October 13, 2016

Duterte visiting China October 19-21, 2016 - Philippine Arms Sources

Duterte is visiting China October 19-21, 2016. Here (July 2016) Duturte meets troops of the Philippine Marines and Army. (Photo courtesy Camille Ante for Manila Bulletin). 

Drawing from a Russia Today (RT) report of October 11, 2016:

Relations are souring quickly between the Philippines and the United States, as President Rodrigo Duterte and 250 Filipino business executives [will visit China October 19-21, 2016] to discuss partnership prospects.


Duterte has expressed interest buying or being given arms by China. Many Western commentators think this is unlikely as the Philippines are already mainly equipped with US supplied arms.

Note that China can sell/donate to the Armed Foreces of the Philippines (AFP) arms originally made or designed in the US, particularly infantry weapons for the Philippine military. This is for its  main role of counter-insurgency (internal security). For example:

-  the Philippines basic weapon, the M16 rifle (aka AR-15 and M4) is widely available on the world market outside of the US, Note "Together, numerous companies in the United States, Canada, and China have produced more than 8,000,000 [M16] rifles of all variants. Approximately 90% are still in operation." 

-  China can also obtain supplies of M16s (for donating to the Philippines) from the vast number of countries that use M16s

The Philippines also has an arms industry that China could help develop. The Philippines may still make M16s itself (manufactured under license by Elisco Tool and Manufacturing.[174] ). 

China could also buy stocks of non-US designed weapons already used by the AFP. See the vast range of weapons the Philippines uses. Including:
   = sub-machine guns from Germany, Pakistan and Israel 
   = sniper rifles from Switzerland and Germany
   = light machine guns from South Korea, Belgium and Singapore
   = there are also many other items of electronic equipment and vehicles (eg. Turkey, UK and Japan) 
       from non-US sources and made in the Philippines (scroll down the Wiki website).

China also has a vast arms industry to do the essential re-equipping of the Philippine Navy and Air Force. The Air Force already has many non-US suppliers



coldSTEEL said...

Hi, Pete!

The question re above report is: why?

RP already has a line with US surplus inventory. RP can ask anything it wants from US.

But why this? Alienating allies and opening up on China?

Why compromise and deny $3B foreign aid from US and EU? While asking for aid and support from China?

Duterte is nothing but a communist who wanted to sell his country to China.

Peter Coates said...

Hi coldSTEEL

Maybe Duterte is running an Alliance Auction hoping China will bid $4 Billion ie $1 Billion more than the US.

Also China (unlike the US) cannot withdraw from the region.

The EU, Japan, South Korea and other countries may still sell/donate coastguard assets and/or arms to the Philippines separately from the US.

Duterte a "communist"? Cory Aquino was (arguably) more socialist than Duterte.


Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

You are right. Duterte is never a communist or socialist. He is a camel merchant.


Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

President Duterer is going to visit Japan on Oct/25. According to Japan Ministry of Foreign affairs, the best contribution of Japan on the South China Sea issue is to tame President Duterer and US is expecting it [1].

To maintain order and stability in the South China Sea, retaining the Philippines in US-Japan bloc is urgent issue, but, relation between Mr Obama and Mr Duterer is done. Fortunately, relation between the Philippines and Japan is quite well [1, 2].

Competent PM Abe will satisfy US expectation and complement the role of US as a junior partner. If Presisdent Duterer spoils relation with Japan, the Philippines has to obey China.

[1] http://www.sankei.com/premium/news/161015/prm1610150013-n1.html
[2] http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/10/12/1633086/duterte-thanks-japan-coast-guard-ship-past-aid
(by Rosette Adel, October/12/2016) "Let me start by giving our sense of gratitude to the Japanese ambassador for our heartfelt thanks for giving us ships, some are here, others are coming, and your desire to help the Philippines," Duterte said.


Peter Coates said...

Hi S

Thanks for the info. I have checked http://www.rappler.com/nation/148999-philippines-president-rodrigo-duterte-emperor-akihito-meeting-japan which is indicating a longer visit to Japan of October 25 to 27. So the 2 to 3 day visit will be about the same in length as Duterte's China visit.

I'd say Japan will have difficulty taming Duterte, given the US has been unable to tame hime. Japan may have to give much more aid for the Aid Auction Duterte seems to be running.

Rather than obeying China I think Duterte will follow a non-aligned policy like Vietnam. That is Duterte will appeal to several friendly powers simultaneously.