China Donates 3,000 Rifles to Philippines

Chinese Norinco CQ-A5b laid out at the handover ceremony (Rappler)

On the 5th of October, China and the Philippines held a handover ceremony for 3,000 rifles in Manilla. China has donated another 3,000 rifles to President Rodrigo Duterte’s Philippines in an effort to aid the countries war on drugs and terrorism.

The Norinco CQ-A5b rifles are M4 clones introduced by the Chinese company in 2006, the donation, reportedly worth $4.4 million, also included 3 million round of ammunition and 90 optics. This follows a similar donation of 3,000 rifles of various types and 6 million rounds of ammunition handed over in June.

Defence Secretary Lorenzana, Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua and General Eduardo Ano examine the new rifles during the ceremony (SN1 Donald Viluan PN/PAOAFP)

The hand over ceremony was not attended by President Duterte but a number of high ranking officials from both China and the Philippines attended including: Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua and the Philippine army chief General Eduardo Ano. Ambassador Zhao Jianhua said: “The donation demonstrates that China firmly supports the Philippines’ campaign against ISIS-inspired terrorism.”

The US made a similar transfer of arms and equipment back in June, donating 300 M4 carbines, 200 Glock 21 pistols, 4 M134D Gatling-style machine guns and 100 M203 grenade launchers and 25 Combat Rubber Raiding Craft at a ceremony at the US embassy. The donations of equipment from both nations come as the Philippine’s ramp up their campaign against ISIS affiliated militants that seized the city of Marawi in May.

Matthew Moss is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written for a variety of publications in both the US and UK he also runs, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matthew is also co-founder of, a new video series on historically significant small arms.


  • TalbotFarwell

    I wish we could legally import semiauto versions of these here in the US, I want to see them put up to a torture test alongside other budget-minded US AR-15 brands. May the last cheap AR still putting rounds downrange win!

    • Vitsaus

      Plot twist: Most of these budget ARs are already loaded up with Chinese made parts

    • iksnilol

      Somebody in Canada could do that.

      • kgallerno

        I own a CQA. The semi auto Canadian version of these rifles. I would trust my life to it. Fit and finish isn’t the greatest however it runs and runs well. I would venture to say I have put over 2000 rounds through mine and not a single issue or stoppage. It takes all mags and eats all brands of ammo.

        • Requiescat in pace

          There is no copyright issue with this “clone” guns?

          • Alberto Barbosa

            By that definition, all non Armalite AR’s are “clone guns”

          • kgallerno

            There are no copyright / trademark issues as all patents have expired on the AR15. That is why there are 100’s of companies currently making AR15’s.

            Also simply put China doesn’t give a rats ass about trademarks and patents.

    • Friend of Tibet

      It runs like beast, works in winter too! Might be a coincidence but during one winter range trip my friend’s DDM4V7 has a terrible bolt freeze up, CQ-A had no problem, both fitted with KMR13 rail and magpul parts…. in the end CQ-A is just a good AR15 variant, cheap and reliable, and up to spec. (buffer tube is commercial spec)

      • Giolli Joker

        The tighter the clearances the higher the chances of getting a frozen action in the right conditions.

        • Friend of Tibet

          Which is not a good thing in cold environment. Accuracy wise both have similar grouping within 300 yards….

      • Melvi Mala

        Out of curiosity what lube were you guys using?

        • BravoSeven

          Depends on what I’m f…..wait what was the question again?

          • noob

            if it’s frogs, I recommend coconut oil.

          • bernardg

            Come on. I don’t think you’re the type that getting frisky when lubing the barrel. Right?

  • ozzallos .

    Good PR move on China’s behalf.

    • argh

      more a bribe to like the other way in all the ownership disputes at sea in the area

      • Brett baker

        I agree.

      • ozzallos .

        Of course its a bribe. Like I said, good PR move 🙂

      • By getting the Philippines on their side it is harder for the Western Nations to blockade the South China Sea. Otherwise China is nearly surrounded on the Pacific by nations that favor Western/NATO powers. Which is bad for a nation that depends on shipped trade.

        Of course it seems unlikely that anything like that would happen. You don’t play hard ball with nuclear nations. Particularly ones with lots of nukes and ICBMs.

