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U.S. Reportedly Cooperating with Philippines on Fixing South China Sea Outpost

An aerial view taken on March 9, 2023 shows Philippine ship BRP Sierra Madre grounded on Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea. JAM STA ROSA / AFP

The United States is reportedly advising the Philippines on repairing the BRP Sierra Madre, a World War II-era ship being used as a makeshift military base and a key marker of Philippine claims on the South China Sea.

Manila in 1999 intentionally grounded the Sierra Madre at the Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands and stationed soldiers there as a marker of its territory. It raised questions about what would happen to this presence once the decrepit ship breaks apart and sinks.

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