Kevin Rudd on China’s Rise and a New World Order-26 Oct 2017

Good afternoon, everyone I’m Mark Rose I’m the executive director of Indigenous Strategy and Education at La Trobe University, and I’m a Gunditjmara man from Western Victoria, so I’m not entitled to do welcome to country, but I would ask to lead the acknowledgement of countries Today we gather on the land of the Wurundjeri people, their homelands, and being so close to the river, the idea of people coming together with respect, sharing knowledge, is not a new one It’s happened here on this land for time immemorial It’s a great time of the year for the Wurundjeri people, because we’re moving into their sixth season, the spring season And some people would argue, the other five seasons are all winters, but we are moving into the season of winter And seasons is a concept that came back to me when I saw Kevin walk into the room, because I saw you, Kevin, at the Closing the Gap in Canberra earlier this year, and that was a wonderful policy, to close that gap Except for the people of Alice Springs, who come through a geographical part of the country called the Gap, and when they heard Kevin was going to close it, they said, ‘How are we going to get into town?’ But the most significant season that I’ll remember, it’s 50 years since the referendum, 50 years since the dismantling of the Aborigines Protection Act, and 50 years since the birth of this great university And in that 50 years, there’s been a whole lot of signposts along the way towards bringing all the worlds of this country together, but one of the ones that is very significant to me was that Sorry Day, Kevin, that you made My father had passed He was the Stolen Generation And hearing those words and being in Canberra that day, and walking – you couldn’t get a hotel room They were all booked out The mob were there It was an emotional rollercoaster ride And to hear those words, they were – I went up on the night before, and the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs in Victoria had a copy of the speech, which were the most eloquent words that I have ever heard And on behalf of my father, a stolen kid who never made it back home properly, and for all the kids who slept by crying themselves to sleep for all those generations, that apology is so significant It resonates So, on behalf of you all, can we acknowledge this is Wurundjeri land, sacred and sovereign, pay respect to elders past and present, and emerging, and as we face the next season and seasons beyond, let us all work together a lot more closely Thank you very much Kerri-Lee Krause Our thanks to Professor Mark Rose for such a heartfelt acknowledgement of country Thank you, Mark Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen My name is Kerri-Lee Krause, and I am the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic at La Trobe University On behalf of La Trobe, I’m delighted to be here to open today’s very special lecture on China’s rise and a new world order As you can see on the stage, this is a joint event, co-hosted by our Ideas and Society series, La Trobe Asia, and La Trobe’s Bold Thinking series, and I’m pleased to say it is in our very important 50th anniversary year Today’s topic will consider China’s emergence as a power of the first rank, and how it has changed the Asian region and indeed the world It has reordered established patterns of trade and investment, unsettled a longstanding balance of power in Asia, and brought old historical antagonisms to the surface As President Xi Jinping consolidates his power, China increasingly presents a confident and at times assertive face to the wider world What does China want from its region? What is its vision for Asia? And how much change would this represent? What options exist for Australia to influence how the People’s Republic comports itself on the wider global stage? To discuss these issues and more, it is my very great honour to introduce today’s panel The honourable Kevin Rudd served as Australia’s 26th prime minister from 2007 to 2010 and

in 2013, and as Foreign Minister from 2010 to 2012 He led Australia’s response through the global financial crisis when we were the only major developed economy not to go into recession And he helped to found the G20 As a senior fellow with Harvard’s John F Kennedy School of Government, he undertook a major research project on US-China relations Mr. Rudd is a distinguished visiting fellow at Chatham House He is a distinguished statesman with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, and he’s been appointed to the Concordia Leadership Council Mr. Rudd is proficient in Mandarin Chinese and a visiting professor at Tsing Hua University He co-authored a report of the UN Secretary General’s high-level panel on global sustainability, and he chairs the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on fragile states He is also president of the Asia Society Policy Unit based in New York City Linda Jakobson is founding director and CEO of China Matters, an Australian public policy initiative established in 2014 The goal of China Matters is to stimulate and sustain a nuanced and informed public discourse about China’s rise and its implications for Australia Before moving to Sydney in 2011, Linda lived and worked in China for 22 years and published six books on Chinese and East Asian society Her last position in Beijing was director of the China and Global Security Programme, and senior researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute between 2009 and ’11 A Mandarin speaker, Linda has published extensively on China’s foreign and security policy, the Taiwan Straits, China’s energy security, and science and technology policies And I’m very proud to say today that she is also author of the book entitled China Matters: Getting it Right for Australia, and this is the first book in the La Trobe University press series published in association with Black Inc Professor Nick Bisley is the executive director of La Trobe Asia and professor of International Relations His research and teaching expertise is in Asia’s international relations, great power politics and Australian foreign and defence policy Nick is currently the editor-in-chief of the Australian Journal of International Affairs, the country’s oldest scholarly journal in the field of international relations Nick also regularly hosts Asia Rising, the podcast of La Trobe Asia, which examines the news and events of Asia’s states and societies Nick is a member of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, the national executive of that group, and he’s also a member of the board of the Australia and India Institute, a member of the council for Security and Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, and he is part of the board of China Matters He has been a senior research associate of the International Institute of Strategic Studies and a visiting fellow at the East-West Centre in Washington DC A very august gathering, I can assure you So, ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to now hand over to Professor Nick Bisley who will outline the order of proceedings for today Thank you very much Nick Bisley Thank you, Kerri Lee, and first let me thank you all for making time on a Thursday lunchtime to join us to discuss, I think, what is the pressing issue in world politics, which is the emergence of China and what it means for the world How things will work from here, Kevin will, in a moment, rise and speak for around 20 minutes on the topic Linda will then respond in around 10 minutes We will then have a bit of a discussion Hopefully it will be colourful, with diverging opinions about the matter, and then we will open up to questions and discussion from the floor We’ve got until 2:30, there’s plenty of time, but equally, there’s a lot of you, so we need to be sure we’re disciplined with the way we use that time So, Kevin, the podium awaits Kevin Rudd I too acknowledge the First Australians, who cultures we celebrate as the oldest continuing cultures in human history, and whose lands we meet and whose elders we express our profound respect And also acknowledge our hosts here from La Trobe, thank you one and all If I could make particular mention of the Vice-Chancellor’s visiting fellow – that’s a posh name, Robert – emeritus professor Robert Mann, thank you, and your wife Anne

