In 1973 on arrival in Beijing Gough Whitlam became the first Australian Prime Minister to visit China while in office.
The personal, political and trade relations that followed are extraordinary.
In 1978 Deng Xiao Ping introduced China's Open Door Policy for foreign businesses.
By 1980 four Special Economic Zones were up and running - Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shantou in Guangdong, and Xiamen in Fujian. China stands at the top in 2014, regarded by 31% of Australians as the nation's best friend in Asia, according to a Lowy Institute poll (see graphic at end of article).