Kevin Rudd on China’s rise and a new world order

China’s emergence as a global power has changed the Asian region and the world. It has reordered established patterns of trade and investment, unsettled a long standing balance of power in Asia and brought old historical antagonisms to the surface.

As President Xi Jinping consolidates his power, China increasingly presents a confident and at times assertive face to the wider world. What does China want from its region? What is its vision for Asia and how much change would this represent? What options exist for Australia to influence how the People’s Republic comports itself on the wider global stage?

There are few Australians more qualified than Kevin Rudd to help answer these questions. As the former Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and currently the President of the Asia Society Policy Institute, he has directly shaped Australia’s relationship with China, and has been a pivotal figure in China engagement in the global community.

Join Mr Rudd, Linda Jakobson, founder and CEO of China Matters and Nick Bisley,  executive director of La Trobe Asia for an exploration of some of the questions certain to determine the shape of the coming century.

Watch the event streamed below


Kevin Rudd

Mr 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 (GFC) – the only major developed economy not to go into recession – and helped found the G20.

As a Senior Fellow with Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, he undertook a major research project on US China Relations. Mr Rudd is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Chatham House. He is a Distinguished Statesman with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and has been appointed to the Concordia Leadership Council.

Mr Rudd is proficient in Mandarin Chinese and a Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University. He co-authored a report of the UN Secretary General's High Level Panel on Global Sustainability and chairs the WEF's Global Agenda Council on Fragile States. He is the President of The Asia Society Policy Unit based in New York City.

Linda Jakobson

Linda Jakobson is the CEO and Founding Director of China Matters, an independent public policy initiative which aims to stimulate a nuanced and informed public discourse in Australia about China’s rise and its implications for Australia. From 2011 to 2013, she served as the Lowy Institute's East Asia Program Director. Before moving to Sydney in 2011, she lived and worked in China for 22 years and published six books on Chinese and East Asian society. Her last position in Beijing was as Director of the China and Global Security Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Over the past three decades she has served as a policy advisor to the governments of seven countries. Her most recent book, written with Dr Bates Gill, is China Matters: Getting It Right for Australia (La Trobe University Press / Black Inc., 2017). Her current research focuses on Australia-China ties and China’s foreign and security policy.

Nick Bisley

The Executive Director of La Trobe Asia and Professor of International Relations. Nick's research and teaching expertise is in Asia's international relations, great power politics and Australian foreign and defence policy. Nick is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Australian Journal of International Affairs, the country’s oldest scholarly journal in the field of International Relations.

Nick is a member of the Australian Institute of International Affairs national executive, the board of the Australia-India Institute,  a member of the Council for Security and Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific and and is part of the advisory board of China Matters. He has been a Senior Research Associate of the International Institute of Strategic Studies and a Visiting Fellow at the East West-Center in Washington DC.

Nick is the author of many works on international relations, including Issues in 21st Century World Politics, 3rd Edition (Palgrave, 2017), Great Powers in the Changing International Order (Lynne Rienner, 2012), and Building Asia’s Security (IISS/Routledge, 2009, Adelphi No. 408). He regularly contributes to and is quoted in national and international media including The Guardian, The Economist, CNN and Time Magazine.

Nick also regularly hosts Asia Rising, the podcast of La Trobe Asia which examines the news and events of Asia's states and societies.