China donates P1B in disaster equipment to PH
MANILA, Philippines—China has donated P1 billion worth of military equipment to the Armed Forces of the Philippines to be used for disaster response.
The first batch of the non-combat equipment—which include water purification vehicles, ambulances, firetrucks, bomb disposal suits, drone systems and engineering equipment–arrived last Jan. 16, the Department of National Defense said in a statement on Friday (Jan. 21).
DND: China donates P1 billion worth of military equipment to the Philippine military. The first batch of equipment arrived last Jan. 16. pic.twitter.com/krHMkXZfIo
— Frances G. Mangosing 🇵🇭 (@FrancesGM_) January 21, 2022FEATURED STORIESGLOBALNATIONGLOBALNATION
A formal turnover ceremony will be held in February.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the donation was part of a pledge by his Chinese counterpart Gen. Wei Fenghe during the Chinese official’s visit to Manila in 2020.
“That’s a big help. It’s an addition to our equipment which still has a large shortfall,” he told Inquirer.net.
China in recent years donated engineering equipment and arms packages to the Philippines.
Manila sought closer ties with Beijing under President Rodrigo Duterte, who set aside a ruling by a United Nations-backed tribunal invalidating China’s nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea, in exchange for loans and investments.
Following Duterte’s pivot to China, Beijing escalated its claim to own nearly the entire South China Sea, asserting sovereignty on the basis of its mythical nine-dash line claim. China continued to refuse to acknowledge the tribunal decision in favor of the Philippines.
Asked if the latest Chinese donation would soften the Philippines’ stance on the West Philippine Sea, Lorenzana said: “Not a chance.”
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