Keynote with Australian Ambassador Kevin Rudd and former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

By Joel Wong

Kevin Rudd, Australian Ambassador to the United States, discusses China’s shift towards a more assertive foreign policy and internal move towards Marxist-Leninist ideology. Rudd expects China’s focus on national self-reliance to continue, with significant state investment in technology. Both Rudd and Rice acknowledge China’s red line on the Taiwan issue and potential future military action. Rudd calls for consistent, bipartisan American leadership and a renewed, compelling narrative to engage with the global South to counter China’s growing influence.

Throughout the conversation, Kevin Rudd advocated for a comprehensive strategy to address China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region. This strategy combines several key elements:

Strategic patience: Western countries should be calm and avoid rash decisions while responding to China’s actions.
Military readiness: Maintaining strong military forces in the region deters conflict and reassures allies.
Economic engagement: Continued economic ties with China are important, but alliances should be built to reduce dependence on Chinese markets.
Clear messaging: Western countries need to communicate a unified message about the values they promote in the region.
Alliance solidarity: Strengthening partnerships with regional allies is crucial to counter China’s influence.
Engagement with the Global South: The Western countries, particularly the US, need to engage countries in the global South economically. He stressed the importance of providing economic
opportunities and alternatives to those offered by China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Essentially, Kevin Rudd reiterated his thoughts on his book “The Avoidable War” but this time in his role as the Australian Ambassador to the United State!


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