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Manila military chief says China's claims are wrong

MANILA -- The Philippines military chief vowed Thursday to defend the country's fishermen against any Chinese “terror or intimidation” in the South China Sea, the latest sign of sharpening tensions in what is a potential global flash point.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Gen. Emmanuel Baustita said Chinese claims to islands just off the Philippine coast are “of course absolute nonsense. Just take a look at the map.”

“Our fishermen will continue on fishing, assert their rights on those areas. They should go on with their lives and live their life as fishermen, not to bow down to terror or intimidation,” Baustita said, referring to an incident in which he said a fishing vessel was sprayed by a water cannon on a Chinese boat.

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