Senior federal Labor MP Tanya Plibersek agrees with billionaire media tycoon Kerry Stokes the prime minister should visit China to reset the relationship with Australia's number one trading partner.
The advice comes as Scott Morrison prepares to jet off to the US next week to attend a state dinner at the White House with US President Donald Trump.
Mr Stokes' appeal for the prime minister to meet China President Xi Jinping comes amid tensions between the two countries over foreign interference and a damaging trade war between the US and the Asian giant which is impacting on the global economy.
"I certainly think that this government has had a very mixed message about Australia's relationship with China," Ms Plibersek, the former Labor deputy leader, told reporters in Sydney on Saturday.
"China will be a very important economic partner for Australia into the foreseeable future."
Mr Stokes told The Australian newspaper that anyone who cares about Australia's future should be worried about its relationship with China.
"Australia's entire future is based on our ability to trade and China is our largest trading partner, Mr Stokes, the executive chairman of the Seven Group, said.
"Our whole standard of living is virtually determined by the exports we make to China."
An Australian prime minister has not visited China since Malcolm Turnbull in April 2016, although Mr Morrison did meet the Chinese president on the sidelines of the G20 in Osaka earlier this year.