Robert persuaded me to come here today, and so I thank him for his persuasive skills My old buddy, Terry Moran, who’s here somewhere There you are, Terry The former secretary of the prime minister’s department His job was to keep me on the straight and narrow He failed But also, our friends from Black Inc., Maury Schwarz, Anna Schwarz, and Chris Feik And Linda Jakobson, of course, who is a prominent sinologist here in Australia I’ve come from Queensland this morning, so, from the heart of Hanson country, and I’ve arrived here in the people’s republic of Victoria It’s kind of the tale of two cities It’s a different world out there Menzies got many things wrong, but he got one thing right Queensland is different I know it, I’ve been in the trenches there all my adult life What I’d like to do today in these opening remarks is just focus on three questions I’d like to talk about – what’s the state of the global order today? Secondly, the question of, what is Xi Jinping’s view of the global order? And thirdly, where could it go from here? And let’s then open it for a conversation It’s easy to – by the way, there’s a prepared text I’m not going to inflict that on you It’ll be up on a website sooner or later Any typos are my staff’s fault, not mine It was a joke, ok? I can’t say my department’s anymore, can I, Terry? Firstly, some words about the global rules based order This may seem a great abstraction to many people around the world, but for me, it is a fundamental question of whether there is a global order, does it have rules, agreed rules by which it functions, and what are those rules and what are the enforcement mechanisms for it? And for better or for worse, since the outcome of the Second World War and the arrangements put in place through the Bretton Woods Conference in ’44 and the San Francisco Conference in ’45 and the evolution of, frankly, a whole raft of international institutions, they constitute the foundations of the international rules-based system that we have In addition to an underlying strategic assumption that America had emerged in that post-war world as the superpower unchallenged, then challenged by the Soviet Union, and then with the collapse of the Soviet Union, in ’89, ’91, America returning to its unipolar moment Essentially, when we talk about the rules-based order, it is this untidy cocktail of international institutions of governance combined with raw American power, which of course, can lead to the United States doing whatever it damn well pleases on certain occasions, e.g. Iraq Right now, however, we face, I think, some fundamental challenges and changes to the order America’s unipolar moment is changing America’s unipolar moment is beginning to fade Within the next decade, China will be the world’s largest economy by whichever measure It already is by purchasing power parity, and will be in the next decade by market exchange rates benchmark for analysis And when that occurs, that will be the first time since George III was on the throne that you’ll have a non-English speaking, non-democratic, non-Western state as the largest economy in the world And anyone thinks, in this room, that that’s just going to happen and we’ll continue playing by Western rules as they were evolved in the post-’45 period, frankly has got rocks in their head That’s a technical term in international relations theory And that is the great and fundamental set of changes and challenges which I see unfolding in various parts of the world where I live, work and travel in the period since I came second in the 2013 election That’s a polite way of saying I lost, by the way That is what’s unfolding globally, and this unresolved question of how these two giant countries, these two giant economies, and at present their disparate militaries – although China will catch up over the next 20 to 30 years – how they will co-exist or not in terms of raw balance of power considerations Secondly, at the institutional and normative level – that is, what’s happening through the UN and the Bretton Woods Institutions – we already see evidence of China beginning to become infinitely more activist in those institutions, in addition to creating its

own Activist within the United Nations, Deng Xiaoping’s great axiom was [speaking Chinese], which is, ‘Hide your strength, bide your time, never take the lead.’ And that was his guiding instruction to Chinese diplomats from the late 1970s, early 1980s on That’s now radically changed, and we see that by the level of Chinese activism now in the UN Security Council We see it by the level of Chinese activism now in becoming for the first time significant funders of the entire machinery of the United Nations system, and as the United States progressively begins to withdraw But in addition to that, we see the emergence of parallel institutions as well The first evidence of this, of course, was the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, established outside the Bretton Woods machinery, which now has a balance sheet, I’m advised, larger than that of the Asia Development Bank, and within a decade likely larger than that of the World Bank Secondly, you have what is called the Belton Road Initiative, or One Belt One Road, [speaking Chinese] And when you look at the trillion dollar dimensions of what China plans by this national or, shall I say, pan-national, pan-regional Eurasian construct of building out the infrastructure necessary to underpin the future economic development of this vast region, including underperforming economics across it – this is big stuff It is huge For those that don’t think it’s huge, in its conceptualisation, at least, it represents about ten times the cash in quantum that was finally delivered for the Marshall Plan in real dollar terms This is big It’s unfolding And the other characteristic, I think, of the unfolding dynamics of the global order at this time, is what’s happening elsewhere In the United States, where I live in work and have my being as president of the Asian Society Policy Institute of New York, we currently have an American president who has unique qualities, and – seriously unique qualities But if I could say in polite terms, in a public forum such as this, having a consistent view on the future articulation of American power, either unilaterally or through the institutions of the Untied Nations, the broader multilateral system, we are all still scratching our heads as to how that will work In fact, many colleagues across Asia will say to me as they pass through New York, ‘America is now under this president, the source of much great strategic uncertainty.’ That is the United States Of course, we sit and wait as to what will happen with the unfolding Trump phenomenon Will it be a single event, or does it signal something deeper changing the American body politic, and as a consequence, America’s preparedness to be the global activist power, acting with and sometimes in support of and sometimes in contradiction of the global rules-based system? So a further change is not just the rise of China, it is the retreat of America And then we come to the other great pillar of global power, and it’s called Europe And before Britain signed its longest national suicide note in history, otherwise called the Brexit decision, Europe was already under some challenge, but now, as a result of her Britannic Majesty’s realm deciding to hop out, the European project is indeed fragile And you only have to look at the most recent political results from elections across Europe to see the rise of Alternative fur Deutschland, the Front National The vote in France, while not meeting the expectations of some, is waiting its time in terms of whether Macron will succeed or fail at the next French elections You see, the Brexit vote for itself, and across Eastern Europe, you see the rise of one populist right-wing party after another And even in countries historically as progressive as Norway, now run by centre-right governments in partnership and coalition with far-right governments But the bottom line is, when we look at Europe at large, as a global voice underpinning the UN rules-based system or the Bretton Woods Institutions, it, too, has drawn inwards, and its political energies are focused within rather than without And as for Britain acting alone, some, like Boris Johnson, may dream that once again the sun will not set on the British Empire I’ve got news for Boris It has, and it was half a century ago, and this is the stuff of national illusion and delusion So, therefore, when you look at the global project at present, which a global rules-based system anchored in the continuities of US power and anchored in the global institutions which we collectively signed up to, including Australia in ’45, ’44, these are now under

some specific and general challenge China, for the first time emerging unapologetically into the world, prepared to play a decisive role in the world, which it has not previously done in its four millennia of recorded history That’s new America turning in on itself, we haven’t seen that since the interwar years when President Wilson was voted down after the intervention of World War I, and America went into isolationism between 1999 and 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour And so is this America First phenomenon we see with Trump continuing, but the core point being the retreat of America more into itself at present, and a shrugging of the shoulders as to whether the United States has any unique responsibilities for the global order in the future? And finally, Europe becoming a rolling seminar on itself Great for academics, not good in terms of the articulation of a global rules-based system This, therefore, is unfolding at a global level Within the Asia-Pacific region, where we’ve had since 1945 or at least since the end of the Korean War in ’53, again, a security system which has been anchored in US strategic power unchallenged by anybody else apart from the Soviets, but then only in part, given their principle theatre was in the West and in Europe We also see that things are changing as well Trump has had an enormously destabilising effect on both the alliances with Japan and the Republic of Korea Questions are now raised by those who are formal allies or friends to the United States throughout South-East Asia as to whether America will be a continuing strategic and economic presence in the region or not And the earliest decisions of the Trump administration to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership underline the reality that the forces of withdrawal are not just global, but in fact regional as well And add to that one final point, which is that the United States itself, in terms of adhering to the advice provided by its allies in the region, we’ve seen most recently evidences that the US can hold some of its regional allies in contempt That’s not some flick at Malcolm Turnbull In fact, it’s a reference to President Moon of South Korea And so we are in a state of flux in the region as well And therefore, we add to that a global state of flux China emerging, America retreating, Europe disappearing into itself Regional changes in the emerging balance of economic and strategic power And on top of that as well, a period where, for the next three years, at least, there is a very uncertain script ahead Second part of what I wanted to say in these formal remarks at the beginning was to do with, what’s China’s response to the above, and what does Xi Jinping actually think about it? The answer is, I don’t really know I can’t really say this definitively, but I’ll give vent to a number of prejudices, perceptions and experiences that I have had and then attempt to give it some form of academic dignity later in my remarks But this is an unfolding exercise, so we do not have perfect information about what happens within a one-party state We do not have perfect understanding of what drives China’s view of the world in the Xi Jinping period But there are certain evidences For me, there are two major events we should focus on before I conclude on the events of yesterday and the conclusion of 19th Party Congress The two major events we should focus on – one I touched on before, which is the formal abandonment – actually in 2014 – of the Deng Xiaoping doctrine of ‘Hide your strength, bide your time, never take the lead.’ At a central work conference on foreign policy held in Beijing in November of ’14, Xi Jinping, in a closed meeting, articulated that that was dead That there would be a new approach to China’s place in the world, which was, to use the Chinese expression, [speaking Chinese], or more recently, [speaking Chinese] And these expressions essentially point to a decisively activist Chinese foreign and strategic policy in the world And if you read the published text of that speech, which is only in part – most of it still remains unpublished for the rest of the world to see – it points to two or three things which should catch our attention One, the need for a new type of great power relations between the United States and China, which essentially means parity between the two in a new form of G2 Secondly, it points to a new system of international relations, which is one in which China’s voice will be more strongly heard, and not just those of the successful powers, most of whom

