Germany To Expand Military Presence in Indo-Pacific

Photo: AFP/DPA [via Asia Times]

The Facts

  • The German military will reportedly increase its presence in the Indo-Pacific region by sending additional warships and participating in military exercises with its allies amid its characterization of China's "enormous" military buildup in the area.

  • The German Armed Forces Inspector General Eberhard Zorn said on Wed. that Berlin plans to send troops to Australia for military exercises next year, while the German navy will send a fleet of several ships to the region in 2024 to "consolidate" Berlin's presence.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

It is to be welcomed that Germany is becoming increasingly aware of its responsibility to defend a rules-based order, including through military strength. Berlin also made clear in its Indo-Pacific policy of 2020 that this also applies to the Indo-Pacific region given the hegemonic ambitions of its "systematic rival" China. It makes sense for Germany to diversify its regional partnerships away from China to Japan, ASEAN, and Australia.

Establishment-critical narrative

Germany finds itself in a dilemma. On the one hand, it is an integral part of NATO and a close US ally. On the other, it is an economic power that depends on good trade relations, especially with China. Berlin should carefully consider whether to blindly follow the US anti-China alliance or to pursue a more sovereign foreign policy that also takes into account its own strategic and economic interests. The current ambiguity toward China could yet prove costly for the European power.

Establishment split



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