaves me speechless and dumbfounded, is that TODAY allowed Michel Administration to deny the allegations and turn the page, without putting the details of the allegations to the Administration.
    After all, Nicole Tirant, Editor is no nursery room news journalist. She has been at the forefront at exposing the human rights abuses in Seychelles, and as a lawyer, can easily understand the allegations of corruption, money laundering and so forth.
    We expect better from Nicole Tirant.
    Example, the complicity of any sitting president opening an offshore account and company managed by the Director of a parastatal and/or his wife, is unheard of in a democratic country, and it would not stand as status quo.
    No journal would let that issue slide under the carpet. They would research that company, bank accounts, and call for President to step down.
    Is TODAY still independent or not?
    Seselwa Unite!
    Sesel Pou Seselwa!
    Christopher Gill
    Seychelles Freedom Party

  12. Remember Michel, July is ASS-PI-RA-TION month.
    Why is it unfounded?
    It is the truth.
    The people of Seychelles are determined to find the bottom line of you.

    Nou pou parreiy en pikan lo zot deryer ki tan zantan zot a bezen GRATE.
    C'est sa nou laspirasyon! Not only releasing balloons in the air and smile with every cameras!

  13. EN MOMOMENT AVEK EN VOLER!!Just watch him straight in his eye Seychellios.

  14. The people of Seychelles do not accept any present of Chinese Navy regardless of it seize in its territorial Watrers disguise as "A Base to flight Piracy"There is on one hand nothing to prove that Chinese has been the main actor in flighting piracy when it existed in our EEZ,most piracy interventions were made by Europeans not Chinese.

    ,Movevoer,Piracy has been radciated in our EEZ,there might have rarely irregular attempt of piracy acts in the golf of EDen, but Pp the golf of Eden is not Seychelles' waters.Furthermore if Euroepeans,which have the biggest maount of naval ships operating in the region do not find it necessary to have a permanent naval base in the region, to do what they been doing ,Why Chinese should?

    Seychelles as a Non-aliegnemnt country should not allow it EEZ to be used by foreign forces for their own interests.Chinese a communist country which have been agrressing its neighbours should be allow to set foot in our territories regardless partielpep/Chinese accuses or reasons.

    What Seychelles nedds as a sovereign country is not dependency of foreign naval forces to to perform the protection of its territorial waters but its own Navy,better eiquiped ,etc...

    We cataogricaly refuse any Chinese Naval base in our teorritires ,Seychelles is not Tibet and the people of Seychelles have no special relationship with Chinese that ti should allow a dictatorial state to base its navy in our Waters.

    Seychelles must not become geo-poltical victim of Chinese and feud of Partilepep teorrists.Seychelles as a people must choose their friends not a gang of old Pp thugs

    Finally, Chinese already have signed Naval deals with Maldives and Sri lanka,thus it has already naval agreement with those countries in the Indian Ocean that could allow it to fight piracy (which I repeat no longer exist in Seychelles^waters) so why the need of a Chinese Naval base in our warters.

    We must remember that Chinese even before piracy existed was eager to have a Naval Base in our EEZ not to fight piracy but to extend its control in the region.Seychelles /SEYCHELLOIS MUST REFUSE THAT THEIR COUNTRY'S TEORIROTIRES IS USED BY ANY FOREIGN FOCRE A PLAYINF FLIELD THUS PUT OUR OWN INTERESTS AT RISKS.So no to Chinese naval base in EEZ and that regardless of its sieze and purposes.

    A REFERENDUM would be needed in order that Seychellois decides that is good or not good for them ,not by PP dictation and Chinese neo-colonialistic mentality.

    As Miche, been parroting about UNITY,reconciliation hence they continue to dictate their will on the seychelleois people and make illegal decisions as the attempt to allow Chinese Communists naval base in our waters.These crooked atitudes do not help Unity the country but further divide it.

    Stop raping Seychelles Constitutiion Partilepep?Sesel Pou Seselwa not Chinese and PP terrorists.

    Jeanne D'Arc

  15. Why should a President in excise Open an OFFSHORE company abroad in discretion while he and his gang members were officially offering OFFSHORES companies all kinds to conditions to bank their money in Seychelles^offshore companies?It seems the only convincing motivation behind Michel offshore company abroad is because he has something to hide.

    Pp denies the allegation by phone.Seychellois would have either like that pp mouthpiece come out in front of the free press and be challenged on the allegation.I could imagine Pp realizes that not denying accusation in the press riase suspicions and why not a denial that would make us believe Pp did not do it. it is Denial as tactic .

    Jeanne D'Arc

  16. Seychellois should not tolerate the contence insult attempts by both Communist Pp and Chinese in our territories.No constitutional causes give any government carte blanche to diciding on an important issues in regards to our country's sovereignty and terrirtorial integrity of our homeland to a gang of old Pp monkeys.

