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Rudd studied at the Australian National University in Canberra where he resided at Burgmann College and graduated with First Class Honours in Arts (Asian Studies). He majored in Chinese language and Chinese history, became proficient in Mandarin and acquired a Chinese alias, Lù Kèwén.
In 1980 he continued his Chinese studies at the Mandarin Training Center of National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.
He and his wife spent most of the 1980s overseas posted at the Australian embassies in Stockholm, Sweden and later in Beijing, People's Republic of China.
Last weekend, the No. 5 man in China’s ruling Politburo Standing Committee, Li Changchun, visited Rudd in Canberra, and Rudd’s office kept the visit virtually secret. Li is in charge of propaganda, media and ideology. Given these high-level contacts, it’s worthwhile listening to Rudd when he does speak about China, which he did Wednesday evening in Washington on the NewsHour With Jim Lehrer program on PBS. Rudd spoke after coming out of a meeting with Barack Obama at the White House (see photo). Here are excerpts from a transcript provided by PBS, beginning with a segment on the upcoming G-20 meeting next month in London to deal with the global financial crisis:
JIM LEHRER: Of course, one of the major economies in the world is China. Is it doing its part?
KEVIN RUDD: The Chinese have stumped up a reasonable stimulus package so far. It's probably something in the order of about $500 billion. This...
LEHRER: What is that -- put that in perspective, what does that mean, $500 billion? Is that a big package or is that -- in Chinese terms...
RUDD: Well, there are different ways of calculating such a package in China. And, of course, there's a certain opaqueness with some of the numbers in China. And there are other things which the Chinese may not be currently declaring, for example, how credit is being released through their banks to support businesses and consumers.
But if governments around the world -- and this debate on fiscal stimulus is getting going a bit at the moment -- let's just look at the possibility of governments not stepping up to the plate with what they've already done.
The IMF has calculated there will be 20 million -- nearly 20 million more people on the unemployment queue across the G-20 economies today, including China, were it not for fiscal stimulus. I think the responsible course of action is to get behind this as a temporary measure.
At another point, Rudd goes into great detail about his views about China:
LEHRER: You've suggested in some of the things you've written and said that you believe there is a golden opportunity for -- that's my word, not yours -- for the United States, as well as the rest of -- Australia and the rest of the so-called developed world, to collaborate more with China and kind of move together as partners in some of these areas involving economic and financial matters. Explain your point there.
RUDD: Right now we're trying to deal responsibly, globally, with this global recession, through the G-20. Now, what's the G-20? It includes 20 of the largest economies in the world, a few exceptions. But it's got some representativeness to it, because together they represent about 80 percent or 90 percent of global GDP.
But it's also a small enough body that you can actually get together and broker some decisions politically. And in the past, a lot of our international institutions have broken down because an agreement couldn't be reached.
Now, China is a player in the G-20. And, therefore, when we look at one of the decisions we're going to have to make soon, when is the reform of the International Monetary Fund, China will be expected to step up to the plate and put more resources into the fund.
But China right now, its voting rights within that fund are the equivalent of Belgium and the Netherlands. I think you've got to change that so that China has a bigger place at the table, rightly, but also that the world can then draw upon the resources which China puts responsibly into an international financial institution.
That's one example of how this G-20 group can help frame an outcome for the future of the International Monetary Fund, which also brings China into helping with the solution.
LEHRER: In a more general way -- I mean, you are a China hand, as a professional diplomat, you speak Mandarin Chinese -- should China -- what would be your advice to Americans as to how they should view China now, as a competitor, as a potential ally, as an enemy, as a potential problem? What is it? What's China represent -- should represent to the average American? Put it in any terms you want to.
RUDD: Jim, I think China represents a huge opportunity for us all for the 21st century. The numbers speak for themselves. The center of global economic gravity is moving to the Asia Pacific region in the 21st century. And so what's happening in China, we see it also with India and you also see it with many other economies in the region, in Southeast Asia, Indonesia. But China is big. And, of course, the continued strength of Japan, as well.
Therefore, when you look at China in the future, I don't think anything's to be served by simply assuming it's all going to go bad. I think the challenge is this -- and our friends in America to do the same -- work with us in integrating China into the institutions of global governance, on the political side, on the security side, also on the economic side through, for example, the G-20, and also integrate them front and center in the great challenge of climate change, as well.
