Sun, 24 April 2016
Kevin Rudd is the former prime minister of Australia who knows China far better than most western leaders. He served from 2007 to 2010, and then again in 2013. These days, among other things, he's president of the Asia Society Policy Institute.
I got to know the prime minister a little bit earlier this year when he moderated a panel on which I was a speaker. The panel was for the Independent Commission on Multilateralism which is putting together a set of policy recommendations for the next Secretary General. Rudd leads that commission and we kick off with a brief discussion about it hopes to accomplish before pivoting to longer conversation about Rudd's upbringing and career as a diplomat in the Australian foreign service.
Kevin Rudd is a fluent mandarin speaker and he discusses how and why he became enthralled with China at a very young age. We discuss his first postings as young diplomat and how he decided to make the leap from diplomat to politician.