China donates firearms to PH; signals ‘new era of bilateral friendship’

CLARK ​FREEPORT — The turnover Wednesday of rifles and ammunitions amounting to nearly Php50 million by China to the Philippines signals a “new era of bilateral friendship.”

​A​ member of the Presidential Security Group holds a sniper rifle during the turn-over ceremony of China military wares donation held at the Haribon, 600th Air Base Wing of the PAF at Clark Freeport. Also in photo is a a Chinese military general. (Jess Malabanan)

About 3,000 units of M-4 type assault rifles with more than five million ammunitions, and 90 units of sniper rifles with more than 800,000 ammunitions were received by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año from Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua in a ceremony that was attended by President Duterte.

“The donation of firearms to the Philippines is a demonstration of the growing relationship between China and the Philippines,” Zhao said.

He clarified that the firearms donated were not paid, but instead marks a new era of bilateral relationship between the two militaries.

Also, Zhao expressed his sincere gratitude to Duterte and his friendly and cooperative policies towards China, while stressing that the donation serves as his country’s aid to the Philippines in fighting the Maute terrorist group causing havoc in Marawi City for more than a month now.

“At this challenging and critical juncture [of the country], the donation of arms to the AFP will contribute to the success of the battle against the terrorists,” he added.

“The Chinese government and military will continue to support the Filipinos’ fight against terrorism,” Zhao remarked.