are former colonial powers, in the global settlement reached in 1945 And thirdly, on top of that, an indication that China will become much more activist in securing its interests with its border states, 14 in all, [speaking Chinese], where China wants not just positive relations, beneficial relations, but if it can, compliant relations as well These are the broad contours of what we see emerging from that particular statement of Xi Jinping’s view of what Chinese foreign policy and strategic policy direction should be in the future Of course, that’s at one level Underpinning that is the reality of what has unfolded now for the last decade and a half, when Chinese firms began to go out into the world In a phrase originally put together by the Chinese administration at the time under Jiang Zemin, called [speaking Chinese, ‘Go out into the world’ Create businesses Follow economic and business opportunities And that’s precisely what Chinese firms have done State-owned enterprises and private firms The consequence of which is, 15 or so years later, ask every country in Asia who is its principle trade partner and who is its principle investment partner? The answer, invariably, with only a few exceptions, is the People’s Republic of China The United States, at a pure economic level, and its footprint across the region as a whole, is not just coming second, it’s usually coming third, fourth or fifth, after Japan, progressively and prospectively after other South-East Asians and even India And so the economic footprint is changing China’s presence across the wider region, and now the wider world, and Latin America and Africa, the Middle East One Belt One Road is in fact creating a Chinese economic footprint, which increasingly, the governments of the world find very hard to resist A simple proposition we know from international relations theory and practice is that once you have economic power, it, in turn, engenders political power It, in turn, makes possible to have security power through the acquisition of military capabilities, which, in turn, generates foreign policy power, which, in turn, generates strategic power And that is very much the process which is unfolding To conclude on Xi Jinping, as someone up the back is already starting to wave frantically at me to shut up, I will try to do so very soon This conference which has just been held in Beijing is no ordinary conference In the history of the Communist Party, they hold them every five years I first started observing and analysing, reporting on these conferences, when I was an undergraduate at the ANU, at the famous third plenum of the 11th Central Committee, way back in 1978 And then when I was a diplomat in Beijing on the 12th party congress, and then what was called a special party congress thereafter And so between the 11th and the 12th are now held the 19th, one every five years, or thereabouts You’re capable of forming a view as to which are kind of marking time and which are actually heralding something new I think this one is heralding something new And I will leave you simply with this conclusion, or perhaps two The first is, when we start to look at the personnel conclusions and who has now become a member of the standing committee of the Chinese Politburo, and I look at those personalities, the position politically of Xi Jinping is much more consolidated than ever it was before Remember the Politburo standing committee he inherited five years ago was selected by his predecessors This is his And when I look at the personalities, whether it’s people like Wang Yang, whether it’s people like Zhao Leji, people like Han Zheng, or whether it’s people like Wang Huning or Li Zhanshu, as well as Li Keqiang who continues, I can see very much that each of those leaders, perhaps with the exception of one, owes their political promotion to Xi Jinping personally 10 of the 15 new members of the Chinese Politburo are also very close to Xi Jinping personally That’s the new members of the Politburo And so when you look at those numbers and you add a couple of other factors, which is the anti-corruption campaign which has been used for anti-corruption purposes, but also power consolidation purposes, will continue into the future, albeit not under the previous head Wang Qishan, that still maintains itself as a vehicle for the further consolidation of Xi Jinping’s power And then we have, of course, the entrenchment of his ideology, Xi Jinping [speaking Chinese],

‘Xi Jinping thought’, into the party’s constitution as well, leading me to the conclusion – and Linda and I may disagree about this at the margins, I’m not sure – that we now are facing a Chinese leader who is more powerful than any Chinese leader since, indeed, Mao So, the question for us, as we look to the future, is – how then will this power be used, given the broad contours of Xi Jinping’s worldview that I articulate from his speech of November 2014? And how should the rest of us now engage that greater articulation of Chinese power? I am not, by instinct, a pessimist about this I’ve spent a lot of time in Beijing working on these questions I’ve spent a lot of time in the United States working on these questions And we may still be within a zone where some final diplomatic settlement between the US and the Chinese is possible on the single greatest immediate security threat to us all, which is the North Korean Nuclear Weapons Programme But we are in a state of unprecedented flux, globally, regionally, internally within China itself, and therefore we are in new terrain It’s a time, therefore, for this country, Australia, to be exceptionally mindful through its most senior political leadership, of these deep and profound changes now unfolding around us I thank you for your time Nick Bisley Thank you, Kevin I don’t think we cold have asked for a better canvas to be painted both in terms of the broad brush terrain of the changing global order, but some of the specifics around what happened yesterday with the unveiling of the new leadership, and you get a sense of what that might mean Before we get to the conversation, though, Linda, some thoughts from you for around 10 minutes? Thank you Linda Jakobson Thank you, Nick Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen I also would like to thank La Trobe University for the invitation to come here today I especially want to thank Nick Bisley, who – he, in turn, was the person who persuaded me to come Professor Robert Mann, Vice-Chancellor John Dewar, who China Matters has worked with previously – always a pleasure to be back at La Trobe Asia Well, it’s a daunting challenge to go after Kevin Rudd and try and briefly respond to remarks about China He always so eloquently articulate this broad overview of the international order I think what I’ll do here is make a few points about Xi Jinping, China’s rise generally, and then I will also go to the question of Australia’s relationship with China Nowadays, after all, I fully focus on Australia’s relationship with China in my day job as CEO of China Matters Several interviewers recently have asked me, ‘Should Australians fear China’s rise?’ And this has really made me think a bit I’ve been quite taken aback by that question, initially So let me first say, my answer is no But then I’ll elaborate I think some Australians are generally concerned that Xi Jinping’s ambitions – and he certainly is ambitious – will drive the People’s Republic of China to disrupt peace and stability in this region They fear that conflict might erupt over the East China Sea issues, South China Sea issues, possibly even Taiwan I think some Australians fear that Xi Jinping does aim to overthrow the rules-based order, especially here in Asia, the one that Kevin Rudd spoke about I think, generally speaking, Australians do fear China’s authoritarian policies, and of course, if one tries to understand this fear – it’s a huge country, it’s got more than 1.3 billion people, and there is a historic streak in the DNA of Chinese leaders propelling them to think of China as a great nation at the centre of the world But, and this is a very important but, Xi Jinping needs peace He needs a benign external environment so that he can make China great again That is his goal He’s said it very clearly many times, and he’s said it again during this mammoth speech he held last week By 2049, the PRC should be a fully developed nation and a mighty force ready to lead the world So, my answer to those who fear China is that he really does need peace to do all of this

