PHNOM PENH, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia inaugurated a China-funded national stadium in the northern suburbs of the capital Phnom Penh on Saturday with a sports parade, martial arts, and traditional dances.
Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian presided over the three-hour event, which was attended by nearly 20,000 people.
Speaking at the ceremony, Hun Sen said the 60,000-seat stadium will be the centerpiece venue for tournaments when Cambodia hosts the Southeast Asian Games for the first time in May 2023.
He expressed his profound gratitude to China for building the stadium for Cambodia, saying that it was a great achievement in the country's sports sector.
The stadium is just one of many China-funded achievements in Cambodia, he said, and it is another fruit of the iron-clad friendship between Cambodia and China.
The project took four years to be completed by the China State Construction Engineering Corporation under China's grant aid.
Quoting the remarks of Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the handover ceremony of the stadium in September this year, the Chinese ambassador said that the stadium will become a vital landmark of the traditional friendship between the two countries with symbolic significance.
"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.
Located about 18 km in the northern part of the capital, the 39.9-meter-tall stadium was built in the shape of a "sailing ship" with both prows 99 meters tall, and was encircled by an ancient Angkor-style moat.