Regardless of pressing international geo-politics, domestic issues are never far away.
Although meeting President Xi is expected to bolster Prime Minister Gillard's image at home where she has been criticized for being uncomfortable on the world stage and disinterested in international affairs, her political opposition have taken aim.
Whilst welcoming the prospect of a currency conversion deal, the opposition has reiterated concern over the government's threatened crackdown on skilled worker visas, which Prime Minister Gillard claims is being abused.
She said the visa category was delivering jobs that could go to Australians, to foreign workers, leaving supporters and critics alike condemning her for buying into a divisive and long running race debate.
On the eve of her departure for China, the opposition coalition leader, Tony Abbott said that the Prime Minister is "very interested in the Asia century when she's traveling to Asia, but when it comes to skilled migration, a totally different story."