President Rodrigo Duterte examines one of the firearms donated by the People’s Republic of China during the ceremonial turnover of the military assistance gratis at the Clark Air Base in Pampanga on June 28, 2017. Joining the President are Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua. RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—China donated on Wednesday P370 million worth of guns to the Philippines in its bid to strengthen the country’s battle against terrorist.

The donation of assault and sniper rifles as well as the ammunition was a demonstration of China’s growing bilateral relationship with the Duterte administration, veering away from the usual ally, the United States of America.

“It’s also a demonstration of a new era of friendly and cooperative relationship between our two militaries,” Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua said on June 28, addressing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at the Clark Air Base in Pampanga.

The Chinese ambassador Zhao Jianhua said a “second batch” of weapons would soon be delivered. Prior to Wednesday’s turn over, Zhao also handed over a P15-million check to the President for Marawi rehabilitation.

“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,” Zhao said.

On May 23, local terrorist group Maute, a self-styled follower of the Islamic States, has besieged the Marawi City which caused more than 200,000 residents fled, 290 terrorists killed and 70 government security forces were slain as military operations and aerial bombardment continue to clear the city that is now in ruins.

Duterte thanked China for its donation.

“To Ambassador Zhao, please relay our sincerest thanks to President Xi Jinping and the government of the People’s Republic of China for its military aid package I will receive today in behalf of the Philippine government,” Duterte said in his speech.

“We are almost on bended knees sometimes because of lack of equipment. It is a good thing we have a good friend like China who is very understanding,” Duterte said.

Duterte said China’s help will not only strengthen the commitment of both countries to support one another,”but also highlights the dawn of the new era in Philippines-Chinese relations.”

Duterte also said that the government welcomes help from its international partners in rebuilding Marawi.

“This invitation extends to our allies who share with the principles of goodwill and non-interference in our domestic affairs. Though the unrelenting efforts of the brave men and women of the AFP and PNP, and the assistance of our friends and allies, I am confident that we can end this dark episode and move on to restoring peace and order throughout Mindanao,” he said.(

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