The Federal Government has signed a joint statement with 55 other nations in calling for the end of malicious detention.
Last week Beijing confirmed the formal arrest of Australian journalist Cheng.
The Australian Government said it holds serious concerns for his welfare.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne said the Federal Government would hold countries to account for their obligations to comply with international laws.
“Australia is standing with more than 55 international partners against the practice of arbitrary detention in state-to-state relations,” Senator Payne said.
“The right not to be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention is guaranteed in international law and states must comply with their international human rights law obligations.”
Senator Payne also said the pandemic should not be used as an excuse for curbing access to justice and consular assistance for people under detention.
“Upholding our commitment to international human rights is one of the most important measures of the success of our societies,” she said.