China reportedly donated thousands of arms and guns to the Philippines through President Rodrigo Duterte in order to help the country in its fight against Maute group, Islamist gunmen. Marawi City, in the Southern part of the country, is still under the control of the so-called IS-backed group.
The said arms and guns were shipped and this served as the first example of military aid from China since President Duterte threatened to move away from the U.S. and build ties with China. It was then reported that the help which came from China was the first in the administration of Duterte.
According to South China Morning Post, the ammunition and the weapons were worth 50 million yuan or US$7.35 million. This just highlighted the beginning of the new era of China-Philippines ties as also confirmed by no other than Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.
Apart from the weapons and military aids, China also donated 15 million pesos or US $300, 000 in order to help for the rehabilitation of Marawi City, Philippines. Since reports were claiming that there are still parts in Marawi City which are still under the control of the Maute group, the Philippine government cannot start with the rehabilitation yet.
Just last Wednesday, confirmed reports were disclosed that the military found 17 dead bodies killed by the Islamist group. These members of the Maute group claimed that they are part of the Islamic State movement who also besieged Marawi City since May 23, 2017.
The Philippine military and troops have already battled the Maute group for more than a month as they were being backed by artillery and airstrikes. But President Rodrigo Duterte felt these were not enough that's why he acknowledged the help given by China.
So far, 400 people have already been killed in the said conflict which includes 70 military troops and 290 militants. There were also some civilians who lost their lives while most of the residents have fled to neighboring cities and worse, much of the place is in ruins.
Before China's help, President Duterte has been very reluctant to acknowledge the help of the United States telling that he has no knowledge of the technical assistance offered by the country. It can be recalled that the country has long depended on the U.S. when it comes to ammunition and arms.