On Monday, a German warship was dispatched and will pass through the disputed waters on its six month Indo-Pacific mission. The German Defence Minister said that they are “standing up for our values and interests” by sailing through the territory that’s claimed by China.
China claims most of the 1.3 million square mile South China Sea and this will be the first German warship to pass through the area since 2002.
The warship, the Bayern, left Wilhelmshaven harbour with 200 soldiers on board.
It is expected to pass through the South China Sea in December.
“The message is clear: we are standing up for our values and interests together with our partners and allies,” Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told Reuters.
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Many of Germany’s western allies have also been showing military presence in the area.
The UK deployed HMS Queen Elizabeth and its strike group to the disputed territory.
The aircraft carrier has sailed into the South China Sea to carry out navigational operations alongside US ships.
“It’s no secret that China shadows and challenges ships transiting international waters on very legitimate routes,” Ben Wallace, UK defence secretary, told the Times.
“We will respect China and we hope that China respects us . . . we will sail where international law allows.”