China hails 'golden period' in relations with Philippines

A Filipino soldier lies on a mattress at their combat position in a house as government troops continue their assault against insurgents fro

During the ceremony, Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua turned over around 3,000 M-4 type assault rifles, with more than 5 million ammunitions and 90 units of sniper rifles, with more than 800,000 ammunitions to Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año.

Wang said China has sent its first shipment of emergency supplies and equipment to the Philippines and will continue to provide necessary support.

He added that since China and the Philippines fight the same enemy, "the Chinese would like to explore the possibility of joint training, intelligence sharing and joint military exercises in the area of fighting terrorism".

Last year, the tribunal invalidated China's claim to sovereignty over most of the South China Sea, but Duterte has put the ruling on the back burner and said he would revisit it later in his term. "This marks a new era of bilateral relationship between the two militaries". "They have to be dealt with, with the same ferocity but not the brutality", he said. He expressed hope that China would also help in his government's efforts to rebuild Marawi.

Mr. Duterte said when he first visited China in October a year ago, they discussed the need to address the "emerging threat of terrorism and piracy in Mindanao".

He added that Beijing is willing to coordinate with regional countries, including the Philippines, to cooperate in information exchange, law enforcement and fighting cross-border terrorism and other issues, in order to maintain peace and stability in the region.

In a statement, former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo particularly took notice of President Duterte's regular camp visits to boost the government troops' morale.

The President recalled that seven months after this visit to China, terrorist groups launched a rebellion in Marawi City, leading China to reiterate its offer to help.

Clashes between government forces and the pro-IS Maute militants broke out in Marawi City in Mindanao on May 23 - triggering one of the biggest internal security crises in the Philippines in years.

"So (I said), 'I would need more arms.' And true enough to his word, President Xi Jinping and China, and with the assurance of His Excellency the Ambassador, assured me that the arms would be coming shortly".

"Beijing expressed willingness to unconditionally help the Philippines".

Duterte told reporters the military aid would have to be inventoried and would be equally divided as needed to the military and the police.

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