The historic groundbreaking ceremony to officially begin construction of major sporting infrastructures in Honiara on May 5 has demonstrated the growth of the Solomon Islands-China relations in a short span of time.
The state of the art stadium project is one of the important outcomes of the consensus reached by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and Chinese President, Xi Jinping in 2019 when the two leaders formalized diplomatic relations in Beijing.
Chinese Ambassador to Solomon Islands Li Ming conveyed his special appreciation to Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and all cabinet ministers for their strategic and untiring efforts to ensure Solomon Islands maximize the benefits from this new and young relationship.
In October 2019, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare paid a historic visit to China and held a successful meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Both leaders reached important consensus on the blueprint for bilateral relations.
“Based on equality, respect and mutual benefit, the relationship has grown from strength to strength with tangible outcomes. The Stadium Project is one of the important outcomes,” Ambassador Li Ming said.
Ambassador Li Ming said Prime Minister Sogavare’s strategic vision, strong leadership and firm support of China-Solomon Islands relationship enables the Stadium Project to grow from a concept into reality.
The 2023 Pacific Games Stadium Project is the first major infrastructure project in Solomon Islands supported by the Chinese Government. It is also the largest state-of-art multi-purpose sports facility in the pacific islands region.
Once completed, the project will become the sports city of Solomon Islands. It will not only contribute to the success of the Pacific Games in 2023, but also help drive the economic engine of Solomon Islands, bring about new jobs and new business opportunities in areas such as infrastructure, tourism, technology transfer, labor training and many more.
As a genuine development partner and responsible country, China’s assistance to Solomon Islands is under the framework of South-to-South cooperation.
China always honors its commitment and never attaches political conditions to its foreign aid. China has provided large amount of medical supplies to Solomon Islands, including vaccines, which is the most powerful weapon to contain COVID-19.
China remains the largest trading partner of Solomon Islands and has granted duty-free treatment to 97% of Solomon exports, paving the way for further increasing export to China market.
The sub-national cooperation between China’s Guangdong Province and Guadalcanal Province, Fujian Province and Western Province, Jiangmen City and Honiara City have all made positive progress.
The Governments of Solomon Islands and China are also working closely together in areas such as agriculture, education and climate change. These are areas with big potentials and in the best interests of peoples of the two countries.
The China-Solomon Islands relationship has brought real benefits. The achievements made so far are based on One-China principle.
“I highly appreciate the rock solid commitment of the government of Solomon Islands and strong support of SI people on One-China principle. We are both developing countries. We share a lot of common interests and common language,” Ambassador Li Ming said.
He added that Chinese people are embarking on a new journey to build a modern socialist country with new vision, new development pattern and high quality and China will always be there on the path of development of Solomon Islands.