China refused to allow the German frigate Bayern to visit the port of Shanghai when the warship made its way to Asia and through the South China Sea.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebahr confirmed the information at a press conference on September 16, saying that the Chinese side made the decision “after deliberation”. Germany “recognized this” but did not state the reason for China’s refusal to allow the Bavarian warship to visit the port.
China’s decision is considered a blow to Germany’s intention for the frigate Bayern to visit Shanghai port to reduce tensions around the warship’s trip to Asia.
Previously, China’s Foreign Ministry on August 3 threatened not to allow the frigate Bayern to visit Shanghai port if Germany did not clarify its intentions related to the ship’s trip, including the passage through the East Sea.
The Bavarian frigate left the port of Wilhelmshaven on August 2, starting a six-month journey to the Indo-Pacific to increase Germany’s military presence in the region. This is the first time a German warship has visited the Indo-Pacific region in nearly 20 years.
The German warship is expected to pass through the South China Sea in mid-December on its return journey, marking the first time a German warship has appeared in the area in nearly 20 years.
German foreign and defense officials said in March that the warship would sail on normal shipping lanes, not within 12 nautical miles of features in the South China Sea and not through the Taiwan Strait. .
Western countries have significantly increased their military presence in the South China Sea, where China unilaterally drew a “nine-dash line” to claim unreasonable sovereignty over most of the area. The US destroyer USS Benfold on September 8 entered the waters near Mischief Reef to challenge China’s unreasonable claims in the East Sea.
Bayern is a Brandenburg-class frigate of the German Navy, commissioned in June 1996. The Brandenberg-class battleships have the main function of hunting submarines, but can also perform anti-aircraft missions, tactical command for surface ships and anti-ship warfare.
The Bayern frigate has a displacement of 4,490 tons, a length of 138.9 m, a maximum speed of 54 km / h, is equipped with a 76 mm cannon, two 27 mm cannons, a cluster of 16 Mk.41 launchers containing missiles. AIM-7 Sparrow air defense system, two clusters of 21 RIM-116 anti-aircraft missile launchers, four MM38 Exocet anti-ship missiles and four Mk.46 torpedo tubes.
Nguyen Tien (Follow SCMP)