Germany vows to deepen Asian presence as frigate marks stop in Singapore

by Ridzwan Rahmat

The German Navy's Brandenburg-class (Type 123) frigate, Bayern , seen here at Changi Naval Base in Singapore in December 2021. (German Embassy Singapore)

Germany will deepen its presence and engagement with countries across the Asia-Pacific in the interest of upholding security and freedom of navigation in the region.

This commitment was given by Germany's ambassador to Singapore, Dr Norbert Riedel, on 21 December during his speech to mark the arrival of the Brandenburg-class frigate Bayern at Changi Naval Base.

The vessel is making a port call in Singapore as part of its almost seven-month-long deployment to the Asia-Pacific that began in August 2021. During this deployment, Bayern became the first German Navy vessel to cross the South China Sea since 2002.

In his speech, Riedel described the country's deepening of engagement as being in line with the new policy objectives outlined by its foreign ministry in 2021. “For Germany, the Indo-Pacific region is of great importance, as it is for the European Union and its member states,” he said.

Also present at the event was German Navy Chief Vice-Admiral Kay-Achim Schonbach, who was on his introductory visit to Singapore. In response to questions from reporters at the event, the vice-admiral described Bayern' s deployment as a “teaser” and that more German ships can be expected in the region from 2023 onwards.

And in pursuit of this, the German Navy is in discussions with Singapore and several other countries on the possible establishment of logistics hubs to support the presence of its ships in the region, he added.


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