Now, Chinese strategic thinking throughout the ages has really revolved around two things: legitimacy and security So, Xi Jinping has to continue to ensure that the Communist Party is legitimate, perceived as legitimate in the eyes of PRC citizens He is betting that that perception will persevere as long as the economy continues to grow, and as long as China’s standing in the world continues to rise In other words, he does really need that peaceful environment Otherwise, there won’t be economic growth, and I think domestic stability would be at risk On the other hand, the leaders of the People’s Republic of China cannot risk being perceived as weak Xi Jinping has built up enormous expectations by his actions, by his words, about what China is, what China will become, and what China’s role in the region and the world will be I want to make the, perhaps, obvious point here that Chinese people have every reason to feel good about their country at the moment It’s something that I think Westerners generally have a bit of a hard time coming to terms with, because we dislike the political system in China Whatever one thinks of the Communist Party, one just has to acknowledge that under its leadership, a tremendous amount of good has taken place from the point of view of the people who live in that country More than 700 million people have been lifted from poverty We have a middle class of at least 250 million households These people enjoy privileges that, when I moved to China in 1987, no one even dreamt of When I moved there in 1987, you couldn’t marry, you couldn’t buy a train ticket, you couldn’t move house, you couldn’t move jobs, without the permission of your boss, because everyone worked for a state-owned enterprise if you were an urban citizen This has all changed, as we know, dramatically And the one thing that Australians, I think, in particular, overlook, and I look forward to discussing this with Kevin Rudd, is that the PRC has competent leaders We forget, or perhaps, we allow ourselves to be blinded, again because of this understandable aversion of authoritarianism, that these individuals who yesterday emerged as the new members of the Politburo standing committee, are all highly experienced, they are competent in governance, they’ve been governors, they’ve been party secretaries, in huge, huge provinces, and they’ve had to be dealing with very complex problems And though the PRC’s meritocracy is corrupt, the system also ensures that these leaders have survived a very brutal competition within the Communist Party On this issue of governance, I’m reminded, actually, of a small point on which perhaps Kevin Rudd and I disagree, because quite recently in the Financial Times, he wrote that he believes that Xi Jinping might still be in political office all the way through to the 2030s Now, I think that Xi Jinping will still wield power behind the scenes in 15 years’ time, but I don’t believe that he’ll still be in the office of president or general secretary, so maybe we can discuss that in the conversation in a moment So what is Xi Jinping’s vision for Asia? We know that he, along with most people who live in the PRC, is not content with the existing regional order, the one that’s dominated by the United States and underpinned by US military power But at the same time, as we already heard from Kevin Rudd, we don’t really know what kind of a region he aspires to, what kind of an order China wants He’s provided us with some inklings He’s spoken about a community of common destiny for mankind, but the specifics of all of this remain very vague The Belton Road Initiative, which Kevin already spoke about, obviously, I agree with Kevin It is big stuff This is the centrepiece of Xi Jinping’s foreign policy strategic vision, and already so many billions of dollars have been poured into this project, stretching all the way from South-East Asia to Europe, really And I don’t think Australia has really seriously yet considered the implications of the BRI

In fact, it’s been quite ambivalent about forging a policy Nick Bisley has written about this ambivalent position of Australia towards the BRI Whether we like it or not, the BRI is here to stay, so I strongly believe that Australia would rather have a seat at the table and have a say in how the process unfolds rather than be outside Now, I know already now that the naysayers will tell me there is no seat because there is no table That’s true This is not a formal organisation in the way the AIIB is But I think that it will, over time, go from a consultative process to something more formalised, and Australia’s interests dictate that it is better to be part of the group rather than outside the group I was told that at the National Security Council meeting where this proposal that Australia sign up to the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility with the BRI – one of the reasons that Australia rejected the idea of a memorandum of understanding was that it might send the wrong signal to the United States I can only ask, when will Australia stop fretting so much about what the United States thinks? We’re living in a new world I think public servants, government ministers, civil society and business leaders, we all need to understand China better We need sophisticated knowledge and we need to know our counterparts in the PRC In fact, we need to know them as well as Australians know their American counterparts We are a long way off from the aspirations of the current DFAT secretary who says that every Australian senior bureaucrat or military official should reach a senior post, but before they do so, have some experience in the PRC In conclusion, I just want to say that Australia really needs to buckle down, do more in the region It has to be much more realist about managing relations I don’t know if Nick is going to take us there I know that Kevin Rudd has recently written about his ideas to develop the East Asia Summit, and make it more in line with ASEAN and develop some of the structures and mechanisms within EAS to be more effective Hopefully we’ll get to that I have certain reservations about that, simply because ASEAN, at the moment, is so split with tension and fraught with internal disagreement, and I’m not sure if moving in that direction would solve anything The PRC itself is a huge problem for ASEAN, and of course, the crisis in Myanmar is another reason which causes tensions within ASEAN, but maybe we’ll get to that So I’ll just conclude my remarks by saying that if the election of Donald Trump was not a sufficient wake-up call for Australia that it needs to understand China better, Xi Jinping’s three and a half hour speech about his ambitions for China certainly should be The government, the higher education sector, all need to engage further to educate Australian politicians, public servants, business leaders, the media, the public at large, so that we are better equipped with a much more sophisticated, nuanced understanding about what the PRC is today and where it’s heading I think, in many ways, Australia hasn’t properly even started that process Ten years ago, Kevin Rudd was the first Western leader to speak fluent Mandarin, but today, in Australia, we only have one member of parliament, Matt Thistlethwaite, who’s studying to speak Mandarin somewhat fluently We still don’t see Mandarin speakers at the head of an ASX 100 company, nor at the highest levels of the government Thank goodness we have a secretary of DFAT and a chair of the foreign investment review board who have both been posted in the PRC It’s certainly a start, but only once the serious China knowledge gap is dealt with, can Australia truly begin to navigate China’s rise and the global order Thanks

