Chinese Company Sanctioned For Supplying Weapons of Mass Destruction to Iran Wants to Supply Military Hardware to the Philippines

Philippine Marines disembark from their landing ship during a disaster drill as part of the Balikatan exercises in Casiguran, Aurora yesterday. Inset shows a US Air Force US V-22 Osprey preparing to land at the port of Dibacong during the joint military exercises. MICHAEL VARCAS, AFP

BEIJING – A state-owned Chinese firm that was sanctioned by the United States for allegedly supplying weapons of mass destruction to Iran has expressed its intention to supply military hardware to the Philippines to boost the country’s defense capability.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announced yesterday that state-owned conglomerate China Poly Group Corp. has expressed intent to supply arms and other equipment to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The offer casts a shadow of concern raised by China’s militarization in the South China Sea, which also comes on the heels of President Duterte’s pivot to China.

Duterte received officials of the China Poly Group Corp. and Poly Technologies Inc. who paid a courtesy call on him at the Grand Hyatt Hotel here last Sunday.

“It’s not yet a document. It’s a letter of intent to deal with them because they’re offering us a lot, a wide array of defense equipment,” said Lorenzana, who was present during the Poly Technologies’ call.

This is different from the $14-million grant and another $500-million loan offered by Beijing last year during Duterte’s visit here.

The fast boats, sniper rifles and ammunition under the $14-million grant will be delivered by yearend, the defense chief said.

Concerned parties were set to sign the letter of intent yesterday.

In an interview on the sidelines of the two-day Belt and Road Forum here, Lorezana said the country could take advantage of China’s offer to improve its resources, especially in dealing with terror groups in the South.

“This is an intent and we are going to send here a technical working group to look at the equipment and see what we need,” Lorenzana added.

In looking at Beijing to supply the needs of the AFP modernization, Lorenzana noted how arms are cheaper in China compared to other suppliers.

Practicality

Lorenzana was quick to defend the Philippines’ dealing with China on arms purchase despite the Philippines’ claim over disputed islands at the South China Sea.

“Actually, we are not warring with China on the issue of South China Sea. That’s only a dispute,” he said.

He echoed Duterte’s statements to set aside the dispute temporarily, adding that these concerns can be addressed amicably.

“We believe that would be settled through dialogue, bilateral or multilateral (talks) with other claimants. China is open about it,” he added.

“Everybody is pragmatic here. Nobody would like to go into a shooting war with anybody. That’s bad. You will just be spending resources and men for nothing if we have any shooting,” Lorenzana said.

However, reports said China Poly Group Corp. was among the four Chinese firms slapped with sanctions by the United States in 2013 for selling items to Iran, which is banned under US laws aimed at curbing Iran’s missile program.

The Chinese firms violated the rules of the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Nuclear Suppliers Group and other international programs aimed at curbing the development and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, wire reports said.

But China had earlier asked the US to revoke its sanctions, criticizing America’s misguided policy.

In contrast to the United States, the Philippines’ longest defense ally, Lorenzana noted the stringent conditions imposed by the US that are attached to arms procurement.

“The problem with the United States… the process there is very slow because it has to go through (US) Congress, and they demand some conditions. They ask like, what do you do with these equipment? Do you use it against drugs?” he added.

“That’s why we are discouraged to get from them because of some conditionalities,” Lorenzana said.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/05/16/1700331/sanctioned-china-firm-eyes-afp-deal

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2 Responses to “Chinese Company Sanctioned For Supplying Weapons of Mass Destruction to Iran Wants to Supply Military Hardware to the Philippines”

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

  2. Brittius Says:

    Reblogged this on Brittius.

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