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Manila "undaunted" by China's higher defence spending; to continue focus on lifting poverty

Published on Mar 6, 2014 5:28 PM

THE Philippines said on Thursday it was "not daunted" by China's higher defence spending, adding that its focus would continue to be on poverty alleviation.

"We are determined to continue protecting our national territory while being focused on our economic development priorities," Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma told a media briefing.

He noted that Manila's priority would still be on poverty alleviation rather than defence.

His comments came after the Chinese government announced on Wednesday - on the opening day of the National People's Congress legislative meetings - that it will raise defence spending by 12.2 per cent, the biggest double-digit jump in three years.

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