Berlin wants to send a naval vessel to the Indo-Pacific region for joint exercises with Australia next year, said German Defense Minister Annegret Gromb-Karenbauer.
- Germany’s defense minister says China poses a “big challenge.”
- Beijing has been accused of making regional claims during epidemics in the South China Sea
- Its military seeks to strengthen cooperation with like-minded countries such as Australia
“We want to increase our presence in joint exercises and send German naval officers to serve in the Australian naval units,” Ms Cramp-Garnbauer said.
Acknowledging China’s importance as a trading partner, he warned that Beijing was undermining a “rule-based world order” and that Berlin was looking forward to increasing its presence in the Indo-Pacific region with “like-minded” allies.
“China has its own views on our Western idea of individual liberties, human rights and democracy,” Ms. Cramp-Garnbauer said.
Germany has recently developed a new Indo-Pacific strategy aimed at strengthening its influence in the region.
Ms. Cramp-Karanbauer said she wanted to send a “clear signal” about freedom of navigation in the Berlin region.
It follows Allegations of Vietnam and the Philippines Beijing has been advancing its regional claims to the South China Sea during corona virus outbreaks.
“We need a better and more stable situation in the Indo-Pacific region, not just for Germany, but for Europe as a whole,” she said.
He added that the global infrastructure drive to build new trade routes around the world – “the challenge we must address” is China’s belt and road initiative.
The Defense Minister strengthened Germany’s support for the “one country, two organizations” policy in relation to Hong Kong.
“There should be no regional change against the will of the other side, no regional change that can be achieved by military means,” he said.
“As far as Taiwan is concerned, they are our partners. We share the same values and want to uphold the rules of international law to ensure that they are adhered to.”
Other European countries are also focusing on the region, with France developing its own Indo-Pacific strategy last year.