• Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) shakes hands with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R).

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) shakes hands with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R). (Photo : Getty Images)

China offered firearms and weapons to the Philippine security forces to further boost its relationship with the Duterte administration, despite the territorial dispute between them over the West Philippine Sea.

This was disclosed by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte last Sunday on a talk, and said that he will accept China's offer under concessional terms.

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During the disclosure, Duterte didn't give any clear information on the type of firearms the Philippines would acquire from China. He just said that he instructed Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to send military personnel from the Philippines to China for the formal reception of the firearms.

Duterte said: “China is pressing me. The firearms are already available for me to receive. They are really prodding me. We don’t need to ask from others because they’re willing to give it. This isn’t free, but it’s actually a grant payable in 25 years, that’s practically giving."

The Philippine government under Duterte's predecessor strained relationship with China after Benigno Aquino III, former Philippine President, brought territorial disputes to international arbitration.

President Duterte reached out both to China and Russia after taking office in July.

Raymundo Elefante, the Undersecretary for Finance, Munitions, Installations and Material, said that the Department of National Defense will still have to determine which offer was best.

The Philippines has heavily depended on the U.S. for firearms, ships and aircraft for years, but after the hostile stance with the Obama administration, the Southeast Asian country turned to other countries for defense equipment.

Lorenzana said that the military was considering purchasing rifles from Russia. Last week, he visited Russia on President Duterte's order and met with defense officials to see whether a deal could be done.

He said: "If their sniper rifles are superior as they claim, we may decide to acquire. The army and marines will conduct tests and determine how many they may require."

Elefante and the DND both said that there is no timetable yet for the acquisition of firearms from China.