China support to Solomon Islands Pacific Games



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Solomon Island stadium handed over Image: Government of the Solomon Island and GCU Press

China has handed over to the Solomon Islands (country in Oceania) the stadium project for the upcoming 2023 Pacific Games, at a ceremony held on August 18th in Honiara, the capital City of the island country.

‘Global Times’ stated that the Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said at the ceremony that the 2023 Pacific Games Stadium Project is “a gift” from the Government and the people of China to the Government and the people of Solomon Islands – “Today (August 18th) this relationship has been taken to new heights as we witness the handing over of the facilities to our country and to our people.”

The 2023 Pacific Games, officially known as the XVII Pacific Games, will be a continental multisport event for the Oceania countries and territories and is scheduled to be held in Honiara, Solomon Islands between November 19th-December 2nd, 2023.

‘Global Times’ quoted Li Ming, the Chinese Ambassador to the Solomon Islands, as stating, “This is a symbol of the China-Solomon Islands friendship and a source of pride for the people of the Solomon Islands. It is a significant achievement of the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative between China and the Solomon Islands.”

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a strategy initiated by the People’s Republic of China that seeks to connect Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks with the aim of improving regional integration, increasing trade and stimulating economic growth.

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 boasts an aquatic center, a six-court tennis center, a five-a-side hockey field, and a multipurpose 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.

The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (construction engineering company) and the Central South Architectural Design Institute (research institute in Wuhan, China) have worked on the construction part.

Beijing (China)-based the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Limited was established in June 1979 under the approval of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China.

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 Ming.

In November, the Government and the people of 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.

Recently, 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.

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