Germany’s show of force in the Indo-Pacific
The frigate Bayern (Bavaria), one of Germany’s largest warships, has been on its way to the Indo-Pacific since Monday.
With a total journey of more than 30,000 nautical miles, the operation is one of the most comprehensive by the German navy since the end of the Second World War. The Bayern travelled through the North Sea and English Channel before traversing the northeast Atlantic, passing through the Straits of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea. From there, it will continue through the Suez Canal and Red Sea, through the Indian Ocean and into the western Pacific, which is scheduled to be reached in the autumn.
The most politically and militarily explosive part of the trip is the return leg. This is when the frigate will pass through the South China Sea and the Straits of Malacca. The latter, owing to its economic and geostrategic significance, is referred to…