The Chinese government on Monday began a 7.6 million US dollars renovation project of the 35,000 capacity sports complex in Monrovia capital of Liberia.
At a high-level commencement ceremony, Chinese Ambassador Lin Songtian said he hopes that the renovation of the sports complex will play an "important role in promoting national reconciliation,mutual understanding, unity and dignity for a sports-loving nation and strengthen the friendship between China and Liberia".
Lin observed that since the signing of the peace agreement in August of 2003, which brought to an end 14 years of civil war in Liberia, "significant changes have taken place in the country," adding that, "with the strong support of the international community and the United Nations, the war is over and peace is back to Liberia."
The Chinese ambassador recalled that the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries in October 2003 has laid a political foundation for the friendly cooperation in all fields ranging from sports and manpower development to the provision of experts in the fields of agriculture and health care as well as road construction machinery.
"The Chinese government will spare no efforts and take specific measures to encourage Chinese enterprises to Liberia to conduct mutually beneficial economic cooperation so as to seek our common development," Lin said.
Deputy General Manager Zheng Yuzhu of the Hunan Constructing Engineering Group Corporation, one of China's top 60 contractors and design firms, which is renovating the sports complex said the renovation works would be completed within 20 months.
Zheng assured that "we are not only going to get the project done, but we will also transfer the knowledge to Liberians of how to get it done."
Liberia's transitional head of state Gyude Bryant described the project as a "historic milestone" and one that would "cement ties between the two countries".
The sports complex was constructed by China in 1986, but it has been in a dilapidated state for almost 14 years, playing host to thousands of internally displaced people as a result of many years of war.