The Philippines is set to receive on Thursday, weapons and ammunition worth $22 million as the second batch of China’s commitment to help Manila in its fight against terrorism.
Beijing, through the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, Zhao Jianhua, will formally turn over its latest aid to Military Chief General Eduardo Año and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, in the capital Manila.
The donation will include 3,000 M4 rifles, three million rounds of assorted ammunition, and 30 sniper scopes, military spokesperson Colonel Edgard Arevalo told local reporters Wednesday.
Arevalo said that the donation would be of great help in the firepower of the Philippine troops not just in the siege in Marawi but also in other areas of the country where there are ongoing military operations.
Last June, Beijing delivered the first batch of military supply donations worth P370 million ($7.24M). The Chinese government also donated P65 million ($1.27 million) intended for the medication and recovery of government troops wounded in the clashes in Marawi City. It also gave P5 million ($97,780) for the troops killed and wounded in the clashes, another P15 million ($293,000) last June to support relief operations and rehabilitation efforts in the war-torn city.
Relations between the Philippines and China improved when Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte opted to temporarily set aside Manila's territorial disputes on the South China Sea with Beijing in order to revive the two countries’ economic relations.
In October 2016, Duterte returned home from a state visit in China with an estimated $24 billion in investment and loan pledges.
By Roy Ramos in Zamboanga city, Philippines