European nations are sending warships into the Pacific as suspicion grows over Beijing’s motives for building the world’s largest navy.

At this week’s Two Sessions national assembly of the Chinese Communist Party, Chairman Xi Jinping reasserted his desire to built a world-beating fleet.

“Our country’s current security situation is largely unstable and uncertain,” Xi told the assembled delegates. Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe added to the drumbeat, declaring China had “entered a high-risk phase”.

Which may be a response to Europe suddenly reviving its interest in the Indo-Pacific.

“European countries have been active recently to intensify their “presence” on the South China Sea issue,” concedes the People’s Liberation Army publication China Military.

It quotes China Institute of International Studies director Cui Hongjian as saying: “They want to impose clout on China not only through economic and diplomatic means but also with something ‘visible’, such as warships, to remind Beijing that ‘we can exert security influence around you’.” (Click here to read more…)