Not these days. We don't seem able to do much even for our own citizens such as Stern Hu or Matthew Ng, who find themselves in trouble with the law there, even in this low-key 40th anniversary year of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic.
We seem to be getting nowhere with our negotiations for a free trade agreement to broaden and deepen our narrow economic links with China, even as they enter their seventh bleak year.
And our elite - businesspeople, university administrators, some politicians - appear severely conflicted by their own sense of dependence on their Chinese peers, essentially one presumes, for income.
The Sydney University vice chancellor, Michael Spence, told ABC radio listeners recently about lunching with a Chinese VC "who is a great fan of democracy". Then, as we have grown to expect, came the big BUT: "It (democracy) does not produce leaders of ability. I had difficulty disagreeing with him".
He told a different ABC show earlier that "the Chinese" are asking "again and again, how do you educate for creative, independent, critical thinking that asks the hard questions."
While the Chinese polity dominated by the Communist Party has its strong points, governance and encouraging people to ask it hard questions are not high among them.
It is hugely important that we engage more deeply with China without being patronising or hectoring or deferential.
It is not a mark of US failure that people like Chen seek succour in US sovereignty, or that such issues threaten to "overshadow" talks by Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, a Chinese speaker, that start soon in Beijing.
It is far more of a reminder of China's grave governance deficit - harder to fix than the US trade deficit - which is about to be passed on unresolved to another generation of party leaders.