If you engender that sort of environment, then you enable China to do -- as the head of the World Bank, Bob Zoellick, once said -- for China to play the role of a responsible global stakeholder.
Now, if China was to turn its back on that or not be responsible, the world would soon know. But I think the smart course of action for us all is to involve them.
They're not perfect. They've done some bad things in the past. But let's look at the opportunities, rather than simply assume it's all threat and all risk.
THE career of Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon was in grave doubt last night after he admitted failing to disclose taking two trips to China paid for by the wealthy businesswoman at the centre of a spying scandal in his department.
THE Defence Department has ordered an urgent investigation into claims that Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon has been spied on by his own department.
Reports today claim the Defence Department has been spying on the minister, using the Defence Signals Directorate spy agency to tap into computers in Mr Fitzgibbon’s office to gain information about his relationship with a wealthy Chinese-born Sydney business woman, Helen Liu.
As the political crisis over the affair deepened, more details emerged about Ms Liu's links to senior Chinese officials.
It is believed that Ms Liu has been mentioned in secret reporting by Australian intelligence officers. Intelligence officials in Canberra have noted Ms Liu's business activities and contact with senior Chinese Government officials in the course of monitoring Chinese activity in Australia.
Mr Fitzgibbon said that, after examining his statements of interests to the parliament, he had identified two trips paid for by Ms Liu when he was an opposition MP - to Beijing and Shanghai in 2002, and to Shanghai in 2005. - that he had failed to declare. "This was a mistake and for that I apologise," he said in a statement.
This contradicted a statement his spokesman, who said earlier yesterday: "The minister has not accepted any gifts that would require a declaration on the members' interest register."
NEWLY revealed efforts by China's military to get the secrets of a Brisbane company's revolutionary new rapid-fire gun are the latest in what one intelligence expert calls a "hoover"-style espionage operation by Beijing.
The Chinese sweep for technology is providing a heavy workload for traditional counter-espionage for the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, despite its shift of priorities to counter-terrorism.
Mike O'Dwyer, the inventor of the Metal Storm gun that is capable of firing a million rounds a minute, said on Channel Nine's Sunday program he had been offered $US100 million ($134 million) to move to China.
"What I was expected to do in Beijing was to divulge all the knowledge I had to enable prototypes to be built for the weapons system to be developed," Mr O'Dwyer said.
One of China's highest profile defectors - Chen Yonglin, a diplomat in Sydney who sought asylum in 2005 - has said Beijing had more than 1,000 agents in Australia alone who kidnapped some Chinese people and repatriated them for political reasons.
CHINA is secretly helping to bankroll Kevin Rudd's economic rescue plan as concerns grow over the relationship between the Communist superpower and the Labor Government.
The Courier-Mail can confirm that China is a significant investor in Australian government bonds -- used by Canberra to fund billions of dollars in emergency spending.
Market insiders believe China is buying 15 to 20 per cent of the $2 billion in Treasury securities being issued every week.
This would make China the single biggest lender to Australia, although details of who owns the bonds are cloaked in secrecy.
The program, authorised by Treasurer Wayne Swan, will leave Australia with a debt bill approaching $200 billion.
In response, the Opposition has raised concerns Australia could end up politically "handcuffed" to China as a result. China's appetite for Australian bonds comes just days after the Prime Minister secretly met China's fifth most powerful figure, Li Changchun, at the Lodge.
Senior government figures privately admit the growing level of Chinese investment raises significant issues, including national security.
Former intelligence analysts and agents like Dr David Wright-Neville and Warren Reed say that figure is exaggerated. But it's possible a network of informants, rather than trained spies, could be operating on that scale.
Dr David Wright-Neville says the Chinese are not just interested in keeping an eye on people they regard as troublemakers.
DAVID WRIGHT-NEVILLE: Well, I think we'd be naïve to assume that the Chinese don't have what we might want to talk about as conventional spies. They most certainly do have an interest, both in Australia's military planning, in its economic policies and so on, particularly by dent of our close relationship with the United States, the extensive character of our defence exchange relationships with the United States.
The Chinese have an interest in how we're thinking about the US alliance, have an interest in the type of technology that might be transferred from the United States to us.
