Updated: Jan 4, 2022
Australia’s deal to acquire nuclear-powered submarines from the US and Britain has set off a “very big alarm” in Beijing, according to Taiwanese intelligence.
This article for The Australian by Will Glasgow dated 03.01.22 begins with these words:
A senior member in President Tsai Ing-wen’s security team in Taiwan said Beijing had identified Canberra’s AUKUS security partnership with the US and UK as a “major threat” to its regional agenda.
“We have information from inside China. They regard AUKUS more seriously than the Quad, especially the submarine [agreement],” said Wang Ting-yu, the ruling Democratic People’s Party’s senior representative in the Taiwanese parliament’s foreign affairs and national defence committee.
Mr Wang said the security pact – along with increased co-operation with Japan and other partners – had sent a clear signal that the allies would block China inside the first island chain, which runs along the East Asian mainland from Japan to Taiwan to The Philippines.
“That’s a very big alarm to Beijing. They’re facing historical challenges, or historical co-operation, to choke them inside of their near seas,” he told The Australian.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will discuss Beijing’s menacing of Taiwan, and incursions in the East and South China Seas, with Scott Morrison during a visit to Australia this week.
Their meeting comes only three weeks after South Korean President President Moon Jae-in and the Prime Minister discussed security in the Taiwan Strait at a meeting in Canberra.
The two leaders’ meetings with fellow American allies are signs of the Australian government’s increasingly active role co-ordinating with countries in the Indo-Pacific and beyond in an attempt to deter aggression from Beijing.
China is furious at Canberra’s resistance to its territorial claims and President Xi Jinping in recent weeks has personally led attacks on AUKUS.
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