Nuclear submarine deal with Australia draws criticism from allies and China amid fears of conflict

Britain and the US were battling to contain an international backlash over a nuclear submarine pact struck with Australia amid concerns the alliance could provoke China and prompt conflict in the Pacific.

Boris Johnson told MPs that the Aukus defence agreement was “not intended to be adversarial” to China. But Beijing accused the three countries of adopting a “cold war mentality” and warned they would harm their own interests unless it was dropped.

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