State House

Office of the President of The Republic of Seychelles


"Distant Horizons" launched in Beijing

The Chinese version of President James Michel's autobiography "Distant Horizons" has been launched in Beijing during his working visit to China.

At the invitation of the Seychelles Embassy in China, a large audience attended the official launching of the book. Among them were  political leaders, ambassadors, high officials representing some of the leading Chinese industries, investment groups and tourism organisations, as well as a large number of journalists and travel agents gathered for the occasion. Also in attendance was a group of 25 Seychellois students coming from various provinces of China.

Addressing the guests after the book had been unveiled, President Michel declared that it was a source of pride for him to realize that, through his writing, many local friends and many Chinese readers will have a chance to discover what makes Seychelles so unique.
"By understanding us better you will also find out why two countries and two peoples, different in so many respects, have learnt to sincerely and deeply appreciate each other and have become such good friends," the President told the assembled guests.
Explaining the rationale behind his book, President Michel said that his aim had been to put in writing the greatest part of what he wanted to say about his personal journey in life, his background, his family, his friends, his education, his beliefs, his political career, the joys and achievements of his life as well as his shortcomings as a human being, and his belief in a better world.
The President noted that he hoped to cover a number of issues that he had not exhausted in his book on another occasion. 
"For one's journey, once started, is never over," he said.
Earlier, in his preliminary remarks, Seychelles Ambassador to China, Mr. Phillipe Le Gall, had informed the audience that during the morning talks at the Great Hall of the People, President Michel had announced to Vice-President Xi Jinping that Seychelles would offer a pair of giant tortoises to the Beijing Zoo to mark 35 years of excellent diplomatic relations.

Mr. Le Gall also announced that the Government of Seychelles has officially invited world-acclaimed Chinese movie director Zhang Yimou - who directed the opening and closing ceremonies of the last Olympic Games - to visit Seychelles and film the archipelago, an initiative aimed at promoting Seychelles in China.

Ambassador Le Gall referred to the book of President Michel, now available in Chinese, the first most spoken language in the world, as a perfect illustration of the saying "Nothing great is easy", this being particularly true when it comes to political commitment and to a life-long dedication to the well-being of the Seychellois people.

During the ceremony, President Michel handed copies of his book to several dignitaries including the President of CATIC, the Vice President of HUAWEI, the Vice-President of Beijing Tourism Group, the Secretary General of China International Culture and Friendship Festival, the Director General of the International Eco-Safety Organization and China's most famous navigator, ZHAI Mo, who is expected to sail to Seychelles in 2012 with 6 ships and a crew of 100, as part of the events to mark 150 years of Chinese presence.

It was also confirmed that a group of 50 Chinese couples would get married in Seychelles next year and that the final of the Global Cultural Ambassador Award would also be held on Mahé, as part of a program of activities to mark the historic and friendly links between Seychelles and China.