Flying to China in January to be completely honest, you will find it difficult to get the availability of award seats that you need. It may be possible if you have an absolute ton of points, as most frequent flier programs offer schemes where you use your points essentially as if they were cash (but at a substantially devalued rate) and thus whether or not award seats are available becomes irrelevant.
Airlines make seats available for frequent fliers as a way to supplement the number of full fare-paying customers and to make sure their planes are full. So generally speaking, during periods where the airline could be fairly sure that their flights will depart basically full of people willing to pay for it, you won’t find many/any seats opening up for redemptions. They don’t need to let you have them for points, when if they leave it they know eventually someone will buy that seat.
January being the school Holidays in Victoria it’s a super peak season for travel and airlines know this. China is also a very popular place for both leisure travel and visiting family/friends, as there is a huge expat community in Melbourne. I’d say both Velocity and Krisflyer being two of the big ones that many flyers are members of, you will struggle to get anything.
Could definitely be worth buying a full-fare ticket, and then using your Krisflyers to upgrade? Just because if you wait and hope that availability will open up, you will face the risk of not getting anything at all and having to buy a hugely expensive last minute ticket.