German frigate to pass through the South China Sea in August.
German Frigate FGS Hamburg. Not known yet which ship will sail through the South China Sea. Image Credit: ANDREW SCHNEIDER/U.S. NAVY.
Last Tuesday, German officials confirmed that they will be sending a warship to the South China in August, for the first time since 2002.
The German frigate will carry out a ‘freedom of navigation’ operation. German officials said that the frigate will stay outside the “12-nautical-mile” point to make sure that it stays outside of what the claimants claim is theirs.
China is claiming most of the South China sea as theirs, and has warned countries in the region not to enter their territory. The region is believed to have oil and gas deposits. Around 1.3 million square miles of South China sea is claimed by China. Several years ago, satellite images showed China carrying out land reclamation on reefs to bolster their claim on the territory. On these lands China built military bases, some of which included runways.
This has infuriated several countries, which all have a rightful claim in the South China sea. These are Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.
Under the Biden administration, there are plans to put up a multilateral front against Chinese aggressiveness and expansion. Recently, the French navy sent a nuclear submarine in the region, and have also sent an amphibious ship and frigate on February 18th.
Also, the United Kingdom, Japan and Australia are planning military exercises in the South China Sea this year.