The prime minister must visit China soon to help rebuild Australia's strained relationship with its key trading partner, WA Premier Mark McGowan has warned.
Mr McGowan travelled to Beijing last week to meet with senior Chinese businesspeople, including chiefs of oil companies, major steel makers and hotel investors, in a bid to show WA's commitment to continuing its $65 billion trade relationship with China.
"The foreign minister not going to China for two years was raised by Australians up there ... it wasn't raised with me by Chinese people, they would be too polite to do that," he told reporters in Perth on Sunday.
"It's frankly bizarre that the Australian foreign minister hasn't engaged with our number one trading partner, the county that provides hundreds of thousands of jobs in WA, for two years.
"It's strange and it should be changed. I'd urge the prime minister and foreign minister to go up there and rebuild relationships."
Mr McGowan said the Chinese referred to "difficulties" with Australia and spoke broadly about the need for a more harmonious relationship.
He warned Australia's "language" also needed to improve, and took a swipe at then deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce's suggestion in January that China posed a greater threat to Australia than Islamic State.
"(Australia) needs to be more friendly, more engaged, more respectful and certainly there needs to be more visits by senior Australian political figures, it's staring us in the face," Mr McGowan said.
The premier said WA's trading surplus with China was crucial to the state's economy.
"I wanted to ensure that the difficulties being experienced nationally don't impinge on the opportunities for trade, investment and jobs in WA."
Last month, the premier defended spending more than $250,000 leading a delegation to China and Japan in November, saying it was a worthwhile 10-day trip to promote the state and secure jobs.
Sixteen people, including ministers and bureaucrats, spent almost $120,000 on airfares, accommodation and "associated costs", and more than $118,000 on expenses in China alone.