Australia has snubbed both China and Russia by not inviting them to an important event as relations with nations continue to deteriorate.
Australia’s “deteriorating relations” with Russia and China have taken an awkward new turn, with armies from both nations being barred from attending a major event in Sydney this week.
The Indo Pacific 2022 conference kicks off Tuesday in Darling Harbor in the NSW capital, with military delegations from over 30 countries attending for several days.
But for the first time, Beijing representatives will not be among the 40 nations present, with “deteriorating relations”, especially due to a recent security agreement with the Solomon Islands, to blame the ABC relationships.
Not even members of the Russian army, with the organizers having decided to cancel the invitation to Moscow following the invasion of Ukraine.
However, the Solomon Islands will take part this year, despite recent tensions with Australia for a controversial security pact with China – a topic that should dominate discussions during the event.
The theme of the conference is Australia and the Indo-Pacific: a commonality of purpose.
Prior to the launch of the conference, Australian Navy Vice Admiral Mike Noonan said the evolving nature of Indo-Pacific “gray zone” activities will be an important focus.
“Although these activities do not reach the threshold of something that could trigger a conflict, they involve coercive activities such as the militarization of contested elements or the coercive use of commercial and economic levers,” he said.
“These tactics are a common concern for Australia and other countries in the region and we cannot answer them alone.
“Our navy works in partnership with other regional navies to meet these challenges as part of our shared commitment to a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”
He said the Indo-Pacific was undergoing the most consequential strategic alignment since World War II, with increased competition between major players, faster technological advancement, and military modernization.
“In this increasingly uncertain environment, our navy must grow in size, shape and capacity to effectively shape our environment, discourage action against Australia’s interests and, if necessary, respond with military force to fight and win in sea, “he said.
“Our navy fleet is evolving significantly over the next two decades to meet the challenges of our strategic environment.
“Australia must have a strong sovereign defense industry to provide and support the quality and technologically advanced capabilities that people in the navy need to keep them safe and to get their jobs done.”
Also on this year’s agenda will be Australia’s participation in the AUKUS partnership and the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines as part of the deal, announced last year.
The outrage comes in the wake of the 9 May Victory Day celebrations in Russia, which were marked by a military parade and a speech by President Vladimir Putinwhich drew parallels between the war against Adolf Hitler’s army in World War II and today’s invasion of Ukraine.
He declared that war was necessary because Western forces were “preparing for the invasion of our land, including Crimea”.
Putin called it an “absolutely unacceptable threat” and said that Russian forces in Ukraine are continuing the battle against Nazism, but that it is important “to do everything so that the horror of a global war does not repeat itself”.
“You are fighting for your homeland, its future,” he told the troops at the annual parade.
“The death of every soldier and officer is painful for us. The state will do everything to take care of these families.
“For Russia, for the victory, cheers!”
Originally published as Australia’s massive affront to China and Russia revealed