Six years ago all the evidence pointed to the fact that in addition to being major trading partners Australia and China were also good friends, albeit with significant differences.
On November 17, 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping told a special joint sitting of the Australian Parliament that once he visited Tasmania the following day he would have been to every Australian state.
"I will gain a full understanding of Australia," he said. "I don't know whether I could get a certificate for that".
It was a light-hearted moment which suggested relations between both countries were tracking well. That was underscored by the fact a free trade agreement between China and Australia had just been announced.
How have we got to the point where Australia and China are now locked into tit-for-tat detentions, interrogations, and expulsions, and Chinese ministers refuse to take calls from their Australian counterparts?
Part of that answer is to be found in the adoption of a more assertive stance by the Australian government since that time. This has included public critiques on human rights by Australian politicians, the banning of Huawei from participation in the 5G network rollout, and the passage of laws against political interference that were clearly targeted against China. A number of diplomatic gaffes, including former PM Malcolm Turnbull quoting Mao to the Chinese, and Scott Morrison referring to the Chinese as "customers" as opposed to the Americans who are "friends" in May last year, haven't helped either.
And then, of course, there was this year's call by our Foreign Minister for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus which went down in Beijing like a lead balloon.
While all of these actions were defensible, and many have played particularly well to the Coalition's core constituency, they were never going to be popular in China. During his 2016 speech President Xi made it clear he was aware of significant anti-Chinese sentiment, and that he expected his country to be treated with respect.
"Many people applaud China's achievements and have great confidence in China... some others have concerns ... also [there are] people who find fault with everything China does".
One of those people is the current occupant of the White House, whose election in 2016 coincided with an acceleration in the deterioration of China's relationship with many Western countries.
The rapidity with which Australia has fallen from favour with China reflects, in large part, Beijing's historical perception that this country is little more than Washington's "tag along" buddy, and that to all intents and purposes, Canberra's foreign policy is driven by the US relationship.
While academics, politicians, and journalists will continue to have a field day arguing about whether or not this is a fair assessment for years to come, recent Australian governments have done little to persuade the Chinese that their pragmatic conclusions are without foundation.
While the polls don't favour him, it would be dangerous to write off the possibility that Trump will obtain a second term, either through direct election or through a Supreme Court challenge. It is highly probable Trump would be even more impetuous, self-serving, and unpredictable during a second term - when re-election is no longer an issue - than he has proved to be during the first.
The challenge for Australia will only increase if it finds itself too closely aligned with the actions of an even more verbose and erratic US President with nothing to lose.