Ship cruises in the Indo-Pacific: China does not want to receive German frigates

Ship voyages in the Indian and Pacific Oceans
China does not want to receive German frigates

With the dispatch of the frigate “Bayern” Germany wanted to send a message in the conflict over the South China Sea. In order not to intimidate Beijing from this act, it was planned to stop the battleship in Shanghai. But after much deliberation, the People’s Republic refused the visit.

The visit of the frigate “Bavaria” to China planned by the federal government failed due to Beijing’s opposition. “After a period of reflection, China has decided that it will not want the German frigate ‘Bayern’ to visit the port, and we have noted that,” a spokeswoman for the German Foreign Ministry said in Berlin.

The frigate, with 232 soldiers on board, set off from Wilhelmshaven for the Indian and Pacific Oceans on August 2. The German government announced in April that it would step up its involvement in security policy in Asia and, above all, coordinate more closely with Japan. However, the Defense Department’s declared goals – “a rules-based system, free sea routes, pluralism” – should be paired with a friendly nod in the direction of China – a now-cancelled port visit to Shanghai.

There is a territorial dispute between China and other neighboring countries in the South China Sea. Beijing has 80 percent of the ocean, which is rich in natural resources, and through which important shipping routes pass. Territorial claims are also made by Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei, and Malaysia. The International Court of Arbitration in The Hague rejected China’s allegations in 2016. Beijing is ignoring the ruling.

“Bayern”, which entered service in 1996, has a length of 139 meters and belongs to the Brandenburg class. Germany has four warships of this type, all of which entered service in the 1990s. They are among the oldest frigates in the Navy and are mainly used for submarine fishing.

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