Nick Bisley Thank you, Linda There’s an enormous amount to pick apart here, but one theme, I think, in both of your remarks, that I think is a good place to start, is the question of leadership Because, I think, Kevin, you painted a picture on the one hand of a confident China that is much more relaxed in its skin and its place in the world than we’ve ever seen, at least since the PRC was created, and contrasted that with an America and a West more generally that seems not just inward-looking but fundamentally lacking in confidence in the ideas which really have animated the international order for seven decades And Xi Jinping in particular, back in, I think it was January or February at the Davos speech, presented himself and said, ‘China will be a defender of an open international economic order,’ and reiterated that at the 18th committee work report last week What does Chinese leadership look like in the sense of providing the kind of guarantees around international economic stability of the kind that has been implied, but only in fairly general terms? What does that look like, and then in turn, how do you think an America responds to that which has essentially been used to basically being the monopoly provider of international leadership on this front? Kevin Rudd I think – thank you for the question, and I thank Linda for her presentation My own view is kind of pretty simple, is that it always helps international relations to assume you’re the other guy Understanding how someone else perceives reality is the beginning of wisdom So if we’re sitting around a conference of the central committee of the Chinese Communist Party, which wouldn’t be as big as this room – there’s about 207 members, so maybe those there, and the bad people are always up the back And the standing committee of the Politburo is seven folks That’s about a third the size of the Australian cabinet This is not a large gathering So if you are looking at the world and the region and China itself from the prism of China’s own internal perceptions, what’s it look like? And I think this is instrumental in answering your question The Chinese, under Xi Jinping’s leadership, are confident of what the party has achieved, as Linda correctly said, but are deeply anxious about what is yet to be done Deeply anxious Looking at it from the inside out, number one, keep the party in power Sounds easier to do than it may be in reality, but one of the problems with the lack of a democratic political system is that the automatic political stabilisers provided by democratic elections don’t apply So, leadership transition from one period to the next often involves quite destabilising developments, and you’ll have seen that recently in the number of people who’ve been purged, and with it now being publicly confirmed that these were seeking to destabilise the Chinese leadership, in fact even overturn the Chinese state Two or three previous members of the standing committee That’s the first point Number two is, if you look at it from their perspective, is how do I keep China together as a single entity? And the razor-sharp lens which Beijing has on Xinjiang and Tibet and Taiwan as well as Hong Kong occupies a very large slab of China’s, shall we say, available political time and capital I won’t elaborate further, but this is deeply ingrained as a Chinese priority over time The third one, and I’ll stop at this one, is the economy And its flipside, the environment These things are designed to pull your hair out, I reckon On the economy, and this is where it gets really tricky, Xi Jinping and those around him in 2013 announced the economic blueprint for changing the Chinese economic model from what it was in the past to what it needs to be in the future That is, from labour intensive, low-wage, manufacturing for exports, still dependent in large part on state-owned enterprises and a large national infrastructure investment in the country’s basic infrastructure needs Two, a new model, which is based on high technology industries which are clean, green and friendly, driven by the private sector – for example, Ali Baba and the new raft of Chinese private firms – anchored in the enormous employment generating capacity of the services sector, as well as an economic framework which raises people’s living standards to avoid the middle

income trap Now, if you take all that apart – and this goes back to questions about, ‘How confident is China?’ An analysis of the ten major categories of economic reform, which they announced back in 2013 – there’s probably only been progress in one or two There has been progress in innovation Those who’ve always assumed the Chinese were bad at this stuff were wrong China’s turning this around But on the other key ones, state-owned enterprise reform, land reform, labour market reform as well as financial system reform as well as trade reform, investment reform, frankly, it’s been marking time And therefore, I think, the core question about China’s certainty for the period ahead is, will it bite the bullet and the associated socio and political instability which comes from shaking the cage on traditional assumptions about how the economy is organised, and allowing these new generators of productivity and growth through firms and private firms to actually take the lead? And the open question right now, again in terms of its confidence as it approaches the next period, is will Xi Jinping unleash his team – which I think will be led by Wang Yang, the newly appointed member of the standing committee, previously vice premier with a lot of experience in this area – and a new Politburo member, who is Liu He, who has been Xi Jinping’s principal personal economic adviser for the last five years Now, if they get a political mandate from Xi Jinping to let it rip on the reform front, then frankly, I think China becomes potentially unstoppable, because part of that agenda is also to make sure that air pollution and water pollution and land pollution become sustainable, and in fact, bringing around a fundamental change which the world and planet needs as well So, for me, the great open question for the future, shall I say, confidence in the leadership, hangs on this economic question for which we do not have an answer And that will inform, in part, the level of confidence with which China pursues the currently stated, albeit somewhat vaguely, contours of China’s new proposed engagement with the wider world Nick Bisley Yeah, there has been that tension between, on the one hand, a desire for market forces and private actors to do more, but also the desire for the party to maintain control, and those things don’t necessarily sit comfortably with each other Linda, what’s your sense about China’s leadership potential and how it sees its leadership, and what contribution it might make given, essentially, a vacant stage left by the Americans, certainly in some sectors? Linda Jakobson I think in the long term, there’s no doubt in my mind that Xi Jinping would like to see China as the dominant power in the region But when that’s going to happen, is it going to happen in our lifetime? No one knows I mean, how China will use its power, I do think is the most profound question of our times And the United States, Japan and India will certainly make sure that it’s going to be a give and take, push and pull China is not going to be able to – without many different pressure points being stopped – rise to the position of dominance it would like to rise to It’s going to be a question of compromising, of finding – feeling the stones as one crosses the river I don’t think it’s going to be linear Nick Bisley I wanted to get – to take this to the next step, central to the language Australia, the US and others have used about the state of the regional order and particularly about the place of China and arising China, has been a notion of the rules-based order, and that there is a rules-based order which essentially is a bit of a code for the status quo, presented often in quite neutral terms They’re a set of rules, they apply to everyone, subtext, ‘Come on China, why don’t you guys – why can’t you play by the rules?’ And you’ve seen, certainly, the Australian government has taken a harder line on this more recently, essentially saying there are some countries that break the rules Do you think this is a smart way or a useful way of framing how Australia and the region responds to a country, A, of China’s scale, and B, with quite a different understanding of what the rules are and in whose interests they exit, and what values are represented in those rules? Kevin Rudd I think my response to that is sort of two or three points It starts with a simple proposition of, what is the West, and are we part of it as an idea and a concept in terms of our own civilizational origins as a country? I think we are, and I’m a guy who spent all his life in China, by the way

One of the pillars of the West, notions of Judeo-Christianity, the enlightenment, empiricism, rationalism, political emancipation, open democracies, open societies and open economies That’s my shorthand for the Western construct I think that’s basically us, with a few bobs and twists along the way And when China looks at that, a lot of those core values that China does not share So, the first principle for Australia, if that is what we think and believe, and I believe we should, is just to be very confident in stating that’s who we are We don’t need to apologise for it That’s who we are The Chinese would expect nothing less of it What I find odd when Australian political policy leaders sort of try and duck and weave their way around this as if it’s sort of politically embarrassing to have a different set of values It’s nonsense We’re different We come from a different civilizational tradition It’s not to say it’s a hostile tradition to what the Chinese have to offer, but it’s different Second, then, this is where I agree with Linda, is then on an utterly pragmatic basis, Australian political leaders need to assess the national interest considerations concerning, for example, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank where, from the get go, I argued that Australia should be a member, and eventually the Tories here got around to doing it Abbott, I think I think it was Abbott And then, secondly, the BRI stuff, which Linda referred to in terms of Northern Australia What’s the problem, for god’s sake? I mean, it’s very difficult for China to pick up a power station and move it to Shandong Nick Bisley If anyone could Kevin Rudd It’s very difficult to build a port in Darwin and then move it to Qinhuangdao It’s hard to do that In fact, it’s just plain dumb So if we have a problem in terms of the available capital necessary to develop infrastructure and develop, frankly, new business opportunities around this vast country of ours, then we should be providing long-term, shall I say, consistency in our welcoming of Chinese inbound capital And then, finally, be utterly pragmatic about the powers available through the Foreign Investment Review Board on individual investments to say yay or nay, and without apology I used to get beaten around the head by the Chinese when, despite approving about 90% of China’s inbound investment proposals for Australia, we rejected about 10%, and the Chinese would then launch campaigns in the Global Times and various official newspapers, and China was saying what a terrible person I was, or we were, until I went to Beijing and say, ‘Ok, guys, we would really like to launch a major mining project just outside the Lop Nur nuclear site in Qinghai Any problems with that one? How about we have the Australian equivalent of Huawei rolling straight into the Chinese telecommunications system? No problems with that? Telstra? Not a problem, we’re not American, it’s ok.’ And the Chinese raise their eyebrows and say, ‘No, you’ve got a point.’ And so, just have, for god’s sake, pragmatic, common sense about these things And you can do it in a way which makes sense in terms of articulating clearly and consistently Australian national interests in a manner which is not seen, nor in substance should be, prejudiced against one source of foreign investment or another Nick Bisley Linda, the rules-based order, often said as one word Linda Jakobson My own hunch is that we could speak less about the rules-based order if we don’t articulate what precisely we mean by it It’s become a mantra now that China is allowed to rise, it’s understandable that it wants more sway in governance issues in the region, but it must abide by the rules-based order If that rules-based order is the one underpinned by US military power, it’s not the one that China, anymore, aspires to And a conversation needs to be had, and again, pragmatically, based on facts, based on practical issues, how it could – I always say, edit it China’s not out to rewrite the book It’s out to edit some of the rules, mould some of the rules, to better correspond and protect its national interests It’s quite obvious that a large power like China is going to want to do that, as is so often, I think, rightly pointed out China wasn’t part of the institutions that made those rules, and now China wants more representation It didn’t get the representation it wanted in the IMF or the World Bank, and we’re seeing these parallel institutions which Kevin alluded to in his remarks So, we have to be very clear about, what is the rules-based order which we want China

