The Philippines and China are set to sign their first defence deal to combat domestic security threats in the Philippines following a visit to Beijing by the chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

General Ricardo David will also participate in talks expected to cover regional security concerns, including tensions in the Korean peninsula.

The Philippines, one of the US’s allies in South East Asia, is said to have one of the weakest militaries in East Asia and needs equipment to help fight insurgencies with communist and Islamic rebels.

The Philippines stock is made up of second-hand assault rifles, boats and aircraft from the US.

Spokesman brigadier general Jose Mabanta Jr said the deal will not change his country’s relations with Washington.

“I don’t think there will be any political implication. The Armed Forces of the Philippines, in as much as it lacks funds and equipment, is ready to accept equipment and much-needed resources from any donor country and this includes China,” he said.

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