Former US secretary of state Hilary Clinton has warned Australia against tightening trade ties with China.
She says the relationship is interfering with a strategic pivot by America in Asia.
When he was in China in April, Prime Minister Tony Abbott didn't mention the US by name at all.
In this video Professor Hugh White, from ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, discusses why Australia's relationships with China and the US can no longer be kept in separate compartments.
He also comments on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Australia. He says Australia's fledging relationship with Japan will be viewed with scepticism by the Chinese.
"At least the Chinese accept that we have always had an alliance with the US," he says.
"They know that is part of what we are. The idea that we are building a strategic relationship with Japan, something that is not part of our background...in Beijing they are inclined to see that as very much directed against them."
Production by Belinda Cranston and James Walsh.
For more analysis, insight and commentary on international and strategic relations in Asia visit http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au