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China to fund Pacific Games stadium in the Solomon Islands

BEIJING, CHINA - OCTOBER 9: (L-R)Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People on October 9, 2019 in Beijing, China. (Phtoto by Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images)

China has stepped in to bankroll the construction of the main stadium for the 2023 Pacific Games in the Solomon Islands, after the host nation struggled to fund the project.

China is taking over the funding of the stadium from Taiwan/Chinese Taipei, which had previously pledged to provide it. Last month, the Solomon Islands broke diplomatic ties with Taipei, in order to establish relations with China.

Solomon Business Magazine reported that the deputy chief of mission at the Chinese embassy in Port Moresby, in neighbouring Papua New Guinea, this week visited Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands. The Chinese official, Yao Ming, said Beijing’s support for the games would be in the form of grants, not loans, meaning there would be no repayment required. Local media reports said the grant offered was worth $74m (€67m).

Papua New Guinea has also committed around $17m to infrastructure for the 2023 Pacific Games. Indonesia has volunteered to fund the football facilities, and the United Arab Emirates is reported to be funding the aquatic centre.