    • Vitor Roma

      Nothing good about this PR. Duterte war on drugs is a massive and violent failure.

      • Xero

        So Duterte = dictatorship?

        • Warren Ellis

          His drug war seems to be more about just accusing anyone of being drug users and shooting them. And then denying any allegations of corruption or pretending people aren’t just using the new drug war as a means to settle disputes.

        • int19h

          More of an authoritarian “fuсk natural rights” tyranny-of-the-majority democracy – he genuinely has support from the majority of the voters, but the policies implemented by the government with said support are very much authoritarian, and make it difficult to oppose the ruling elite.

          Very similar to Russia, actually. Except the latter is in more advanced stages to a full-on dictatorship. But not quite there yet, either.

          • Xero

            You know what? I would prefer the way it is now, it doesn’t matter if he’s being nationalistic or branded as Putin’s fanboy just because he’s not pro-US enough. If the country is not stable in overall, don’t bother preaching about “freedom & democracy”, it needs a strong leadership to keep it together. Plain & simple.

          • int19h

            So, he makes the trains run on time – am I getting that right?

            The thing about authoritarians, they know this trick. So they outright *manufacture* “instability” (or fake-news it) to create social support for their rule. Fifth column among us! Alien invaders! Enemies amassing at our borders! Crime wave of superpredators! Reefer madness!

        • Ark

          Basically. Liquidating “drug users” was one step, and now the Muslim secessionist movement automatically labeled “ISIS” is the next step. Between the two he is exterminating rivals and undesirables and shoring up power for himself.

          The dark truth, though, is the a LOT of people in the Philippines are more than happy to see drug users and Muslims killed. No authoritarian gains power without some kind of support.

  • Jay Ross

    Lol it would be funny if normal magazines wouldn’t work and they had to buy ones that would off aliexpress.

    I had a Chinese 870 clone that had a part break. I couldn’t fine the part made by the company so I bought one for a legit 870. Well it didn’t fit so I had to buy the next legit 870 part that the broken part attached to. That part did fit.

    • Friend of Tibet

      CQ-A can run all kinda of mags, just google CQ-A Canada you get your myth busted.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Nice little bone thrown to a yappy little US enemy.

    • SP mclaughlin

      Phillipine-American War 2: Electric Boogalo when?

      • Brett baker

        Depends. If the Chinese make a mistake, never.

    • john huscio

      The philippines have been the most steadfast us ally in southeast asia for the past half century.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Have you heard their current leader speak about the US lately?

        • Xero

          Considering a U-turn after when Obama is gone. Now that Duterte wants a multipolar foreign policy.

          • Michael Gallagher

            I spent time in Manila when bho was president, those people loved him. Taxi drivers would go on and on about him when they figured out I was an American. Made me want to puke. They could not understand why I disliked the man so much.

          • bernardg

            Firearms, not politics.

        • Giolli Joker

          He used bold words as it’s his style to pass the message that he wanted his country international role to be renegotiated.
          US alliances with poorer countries tend to be quite single sided.
          Currently there is cooperation with US help in the Marawi crisis.

        • john huscio

          Yea, he hated obama (not unlike a large chunk of americans)

  • iksnilol

    Kinda messed up IMO. “Here’s a bunch of guns to murder citizens with.”

    • UCSPanther

      If this was the Roman era, you would see the Emperor donate 300 Gladii, 200 Pugios, 200 suits of Lorica Segmentata and 500 pilum to Dutarte…

    • Bill

      But it fits, considering China has vans set up for doing mobile executions. Traveling firing squads or such.

      • iksnilol

        I know, still messed up is all.

      • Warren Ellis

        What’s so terrible about the execution vans? Or the firing squads? China had to deal with government officials who were poisoning its own citizens to death on purpose through those food scandals. The only terrible part i would say is that it’s obvious the lower-ranking government officials got executed while their higher ups just got thrown in prison, despite the higher ups being even more guilty.

  • john huscio

    Looks like middle dude’s fancy shirt is covered in taurus logos

    • Marc

      That’s a sweet ass smoking jacket that Zhao is sporting.

    • Mike

      Good eye, my friend.

