The Daily Manila Shimbun


Philippines, China defense chiefs agree to increase bilateral security engagements

October 25, 2017

Philippine and Chinese defense chiefs conducted a bilateral meeting at the Department of National Defense (DND) in Camp Aguinaldo Wednesday.

During the meeting, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and his Chinese counterpart General Chang Wanquan agreed to strengthen their defense and military-to-military relations by increasing bilateral security engagements in the coming months.

“Riding on the improvement of our defense relations, it is only proper for us to move forward,” said Lorenzana.

DND Public Affairs Service chief Arsenio Andolong said the discussion between the two defense chiefs includes enhancement of cooperation in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism, especially in intelligence sharing, joint counter terrorism  exercises, and other specialized training.”

“Both defense chiefs underscored the need for countries to cooperate in order to eradicate the evils of terrorism which they considered a “common enemy”, Andolong said.

“Secretary Lorenzana thanked China for its support in the Marawi operations, stating that its earlier donations of rifles and ammunition “helped a lot in our fight against the terrorists in Marawi”,” he added.

Andolong said the Chinese Minister of National Defense said China plans to donate another batch of weapons and equipment later this year or early next year.

He said the two defense chiefs also discussed “the enhancement of maritime cooperation between the two countries, focusing on humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) and anti-piracy operations in the Philippines’ southern waters.”

“Both defense chiefs also agreed to increase visits of naval vessels as a sign of goodwill and friendship between the two countries,” he said.

Andolong noted that the increase of military-to-military personnel exchanges between junior and field grade officers were also tackled.

“Secretary Lorenzana and General Chang agreed this will be beneficial to both countries since it will foster interpersonal relations between both militaries’ officer corps and future leaders of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and People’s Liberation Army (PLA),” he said. Robina Asido/DMS