Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, shake hands in Beijing, China, October 2016 (Photo: Reuters)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – China has offered a 14 million USD arms package to the Philippines to support its combat of drugs and terrorism, said Philippine Defence Minister Delfin Lorenzana on December 20.

China has also announced a long – term low – interest loan valued at 500 million USD for other equipment, the minister added.

He also noted that the offer came from Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua who met President Rodrigo Duterte on December 19.

China made the offer after the US postponed a sale of 26,000 rifles to the Philippines’ police forces due to concerns over anti-drug campaigns in the Southeast Asian country.

The Philippines might use the 14 million USD grant to acquire small arms, speed boats and night-vision goggles and expects to receive the equipment in the second quarter of 2017, Minister Lorenzana told media.

Since President Duterte took power in July, the Philippines has adjusted its foreign policy, thus tightening its relations with China, despite tensions between the two sides following the country’s lawsuit against China’ claims on the East Sea at the international court in The Hague (the Netherlands).-VNA