Kevin Rudd speaks to Peking University: A Conversation With China’s Youth on The Future

A CONVERSATION WITH CHINA’S YOUTH ON THE FUTURE
PEKING UNIVERSITY

 

 

9 April 2008

I begin by congratulating Peking University which this year celebrates its 110th anniversary – making this university three years older than the Commonwealth of Australia.

Peking University is the most famous in China.

And it has played an important part in modern Chinese history.

In the early 20th century, when China was going through a period of rapid transformation, it was Peking University that led movements for a new era in Chinese educational, cultural and political life.

Peking University was at the centre of the May 4th Movement.

The May 4th era — for I realise that it was a transformative decade from 1917 to 1927 — was one of crucial and lasting importance in the emergence of a modern China.

Many famous figures in this period were active at your university.

One thinks, for example, of Cai Yuanpei, Chen Duxiu, Hu Shi, Li Dazhao and Lu Xun.

This year, 2008, is the 90th anniversary of some key events of the May Fourth era:

— through his essays for the major magazine New Youth the writer and educator Hu Shi successfully advocated the use of modern vernacular Chinese in education and the media.

This helped bring about a major change in the way that the young people of China expressed themselves to their compatriots.

Also the writer Lu Xun published the first, and justifiably famous, story in modern Chinese, Diary of a Madman.

I would also note that Lu Xun’s design for the school crest of Peking University is still in use.

Indeed, you, the students of Peking University today, are heirs to a great tradition of intellectual engagement with your country.

Studying China

This is not the first time I have visited Peking University.

But it is the first time I have given a speech here.

It is a great honour for me.

And it is a great honour for me to address the students of this university because you are an important part of China’s future.

I first started studying China and the Chinese language in 1976.

It was a different China back then.

Zhou Enlai had just died.

Mao Zedong was still alive.

And the Cultural Revolution had not concluded – indeed our Chinese language textbooks were still full of class struggle.

Some have asked me why I decided to study Chinese.

I had grown up on a farm in rural Queensland where China seemed very remote.

I remember as a teenager following closely the visit of Australia’s Prime Minister Gough Whitlam to China on television in 1973 after the Australia Labor Government recognised China in 1972.

I remember watching the footage of him meeting Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping escorting his party on a tour to the Great Wall.

That visit inspired my interest in this extraordinary country.

When I went to university I knew that I wanted to study China.

I went to the Australian National University in Canberra.

And for the next four years I studied Chinese language, Chinese history and Chinese literature together with Japanese and Korean history as well.

I even studied Chinese calligraphy, but my calligraphy was ugly then – and it is even uglier now.

Later I became a diplomat.

Because I was a graduate in Chinese, the then Australian Government decided to send me to Sweden – where in those days I could barely find a decent Chinese restaurant.

I eventually made it to China in 1984 when I started work at the Australian Embassy.

But I did not remain a diplomat.

I wanted to enter politics.

I was elected to Australia’s Parliament in 1998 and after serving in parliament for nine years in opposition, my party won the general election last year and I had the honour of becoming 26th Prime Minister of Australia.

Australia and China

Some people think that Australia and China are new friends.

But in fact our history is already long.

Chinese settlers came to Australia first in the nineteenth century.

When gold was discovered in Victoria and Queensland in the 1850s, the first major group of Chinese migrants came to our shores.

We now have over 600,000 people who claim Chinese ancestry.

After English, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) is the most widely spoken language in Australia.

The Chinese community has deep roots in Australia and is an important part of modern Australian society.

It includes people like Dr John Yu, one of Australia’s leading surgeons and Australian of the Year in 1996.

And the young mathematician, Terrence Tao, who I met recently.

The flow of people has not all been in one direction.

Some Australians – though a smaller number – have made China their home.

George Morrison is one such person.

Morrison first came to China in 1894.

He lived here for 20 years.

In Australia, he was known as “Chinese Morrison”.

And here in Beijing, during the Republic of China, Wangfujing, home to George Morrison, was known as “Morrison Street”.

It is easy to see why people become fascinated with China.

China has thousands of years of continuous recorded history, but it is a country of constant change.