    Seychelles is an independent country and has a dutyto secure iots teorritorial waters by its own means.There is no piracy in our EEZ as international reports have been demonstrating for the last 5 years and there is no reasons even piracy would still exist for any foreign country to open permanent naval base on our soil.

    Of course ,Pp têrorirsts would like to gift Chinese communist permanent naval base in our waters then as we see in Sysria,Chinese would in return provide cover for the Paritlepep toerrist system in place and help ti proliferate.I t would be a win-win situation for Both communist PPp and China--on one hand Chinese sure a base in the region to extend its control over the region on the other hand Chinese communist protect the crooked system that illegally allow its naval presents in our terrirtoiries.

    Morevoer Seychellois feel because of their decendent closer to western countries and their values and not to Chinese.Chinese is a non-democratic country and Seychelles government should not have repaltion with such dictaotiral country(unless we have also a srooked system in place ,which is the case since 1977).

    Chinese is known for its gorss Huamn right abuses----For instance, the Chinese ethnic minority(UIGHURS) leader has been jailed and deprived from food as UN report recently made public.And not to forget TIBET which Chinese communist has annexed and recent aggression by Chinese of its neighbours from Vietnam,Japan, South Korea,Philippines,etc....

    Seychelleois must rember that "If Asein countires thus Chinese neighoubr do not love and like Chinese to which they search amny thinks in common why should we Seychellois who has nothing particularly in common with Chinese love the Chinese and even allow them to rape our territorial integrity?

    Jeanne DÂrc

  17. Michel dictates a usual what Seychellois should like and want.Aspiration of Seychellois is not what Michel comes from the stinking mouth of Michel but what the people ijpires namely Freedom,Free society in which they are the decision amkers not a half brain monkey like Michel.A functional government elected by the people ,for the people and by the people.

    Michel the donkey also speak about the needs to rstore our Constitution ,which iôn one hand shows that Michel is consicint that its system is illegal but also that the Consitution holds the conditions on how government should perform and act .But strangely instead of walking the talk Michel and his gang ,has unilaterally deicded to write Chinese Communist government an open leter asking them to colonize our Land like it did in Tibet and that by offering Chinese dictorial system to open a naval base ôn the sohres of our sovereign country.Michel the donkey celebrate Indepedence than illegally wants Chinese to annex our land like Tibet.What is indepedenct for You ,Butcher Michel?Neo-colonization and annexation?

    Jeanne D'Arc

  18. Chinese intension in the Indain Coean is geo-political nothing to do with fighting piracy or what -so -ever-.Already in 2004,Maldives confronted by The west ,admitted to secretly having Chinese military team on its soil.Morevoer,Chinese planned to established a SUBMARINE base on Malidvies' Island"MARAO"(special report Chinese base stragety 27th July 2001)But premature publicity scuttled the project.

    What Chinese is searching in Seychelles is inplanting its naval forces in our terrirtories ,use us a scapegoat and make us cvictims of goe-politcal expansion of super powers.It is Chineses way of expansionism by the violation of others terrirotires with the help of crooked regional government like Seychelles government.

    Chinese recently gifted Seychelles ,a patrol ship and for strange reasons is making the test before cfommission in our Waters which is not a common practice,These tests is pre-meditated for it gives Chinese naval pre-avaluations of our waters before even setting a base.The submarine base is said to be operational since 2010.

    Pp and Chinese think now Seychelles must be the next victim of their illicit deals.

    Seychellois should in anyway allow this to happen.Non-align means to be not on any sides, and the best way to keep the non-alignment principles is by no favouring noe side or another.

    NO TO DICTAOTRIAL CHINESE naval base in our waters.No to modern slavery and annexation.


  19. En moman avek en lacarleng; he never mention about the disapperance of morgan and hasan.He talked briefly about 5th June! But why not during the butchering days? Bring it out! God will forgive you! Those family members are waitting your aspiration! This is THE MONTH! You talk the talk...but does not walk the walk!

  20. Chinese are not people who repect others sovereignty as it has shown by its aggressions of its neighbor nor does Chinese Like Seychellois people as we seeing it and PP doing illicit deals behind our people back without our people approval.This shows and give us more reasons why we should never let Chinese And Pp build Naval base in our Territorial waters be it small,Medium, or big.

    Chinese wants to abuse our teorritories for Chinese National interest.Chinese has military agreement with Maldives,Has naval base already in Sri lanka,deal with Pakistan .

    We donot want Chinese present in any form in our waters.
    Pricacy has been radicated by EUROPEANS and there is no more pirates to fight agisnt as Chinese/pp want to tell us.Even when Pirates were attacking us, we did not see Chinese as main actor helping us in the ifhht but Indian,EUropeans,Why is it that now Chinese/Pp wants to ifght pirates when they< have been radicated.?Well,all t^reptextes by PP to allow Chinese communist present in our waters in retrun for protection and sponsorship of the one aprt state system.Chinesese of course want to make deal with a one aprty state system for the one aprty system as dictatorial system would allows sell out their country and people and because no Democratic Seychelles government ewould evewr allow Chinese present in our EEZ under whatever excuses.

