PHNOM PENH - About 40 percent of the
construction work on a China-funded new national stadium here has so far been
completed, Thong Khon, president of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia,
said on Wednesday.
The stadium is being built by the China State Construction
Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) under the Chinese grant aid of 1.1 billion
Chinese yuan (about $160 million), he said.
Work on the project began in August 2017.
"The construction has been underway well. To date, about 40
percent of the construction has been completed and the project will be fully
finished by the end of 2020," Thong Khon said at a ceremony marking the
start of installing prefabricated stands for the stadium's 55,000 seats.
The ceremony indicated that the kingdom's largest stadium
started taking shape, he said.
Thong Khon, who is also the minister of tourism, admired the
CSCEC for using the latest technology and high-quality materials to construct
the stadium, which was born of close cooperation between the two countries
under the Belt and Road Initiative.
He said the project had created 580 jobs for Cambodian and
Chinese workers, and through it, Cambodian workers would get better experience
in their construction skills.
According to the master plan, the 39.9-meter-tall stadium will
be built in the shape of a sailing ship in which both of its prows are 99
meters tall, and it will be encircled by an ancient Angkor-style moat.
"The sailing ship symbolizes a long-standing traditional
friendship between our two countries because Chinese people used to travel by
sailing ship to Cambodia in ancient times," Thong Khon said.
The five-storey stadium covers a 16-hectare parcel in the
85-hectare Morodok Techo National Sports Complex, which is located
approximately 15 km north of central Phnom Penh.
It will serve as the main venue for tournaments when Cambodia
hosts the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in 2023, the minister said.