PHNOM PENH, May 12 (Xinhua) -- The construction work on a China-funded national stadium here is currently halfway towards completion, Thong Khon, president of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, said on Sunday.
The stadium is being developed by the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) under the Chinese aid of 1.1 billion Chinese yuan (about 160 million U.S. dollars).
"To date, about 50 percent of the project has been finished and it is expected that the whole project will be completed by the end of 2020," he said at a ceremony marking the completion of the stadium's main structures.
Thong Khon, who is also the minister of tourism, added that some 70 percent of the stadium's 60,000 seats had already been installed and will be completely built by July this year.
Meanwhile, the minister encouraged everyone involved in the project to remain committed so that the construction would be finished within the scheduled time.
Li An, the economic and commercial councilor at the Chinese embassy in Cambodia, said the stadium will serve as a symbol of solid friendship between China and Cambodia.
"I believe that the stadium will not only serve as a key venue for sports events, but also be an attractive place for tourists," he said.
According to the master plan, the 39.9-meter-tall stadium will be built in the shape of a sailing ship in which its both 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 Cambodia and China 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 18 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.