Kevin Rudd ─ Understanding China under Xi Jinping

Kevin Rudd ─ Understanding China under Xi Jinping


[MUSIC PLAYING] Ladies and gentlemen,
are we ready to start? I welcome everyone here. I’m Brian Atwood. I’m a senior fellow at
the Watson Institute. And I guess I was
asked to do this by Paul Butler, the editor
of the Brown Journal on World Affairs,
because my path has crossed with Kevin Rudd when he
was foreign minister in 2010. We were just talking about that. But I am very, very pleased
and privileged to be able to introduce the former
prime minister of Australia. In doing a little research
for this introduction, I realized that I could be
speaking until 1:30 just to describe all of the things
that he’s done in his life. Suffice it to say that, as prime
minister from 2007 to 2010, he got a lot done. And he then became
foreign minister, and then prime minister again. But his first act, I
think, is very significant. And it’s some messages here for
an American audience, I think, as well. His first act was to
ask the parliament to pass a resolution apologizing
for the way it treated the indigenous peoples of
Australia, the so-called stolen generation. He went on to be confronted
by the international financial crisis in 2008, and brought
Australia through unscathed, virtually, the only
Western country that really didn’t suffer
from that financial crisis. He’s been a very strong
supporter of climate change. He made sure that Australia
ratified the Kyoto accords. He was very active, even after
he left his official position, in supporting a group of people
from Asia and the United States and elsewhere for the 2020
conference in Copenhagen. And that conference, which was
seen as not quite a success, would have been
even a worse failure and would not have set up
the Cup series to succeed as well as they did in Mexico if
it hadn’t been for his efforts. He’s been a strong supporter
of development assistance. And that’s where our paths had
crossed, when he was in Busan. And he managed
through his work there to gain clarification
as to the position of the Chinese government. What I like about him is not
so much his political career, but he started, as I
did, as a diplomat, and served as a
diplomat for Australia in both Beijing and Stockholm,
before he left and became involved in politics. Some of the people in
opposition in Australia say he wasn’t very
diplomatic, on occasion, in the way he confronted
them, but he now is a visiting professor
at Tsinghua University. He’s the president of the
Asian Society Policy Institute. He has worked with CSIS. He’s done a study for the
JFK School at Harvard. By the way, Tsinghua University
is the Brown University of Beijing. Someone wanted me to call it the
Harvard University of Beijing, but it’s the Brown
University of Beijing. So without any further
ado, he’s going to tell us about
what’s going on now in China, what we can
expect as we move forward with a trade war or other issues
that we’re confronting China on. And without any further ado,
the former Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd. [APPLAUSE] Well, thank you very much for
that very warm Providence, Rhode Island welcome. I’ve not been to
Providence before. Haven’t been to
Rhode Island before, and I’ve not been
to Brown before. So this is all a novel
experience for me. So please forgive me in
advance if I demonstrate demonstrable Australian cultural
insensitivity about something. Thank you, Brian, for
the kind introduction. And I did spend some time
with Brian at an important, and I think
historically important, international aid conference
of the Development Assistance Committee held in Busan
in the Republic of Korea. I think 2011, 2012, from memory. It was the occasion when China
was seeking to obtain status under the Development
Assistance Committee for the legitimacy of its
international aid efforts in the world. And many of us had a
strong view that, if that was going to occur, we had
to see maximum transparency applied to China’s international
aid efforts from that time on. And that was very
much the nature of the intense debate
in which we were engaged at that conference. Thank you also Paul Butler,
esteemed editor of the august journal the Brown Journal
of World Affairs– I presume it’s not
yellow journalism, but it’s the Brown Journal– and for the contribution
which the Journal makes to the serious discussion of
international relations theory and practice in the world today. Watson also has itself a
proud institutional history for looking at the
world’s great challenges through an
interdisciplinary lens. I’ve been asked to talk
about the rise of Xi Jinping, and Xi Jinping’s worldview. My background, I’m a China guy. When I was at university back
in the Mesolithic period, I studied five years
of Chinese language, modern, classical history,
politics, economics, literature, art. I’m the definition
of an area studies guy, which means I don’t know
much about anything else. So but as the world then
unfolded in the decades since then, having some
familiarity about how China views the world has been of
some assistance in my engagement with China, either as a
scholar, as a businessman, as a bureaucrat, as a diplomat,
as a foreign minister, and as a prime
minister, and now, back to the beginning of the food
