MANILA, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- China has donated 5 million pesos (97,749 U.S. dollars) to help fund the rehabilitation of the war-ravaged southern Philippine city of Marawi, the Philippine military announced on Wednesday.
The fighting, which broke out on May 23, continues as government security forces try to retake the city from Islamist extremists.
Col. Edgard Arevalo, spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), told reporters that Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua handed over the check to AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Ano on Tuesday during a visit to the main AFP headquarters in Quezon City.
"The donation is for the soldiers operating in the battle-stricken Marawi City," Arevalo said.
Arevalo said the Chinese envoy had pledged to give more donations before the year ends for the Marawi fund. "The donation will be used to assist in the rehabilitation of Marawi, particularly in the delivery of engineering equipment," he said.
"Gen. Ano expressed his gratitude to the Chinese government," Arevalo said.
During Zhao's meeting with Ano, Arevalo said the Chinese ambassador revealed the plan for a possible joint training exercises between the Chinese and Philippine special forces to sharpen their skills in counterterrorism.
"The plan also includes sharing of intelligence information in fighting the threat of global terror," Arevalo said.
Arevalo said the Philippine military welcomes Beijing's offer, saying it's an important move to combat terrorism.
"Remember that terrorism is a global concern, it knows no bounds, it knows no country, it knows no government. So, it is important for us to be united to combat terrorism," Arevalo said.
More than 800 people have so far been killed in the 107-day war to defeat the militants allied with the Islamic State (IS) that occupied most of Marawi City.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Tuesday that at least 50 billion pesos (979 million U.S. dollars) is needed in the rehabilitation and reconstruction to rebuild the ruined Marawi city.
Lorenzana said it will take at least three years to rebuild the city.
The fighting and shelling has ruined the city's buildings and houses. Television footage shows destroyed building, bullet-pocked houses, roofs with bullet holes and debris-strewn streets.