A German frigate would set sail for the Indo-Pacific region early August this year and sail through the South China Sea on its way back about six months later, reported the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), a German newspaper, on March 2 citing several senior officials at the German foreign and defense ministries. Reuters said it that would be the first German warship crossing the South China Sea since 2002.
The German newspaper analyzed that the voyage was intended to enhance Germany’s regional influence in the Indo-Pacific, which falls in line with the goals that Berlin set in its Indo-Pacific policy guidelines last September. The newspaper added that the maritime operation clearly demonstrated Berlin’s opposition to China’s sovereign claims in disputed waters of the South China Sea.[…]
Cui Hongjian, director of the Department for European Studies of China Institute of International Studies, said in an interview on March 3 that European countries, such as the UK and France, assigned warships to the South China Sea a few years ago. Putting up the banner of “freedom of navigation” though, these countries still wanted to keep a distance from the US, which is shown in their choice of route, timing, and the official statements. Läs artikel