Most see good in China and the US

DEFENCE Minister Marise Payne has rejected claims Australia should choose between increasing trade ties with China and the military alliance with the US.

Senator Payne told the National Press Club she did not agree with "counter-arguments" that Australia could not maintain both diplomatic relationships.

"I don't think it is counter-intuitive in any way," she said.

Her comments came as a new survey showed Australians have more enthusiasm for trade with China than with the US.

The United States Studies Centre survey showed 64% of respondents thought growing trade with China was "good or very good", while only 57% said the same of trade with America.

"Australians see no great tension between our long-standing cultural ties and defence alliance with the US and our growing economic relationship with China," USSC chief executive Simon Jackman said. "Trade is an important reason why Australians are relatively comfortable with two great powers in the Asia-Pacific."