When I look at the China of 2008, I see a very different country to the one I studied in the late 1970s and the one I lived in during the mid 1980s.

China and the World

The changes in China since the 1970s have been remarkable.

And the change in China has led to a profound evolution in the relationship between our two countries.

China’s policy change 30 years ago this year to “reform and open up” was the start of your country’s re-connection with the world.

China’s companies began trading with others.

China’s people began to travel.

China’s students began going overseas to study in greater numbers.

The world began to see China, and the people of China began to see the world, in new ways.

This institution, Peking University, through its teaching, research and search for knowledge has also had a profound influence on China’s changes.

Its graduates have made a big contribution to your country’s engagement with the world.

To many people in China, these changes bring a better and richer life.

People are able to make decisions about where they work, how they live and set their own goals.

They can build their own businesses.

At the same time, there are still many problems in China – problems of poverty, problems of uneven development, problems of pollution, problems of broader human rights.

It is also important to recognise that China’s change is having a great impact not just on China, but also on the world.

The scale and pace of China’s economic development and social transformation is unprecedented in human history.

Never before have so many people been brought into the global economy in such a short period of time.

Just look at some of the figures.

China is now the world’s third-largest trading nation.

Its exports are growing at over 30 per cent per year.

GDP per capita has nearly doubled in the past five years.

People in Australia and around the world recognise that China’s economic development is having a profound global impact.

They understand that China’s demand for resources is driving global growth.

But China’s growth can also cause anxiety.

Some people are concerned about their jobs moving to China.

When people overseas are faced with big changes and uncertainties like these they get nervous.

We all need to appreciate these anxieties and their origins.

Today I would like to make a suggestion.

I think that you – the young people of China, the generation that will see China’s full integration into global society, the global economy and the overall global order – have an important role to play in the life of the world.

The global community looks forward to China fully participating in all the institutions of the global rules-based order, including in security, in the economy, in human rights, in the environment.

And we look forward to China making active contributions to the enhancement of that order in the future.

It is a necessary task of responsible global citizenship.

It is a big responsibility you have.

You are the product of China today.

And you are the representatives of China’s tomorrow.

You will be the ones who define how the world sees China.

“Harmony” was the dream and hope of that great Chinese thinker and activist Kang Youwei.

The Hundred Days reform movement, like Peking University, also marks its 110th anniversary this year.

Kang proposed a utopian world free of political boundaries.

China has variously articulated its approach to development as one of “peaceful rise”, “peaceful development” or more recently that of a “harmonious world”.

In 2005 the then US Deputy Secretary of State Bob Zoellick spoke for his part of his concept that China would and could become a responsible global stakeholder.

As I said last week in a speech to the Brookings Institution in Washington, it is worthwhile thinking about how to encourage a synthesis of these concepts of a “harmonious world” and the “responsible stakeholder”.

The idea of a “harmonious world” depends on China being a participant in the world order and, along with others, acting in accordance with the rules of that order.

Failing this, “harmony” is impossible to achieve.

“Responsible stakeholder” contains the same idea at its core – China working to maintain and develop the global and regional rules-based order.

This year, as China hosts the Olympics, the eyes of the world will be on you and the city of Beijing.

It will be a chance for China to engage directly with the world, both on the sports field and on the streets of Beijing.

Some have called for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics because of recent problems in Tibet.

As I said in London on Sunday, I do not agree.

I believe the Olympics are important for China’s continuing engagement with the world.

Australia like most other countries recognises China’s sovereignty over Tibet.

But we also believe it is necessary to recognise there are significant human rights problem in Tibet.

The current situation in Tibet is of concern to Australians.

We recognise the need for all parties to avoid violence and find a solution through dialogue.

As a long-standing friend of China I intend to have a straightforward discussion with China’s leaders on this.

We wish to see the year 2008 as one of harmony, and celebration – not one of conflict and contention.

Harmony in the Natural Environment

Our shared future is not only one about harmony between nations and peoples.

It is also about harmony with nature — the “Unity of Man and Nature” — a concept with ancient roots in Chinese thought.

We all share responsibility for the future.

One of the big future challenges for Australia and China is climate change.

