Springboard into the Pacific Region

BERLIN/CANBERRA (Own report) – To reinforce its position in the Pacific region, Berlin is initiating a regular dialogue with Australia at foreign and defense ministerial levels. Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier are participating in the first “German-Australian 2+2 Dialogue” held today in Berlin. The meeting, which will be repeated at regular intervals, is one of the measures initiated in early 2013 to enhance cooperation between Berlin and Canberra, in light of the shift of global policy priority from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In view of its growing economic and political importance, Washington considers China to be its main rival of the future. Therefore US President George W. Bush (2002) and US Foreign Minister Hillary Clinton (2011) explicitly declared this to be “America’s Pacific Century,” and Washington has begun redeploying its military forces closer to the People’s Republic of China. Explicitly claiming to “help shape the global order,” Berlin also feels obliged to reinforce its position in that region.

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Navy should shift warships to West Coast in response to China’s aggressive military buildup, defence analysts say

Canada should get out of is cold war mindset and move the majority of its warships from Halifax to the B.C. coast in response to the Chinese navy’s aggressive military buildup, say defence analysts.

The U.S. government has already announced its plan to put 60 per cent of its naval assets on its west coast by 2020 as part of its plan to make the 21st century “America’s Pacific Century” — a term coined by former U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

The Canadian military’s tiny fleet of warships is split up on a 60-40 basis favouring the Atlantic coast, with seven frigates and two destroyers in Halifax compared to five frigates and one destroyer in Esquimalt. Continue reading