04 February 2020
Yao Ming.

THE timing of Chinese funded projects earmarked for Solomon Islands will be delayed a bit due to the current novel coronavirus outbreak in China.

Counsellor (Political) and Deputy Chief of Mission for the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Papua New Guinea Yao Ming told the local journalist yesterday in Honiara.

He said the outbreak will affect the ongoing progress of work on some of the big projects earmarked for this year between the government of China and Solomon Islands.

It was understood that since the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two governments last year numbers of big projects were year marked to be kicked off this year.

One of them is the national stadium for the Pacific Games 2023 which will be hosted in Honiara.

Counsellor Ming told the local journalists that initially they have been expecting an official delegation from China’s government in charge of these projects to arrive in Honiara this week.

“But it has to be reschedule due to all the travel restrictions caused by coronavirus outbreak,” Ming said.

They were supposed to be in the country to meet with the government to further foster the arrangements for the big projects.

When asked about the timing, Ming said at the moment they are not sure how long the work to curb the coronavirus will take.

“As we know China’s government is doing all its best to contain and treat it so that it did not reach the countries with weak health system,” he added.

Ming further added that Solomon Islands is one of those countries which he supported the travel restrictions enforced by Solomon Islands government last week.

He assured the government and the people of Solomon Islands that as soon as the coronavirus issue is addressed they will progress further with all the projects.

Ming said his government is aware of the timing of the PG2023 and will take the stadium project as priority.

Meanwhile, certain individuals and the public are questioning when the government and the responsible authorities will start working on the stadium with the other sporting facilities.

It is understood that the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) is also working ahead to help China’s government in this PG2023 stadium project.

Other big projects to be funded by China are the Water Treatment Facility, Hospital and other smaller projects which will be directed to the rural areas.