The German frigate Bayern had asked to make a port call in Shanghai. Photo: Twitter
In response to the German foreign ministry’s announcement that the frigate Bayern had been refused permission to visit Shanghai, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Thursday that “countries outside the region should respect regional countries’ efforts to maintain peace and stability, and play a constructive role”.
“China attaches great importance to the development of an all-round strategic partnership between China and Germany, including cooperation between the two militaries, and is willing to carry out friendly exchanges on the basis of mutual respect and mutual trust,” Zhao said, adding that it was up to Germany to “create a good atmosphere for this”.
Zhao again accused “a few powers” of frequently conducting freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea to flex their muscle and instigate trouble. He said China was determined to safeguard its sovereignty and maritime interests.