Australia is committed to strong action domestically and internationally on climate change.

Because we know that climate change is the great moral, economic and environmental challenge of our time – one that all nations have to work together to overcome.

That’s why climate change will be an important part of my discussions with the Chinese leadership this week.

It is important that China play an increasingly prominent role on climate change.

An effective global response to climate change will require the active participation of all major emitters.

I also believe it is important for China’s own future.

Unless we are successful, China will face increasing pressure on its water supplies, changing rainfall patterns and rising sea levels.

A strong relationship, and a true friendship, are built on the ability to engage in direct, frank and ongoing dialogue about our fundamental interests and future vision.

In the modern, globalised world, we are all connected; connected not only by politics and economics, but also in the air we breathe.

A true friend is one who can be a “zhengyou”, that is a partner who sees beyond immediate benefit to the broader and firm basis for continuing, profound and sincere friendship.

In other words, a true friendship which “offers unflinching advice and counsels restraint” to engage in principled dialogue about matters of contention.

It is the kind of friendship that I know is treasured in China’s political tradition.

It is the kind of friendship that I also offer China today.

#####

 

与中国青年谈未来

 200849

北京大学

感谢

 

北京大学校长   许智宏教授
北大校委会副主席  吴志攀教授

 

外交部部长助理 刘结一先生

 

中国驻澳大利亚大使 张君赛先生

 

尊敬的各位来宾、女士们、先生们

 

引言

 

首先我要向北京大学表示祝贺,今年 是北大成立110周年 校庆 – 贵校的历史比澳大利亚联邦的历史还要长3年。

 

北京大学是中国最有名的大学。

 

在中国近代历史上有着重要的地位和作用。

 

20世纪初是中国经历迅速变革的一个时期。正是北京大学引领了当时的运动,将中国引向了一个在教育、文化和政治生活方面的新时代。
北京大学是“五四运动”的中心。

 

我也知道五四时期,从1917年到1927年间的变革的十年,对于现代中国的出现起了关键的作用,影响深远。

 

这一时期的许多著名人物活跃在北京大学。

 

比如,人们会想起蔡元培, 陈独秀, 胡适, 李大钊和鲁迅。

 

今年,公元2008年,将见证五四时期的一些重要事件的90周年:

 

作家和教育家胡适先生通过在很有影响的新青年杂志上发表的系列文章,成功地倡导在教育和新闻媒体中使用白话文。

 

这推动中国年轻人向同胞表达思想的方式产生了重大变化。

 

作家鲁迅先生发表了著名的第一篇白话文小说‹‹狂人日记››。

 

我还注意到鲁迅先生当年为北京大学设计的校徽今天依然在使用。

 

同学们,今日北大的学子们, 你们正是中国知识界忧国忧民伟大传统的继承者。

 

研究中国

 

今天不是我第一次来到北京大学。
但是在这里发表演讲是第一次。

 

对我来说这是莫大的荣幸。

 

我在这里向北大的同学们发表演讲,之所以感到十分的荣幸,是因为你们是未来中国的重要部分。

 

我是在1976年开始研究中国、学习中文的。

那时的中国非常的不同。

 

周恩来总理刚刚去世。

 

毛泽东主席还在世。

 

文化大革命还没有结束–我们当时使用的中文课本儿还充满了阶级斗争。

 

有些人问我为什么决定学中文。
我是在昆士兰州的一个农场上长大的,中国似乎离我非常的遥远。

 

 

我记得当时还是个十多岁的孩子,很关注电视上对澳大利亚总理惠特拉姆先生1973年访华的跟踪报道。

 

澳大利亚工党在此前一年,1972年承认了中华人民共和国。

 

我还记得电视上毛泽东主席与惠特拉姆总理会谈、邓小平先生陪他登长城

的镜头。

 

那次访问激发起了我对这个非凡国家的兴趣。

 

我上大学时,我就清楚地知道我想研究中国。

 

我上的是位于堪培拉的澳大利亚国立大学。

 

在随后的4年里,我学习了汉语、中国历史、中国文学以及韩国与日本的历史。

 

