China-built stadium for Pacific Games handed over to Solomon Islands
Published: Aug 19, 2023 12:21 AM
The handing-over ceremony for the 2023 Pacific Games Stadium Project on August 18, 2023 in Honiara, Solomon Islands Photo: Courtesy of the Chinese Embassy in the Solomon Islands

The handing-over ceremony for the 2023 Pacific Games Stadium Project on August 18, 2023 in Honiara, Solomon Islands Photo: Courtesy of the Chinese Embassy in the Solomon Islands

China has handed over to the Solomon Islands the stadium project for the upcoming 2023 Pacific Games, at a ceremony on Friday in Honiara, the capital city of the island country.

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said at the ceremony that the 2023 Pacific Games Stadium Project is "a gift" from the government and people of China to the government and people of the Solomon Islands.

"Today this relationship is taken to new heights as we witness the handing over of the facilities to our country and to our people," he said.

"This is a symbol of the China-Solomon Islands friendship and a source of pride for the people of the Solomon Islands," said Chinese Ambassador to the Solomon Islands Li Ming. "It is a significant achievement of the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative between China and the Solomon Islands."

The 2023 Pacific Games Stadium Project consists of seven separate project components, with the main venue being a 10,000-seat National Stadium complex with a full-size football and rugby field and running tracks that comply with international standards.

The project also has an aquatic center, a six-court Tennis center, a five-a-side hockey field and a multi-purpose hall.

The Pacific Games sports stadium is the largest-scale infrastructure project that China has assisted in building in the Pacific island region up to now.

China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and Central South Architectural Design Institute have worked on the construction.

In September 2019, China and the Solomon Islands officially established diplomatic relations. In September 2020, a Chinese design and survey team arrived in Honiara to initiate the stadium design work. In May 2021, the construction of the Chinese-aided sports stadium project officially began.

During the project's design and construction, China fully considered the traditional cultural characteristics of the Solomon Islands. The main stadium's appearance resembles a sailboat, drawing inspiration from the traditional Solomon Islands canoe.

Over the course of more than two years of project implementation, the Chinese construction enterprises have hired and trained nearly a thousand Solomon Islands employees, imparting professional skills to them. They have also procured building materials and other supplies worth millions of Solomon Islands dollars, promoting the economic development of the Solomon Islands and establishing a strong market reputation, according to Li.

In November, the government and people of the Solomon Islands will host the 17th Pacific Games in the brand-new sports stadium, welcoming tens of thousands of athletes and spectators from over 20 countries and regions.

In the future, the stadium will not only provide world-class sports facilities but also serve as an ideal place for the Solomon Islands people to engage in sports, fitness, leisure, and cultural celebrations.

Earlier this week, China donated a batch of training equipment to the Solomon Islands. Currently, 80 Solomon Islands athletes and coaches are undergoing specialized training in Panzhihua, Southwest China's Sichuan Province in preparation for the Pacific Games.

A Chinese professional coaching team has arrived in Honiara and will conduct management training for a one-month sports event.