By Mari Yamaguchi | APToday at 7:25 a.m. EST
TOKYO — The chief of Germany’s navy said Tuesday that its dispatch of a warship to the Indo-Pacific underscores his country’s concern that freedom of navigation and the rule-based international order are being threatened in the region, an apparent reference to its biggest trading partner, China.
Vice Adm. Kay-Achim Schonbach, in Tokyo for a port call by the frigate Bayern, said escalating tensions, territorial disputes and the changing military balance in the region can have an extensive impact beyond Asia.
Speaking at a news conference, Schonbach said the ship’s dispatch is to show support for Japan, the United States and other partners, and join their efforts in advocating peace, free navigation and the rule-based international order.
“The South China Sea is a global common, that is, a sea area that belongs to everyone, so it cannot be taken possession of or claimed by anyone if … we abide by the international world order,” he said.
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