to adhere to? Nick Bisley And before we throw it open to questions, I think we owe it to ourselves to think a little bit about the United States, and particularly about – not just the emergence of he who shall not be named, but – Kevin Rudd Or not be tweeted Nick Bisley But the broader question that he – the election of the 45th President of the United States is – it was itself a sort of shocking moment This was a guy who broke all the rules He shouldn’t be electable, and all this sort of stuff And yet – certainly, as I travel round the region, the concern is not so much him but the fact that he was able to rise to the top of the American political system That there’s something deeper at root That’s to say, his election is not the cause of concern and decline and neglect or however you want to characterise it in the region, but that he’s a symptom of an underlying malaise in the American body politic Now, I was wondering what your sense – both of you, what your sense of this perception of the US as a country that is not quite what it once was in terms of its confidence, in terms of its credibility, in terms of the kind of leadership that its played in our region, and how that is affecting China? Because these things aren’t – they don’t happen in a vacuum China doesn’t just rise There is this context that’s occurring So, what’s your sense of where America is headed? The optimists all say, ‘Don’t count the US out It’ll always bounce back and it’ll get over this one.’ But the long-term secular trends do seem to be not heading in its direction So, what’s your sense of the US’s role in the region? Is it going to continue to be in this sense of retreat and a declining level of confidence, or do you think it’s likely to come back and we’ll see a much more overt set of contestation? Kevin Rudd Again, I’ll just make two or three points One is that there are two available scripts for how China and the United States deal with each other into the future, in terms of – let’s call it the popular literature, but also, and frankly, the consensual frameworks within which policy makers often operate One is a recently produced book by a colleague of mine from Harvard, Graham Allison, called The Thucydides Trap, which says that – and he’s been very careful, based on historical precedent – this will inevitably end in conflict and war, following the principle of the Peloponnesian Wars But in Graham’s case, analysing 15 or 16 occurrences of rising powers encountering established powers in the history of the last 500, and which he concludes that in 12 out of 16 of these historical case studies, it ends not entirely well That is, war But there are four exceptions Now, that’s one framework, and on that score, there is a body of support There’s a second equally disturbing possibility as you look at this, dealing with the US-China equation, I think, and it’s called the Kindleberger Trap Now, the Kindleberger Trap asks us to reflect on a particular period in history, which is the interwar period between World War I and World War II, when the British Empire was basically stuffed after the First World War, and simply was economically exhausted and unable to continue to provide global public security goods, and simply began incrementally to retreat At the same time as President Wilson encountered his highly isolationist congress, in particular the senate, there was no willingness on the part of the United States – having just been in the First World War – to then fill the British vacuum We ended up with not a G2, we ended up with a G0 That’s the message of the Kindleberger Trap, which is we don’t end up with any rules or any power capable of enforcing those rules in part or in whole in the future, and the problem with that is, you then see an open slather in the ’30s for the emergence of both Italian and German fascism, the invasion of other states and the rest of it, because there’s no one in control anymore, and the League of Nations is frankly a bit like the organising committee for a Sunday afternoon picnic of the Meatworkers’ Union It just had no role to play Now, these, I think, in terms of conceptual clarity, are the two broad things we should be looking at in terms of the future about what we can do to avoid both of them, frankly, because they both end disastrously I would conclude, though, about just making an observation about China, and an observation about the United States China has a defined national strategy for its dealing with the United States, its future in the Asia-Pacific region, and the broad outlines of what it might be globally

This is done internally, often secretively, but it has a level of coherence in its articulation around the world for me to be confident that such a strategy exists And I’m frankly doing a research project in Oxford at the moment on trying to come to grips with how you best describe this in a way which is not alarmist, it’s descriptive, and how do we engage this Chinese view So, China has a strategy for this The United States has none It has actually none, either for itself or its future role in the Asia-Pacific region, and frankly, for its future in the world And there is a degree of degeneration and decay which worries the hell out of me just as a member of the West That’s me In terms of where all this goes to in the future And that, I think, is the dynamic we currently are confronting Linda Jakobson I think Kevin has answered that pretty comprehensively, so if I may, I’d like to say something about the Chinese leadership Number one, when I watched, in Canberra, the anxiety and the uncertainty which prevailed after Donald Trump’s election, I thought to myself, ‘No one is thinking how anxious and uncertain the Chinese leadership must be feeling at this moment.’ Because though they portray themselves, obviously, as a very secure and certain place – I go back to something I said earlier – there is what I call an existential anxiety that plagues the Chinese leadership, and obviously, the media has now portrayed Xi Jinping as such a powerful man, I do think he has amassed power in a way that no one could predict But my reaction yesterday, when I watched that new leadership march out onto the stage, was for all the talk of how powerful he is – and usually we associate the sort of powerful – that he’s got a lot of confidence – he had to make so many compromises I agree again with Kevin that most of the five new gentlemen owe their promotion to Xi Jinping, and therefore can be expected to be loyal to Xi Jinping, but if you actually look, it was a very delicate balance of the various factions within China, these five new gentlemen There were two clearly Xi Jinping men, there was one very clear – Wang Yang – the youth league, Hu Jintao, Xi Jinping’s predecessor There was a Shanghai faction representative, and then there was Wang Huning, who had served three general secretaries So, for all the talk that collective leadership is gone – and in some senses it is – there is still that great need to portray – give the perception of political unity And I think this was a bit of a surprise for some of us, at least it was for me, how much he still had to take into consideration the different political factions within China, and that goes for the question of anxiety, insecurity, uncertainty They’re not as certain about their own role and where they’re going as we sometimes want to think, and that also comes back to the question of the United States They’re playing it step by step too, though, of course, Kevin is absolutely right, they have a strategy, the United States doesn’t But they still have to take world events into consideration as they play out Nick Bisley And it is one of the, I think, really distinctive features of the current period, which is that nowhere do you look do you see a country that’s unambiguously got its house in order and confidence striding out into the world You talk to the – even though we had this face put forward of China that was confident, unified, shining, forward-looking and everything, below the surface we know that many, many challenges it faces internally around its economic development and the complex politics within the party, and it is – Kevin Rudd We hold these two things are mutually contradictory You can be anxious about a number of things domestically, and frankly, Linda’s pointed to a number of them, and still exhibit and have a reasonable degree of confidence about where you’re going internationally I mean, you can walk and chew gum at the same time I’ve done a bit of that myself in Australian national politics These guys, at a much grander scale, are doing this as well So we can admit, shall we say, frailties in the system, the rigidities of its domestic politics, the crises and the compromises which can arise, but we would be blind analytically if we didn’t actually identify the contours of its emerging regional presence, view and strategy and what I see to be the contours of its global strategy as well And I think that’s just being realistic about where we are Nick Bisley Right, that is an excellent moment at which to take questions What we’re going to do, because the room is so broad, if people who would like to ask a question return to the back where you’ll see a hand being held up, and line up at the hand, and then we’ll call you to the microphone Could you please keep your questions, A, short, so very briefly say who you are and where

