Reuters reports, "Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told China on Thursday to 'lay off' an island occupied by Manila in the disputed South China Sea and said he would deploy his soldiers there if Beijing touches it. Duterte's remarks, which he said was not a warning but rather a word of advice to a friend, follow a statement made by the foreign affairs ministry calling the presence of more than 200 Chinese fishing boats near Thitu island illegal. 'I will not plead or beg, but I am just telling you that lay off the Pagasa because I have soldiers there. If you touch it, that's a different story. I will tell the soldiers "prepare for suicide mission",' Duterte said in a speech, using the local name for Thitu. Duterte has repeatedly said he would not go to war with China because it would be suicide."