Cambodia has officially opened its new, China-funded national stadium in Phnom Penh, staging a special launch event to mark the occasion.
The $150m (£113.3m/€132.8m), 60,000-capacity Morodok Techo National Stadium hosted a three-hour event at the weekend, with Cambodian Prime Minister, Samdech Techo Hun Sen, and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia, Wang Wentian, among those in attendance.
The event featured a sports parade, martial arts and traditional dances and was attended by almost 20,000 people, according to the Xinhua news agency.
Construction on the stadium, which will be the centrepiece venue for when Cambodia hosts the Southeast Asian Games in May of 2023, was completed in August, with work having initially commenced in 2017.
The stadium was formally handed over to Cambodian authorities in September ahead of this month’s opening.
“We believe that Cambodia will make the Games a great one to show its national image, promote national development and inspire national spirit,” the Chinese ambassador said.
The venue, entirely funded by China, is based 10km north of downtown Phnom Penh in the Chroy Changvar District. The stadium is designed to resemble a sailing ship, symbolising the two nations’ long-standing friendship as Chinese people used to travel to Cambodia by boat.
It is surrounded by a moat that has been inspired by the body of water encompassing the Angkor Wat temple complex.