In non-Covid news: a German warship is expected to dock at Perth during its six-month voyage to the Indo-Pacific region.
The frigate Bayern left the north-west German port of Wilhelmshaven yesterday bound for Asia, where it will visit ports in partner countries, cross the South China Sea, monitor compliance with UN sanctions against North Korea, and take part in multilateral activities. Australia’s ambassador to Germany, Philip Green, revealed on Twitter overnight that one of the stops would be Perth:
Allzeit gute Fahrt & eine Handbreit Wasser unterm Kiel für die #Fregatte Bayern, die heute Deutschland verlässt. Ein starkes 🇩🇪 Signal, denn die Bedeutung des #IndoPazifiks nimmt zu. 🇦🇺 freut sich darauf, die @deutschememarine bald in Perth begrüßen zu dürfen. @BMVg_Bundeswehr https://t.co/NX3sK7X7bR
Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, name-checked Australia in his statement on the frigate’s departure, while also signalling Germany’s increasing interest in security matters in the region:
The Indo-Pacific is where the international order of the future will be decided. We want to help shape it and to take on responsibility for upholding the rules‑based international order. This is why we are helping to monitor the UN sanctions against North Korea and expanding our partnerships and our involvement in the region, including through the EU’s strategic partnership with Asean and consultations on security policy with Japan and Australia.
at 10.40pm BST