Australia broke its previous silence on the South China Sea issue, calling for Beijing to respect the ruling of the 2016 decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration. This occurred just before the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultation.

Further reading:
  1. Australia lays down the law in the South China Sea dispute
  2. Explainer: why is the South China Sea such a hotly contested region?
  3. Demystifying Australia’s South China Sea stance