Asia and the World

Kevin Rudd has spent most of his professional life, in one capacity or another, engaged on the core question of Asia and its engagement with Australia and the world.

As Australia's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Asia's growth was one of his central policy preoccupations.

Australia was ASEAN’s first external dialogue partner. Australian diplomacy was at the forefront in the establishment of the ASEAN Regional Forum. This was the same with APEC. Australia was also a foundation member of the East Asia Summit and Kevin Rudd's diplomacy drove the expansion of the EAS to include both the United States and Russia.

While Asia is home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies and a young, dynamic population, the region is also confronted with a number of issues that threaten to stymie the region’s rise. Growing nationalism, enduring security flashpoints in the Korean peninsula and the South China Sea, an ascendant China, and climate change are just some of the policy areas demanding the attention of Mr Rudd as President of Asia Society Policy Institute.

Kevin began studying Chinese as a young man at the Australian National University reinforced by further study in Taipei, Hong Kong and Beijing.


"Sometime in the next decade, for the first time in 200 years, a non western, non English speaking, non democracy will become the largest economy in the world." - Ted Talks, April 2015


Kevin, worked in China as a diplomat and has visited the country more than 100 times.
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 development of a wider Asia Pacific Community.

In 2014, Kevin was a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School where he completed a major policy paper U.S.-China 21: The Future of U.S.-China Relations Under Xi Jinping.


"The future relationship between China and the United States represents one of the great mega-changes and mega-challenges of our age." - U.S.-China 21: The Future of U.S.-China Relations Under Xi Jinping, April 2015

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