European powers to boost military presence in Asia to counter China

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Germany, the United Kingdom, and France will increase their military presence in Asia in 2021 in order to oppose China and strengthen support for the United States (US), Japan, and other regional allies.

Germany will send a frigate to patrol Indo-Pacific waterways, while the United Kingdom will send a carrier strike group (CSG) led by the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. This May, France will join Japan and the US in amphibious training.

According to experts, European countries’ choice to increase their military presence in the Indo-Pacific area will not only enhance their alliances with the US and Japan, but will also help to safeguard common values and rule-based order in the region.

Experts also think that Britain’s recent defense procurement, as well as its decision to send the HMS Queen Elizabeth to the West Philippine Sea, sends a signal to Washington that the United Kingdom is still ready and able to be a significant strategic ally.

Germany, on the other hand, has vital economic and trade interests in Asia that it wishes to safeguard.

On September 20, 2020, the three European countries sent a combined note verbale to the United Nations, alleging that China’s “historic” claims in the South China Sea violate international law and the articles of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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