The development of China’s naval power is “explosive” and a cause for concern, said German Navy Chief Admiral Kay-Achim Schonbach, who urged Beijing to abide by the rules-based international order, CNBC reported, quoted by news.ro.

Schonbach said China is increasing the size of its naval forces to the equivalent of the entire French navy every four years. “I can understand the political leaders in China … who are now saying, ‘We want a big navy. We want a blue water fleet – and of course to create power, “Schonbach told CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia on Wednesday.

A blue water marina is one that can operate globally in the open oceans and is not limited to offshore functions.

“The question is whether it fits into the rules-based international order,” he said.

Schonbach made the remarks while the German frigate Bayern is docked in Singapore.

Bayern arrived on Monday as part of a six-month naval deployment in the Asia-Pacific region. The ship is sailing across the South China Sea, marking the first deployment of a German warship in the Indo-Pacific region in nearly 20 years.

China’s growing naval power has become a growing concern for the United States, as well as for democracies in Europe and Asia.

According to a recent report on Chinese military power, the US Department of Defense has said that China is the largest ship-producing nation in the world and is almost self-sufficient in these efforts. China’s second internally built aircraft carrier is also expected to enter service by 2024 and expects the country to have between 65 and 70 submarines by mid-2020.

Washington is concerned about Beijing’s movements in the South China Sea, as well as countries that have access to that sea, including Vietnam and the Philippines.

The South China Sea is huge, with an area of ​​about 3.5 million square kilometers, and contains some of the most critical shipping routes in the world.

China claims most of the South China Sea as its own territory, although other countries and an international ruling in The Hague have denied the allegations.

During a visit to the Indo-Pacific region last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on China to cease its “aggressive actions” in the region.

“Nowhere is the rule-based maritime order more threatened than in the South China Sea. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) continues to coerce and intimidate the coastal states of Southeast Asia, threatening freedom of navigation on this critical global route, “Blinken said in July.

Germany’s deployment of the Bayern ship comes after the country issued policy guidelines for the Indo-Pacific region last year, in which it noted that the European and Indo-Pacific economies “are closely linked by global supply chains”.

Berlin also said in its announcement that if there were conflicts in the region that “negatively affect security and stability there, this will have repercussions for Germany as well.”

Schonbach said Bayern’s deployment signaled Germany’s commitment to stepping up its engagement in Asia, including by expanding its security and defense cooperation with regional partners.

“We are here for the first time in 19 years to check the battlefield. Last year, the German government enacted guidelines for the Indo-Pacific. This is now the first step. The next step, I hope, is that we will be able to come regularly – two or three years, “he said.

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