The new guidelines provide a strategic framework for Germany’s political measures in the Indo-Pacific region. « With the rise of Asia, the political and economic weights are increasingly shifting to the Indo-Pacific region. The region will become the key to shaping the international order in the 21st century, » the new guidelines say.
This is why Germany must also prepare for a possible expansion of its security policy commitment. Under the auspices of the Foreign Office, the MoD therefore played a key role in the preparation of this cross-departmental paper.
From the MoD point of view, the issue of peace and security, including free maritime routes, is of particular importance. The German government intends to expand its security policy engagement in the Indo-Pacific region. In addition to expanding security and defense policy cooperation with partners in the region, defense policy contacts in the region are to be intensified. This includes, for example, participating in exercises.
« It is time for Germany to defend its interests more vigorously, » German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer emphasized last year in her keynote address on security policy at the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich. Allies and partners would expect Germany to take the initiative, provide impetus and show options, said the minister. With the measures that have now been adopted, this approach is reflected in the official guidelines of the federal government. These offer some points of contact and offers for expanding cooperation in the region.
With a view to the partners in the region, Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer had already campaigned in Munich last year to show more presence in the region together with the allies. « Because we have an interest in ensuring that existing law is respected, » said the minister.
For the record, German Navy’s F124 Sachsen-class frigate Hamburg was set to conduct a five month deployment in the Indo-Pacific waters, including to Reunion island and Australia, this year. However, due to COVID-19, this deployment has been postponed. Instead, the frigate deployed in early August to take part in European Union’s EUNAVFOR MED IRINI operation in the Mediterranean Sea.