Prime Minister Julia Gillard has left for a five-day visit to China to shore up ties with Australia's number one trading partner.
The Federal Government says the trip has been deliberately timed to coincide with the recent leadership change in the Asian powerhouse.
Ms Gillard will meet the new Chinese president, Xi Jinping, and premier Li Keqiang during her time on Hainan Island and in Shanghai and Beijing.
It will be Ms Gillard's second visit to China as prime minister, and the Federal Government says it is the most high-level delegation to ever visit the country.
Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr, Trade, Skills and Tertiary Education Minister Craig Emerson and Financial Services Minister Bill Shorten are also part of the delegation.
In its Asian Century white paper released last year, the Federal Government emphasised the need for Australia to build a more comprehensive relationship with China, and Ms Gillard is expected to try to use this visit to develop personal ties with the new Chinese leaders early into their 10-year terms.
The discussions are expected to cover not only Australia and China's significant economic relationship, but also growing links in education, climate change adaptation and defence.
Regional security issues will also be on the agenda, with the recent tensions on the Korean peninsula once again likely to overshadow other topics.
Ms Gillard says she will personally raise Australia's concerns about North Korea in her meetings, and she has welcomed the Chinese government's enforcement of the latest UN sanctions against a country considered an ally.
Senator Carr has also .
"I would expect the Chinese to give us an account of the measures they've taken so far, to give us a reading of what they think the effect of that has been in North Korea and that would lead to a discussion where we'd explore with them, further action they might take," he said.
Ms Gillard arrives in China tonight and will officially begin her visit tomorrow at the two day Bo'ao Asia Forum.
It is a business and political summit, which is styled as China's version of the Davos World Economic Forum.
Deputy Opposition Leader and Coalition Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop will also attend the forum.
Economic expansion When Ms Gillard arrives on the island, she will join some high-powered business figures as well.
CEOs or chairmen are expected from Westpac, Macquarie, Transfield, Qantas and the like.
And the China they are entering is one which many analysts see as having renewed economic prospects, where elsewhere there is gloom.
Figures this week seem to suggest China is again entering a period of greater expansion.
A study by Morgan Stanley found China's household consumption could be much higher than official statistics suggest - in fact making up nearly half of the country's GDP growth.
According to the bank research, China's official statisticians have significantly underestimated purchases made online.
If true it would mean the Chinese government's strategy of bolstering domestic demand to make up for lost export revenue could be working.
New orders at Chinese factories have hit an 11-month high and even steel production, requiring Australian iron ore, seems pretty healthy.
Lange Steel Information Research Centre deputy director Ge Xins says China's steel consumption will continue to increase.
"It's certain that China's economy will keep growing and the consumption of steel will increase," he said.
Associate Professor Gao Cheng from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences is also optimistic about Australian iron ore sales to China.
"The speed of increase may go down due to China's economy slowing down, but the trade volume will definitely go up, because China is still in the process of urbanisation and it remains a big steel exporter," she said.
China's industrial machine is facing a major hurdle with old and inefficient equipment pouring record amounts of pollution into the air.
But in China, analysts also see opportunities for Australian exporters providing greener technology to serve the country's needs.
In addition, this Australian mission to China will be trying to steer the economic relationship beyond coal and iron ore into areas like education, finance and the massively expanding the Chinese tourist trade.