As tensions simmer in SCS amid China’s growing aggression, German Navy sails to Asia in support of allies

A German combat vessel, Frankfurt am Main, along with a frigate, Baden-Wuerttemberg, has started sailing from Europe towards Asia. The move is orchestrated to show Germany’s support for its allies against China’s aggressive behavior in the South China Sea.

During its current tour, the fleet will also participate in Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) naval exercises with other fleets belonging to several countries on the Asian and American continents, according to a report in Nikkei Asia.
The 29th Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise will take place in June and July 2024. The exercise will take place in the waters around the Hawaiian Islands.
The ships will engage in naval exercises with fleets from Canada, the US, Japan, India, and France.
The key highlight of these exercises will be the US Navy-led RIMPAC manoeuvre, which is the world’s largest maritime exercise that takes place every two years off Hawaii.
Additionally, during the RIMPAC, the ships will also be joined by the German Air Force, the report claimed.
The same will also be joined by the Air forces of France and Spain, creating a fleet of European fighter planes. Additionally, Italy also is looking to send its aircraft carrier Cavour, along with its entire fleet of ships including F-35 multirole combat aircraft, to participate in RIMPAC. Separately, France also plans to send the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle to the Indo-Pacific this year.
According to the report, the German frigate Baden-Wuerttemberg and supply ship Frankfurt am Main are heading across the North Atlantic and the Panama Canal to Hawaii and Japan, then the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Red Sea before returning home in an eight-month journey.
Notably, the political situation of the Indo-Pacific has worsened a lot in the past three years. The threat of a war breaking out is ringing louder in the region, while the Ukraine and Gaza are facing daily bombardments.
Vice Admiral Jan Christian Kaack from Germany also highlighted China’s aggressive moves in the region while expressing his worries regarding the matter. Quoting the statements of defense experts the same news report by Nikkei Asia mentioned that “it makes strategic sense for European countries to take a more active role in global security, given the events of recent years”.
James Holmes, a professor at the US Naval War College regarding the matter stated that “If the Eurasian supercontinent is the decisive geographic feature on the planet, then it behooves European governments to help manage events in the rim lands as Russia, the Houthis, Iran, China, and North Korea make trouble there.”
May-Britt U Stumbaum, professor of security studies and strategic competition at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies stated that “The German Navy is now heading for a tense potential conflict zone in the South China Sea and possibly the Taiwan Strait. It is conceivable that the two ships will be hassled by China’s maritime militia encircling or shadowing them, which would be challenging to respond to without risking accidents.” -ANI

Dr. Tulip Duncan

Dr. Tulip Duncan

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