Football diplomacy as minister China-bound

After months of strained relations, Trade Minister Steve Ciobo will be hoping to achieve some football diplomacy when he heads to China.

The minister will become the first to visit the country in eight months when he is on hand for the Port Adelaide, Gold Coast AFL clash.

"Our trade and investment relationship with China is strong, (but) yes of course there are areas where Australia and China have some differences no one has ever pretended otherwise", he told ABC radio ahead of the trip.