Philippines President Duterte warned China against incursions near its island in the South China Sea.
This comes after the Philippines military warned of hundreds of Chinese fishing vessels and coast-guard ships swarming one of Philippines island. The island named Pag-Ssa also known as Thitu is a disputed island held by the Philippines.
Speaking to prosecutors, Duterte said, "I will not plead or beg, but I am just telling you that lay off the Pag-asa because I have soldiers there".
"If you touch it, that's another story. Then I will tell my soldiers 'prepare for suicide missions”, he added.
China’s expansive claim on the crucial South-China Sea has been under contention from nations like Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam. All these nations have staked claim to different islands and reefs in the South Sea. The waterways is believed to be rich in petroleum reserves that sit deep beneath the waters.
The US which patrols the waters has been engaged in frequent stand-offs with the Chinese Navy. It also recently announced that it would come to Manila’s aid in case of any Chinese aggression.
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