我甚至还学习了中国书法,但是我的汉字写得很难看 – 现在更不用说了。

 

之后我成为了一名外交官。

 

我是汉语专业毕业的,当时的澳大利亚政府偏偏决定把我派到了瑞典工作 – 可是瑞典在当时几乎连个像样的中国餐馆都找不到。

 

我终于在1984年来到中国,开始在澳大利亚使馆工作。

 

但我没有一直做外交官。

 

我想从政,进入政坛发展。

 

在1998年,我当选为澳大利亚国会议员。

 

我在澳大利亚国会反对党工作了9年后,工党在去年赢了联邦大选。

 

我就 很荣幸成为澳大利亚二十六届总理。

 

澳大利亚与中国

 

有人认为中国和澳大利亚是新朋友。

 

但实际上,我们之间的交往历史已经很长。

 

中国人早在19世纪就来到澳大利亚定居了。

 

19世纪50年代,在维多利亚州和昆士兰州发现了黄金,第一批大量的中国移民登陆澳大利亚。

 

现在澳洲有60多万华人。

 

除了英语之外,中文(包括普通话和粤语)是澳大利亚使用最广泛的语言。

 

中国人已经深深的植根于澳大利亚,已成为现代澳大利亚社会的重要组成部分。

 

 

这包括余森美医生, 他是澳大利亚最杰出的外科医生之一,曾于1996年获得澳大利亚年度人物奖。

 

年轻数学家陶哲軒教授。

 

我最近与他见面了。

 

两国人员的往来并不是单向的。

 

也有一些澳大利亚人 –  虽然人数不多-在中国安了家。

 

乔治·莫里森就是这样一个人。

 

莫里森1894年第一次来到中国。

 

他在中国生活了20年。

 

他在澳大利亚被称谓“中国莫里森”。

 

当时莫里森的家在王府井。

 

民国年间,这条大街的名字叫“莫里森大街”。

 

其实我完全了解为什么人们会对中国如此神往。

 

中国有着几千年延绵不断的文字记载的历史,但同时也是个不断变化的国家。

 

当我在2008年审视中国时,看到的是一个非常不一样的国家,与我在70年代研究过的、80年代生活过的中国截然不同。

 

中国和世界

 

上世纪70年代以来,中国发生了显著的变化。

 

中国的变化给我们两国的关系带来了深刻的演化。

 

30年前中国实行的“改革开放”是中国再次与世界接触的开始。

 

中国的公司开始进行对外贸易。

 

中国人开始旅行。
更多的中国学生开始到海外留学。

 

世界开始以全新的方式看中国,中国人开始以全新的方式看世界。

 

贵校,北京大学,通过教学、科研和对知识的探索,已经对中国所发生的变化产生了深刻的影响。

 

贵校的毕业生对贵国与世界的接触

做出了很大的贡献。

 

这些变化给中国人民带来更好,

更丰富多彩的生活。

 

 

在哪里工作、怎么生活、设定什么样

的目标,现在人们对这些事能够

自己决定。

 

现在人们可以做自己的生意。

 

同时中国还有很多的问题 – 贫困的问

题、发展不平衡的问题、污染的问题和

广泛存在的人权问题。

 

同样重要的是,要认识到中国的变

化不仅仅对中国国内产生巨大的影

响,也对世界也有重大影响。

 

中国经济发展和社会转型的规模和速度

在人类历史上都是空前的。

 

在这样短暂的时间内把这么多的人

纳入全球经济当中,这是前所未有的。
让我们看看下面这些数字。

 

中国目前是世界第三大贸易国家。

 

中国的出口每年增长百分之三十以上。

 

人均GDP 在过去5年内几乎翻了一番。

 

澳大利亚人以及全世界的人都认为中国

的经济发展正产生深刻的全球影响。

 

他们知道中国对资源的需求正推动

全球的增长。

 

但是中国的增长也会导致焦虑。

 

有些人担心他们的工作转移到了中国。

 

当海外的人们面对这样的巨大变化和

不确定性,他们会变得焦虑。

 

我们需要理解这些焦虑和他们产生的根

源。

 

我希望在此提议。

 

