PHNOM PENH, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- About 40 percent of the construction work on a China-funded new national stadium here has so far been completed, Thong Khon, president of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, said on Wednesday.
The stadium is being built by the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) under the Chinese grant aid of 1.1 billion Chinese yuan (about 160 million U.S. dollars), he said.
Work on the project began in August 2017.
"The construction has been underway well. To date, about 40 percent of the construction has been completed and the project will be fully finished by the end of 2020," Thong Khon said at a ceremony marking the start of installing prefabricated stands for the stadium's 55,000 seats.
The ceremony indicated that the kingdom's largest stadium started taking shape, he said.
Thong Khon, who is also the minister of tourism, admired the CSCEC for using the latest technology and high-quality materials to construct the stadium, which was born of close cooperation between the two countries under the Belt and Road Initiative.
He said the project had created 580 jobs for Cambodian and Chinese workers, and through it, Cambodian workers would get better experience in their construction skills.
According to the master plan, the 39.9-meter-tall stadium will be built in the shape of a sailing ship in which both of its 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 our two countries 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 approximately 15 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, the minister said.