Australia announced that it would bar Chinese and Russian military officials from a major international naval conference in Sydney starting on May 10.

The Indo Pacific Sea Power Conference 2022 would be held at Sydney’s Darling Harbour for three days, from May 10 to May 12. The event would welcome the naval chiefs from 40 countries.

Russia was banned due to its war in Ukraine. While with China, Australia’s Vice Admiral Mike Noonan cited the “deteriorating relations” and the ongoing trade war that Beijing has been waging against its exporters.

In this year’s event, more than 700 defense companies worldwide will take part in the trade fair. These arms dealers try to compete for contracts from Australia’s estimated 190 billion U.S. dollars in military spending over the next ten years.

In the last conference held in 2019, both China and Russia joined in. At that time, ABC News witnessed a number of the Chinese officers closely inspecting Australia’s French-designed future submarine project.

Tensions between Beijing and Canberra became tense in 2020. At that time, Australia called for a full investigation into Covid origin.

China fought back with bans and tariffs worth 20 billion dollars on key Australian exports such as wine, barley, and beef.

Adding to that is the recent security deal between China and the Solomons Islands. The deal would give Beijing a chance to establish a military base less than 2000 kilometers from Australia’s coast.

In fact, one key point from the conference would be about the controversial deal between China and Solomon Islands.

Another key point at the event is the newly-formed trilateral security pact among Australia, U.S., and U.K. called AUKUS. According to the deal, the U.S. and U.K. will help Australia get a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines. The deal is seen as a response to deter China’s aggressive activity in the Indo-Pacific region.

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