you’re from, and you can understand that as broadly as you like, but keep your questions short, sharp, a question, and to the topic that we’ve been talking about this afternoon Question 1 So you’re talking about Graham Allison’s book So, he says, there’s a 75% chance of induction that you’ve have a great power war between America and China, and maybe over-hand nationalism in terms of persecution of people in other countries around China So, Xi and others have also talked about this So, Hugh White at the ANU, he said that if we were asked, if Australia was asked to give a military commitment, that he doesn’t think that Australia would do it John Blaxland, his colleague, said that he does think he would So I was wondering what your thoughts on that are, and Malcolm Frasier was said to have thought that if there was to be a war, that his biggest fear was that America would be decisively defeated, and I was just wondering what you think the outcome of such a conflict, should it arise, would be? Nick Bisley So, a war between China and the US is the first question All right, we’ve started – Question 1 Oh, and I’m Dylan, sorry Kevin Rudd I thought I was here in peace-loving Victoria where you talk about the social contract and stuff Question 1 That’s just our public face Kevin Rudd Oh, right, ok Two quick responses to that One, if you had the military conflict within the theatre between the United States and China at the moment, China would be thumped, and the Chinese know that I mean, I know enough from my own dealings with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army to know that’s their current conclusion, and therefore, as Linda correctly said before, there’s an abiding strategic interest on the part of the Chinese to avoid any such possible conflict for the foreseeable future, until the capabilities, particularly of PLAN and PLAAF, wonderful acronyms, People’s Liberation Army Navy and People’s Liberation Army Air Force, get used to it, have such a range of capabilities as it becomes contestable Two caveats: the Taiwan contingency, which of course, Linda’s referred to, and some crazy contingency which come out of, shall I say, lunatic actions on the Korean peninsula On the first point, in terms of where Australia goes under any of those scenarios, I have been in Australian public life long enough to know that there are certain questions you never answer, and that’s one of them I could just duck and weave and pretend not to have heard your question I’m just being upfront about the fact, it’s not helpful to answer those questions Keep them guessing, mate Nick Bisley Normally the answer is, ‘It all depends on the circumstances We don’t answer hypothetical questions.’ Linda, quickly, and then we’ll put the next one – Kevin Rudd It’s called strategic ambiguity Linda Jakobson Nothing to add No Question 2 Ok, here is a question for Kevin Just wondering, Australian mainstream showed concerns over Chinese government reaching out to Chinese diaspora in Australia, and even Julie Bishop has warned Chinese international students affiliated with the Communist Party What’s your personal opinion on this issue, actually? Do you think actually Chinese government is behind those, well, international students from China, and also these kind of activists in Australia? Kevin Rudd Two or three quick things One, China’s a one party state, ok? Therefore, because of its concerns about domestic political security, it’ll do whatever it believes it can get away with in maintaining coherence from the Chinese student diaspora abroad That’s a reality Secondly, my view is that the responsibility of the vice-chancellors is to ensure that Western universities, of which tradition we belong, must be conducted as open societies of learning Free to everybody who comes, for the total free expression of ideas That is axiomatic to the business of the west, and axiomatic to the idea of a university, which is why so many Chinese students come here in the first place But the third is this, and I’m always very mindful of the creativity of my Chinese friends As I’ve said before, I’m spending a term at Oxford at the moment Never been to Oxford in my life It’s kind of interesting And so I’ve been invited by the various Chinese student organisations to give speeches And so I’ve been talking to them about the structure of the Chinese Student Association at Oxford, of all places Yes, there is one officially organised by the Chinese Party in the State, and they are there and they are active, and they have weekly events, and then I was told four people came to the last one Then there’s the other one, which frankly everyone has a great time and a party with, and you get hundreds of them And so there’s a bit of reality up the middle of this On the question of what I call foreign influence in Australian politics, if I can deviate slightly, I think that my challenge to Turnbull is, for god’s sake, get on with legislating what I introduced and the Liberals defeated in the house and in the senate both in ’08 and ’09, legislation to ban all foreign donations to Australian political parties It’s now nine years later For god’s sake, get on with it That, in fact, constitutes the core problem in terms of our politics And they should have supported it then

Turnbull should have supported it then And rather than running around with the AWU and cameras outside buildings here in Melbourne, just legislate and fix this up Nick Bisley Linda, I know your – China Matters has published a report on this briefly, so – Linda Jakobson Yes So, China Matters has published a policy brief on the question of Chinese international students I know that time is short, but I’d like to just add to the answer to that question Chinese international students come here – they have very strong opinions of their own You mustn’t think that every time they disrupt the classroom discussion and take offence to what is being discussed that the PRC consulate is behind it, or that the PRC embassy is behind it They have their own opinions They express them We want them to express them That’s, as Kevin said, why they’ve come to a place where one is allowed to have discussion What we can’t tolerate is that certain subjects are being stifled or ignored or intentionally people are being silenced if they discuss issues that the PRC government doesn’t like, for example, Falun Gong or Taiwan independence or any number of things Academic integrity is important We need to uphold it But there’s never a black and white answer when we talk about the PRC government, and that pertains also to their influence within Australian society Nick Bisley Yeah, one of the most, I think, pernicious aspects that’s the hardest for universities to grapple with, are students who are watching other students That’s the really tricky one That’s to say, students enrolled to keep an eye on other students, and making sure that bad ideas aren’t leaking into the brains, and reporting on them back to the embassy and to Beijing Right Question 3 Eric Peterson We’ve heard a bit about internal fragility within China I know the traditional modern Chinese ethic was selflessness, always pushing for community, but I heard some discussion in China about the single family policy in a rising economy where there’s a lot of, quote, ‘spoilt brats’, could be jeopardising a lot of Chinese success, because instead of being focused on – Kevin Rudd That never happened in the West, mate Nick Bisley I was going to say Question 3 No, I know, but how big effect do you think that could be? Kevin Rudd Over to you, Linda Linda Jakobson The last part of the question, I missed What’s going to happen when all these brats become adults? Question 3 Well, yeah, because of the One Child policy was in hold for so long, a lot of these very spoilt brats are now coming up through the – and they haven’t got the selflessness Linda Jakobson Well, for the first – I would discuss this problem with many teachers in China, and they say that actually these brats could be China’s hope, because when they become adults and when they come into positions of power, they’ll just break all tradition and they won’t care what others think They won’t be so sensitive to parental tradition, parental authoritarianism and so on But I’d just like to make it very clear, China has now changed its One Child policy, so that in the cities, you are allowed to try for two kids, and in the countryside, for some time now, you’re allowed to have two kids if the first one’s a daughter So, this One Child policy – there again, it’s not a black and white concept There’s a lot of grey in between Nick Bisley And it is – I mean, the big challenge China faces for its economic development is to move to an economy driven by ideas and creativity, and that’s going to be something that helps Linda Jakobson Maybe the brats will do it Nick Bisley Kevin, you don’t want to talk anything about intergenerational – Kevin Rudd No Nick Bisley Shaking of head Kevin Rudd You know what you don’t know, and I don’t know anything about that I’m told I’ve got the last opportunity to ask a question, which is – I’m lucky Kevin, it’s very good to have you back in Australia We’re getting a bit of rational and actually academically decent talk about what’s happening in the world My question, though, to you, is – which I think is very important, what you’re doing now is most important to Australia and the rest of the world – that is having a place on the world scene of politics Recently, I watched the two leaders from China and America when the United Nations – Kevin Rudd This guy’s not a relative of mine, by the way Question 4 I’m a good Labour Party supporter from way back, including – Kevin Rudd This is the Dorothy Dixer Question 4 Ok The Dorothy Dixer is, when I watched those two leaders, you saw – in the United States when you were in the main headquarters in New York – Trump being, I thought, organised by the secretary of the United Nations, to fit in So he was all, ‘Go home,’ about what he was talking about, but the United Nations said, ‘Yeah, that’s very relevant, we need to reform things.’ Whereas Xi Jinping made his long and important speech in Geneva, as I understand it, and that covered a lot of the stuff that you’ve been talking about, most commonly, world peace