中国的青年,你们是将会见证中国完全融入全球社会,全球经济和

整体国际秩序的一代人。

 

我认为你们在世界生活起着重要的作用扮演重要的角色。

 

国际社会盼望着中国充分参与到有规则的国际秩序。

 

包括所有基于规则的安全、经济、人权和环境领域的国际体系。

 

我们盼望着中国在未来为加强这些秩序做出更多积极的贡献,这也是负责任的全球公民的应尽义务。

 

同学们,你们肩负着重大的责任。

 

你们生于今日的中国。

 

你们是中国明日的代表。

 

你们将决定世界如何看待中国。

 

和谐是中国伟大的思想家和活动家康有为先生的梦想和希望。

 

对于戊戌变法,像北京大学一今年恰好也是110周年。
康有为倡导建立一个没有政治界限的乌托邦式的大同社会。

 

中国多次表明其发展的方式是“和平崛起”、“和平发展”或最近提出的“和谐世界”。

 

2005年,当时的美国副国务卿佐利克提出了他的概念,即中国愿意并能够成为一个负责任的全球利益攸关者.

 

我上个星期在华盛顿的布鲁金斯学院的演讲中谈到,值得思考一下如何促进将 “和谐世界”与“负责任的利益攸关者”这两个概念结合起来。

 

“和谐世界”的概念将取决于中国与其他国家一道参与到世界秩序,并根据秩序的规则来行事。

 

做不到的话,就不可能实现和谐。

 

“负责任的利益攸关者” 的核心内容也包括了同样的概念 – 中国努力维护并

 

发展基于规则的全球和地区秩序。

 

今年,中国主办奥运会,全世界的目光将关注你们、关注北京。

 

这将是中国与世界直接接触的一次机会,接触在运动场上,接触在北京的街头.

 

有些人呼吁,因为最近在西藏所发生的问题而抵制奥运会。

 

正如我这个星期日在伦敦所讲过的,我不同意。

 

我认为奥运会对于中国持续地与界接触是很重要的。

 

澳大利亚与大多数国家一样,承认中国对西藏的主权。

 

我们也认为有必要承认在西藏有的确存在着重要人权问题。

 

在目前的状况下,澳大利亚人对西藏局势感到担忧.

 

我们认为各方需要避免暴力并通过对话寻找解决的办法。

 

作为中国的老朋友我准备跟贵国的领导人用直截了当的说法讨论这个问题。

 

自然环境的和谐

 

但是我们的共同未来不仅仅是国家和人间的和谐。

 

还有与大自然的和谐。“天人合一”的观念根源于中国的古代思想。

 

我们都负有对未来的责任。

 

气候变化是中澳两国共同面临的未来挑战之一。

 

澳大利亚致力于为应对气候变化在国际和国内都采取强有力的行动。

 

因为我们知道气候变化是我们当今时代所面临的重大的道德、经济和环境挑战,是所有国家必须携手合作、共同克服的困难。

 

所以,气候变化将是本周我与中国领导人的会晤中所探讨的重要内容。

 

中国在气候变化问题上发挥日益突出的作用是很重要的。

 

一个有效的全球气候变化应对机制,要求所有的主要排放国都积极地参与。

 

我也相信这对中国自身的未来同样很重要。

 

除非我们成功的应对,否则中国在很多方面将面临日益增加的压力,比如水供给、降水的变化以及海平面上升。

 

牢固的关系、真正的友谊之基础是能够直接、坦诚并持续地进行对话。

 

结论

 

在当今全球化的世界当中,我们都是相互联系在一起的,不仅通过政治和经济联系在一起,连我们呼吸的空气都是一体的。

 

真正的朋友是能够做“诤友”的.

 

这样的一个伙伴是一个超越直接和短期利益的建立在宽广和坚定基础之上的。

 

着眼、于持久、深刻和真诚友谊的伙伴。

 

换句话说,真正的友谊是敢于说出不同意见、直言规劝的,是能够就有争议的问题进行有原则的对话的。

 

我知道贵国的政治传统中很看重和珍视这样的友谊。

 

今天我向中国提出让我们建立这样的友谊。

 

谢谢大家。