Taiwan and Japan’s joy at AUKUS submarine pact to take on China: Relief among the West’s Pacific allies while furious Beijing warns it ‘undermines peace’, France fumes over ‘stab in the back’ and anti-nuke New Zealand BANS Aussie subs

Taiwan and Japan have welcomed a new three-way nuclear submarine pact between the US, UK and Australia aimed at combatting China – saying it is necessary to provide ‘security’ for the region.

The countries are both threatened by Beijing and North Korea respectively, and said the new naval alliance dubbed AUKUS would help keep the region ‘free and open’ and increasing ‘peace and security’.

Boris Johnson, Joe Biden and Scott Morrison were also careful not to mention China when they announced the new pact – which will see Australia provided with its first ever fleet of at least eight nuclear subs – on Wednesday night, though made their intentions clear with references to ‘democracy, freedom of navigation, and security’.

Taiwan – which considers itself to be an independent nation but is viewed by Beijing as a self-governing Chinese province – fears invasion from the mainland after Xi Jinping committed himself to ‘reunifying’ the island in a 2019 speech, saying he reserves the right to use force if necessary.

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