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Tensions Surge Between China and the Philippines Over WWII Warship at the Center of Territorial Dispute

The Philippines refused to accede to China's demands that it remove the WWII warship Sierra Madre (background) from a disputed shoal in the South China/West Philippine Sea. Ted ALJIBE / AFP

The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) immediately dismissed China’s call to remove a decommissioned World War II-era warship, the BRP Sierra Madre, from a disputed shoal in the South China Sea that Manila claims is anchored well within the country’s territorial waters.

Although the vessel is decrepit and falling apart, the Sierra Madre nonetheless serves as a “permanent station” for Philippine military personnel who live aboard the ship to guard against Chinese maritime incursions.

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