chain, as a scholar once again. So for those of you who are
taking the study of China seriously, I would commend
you just put in the years to understand the world
as seen from Beijing out, and not just from outside in. In international relations,
like anyone’s national politics, understanding how
the other guy thinks and why they think
that way is very much the beginning of wisdom. The beginning of
wisdom in understanding China’s view of the
world is to understand China’s view of itself. And given that Xi
Jinping is at the apex of the Chinese
political system, it’s important that we have a
good understanding of how he sees his country, his party,
and China’s place in the world. We’ve reached something of a
tipping point in the evolution of Chinese politics
since the return of Deng Xiaoping at the Third
Plenum of the 11th Central Committee in November of ’78. There has been a
tacit assumption, at least across much
of the collective West, over the last 40 years
that China, step by step, was embracing the global
liberal capitalist project. Certainly, there was a view
that Deng Xiaoping’s program of reform and
opening, [CHINESE],, would liberalize
the Chinese economy with a greater role
for market principles and a lesser role for the
Chinese state in the economy. A parallel assumption has
been that, over time, this would produce liberal democratic
reforms across the country, which would gradually reduce
the authoritarian powers the Chinese Communist
Party, create a greater plurality of political
voices within the country, and, in time,
involve something not dissimilar to a Singaporean
style guided democracy, albeit on a grand scale. Despite the global wake-up call
that was Tiananmen in 1989, by and large this continued
to be the underlying view across much of
the collective West, that China, through
many twists and turns, was still broadly
on track to create a more liberal
political system, if not to create any form of classical
Western liberal democracy. That was always, in my
view, a misguided view. But the rise of Xi
Jinping should not be interpreted simplistically
as a sudden triumph of authoritarianism
over democracy for the future of China’s
domestic political system. Rather, it should be
seen as a definition of the particular form
of authoritarianism that China’s new leadership
now seeks to entrench. I see this emerging
political system as having three defining
characteristics. First, the unapologetic
assertion of the power, prestige, and prerogatives of
the Chinese Communist Party apparatus over and above
the administrative machinery of the Chinese state. In previous decades, the
role of the party apparatus had shrunk to a more narrowly
defined ideological role. The powers of detailed
policy decision-making had gradually migrated to
the institutions of the state council. This, indeed, had been
the signature reform under Premier Zhu Rongji
when he was still in office. That is no longer the case. Xi Jinping has realized
that, if you remove the party as an institution from
continued structural relevance to the country’s real political
decision-making processes, the party, over time,
will literally fade away. As a person who believes
deeply not just in the party’s history, but also in
the party’s future, Xi has not been
prepared to stand idly by while that happened. Xi has now decided to
intervene decisively to reverse this trend. A second defining feature of
this new authoritarian period is the role of political
ideology over pragmatic policy. For the previous 40
years, we’ve been told that China’s
governing ideology was socialism with Chinese
characteristics, [CHINESE].. As the decades rolled by,
at least in the economy, there was much less
socialism, however, than there were Chinese
characteristics. In this sense, Chinese
characteristics became the accepted
domestic political euphemism for good old capitalism. Few people seem
to have understood that a core part of Xi
Jinping’s intellectual makeup is that he is, by training,
a Marxist dialectician. This derives from the
Hegelian principles of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis, or,
in the Chinese Maoist terms, contradictions among the people. This forms a deep
part of Xi Jinping’s intellectual software. Indeed, the importance
which Xi Jinping attaches to this as an
intellectual methodology led him to conduct two formal
Politburo study sessions on both historical materialism
and dialectical materialism, in 2013 and 2015 respectively. As a dialectician,
Xi Jinping is acutely conscious of the new social,
economic, and political forces being created by China’s
neoliberal economic transformation. He would also
understand intuitively the challenges which these
new forces would, over time, represent to the party’s
continuing Leninist hold on power. Both he and the rest of
the central leadership have read their
development economics. They understand it. They’re not deaf,
they’re not dumb. They know what the
international literature says, that demands for
political liberalization almost universally arise
once per-capita income passes a certain threshold. That is the learning
from the academy. They are therefore deeply aware
of the profound contradiction, or [CHINESE],, which
exist between China’s national development priority
of escaping the middle-income trap, on the one
