IN a positive sign for diplomatic relations, Taiwan has offered to help the Solomon Islands build a sports stadium for the 2023 Pacific Games being hosted in the country
Following reports that a private delegation of government officials from the Solomon Islands had made a surprise trip to Beijing on June 16, the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands recently gave a direct message of thanks to the government of Taiwan, in a positive signal for diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela of the Solomon Islands, speaking to the General Assembly of the Pacific Games Council (PGC) on Monday June 18, said that the Solomon Islands would like to specifically thank the government of Taiwan for pledging their assistance to the country ahead of the 2023 Pacific Games.
Houenipwela was quoted by Inside the Games, as saying “I am happy to announce to the PGC that the Government of Taiwan have given my Government an assurance it will assist my country to build a main stadium for the Pacific Games. We welcome this and are very thankful to our donors.”
The Prime Minister was speaking to the PGC to give a progress report on the country’s preparations for the event. Houenipwela has reportedly taken direct ministerial responsibility for ensuring the games are a success.
“We are committed that all the requirements for the sporting facilities will be built well in time for the 2023 Pacific Games,” Houenipwela was quoted as saying.
From the Prime Minister’s remarks it appears Taiwan has made a considerable effort to assist the Solomon Islands achieve that goal, by offering to construct the primary venue for the Games, a 12,000 person capacity sports stadium located in Panatina, a suburb of the capital Honiara, reports Inside the Games.
An athletic track is also reportedly included in the venue plans. Several other facilities are also called for according to reports, but it is unclear what role, if any, Taiwan will have with the other facilities.
Currently the 2023 Games are expected to be held June 14 to 28.
Hopefully, the offer of Taiwan to construct the stadium, and the Prime Minister’s statement of gratitude before the PCG suggests that diplomatic ties between Taiwan and the Solomon Islands will remain stable for the foreseeable future.