- China donated P370 million worth of rifles, ammunition to PH
- Additional P5 million given as assistance to slain soldiers’ families
- Chinese ambassador said country also willing to conduct counter-terror drills with PH
MANILA, Philippines – China turned over 3,000 rifles and 6 million pieces of ammunition worth P370 million to the Philippines amid the ongoing Marawi crisis
During the turnover ceremony held at Clark Airbase in Pampanga on Wednesday, Chinese ambassador Zhao Jinhua touted the donation as part of the growing ties between his country and the Philippines.
“It is a demonstration of our growing bilateral relationship. It’s also a demonstration of a new era of friendly and cooperative relationship between our two militaries,” the Philippine News Agency quoted him as saying.
Zhao added that they are preparing the second batch of weapons for delivery, in fulfillment of the P590 million worth of military assistance Beijing promised Manila.
“The second batch is being prepared by the Chinese side and will be delivered in several months, and this is only the beginning,” he said. “The donation of arms to the Armed Forces of the Philippines will contribute to the success in your battle against ISIS-related terrorists. The Chinese government and military forces will continue to firmly support your fight against terrorism.”
Aside from the donation to the AFP, Zhao announced a P5 million fund for the families of soldiers who were killed in Marawi.
The envoy also said his country was open to the possibility of conducting counter-terrorism drills with the Philippines.
“Terrorism is the enemy both China and the Philippines are facing. It requires our two militaries to further enhance their cooperation in this area,” he said. “The Chinese side would like to explore the possibility of joint training, intelligence sharing and joint military exercises in the area of fighting terrorism.”