Chronology from Sep 2019 to Oct 2020
: normal !msorm;">Sept. 7, 2020: Two Australian foreign correspondents leave China after each is questioned by police from China’s Ministry of State Security.
: normal !msorm;">Aug. 27, 2020: The federal government announces it will introduce a new law, under foreign policy powers, so it can veto arrangements states, territories, councils and universities make with foreign governments.
: normal !msorm;">Aug. 15, 2020: Morrison marks the 75 anniversary of victory in the Pacific, calling it the greatest national effort in Australia’s history.
: normal !msorm;">Aug. 5, 2020: Australia and Papua New Guinea announce a new Comprehensive Strategic and Economic Partnership.
: normal !msorm;">July 28, 2020: 30th Australia-United States Ministerial meeting held in Washington. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper host Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne and Minister for Defense Linda Reynolds.
: normal !msorm;">July 17, 2020: Morrison briefs Trump on Australia’s new defense posture, outlined in the 2020 strategic update.
: normal !msorm;">July 9, 2020: Virtual summit takes place between Morrison and Japan Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.
: normal !msorm;">July 7, 2020: Foreign Affairs Department warns Australians they risk being “arbitrarily detained” if they visit China.
: normal !msorm;">July 1, 2020: The 2020 Defense Strategic Update says the strategic environment has deteriorated rapidly, calling for adjustments to defense policy, capability and force structure.
: normal !msorm;">July 1, 2020: Foreign Minister Marise Payne expresses deep concern at Beijing’s imposition of a National Security Law on Hong Kong. She says Australia is troubled by the law’s implications for Hong Kong’s judicial independence, and on the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong.
: normal !msorm;">June 19, 2020: Morrison says a “sophisticated state-based actor” (interpreted as a reference to China) has stepped up cyber attacks on Australia.
: normal !msorm;">June 5, 2020: The federal government announces changes to foreign investment laws to protect national security.
: normal !msorm;">June 4, 2020: Virtual summit between India lifts the relationship to the level of comprehensive strategic partnership, deepening ties in business, defense, and cyber security, as they increasingly find common cause in strained relations with China.
: normal !msorm;">June 3, 2020: Treasurer Josh Frydenburg says Australia is entering its first recession in 29 years.
: normal !msorm;">May 18, 2020: World Health Organization resolves to review “lessons learned” from COVID-19.
: normal !msorm;">May 5, 2020: The first military aircraft to be designed and built in Australia in more than 50 years—the unmanned Loyal Wingman—is rolled out as part of a partnership between the Royal Australian Air Force and Boeing Australia.
: normal !msorm;">April 22, 2020: Australian frigate HMAS Parramatta joins three US warships in the South China Sea near an area Chinese vessels are suspected of exploring for oil.
: normal !msorm;">April 19, 2020: Foreign Minister Marise Payne calls for independent inquiry into the coronavirus outbreak, how it developed and spread.
: normal !msorm;">April 8, 2020: Federal Parliament passes legislation to spend A$130 billion to support wages and business during the pandemic shutdown.
: normal !msorm;">March 28, 2020: From midnight, all travellers flying into Australia are taken to hotels for 14 days of quarantine.
: normal !msorm;">March 26, 2020: Morrison takes part in a teleconference summit of G20 leaders to discuss the COVID-19 crisis. Morrison emphasises the importance of supporting the South Pacific islands and Timor-Leste as Australia’s “Pacific family.”
: normal !msorm;">March 23, 2020: Morrison holds a “virtual summit” with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
: normal !msorm;">March 22, 2020: Australian government announces a further A$66 billion economic stimulus package. With other initiatives in the previous 10 days, plus action by the Reserve Bank, the pandemic stimulus spend will total A$189 billion dollars, equivalent to 10% of GDP.
: normal !msorm;">March 20, 2020: To slow the spread of coronavirus, Australia closes its borders to “all-non citizens and non-residents.”
: normal !msorm;">March 12, 2020: The Australian government announces an A$17.6 billion (about $13 million) stimulus package to try to stave off an economic recession caused by COVID-19.
: normal !msorm;">Feb 28, 2020: The annual Australia-New Zealand leaders’ meeting takes place in Sydney. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, said Australia’s policy of deporting New Zealanders convicted of crimes, even if they’re long-term Australian residents, is “unfair” and is “testing” the friendship of the two nations.
: normal !msorm;">Feb. 27, 2020: Predicting that the world will soon enter a pandemic phase of the coronavirus, the national security committee of federal cabinet activates Australia’s emergency response plan.
: normal !msorm;">Feb. 10, 2020: Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo addresses joint sitting of the Australian Parliament.
: normal !msorm;">Jan. 23, 2020: Fighting bushfires near Cooma, New South Wales, three members of a US aerial firefighting crew, are killed when their C-130 air tanker crashes.
: normal !msorm;">Jan. 4, 2020: Australian Defense Force Reserve is called out to assist fire-hit communities across Australia.
: normal !msorm;">Dec. 13, 2019: Rachel Noble is appointed Director-General of the Australian Signals Directorate, the first woman to head a major intelligence agency in Australia.
: normal !msorm;">Dec. 10, 2019: South Korea and Australia meet in Sydney for “two plus two talks” on regional security.
: normal !msorm;">Nov. 23-Dec. 6, 2019: Bougainville referendum delivers a 98% vote for independence from Papua New Guinea.
: normal !msorm;">Nov. 2-4, 2019: At the ASEAN Summit and East Asia Summit in Thailand, India withdraws from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade agreement. The other 15 RCEP states—ASEAN, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea—announced the conclusion of all 20 chapters of the deal, and aim to sign the treaty in 2020.
: normal !msorm;">Oct. 21, 2019: Australia’s House of Representatives passes legislation for bilateral free trade agreements with Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Peru.
: normal !msorm;">Oct. 20, 2019: Morrison attends the inauguration of President Joko Widodo in Jakarta.
: normal !msorm;">Oct. 9, 2019: US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross visits Canberra to discuss development of Australian mines to diversify rare earths production away from China.
: normal !msorm;">Sept. 20, 2019: Morrison visits President Trump at the White House. Morrison is the second world leader to be given a state dinner by Trump.
: normal !msorm;">Sept. 19, 2019: Prime Minister Scott Morrison flies to the US to visit Washington, New York, Chicago, and Ohio.
: normal !msorm;">Sept. 16, 2019: Visiting Canberra, Fiji’s Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, signs a Vuvale (Family) partnership agreement with Australia.