They also have an interest in our economic policies. We are a competitor with China in a number of key areas, we're involved in negotiations with the Chinese in a number of other areas on trade and so on, they would be interested in getting advanced information about the nature of our trade… our negotiating positions.
So it's absolutely certain that the Chinese would have full-time intelligence officers here, but one suspects that overwhelmingly they are concerned with the activities of their own nationals.
The Australian newspaper reports that Russia and China pose the most serious espionage threat to Australia's national interest since the days of the Cold War. It claims their increased spying operations have been made easier because of Western intelligence agencies' continuing focus on Al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremist groups.
The new ranks of Russian and Chinese spies in Australia are focusing on military, scientific and industrial espionage at a time of prolific defence spending and the commodities boom. They are believed to be seeking to exploit sensitive military technologies in several key defence projects over the coming years, including the $15 billion development of the new Joint Strike Fighter and the $8 billion construction of three air warfare destroyers by ASC Pty Ltd. Industrial espionage is also a priority, as a competitive advantage is sought against a range of Australian businesses, especially those in the resources sector.
In response, ASIO has set up a new counter-espionage department, and taken on a host of new staff. In June last year, the spy agency was forced to set up the Counter Espionage and Interference Division to reflect the fact that foreign spies were re-emerging in Canberra at a disturbing rate. That division is now being expanded.
The Federal Government has rejected Minmetals' takeover bid for OZ Minerals because of national security issues.
The Chinese state-owned Minmetals had been willing to spend $2.6 billion taking over the debt-laden OZ Minerals.
The Prominent Hill gold and copper mine is considered OZ Minerals' key asset but the Federal Government says it is in the sensitive Woomera Prohibited Area in South Australia, which contributes to Australia's national defence.
The Government says it cannot approve Minmetals' bid for OZ Minerals if it includes Prominent Hill.
If Australia cant pay off this debt that China has loaned to Australia, then they might claim their money back by using our natural resources for many eyars for free until they get the equivalent value back through minerals. Does anybody else here fear where Australia is going?
Another Chinese leader pays a quiet visit
THE Prime Minister had a meeting with China's security and intelligence chief, Zhou Yongkang, last year, and the Australian public never knew.
A spokeswoman last night confirmed that Kevin Rudd had met the Chinese leader but could not give details of the meeting or say why it was apparently not reported by any mainstream Australian media.
Last week a meeting between Mr Rudd and China's propaganda chief, Li Changchun, created a media storm because of claims that the Australian public had not been told about it.
As with Mr Li's visit, Mr Zhou's Australian tour was widely reported in the Chinese media at the time. The official Xinhua news agency reported that Mr Zhou met Mr Rudd in Canberra on November 9 to discuss foreign policy issues.
"Mr Zhou was a guest of the Australian Government during the first week of November 2008," confirmed a spokeswoman for Mr Rudd in an email last night in response to questions earlier yesterday.
Originally posted by Flighty
Excellent thread MM.
Wonder though if this doesn't go way back before Rudd to Hawke and Keating.
Originally posted by 7even
Great thread, IMO Ruddy is smart enough to understand who is who in our Region, allegiance to Europe and her countries would be useless if the poop hit the fan in the Asia / Pacific region.
Smart Politics if anything else.
CHINESE-BORN businesswoman Helen Liu paid for Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon to travel first-class to China in 1993 before they had ever met, giving him access to top Communist Party officials. One of Ms Liu's companies paid for Mr Fitzgibbon and his father Eric Fitzgibbon, a then federal Labor MP, to fly to China in June 1993 to mark the start of work on a tourist development.
As he was not an MP at the time of the 1993 trip (he was a senior NSW ALP official and an electorate officer for his father), he was not obliged to declare it to Parliament. But he also did not mention the 1993 trip last week when asked about claims he had received expensive gifts from Ms Liu. Mr Fitzgibbon's spokesman said yesterday Ms Liu had told Eric Fitzgibbon he could bring a guest on the 1993 trip. Two years later, Ms Liu gave Joel Fitzgibbon $20,000 to use in his campaign to succeed his father as the member for the NSW electorate of Hunter. The revelation that Ms Liu funded the 1993 trip puts further pressure on Mr Fitzgibbon over his relationship with her. It has also cast doubt on previous comments by his office about the reason for the 1993 trip.