This paper discusses possible approaches to improving diabetes care and developing effective education models in China based on the experience of diabetes education in Australia. The prevalence of diabetes mellitus in China is increasing rapidly. China is currently second on the list of the top 10 countries with the highest diabetes burden. Enormous impact of diabetes on China health system is daunting and the urgent action is needed. Diabetes education is the keystone of diabetes care and structured self-management education is considered to be the key to successful outcomes. Although many diabetes education programmes have been initiated in China, barriers have been identified for implementation of the programmes. These include: lack of public awareness of diabetes; lack of standards of practice for diabetes educators; and lack of evaluation programmes to assess their performance. We suggest four possible approaches to addressing the current problems of diabetes education in China.