hand, and unleashing parallel demands for
political liberalization once incomes continue to
rise, on the other hand. Xi Jinping’s response
to this dilemma has been a reassertion
of ideology. This has meant a reassertion
of Marxist Leninist ideology, and a new prominence accorded
to ideological education across the entire
Chinese system. But it’s more sophisticated
than a simple unidimensional ideological response. At least since
the 2008 Olympics, which predated Xi
Jinping’s ascendancy, Chinese nationalism
has also become a parallel mainstay in China’s
broader ideological formation. This has continued and
expanded under Xi Jinping, and has been augmented by an
infinitely more sophisticated propaganda apparatus
across the country, which now fuses the imagery of
the Chinese Communist Party, on the one hand, and
the Chinese nation into a combined Chinese
contemporary political consciousness. On top of this, we’ve
also seen a rehabilitation of a form of
Chinese Confucianism as part of the restoration of
Chinese historical narratives about and the
continuing resonance of China’s unique
national political forms. According to the official
line, this historical authoritarian,
hierarchical continuity is what is differentiated China
from the rest of the world throughout history. And why should it
change in the future? This Chinese
neo-Confucianism is regarded by the party as a comfortable
historical accompaniment to the current imperatives for
a strong, modern Chinese state necessary to manage
the complex processes of the great Chinese
renaissance of the future. The shorthand form of the
political narrative is simple– China’s historical greatness
across its dynastic histories lay in strong authoritarian,
hierarchical Confucian states. By corollary, China’s
historical greatness has never been the product
of a Western-style liberal democracy. By further corollary, China’s
future national greatness will lie not in any adaptation
of Western political forms, but instead through
the modern adaptation of its own indigenous
political legacy in the form of a
Confucian communist state. This brings us to the question
of the nature of China’s, or more specifically Xi
Jinping’s, worldview. This term has a long and
complex history in the West– worldview, [CHINESE]—-
but arguably a more recent and narrower definition in
its contemporary Chinese translation. In the West, the term worldview
comes from the German [GERMAN],, which was first used, albeit
fleetingly, by Kant in 1790, before undertaking a
long conceptual evolution through Hegel, Kierkegaard,
Heidegger, Marx, Engels, and even Freud. For Kant, this term
[GERMAN] meant simply our perception of the world
as mediated by the senses. Hegel took Kant’s
concept further by incorporating into his
idealist understanding of human progress through
the dialectical processes of thesis, antithesis,
and synthesis. Hegel also conceived of
different individual and national worldviews, laying
the early conceptual groundwork for Chinese theorists of
Deng Xiaoping’s generation and their idea of socialism
with Chinese characteristics as an epistemological
means of breaking the ideological stranglehold of
universal communist orthodoxy. The impact of
Leninists, Stalinists, and later Soviet
conceptualizations of a Marxist worldview on the
newly formed Chinese Communist Party were profound. But starting from
1945, we see a series of concerted efforts by
Chinese Marxist theorists to liberate Chinese Marxism
from what they increasingly perceived as the shackles
of Soviet ideological dogma. This culminated in
the post-1978 period of socialism with
Chinese characteristics under Deng Xiaoping,
as the party sought to grapple with a new
set of theoretical challenges arising from the
leadership’s decision to turn much of remaining
Marxist orthodoxy on its head, embracing the demands of
pro-market reforms at home, as well as
comprehensive engagement of the international product,
service, and capital markets abroad. Whereas the content of the
Chinese Communist Party’s official worldview may therefore
have changed significantly over the last century
of the party’s history, including in this
new period [CHINESE] of Xi Jinping’s leadership and
thought, what is remarkable is that the Marxist
methodological framework through which these
worldviews have been developed has remained formally intact. So while Marxist dialectics may
have died their official death in Russia with the collapse
of the Soviet Union in 1991, they remain alive and well in
the Chinese Communist Party worldview of the 21st century. What’s the relevance,
therefore, or the irrelevance, of international
relations theory today in seeking to understand what
is happening with the China of the 21st century? An analysis of China’s
role in the world, including how its leaders
conceive of that role, cannot escape the deep debates
that also permeate the general literature on social science
research in the West. It may well be that
either realist, liberal
internationalist, or even Marxist theoretical
frameworks help explain certain elements of
China’s changing policies towards the world. It’s worth reflecting on
what the tradition has to offer in helping understand
China’s future trajectory. Let’s look at realism. Western realists, near-realist,
