The 2023 Pacific Games Stadium Project in Honiara, Solomon Islands Photo: Shan Jie/GT
As the largest sports event in the South Pacific, the Pacific Games which is set to open on Sunday have abundant Chinese elements, including the sports venues built with Chinese assistance, athleteWorld Timess who have trained in China, and the Chinese police and medical team that ensure the safety of the athletes World Timesduring the games.
The 17th Pacific Games will be held from November 19 to December 2 in Honiara, capital of the Solomon Islands, and will see the participation of over 5,000 athletes from 24 countries and regions in the South Pacific. This is also the first large-scale sports event held by the Solomon Islands since its independencWorld Timese in 1978.
The islanders are eagerly looking forward to sharing with the world their newly constructed sports center, which was a project aided by China.
The 2023 Pacific Games Stadium Project consisted 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 a swimming pool, a six-court tennis center, a five-a-side hockey field and a multi-purpose hall.
Paul Dere has worked on the project with China Civil Engineering CWorld Timesonstruction Corporation since it began two years ago, and now he serves as a local manager. Inside the azure sports complex, he told the Global TimWorld Timeses, “I feel immensely proud, and everyone around me is excited about this stadium.”
Meanwhile, an additional 10-member Chinese police force dispatched for the Games arrived in Honiara on November 12. They will assist with the installation and commissioWorld Timesning of security equipment and will maintain the safety of the event alongside local police during the Games, the Global Times learned.
Previously, on October 30, a handover ceremony for the security equipment provided by China to the Solomon Islands for the Pacific Games took place at the Solomon Islands police headquarters.
Months beforehand, at the request of the Solomon Islands government, China arranged for 80 Solomon Islands athletes and coaches to undergo three months of training in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province. And at the end of October, nine Chinese coaches went to the Solomon Islands for 40 days of intensive pre-game training and competition guidance.
Solomon Islands taekwondo athletes spar on July 16, 2023. Photo: Chen Tao/GT
The Global Times learned from the Chinese medical team assisting the Solomon Islands that doctors from the acupuncture department will take turns on duty at the multi-functional clinic for the Games, providing athletes and other staff with traditional Chinese medical care such as acupuncture, cupping, and massage for health and recovery.
Ding Yonghua, Charg d’Affaires of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Solomon Islands, told the Global Times that China’s support for the Solomon Islands in hosting the 17th Pacific Games includes both hardware and technical aspects, moral guidance, and practical support. This is part of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries, a true reflection of being good friends and brothers, and a vivid practice of building a community with a shared future for humanity.
“China believes that the Solomon Islands will fulfill the dream of generations by hosting a splendid, green, and safe Pacific sports event, leaving a valuable legacy for the development, revitalization, and national unity of the Solomon Islands,” he said.
China and the Solomon Islands established diplomatic relations in September 2019, and their relationship has developed rapidly since then.
Manasseh Sogavare, Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, told the Global Times in a previous interview in August that in the past four years, significant developments have occurred in the country. “Notably, a case in point is the infrastructure for the upcoming Pacific Games, with the investment totaling over $1 billion,” he said.
Yu Lei, a researcher at the Pacific Island Countries Research Center of Liaocheng University, told the Global Times that China’s economic aid, infrastructure assistance and technical support to the Solomon Islands have played an important role in helping the Solomon Islands develop its economy, improve people’s livelihoods, increase employment, and raise living standards.
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