Work has begun on the Pacific Games Village in the Solomon Islands ©Pacific Games 2023

Work has begun on the Village for the 2023 Pacific Games at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) Kukum Campus after a ground-breaking ceremony attended by the Prime Minister and Games Organising Committee President Manasseh Sogavare and Chinese ambassador Li Ming.

The project has been bankrolled by China as part of "China Aid."

Solomon Islands Government sources stated the cost as $21.4 million (£18 million/€21.28 million).

"That is the biggest China Aid project in the pacific region, both Governments agreed to support the project that will also be used for the Games Village," Li said.

"It proves China has goodwill and good intentions of developing a relationship with the Solomon Islands and that China always honours its commitment and we waste no time in delivering."

The Village will be built by the Jiangsu Provincial Construction Group, a Chinese building firm.

The construction site covers 10,183 square metres.

Village accommodation is expected to consist of three dormitories, four storeys high, which will provide 216 rooms with more than 900 beds during the Pacific Games.

The project also includes an activity hall with equipment and is expected to be complete by June 2023.

"You only have about 15 months to complete the project so it will be extremely tight for you," Sogavare warned.

"My Government stands ready to assist the project managers and the contractors in whatever way we can to ensure the 2023 Pacific Games project are delivered on time and budget."

Li added: "China is committed to building a community for a shared future for everyone, we stand firmly to help our Solomon Islands friends."

The Solomon Islands Premier has set a target of 40 medals at the Games,

"China is ready and willing to share our knowledge and expertise and we can provide training opportunities for Solomon Islands athletes," Li revealed.

Taiwan had originally seemed set to build the facilities for the Games but the deal with Beijing was struck after a visit to China by Sogavare.

The agreement has caused concern with American and Australian Governments who see the growth of Beijing’s influence as a potential cause of instability in the region.

The Games are scheduled to begin on November 19 2023.