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Duterte thanks China for ‘crucial help’ in Marawi siege

Da Nang, Viet Nam — President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday thanked China for extending “crucial help” to the Philippines during the five-month-long rebellion and the subsequent retaking of Marawi City from terrorists in Mindanao.

Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping met at a bilateral meeting at the Crowne Plaza Da Nang before departing for Manila after attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders Meeting (AELM) here.

“First of all, let me thank you for your crucial help in our fight in Marawi a few weeks ago,” Duterte said in his opening statement.

“We badly needed help, and it was China who first came to our aid. We value your friendship more than anything else. I gave you my word that we can be your true friends,” he stressed.

Duterte noted that the arms provided by China proved very crucial because one of the Filipino snipers who killed top terrorist leader Isnilon Hapilon was using a Chinese-made sniper rifle.

“I will congratulate your guys here who make the firearms — very good, very accurate. I’m happy to have received them for my country,” he said.

It was the President who led the handover of the military aid package from China intended for the counter-terrorism efforts in Marawi City.

These weapons included TY-85 7.62 mm sniper rifle, CS/LR4A high precision rifle, and CQ-A5 5.56 automatic rifle, and various types of ammunition. #