European powers to boost military presence in Asia to counter China

by Chari Santos

In order to counter China and bolster support for the US, Japan and other regional allies, Germany, Britain and France will intensify their military presence in Asia this 2021.

Germany will send a frigate to patrol Indo-Pacific waters, while the United Kingdom will deploy the British carrier strike group (CSG) with the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier at its core. France will also join Japan and the U.S. to do amphibious training this May.

Experts say that the decision of the European countries to boost their military presence in the Indo-Pacific region will not only strengthen their alliances with the United States and Japan but also to help maintain common values and rule-based order in the region.

Experts also agree that Britain’s recent defense procurement and its decision to send the HMS Queen Elizabeth to the South China Sea also sends a signals to Washington that the U.K. remains willing and able to be a major strategic ally.

Germany, on the other hand, has key economic and trading interests in Asia that it wishes to protect.

On September 2020, the three European countries submitted a joint note verbale to the United Stations stating that China’s “historic” claims in the South China Sea do not adhere with international law and with provisions under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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