Manila, April 18 -- President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday asked China to stop surrounding Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), warning that just one harmed soldier could "precipitate trouble there."

Duterte, in a PDP-Laban campaign rally in Batangas, made this statement after the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) bared that a rise in the number of Chinese fishing vessels have been discovered near the Philippine-occupied island since January this year.

"Iyong Pag-asa Island, sinabi ko, huwag ninyong i-surround kasi may mga sundalo ako diyan (I said, don't surround Pag-asa Island because I have soldiers there)," Duterte said in his speech.

"Nag-warning lang ako. Hindi ko tinatakot ang China (I just warned th...