  • MeaCulpa

    This is something, two superpowers wooing a guy that is fighting ISIS is great; two superpowers wooing a guy that is really into extrajudicial executions of drug dealers and users is bad. So lukewarm on balance? On topic, those AR clones sure has a funny sheen, almost like somebody wiped them down with one of those silicone sponges for car interiors.

    • Dan

      You mean you don’t ArmorAll your AR?

      • MeaCulpa

        ArmorAll was the word I was looking for!
        No I don’t ArmorAll, I’m old school and uses olive oil for that pimp look.

  • JamesG3

    Madame Secretary, season 4, episode 1. Throw in a fake news story and boom. This is it.

  • dsf

    Countries where have a gun is a crime for the people seling weapons to other countries.
    Im european and some celeb wwII veteran said something like “USA is the best exampe of democracy where governmt let the people have guns because it isnt afraid of his own peope”
    Where i life guns are too restricted and of course the price is less freedom, ony speak can be a crime, in EU, UK and Canada, USA is the last and only FREE COUNTRY. You have the 1st am because you stil have the 2nd am.I love USA.

    • snmp

      Swiss Citizen have STG 90/92 (SAN/SIG SG550 /52) Full Auto at Home provide by governement

  • Uniform223

    The Philippine military complained about slightly lose rear sights on their Remington R4s…

    Imagine what they’ll find wrong with 3000 shoddy built bootleg copies.

    • int19h

      You know, I wouldn’t actually be surprised if these turn out to be better built than Remingtons. All feedback that I’ve heard from Canadian owners of CQs was pretty good.

    • wicapiwakan

      because a country with a space program TOTALLY couldn’t build a 60 year old rifle….

  • Sid Collins

    We donated G21s? I guess the Philippine soldiers like .45ACP to stop threats…. just like me.

    • int19h

      They just never bothered to upgrade. Their standard-issue sidearm is still 1911, and some of those are from the days when they were still an American colony.

      It’s not a coincidence that we get cheap 1911 clones from the Philippines (RIA/Armscor).

    • noob

      Neil Stephenson has a great bit in Cryptonomicon about the history of the .45ACP.

  • SP mclaughlin
  • therealgreenplease

    I’m predicting 8620 bolts and short service lives.

    • glenn cheney

      Here’s to Carpenter 158.

  • iowaclass

    Anywhere a major democide is going on, China races over, like a dog sensing a table scrap falling on the kitchen floor.

    • EC

      Pretty sure you missed the part of the article where we also handed over weapons a few months back.

      The truth is that great powers support their allies… no matter who those allies are and what they are doing. It wasn’t that long ago that both the US and China were backing the Khmer Rouge because no one liked Vietnam at the time. And I’m pretty sure we’re not very popular amongst Yemen civilians nowadays with our cluster bombs being dropped over their cities.

  • KidCorporate

    OOOOOH proxy war!

  • Realist

    I want an M134D too…

  • Ark

    Oh, hey, more guns for Duterte’s insane tyrannical government to murder innocent people with. Wonderful.

  • CA

    A little under 700 per rifle.

  • Jim

    Those ‘donations’ are just a box of chocolates to Duterte to get him to spread his legs. Just like our ‘donations’ to him. China needs land bases in that area just like we do.

    • noob

      Wendover Productions has a video on Youtube called “China’s Geography Problem” where he says that China needs to control Tibet because across from tibet and nepal there is India who are having a fight with China in the tri-border region where the water comes from. To the East, China needs access to the Pacific to trade with Europe, but America owns the seas and could blockade them with little effort. So China either needs to befriend Duterte, OR build their own artificial island bases. So they’re doing both.

  • noob

    You know, if they can copy our guns why can’t we copy their Chinese bullpups? Did Colt sign off on the CQ?

    • kgallerno

      Why the heck would Colt need to sign off on Chinese AR15’s? Do you honestly think every AR manufacturer out there is paying royalties to Colt? AR15 patents are long time expired dude.

      Also we don’t need to copy their bullpups. We buy and own them in Canada.

  • Asoken Pusa

    ^ Should have typed “The Russians are apparently also donating 5,000 AKs…”