In fact, it was always a bit of a storm in a teacup. Australia is inextricably tied to China and, as always in families, there are spats. Now China has sent a top-level official to Australia, in what is being seen as a move to end a period of sour relations.
The visit of Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang is the first since China canceled a visit from its vice foreign minister in August.
Sources of tension have included the arrest in China of an Australian mining executive and the visit to Australia of Uihgur activist leader Rebiya Kadeer.
But the Australian foreign minister has said, "we’re back to business as usual".
The wide expectation was that relations between Beijing and Canberra would prosper under Australia’s Mandarin-speaking Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, seen here.
Sadly, there has been a string of controversies and incidents during the course of the year which have, in the minds at least of the Australian media, soured Sino-Australian relations – from the arrest in Shanghai of the Australian mining executive from Rio Tinto, Stern Hu, to the high-profile visit of Rebiya Kadeer to Australia.
BBC reports that China’s continued expansion through the global economic downturn has helped Australia become one of the few countries to avoid recession. Everything should work out okay. There is need on both sides. And the prime minister of Australia is totally pro-China as is most of the voting population.