MANILA, Philippines – China on Thursday, October 5, handed over 3,000 more assault rifles to the Philippine military as the two countries celebrate improved relations under President Rodrigo Duterte.
The rifles came with 3 million rounds of ammunition and 90 pieces of scopes. China said this is meant to help the Philippines fight local terrorists in Marawi City.
"The donation demonstrates that China firmly supports the Philippines' campaign against ISIS-inspired terrorism," said Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua.
It's the second batch of rifles China handed over to the Philippine military as it fights local terrorists in Marawi City. Three thousand units were also handed over in June. (READ: China gives P370M in guns, ammunition to PH)
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he hopes the strategic partnership with China "will be further strengthened."
Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Eduardo Año also welcomed the donation. "It showcases the strength of bond between two nations," Año said.
Most of the rifles will be turned over to the elite cops of the Philippine police, the Special Action Force. The scopes will remain with the military.
President Rodrigo Duterte warmed ties with China after a bitter territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) under the previous administration.