    If Partielpep allow Chinese to base in our waters ,then Pp must be ready to face military force right now instead of 2016.



  21. Michel parots about Unity as if it is a vague word .good to mention in speeches.We are talking about NATIONAL UNITY Michel----the one that bring oneness to the Nation.And one step of achieving National Unity is having for instance ,a NATIONAL UNITY (COALITION)GOVERNMENT which includes all parties.(political power sharing).Engagement not speeches Michel.

    Michel is right to preach on Unity but we cannot be exonerated from the circumstances that creates the present situation.

    NATIONAL UNITY pp is:whereby people of different (in our case)Political opinions,social and economic system are brought together to have a common goal(Common goals Michel can only happen when all are involve not your dictation and ridiculous speeches on UNITY),The people have mutual understanding,love ,co-operation and trsut among them.They are united,tolerant and have faith in their fatherland.They de-emphazies their differences and stress more on their common goals.

    So far Pp is making speeches thus factors which wrok against Natiional Unity and integration.What Michel keeps doing is habour doubts regarding National UNITY.For National integration ,the people of the land,must together in one emotional thread.There can be no National Unity unless all people come together and consider themselves as ONE.

    Morevoer, Michel ,Maybe explain to you ^maron what a Nation is, could make you idiot understand why Unity is important. A Nation ,maron,Therefore is an aggregation of individuals living together,and pursuing common collective is the community of purpose which keeps people UNiteD and give them strength and prosperity.Therefore,the secret of our survival and progress lies in holding fast to the rope of UNITY.

    Those who like Pp marons who look for disunity and disintegration are the enemy of our can be achieved by projecting on the ideology basis on which Seychelles comes into existence namely FREEDOM--.It guarantee social justice and does not allow any kind of discrimination .

    Jeanne D'Arc

  22. Paritlepep invite Chinese to colnize us---who authorize paritlepep to unilateral invite Chinese dictoatirla State to build naval base in our sovereign country?Under which Constitution Partielepep?Who the hell you thin kyou are to decide in Seychellois place who would be their friends or not?

  23. If Chinese wants to fight phantom pirates or any types of pirates there is in no way a need to build a special and a naval base for Chinese or nay other countries.Or Maybe Partielepep marons thinks each country that proclaim fighting pirates in Seychelles waters can have their own naval base?

    No to CHINESE occupation of Seychelles,No to communist tyranny,No to annexation of our sovereign land by Crooked nations like Chinese ,Russian etc...

  24. En mouman avek Onezime .

  25. Jean Paul is a very polite gentleman.
    This makes him qualified to be President of Seychelles
    It does not matter what he does behind that politeness such as stuff Human Rights stuff money laundering issues, stuff human trafficking, stuff corruption, all mud his polite demeanor,

  26. Michel said multi parties were important for the transition process needed at that time during his un moment avec un dictateur sauvage, illetrer.
    He is implying that we don't need other parties now. Watch out opposition people. You will all be sent to outer islands to help the Chinese build their bases.

  27. Hekp Chinese build base?Waht,there would be no Chinese base on our shores.I got the feeling paritlepep thinks Seychellis has an obligation to give away its territoriy to Chinese thus dannex our island,rpae our sovereignty,create geo-political problems in the region and our waters.Chinese belongs in Chinese Sea not in Seychelles territorial waters.We sovereign and have to defence our sovereignty,territorial integrtity,security,peace from foreign invasion--and Chinese illegal attempt to build an illegal Naval base in our territories is a threat to sovereignty,out territorial integrity and therefore must be fought against by all means.

    We must never allow Chines with the help of partilepep crooks turn Seychelles orvpart of it into TIBET.

  28. En momann avek SOUNGOULA-/UAKARI Michel.


  29. An illegal invitation by üü minority and illegal rulers for illegal Chinesse Naval base will means colonization and we ,ust be ready t ofight foreign intruders and pp thugs with all our force.We took independence to be independent not to allow a gang of idiot call pp to gifted our patrimony to Chinese communist and annex thereby our land ,turn it into a platform for foreign activities which redicule sovereignty and rape our territorial integrity.

    The most actice in fighting priates when we were faced with the problem were EUropeans and Indain.None of therm found it necessary to have eachone their own naval base in our waters.There isno justifixation,reason that it to be different forchinese who just want to colonize our land

  30. USA is watching each move. The naval vessels are getting larger. The demur rage of fuel by Sepec is noted. The increase of air strips and enlargement of island airports is being monitored carefully. Movement of facilities on watch. Expansion do Ile Du Port.


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