How do you think, then, we can, on the basis of what that side of the world is saying, achieve some sort of world peace and world order through the United Nations or otherwise? Kevin Rudd Well, I think the big question of the future is what role will China seek to play through the United Nations? It’s already got a veto power in the Security Council, it’s now funding the UN Humanitarian Agencies, albeit in small amounts now, but increasing And because of the size of its economy, it’s very soon going to become the number one global funder of the general budget of the UN, so – and I now have conversations with my Chinese friends in New York about, ‘We need to talk about UN efficiency.’ I mean, our cash is going into this institution – I think it’s the great beginnings of a conversation I’ll just add to that observation with the following: China is now infinitely more sophisticated in the business of soft power than it was ten, 15, 20, 25 years ago By soft power, I mean, for example, Xi Jinping appearing at Davos and delivering a speech which frankly could probably have been delivered in the United States congress on a different and more fortuitous occasion It was delivered in a form which translated easily into the English vernacular It was not Chinese commoners’ dialect There’s something going on in terms of the sophistication of China’s, shall I say, global communications, but secondly, beyond that, what’s now happening in terms of China’s engagement in the global movie business, the co-investments and the product you’re now seeing coming out of combined Chinese and Hollywood production houses, this is not propaganda films of the 1950s, which we all saw and laughed about This is actually a new and sophisticated product So there’s something happening in what is traditionally seen as this exclusively American monopoly of global soft power And once again, I don’t see any coherent American strategy in response to it Nick Bisley Yeah, and don’t forget that China has become the greatest contributor of the permanent members of the Security Council to peacekeeping operations The story of a rising China is not one that is chafing against all of the norms and rules and institutions It plays an absolutely conformist role in many and doesn’t in others And as Linda said, it’s feeling as it goes Kevin Rudd Well, it’s just a vast change I first went to China just a little bit before Linda, but not much, 1984, and I’ve just been writing this autobiography of mine which is a reflection on what China was like in the ’80s And that China and its non-soft power, as a poor, impoverished, authoritarian, Communist state with no, frankly, opportunities for personal freedom or liberty in terms of getting married or wearing anything other than green or blue And as I wrote those chapters, based on what I saw, and I’m sure what you saw in ’87, and compare it with the China I’ve just come from last week, I mean, this is a remarkable global transformation over a period of 30, 35 years Which is a long-winded way of saying, if you want to buy my book, it’s out there Nick Bisley Which is probably as good a note on which to end as any We are out of time, so I’m very sorry for those of you who have been waiting for questions The last task of mine is to call my boss to the stage to bring the event to a close Lecturer Thank you very much, Nick As Kerri Lee said at the beginning, this event forms part of the celebrations for La Trobe’s 50th anniversary year, and there’s been much to celebrate this year La Trobe, over its 50 year history, has developed a proud record of being simultaneously one of Australia’s most inclusive universities, but also one of its most powerful research universities There are very few Australian universities, if any, that combine those two missions of a modern university as well as La Trobe has and continues to do But there has been a third role, important role, for La Trobe, over those 50 years, and that has been to be a unique voice in debates of national significance and to be a full-hearted participant in the national conversation, and that’s taken place through public intellectuals such as Robert Mann, who I’m delighted to say is here with us today, and as Kevin said, is now an emeritus professor at La Trobe, but others such as Judith Brett, Inga Clendinnen, John Hirst, Dennis Waltman, and now I’m delighted to say the next generation in the shape of Nick Bisley, our executive director of La Trobe Asia We felt it was important that we celebrated this aspect of La Trobe’s history through a series of events that would continue to expand and build on that tradition by discussing one of the most pressing issues facing Australia today, namely, our relationship with China

As Linda so accurately said, Australia and Australians need, more than ever now, to understand China better And who better to help us do that than our main speaker today, Kevin Rudd? It’s been an absolute privilege to hear from Kevin, who has once again demonstrated his deep understanding of the global political context of China’s rise, and its implications for us here in Australia He’s taken us from Thucydides to Trump, and possibly back again, but Kevin, thank you for sharing your insights today, and for the thought leadership you continue to provide here in Australia and increasingly around the world Ladies and gentlemen, please thank our main speaker, Kevin Rudd And also like to thank Linda Jakobson Kevin described her accurately as Australia’s foremost sinologist We are her adopted home We are very lucky that you’ve adopted Australia as your home, Linda She talked about the serious China knowledge gap in Australia, and an important initiative to try and close that gap is the book that she’s published, as the first book of the La Trobe University Press, a partnership that we announced this year with Maury Schwarz at Blank Ink, ably edited by Chris Feik And copies of that book are also available out at the front, should you wish to purchase one It’s an excellent read You will learn a lot about China if you are not already an expert on it from reading that book Linda, thank you so much for your participation today And finally, to Nick Bisley, our executive director of La Trobe Asia As I said earlier, one of the rising stars at La Trobe, one of our next generation of public intellectuals, but Nick characteristically conducts that more through electronic means And if I could just offer a plug for the La Trobe Asia podcast called Asia Rising – those of you who are interested in Asia and all matters to do with Australia’s relationship with Asia, it is an essential listen and very well put together, hosted by Nick but with a stream of really interesting, well-informed visitors And Nick, am I right in thinking that this might find its way onto the Asia Rising podcast series? Nick Bisley Yes, it most assuredly will Lecturer Ok So, Nick, thank you very much also So, finally, it just remains for me to thank emeritus professor Robert Mann, who’s the convener of La Trobe’s Ideas and Society series, and it was Rob, as Kevin said, who prevailed upon Kevin to come and speak to us today, so thank you, Rob Also Professor Chris Mackey, who’s the convener of the Bold Thinking series, ably supported by Adam Wren and our events team, to whom warmest thanks – thank you very much, Adam And finally, but by no means least, a big thank you to our student ambassadors They’re the ones who are wearing the red t-shirts who have so ably supported Adam’s team They are fantastic students We’re very proud of you Thank you, all of you, for your hard work for today Thank you very much also to all of you, ladies and gentlemen You’ve done it again, Melbourne You’ve turned out in fantastic numbers to hear one of our great political leaders Thank you so much Thank you