China proposes military drills with PH | Global News

China proposes military drills with PH

/ 05:40 AM July 28, 2023

China proposes military drills with PH

Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. / OACPA

China has proposed to hold joint military exercises with the Philippines, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said on Thursday, in an apparent effort to convey its friendship with its smaller neighbor amid tensions in the West Philippine Sea.

The offer was put forward by Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian during the 96th People’s Liberation Army (PLA) anniversary celebration in Mandaluyong City on Wednesday night.


“There were no details yet. They just said, ‘Let’s do something together,’” Brawner told the Inquirer. The informal proposal has yet to be studied, he added.


The military ties between the two countries go a long way, said Brawner in his remarks as guest of honor at the event. He said the strong military relations were on full display when the PLA provided sniper rifles and ammunition that were used “intensively” during the Marawi siege, a five-month battle between government troops and Islamic State-linked militants in 2017; donated various engineering equipment that has been used for developmental efforts nationwide; and donated the first vaccines for front-liners during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, the AFP also sends military officers to China for training and education. “We will continue to send our officers to China if you continue to invite us,” he said.

The celebration at the five-star luxury hotel struck a stark contrast to often tense encounters between the two parties at sea, where Chinese vessels are known to harass Philippine ships and encroach the country’s waters.

Beijing has militarized and continues to occupy parts of the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea, or the waters within the country’s 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone.

Chinese coast guard or navy vessels routinely block or shadow Philippine ships carrying out supply missions to islands in the disputed sea that host Philippine garrisons.

‘Steady progress’

However, the Chinese ambassador, in his remarks, said the PLA has been “a staunch force safeguarding world peace.” “The PLA is a peace-loving and peace-preserving army. The development and growth of the PLA is tantamount to development and growth of the forces of peace in the world,” he said.


Huang said the relations between the two militaries have made “steady progress” under the strategic guidance of President Marcos and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“China is willing to work with the Philippines to adhere to independence and good neighborliness, deepen practical cooperation in various fields, properly manage differences through consultation and dialogue, and ensure China-Philippines relations remain healthy and move steadily into the future,” he said.


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TAGS: AFP, China, Chinese, Drill, Military

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