Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Kevin Rudd ─ Understanding China under Xi Jinping

Monday, April 23, 2018

12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Joukowsky Forum

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Kevin Rudd served as Australia’s 26th Prime Minister (2007-2010, 2013) and as Foreign Minister (2010- 2012). He led Australia’s response during the Global Financial Crisis, reviewed by the IMF as the most effective stimulus strategy of all major economies. Australia was the only major developed economy not to go into recession. Kevin was a co-founder of the G20, established to drive the global response to the crisis, and which through its actions in 2009 prevented the global economy spiraling into depression.

As Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, he was active in regional and global foreign policy leadership. He was a driving force in expanding the East Asia Summit to include both the US and Russia in 2010, having in 2008 launched an initiative for the long-term transformation of the EAS into a wider Asia Pacific Community. On climate change, Kevin ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2007 and legislated in 2008 for a 20% mandatory renewable energy target for Australia. He represented Australia at the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Summit which produced the Copenhagen Accord, for the first time committing states to not allow temperature increases beyond two degrees.

Kevin is now President of the Asia Society Policy Institute in New York. ASPI is a “think-do tank” dedicated to second track diplomacy to assist governments and businesses on policy challenges within Asia, and between Asia, the US and the West. He is also Chair of the Independent Commission on Multilateralism where in 2015-6 he led a review of the UN system. Also a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, Kevin in 2014-15 completed a major policy report on “Alternative Futures for US-China Relations.” He is a Distinguished Fellow at Chatham House in London, a Distinguished Statesman with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, and a Distinguished Fellow at the Paulson Institute in Chicago. Kevin is a member of the Comprehensive Test Ban Organization’s Group of Eminent Persons. He is proficient in Mandarin Chinese, English and French and serves as a Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and co-Chairs the China Global Affairs Council of the World Economic Forum.

Moderated by Brian Atwood, Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs, Watson Institute.

China Initiative
Watson Distinguished Speaker Series