so-called structural realist frameworks for interpreting
China’s worldview and the strategic policy
settings that flow from it are plentiful in supply. This applies to both
so-called offensive and defensive variations
of realist theory. The principal standard bearer
for the offensive realist view of China’s
international strategy is John Mearsheimer from
the University of Chicago. This is stated most starkly
in Mearsheimer’s 2014 edition of his book The Tragedy
of Great Power Politics, which dedicates its concluding
chapter to proving– his term, not mine– that China, irrespective
of the public ideation advanced by its leaders on the
question of China’s emerging capabilities and
intentions, provides just one further gloomy example of
what every great power seeks to do, namely, to maximize
its share of world power and to eventually dominate
the system, unquote. That’s Mearsheimer’s analysis. What does liberal
internationalism have to say on the
question of China’s rise? Of course, this is the principal
alternative theoretical discourse for explaining
China’s evolving international engagement– liberalism, neoliberalism,
or liberal institutionalism, as it’s sometimes called. Whereas liberalism
differs from realism in its underlying
Kantian proposition that interests can be secured
not just through self-help, power maximization, the balance
of power, and, where necessary, war, but rather through
rational decisions in support of peaceful cooperation,
the development of an international
rules-based system, ultimately anchored in liberal democratic
politics, open markets, and international institutions
that give systemic effect to these liberal values. What of the third school
of international relations theory which might be applied
to China, beyond realism and beyond liberalism,
namely Marxism itself, or structuralism. I’ve already discussed
today the significance of the core Marxist
analytical methodologies of historical and
dialectical materialism in the construction of
Chinese official worldviews. As noted earlier, in
a world of socialism with Chinese characteristics,
the party’s use of Marxist methods of
analysis does not necessarily equate with classically
Marxist conclusions about the state of the
international order or China’s role in changing it. But this raises
the question that, even if China, which
continues to formally uphold the orthodoxy of Marxism,
Leninism, and Mao Zedong thought, no
longer sees itself bound by any particular
Marxist conclusions on international relations
theory or practice, then does a Marxist
framework any longer hold true for understanding
anything of what Xi Jinping himself actually thinks
about what China should be doing in the world today? This brings us to
a fourth school of international relations. As a theoretical
framework for analyzing both the rise of China and
its changing relationship with the international order,
beyond the familiar narratives of realist despair
and neoliberal hope, constructivism offers a number
of positive interpretive possibilities. These include the
influence of culture informing shared or non-shared
understandings between states. Indeed, Chinese international
relations theorists have also contended that a
constructivist approach may be a framework
capable of harmonizing Chinese and American approaches
to international relations theory through concepts such
as relationality in shaping common futures through
mutually constructed international realities. What of the English school? My view is that, in
understanding China’s changing worldview, we are now in
deeply uncertain, perhaps unique conceptual terrain,
both in theoretical terms, but also in interpreting the
complex dynamics of China’s international policy practice. Under Xi Jinping,
China’s engagement with its neighboring
security challenges has been deeply realist. Its engagement, however,
with the prevailing international liberal
political, economic, and environmental
orders has varied. Illiberal on the first,
mixed on the second, and recently internationalist
on the third. We also see a
constructivist China, as it seeks to fully engage the
existing global multilateral institutions, negotiating
new norms in some, while also creating or
constructing new institutions outside the current
liberal order in others. Regionally, there is an even
more intense constructivist dynamic at work, where
competing Chinese and American regionalisms are in
contention, shaped by a combination of
realist security dynamics and an increasingly beleaguered
liberal internationalism struggling to underpin
open regional markets against the forces of
nationalism, protectionism, and mercantilism. I argue that the virtue
of the English school of international relations as
a theoretical model, as applied to both East Asian
regional realities as well as China’s
growing global role, offers a credible via
media, a third way, between competing claims
to theoretical hegemony. The English school recognizes
basic realist concepts, including the anarchical society
and the balance of power, but it also tempers these with
the proposition of a negotiated international society of
values, norms, and rules, which can be constructed
between states to militate against the excesses of
realism in one direction, while falling
short of the ideals of an all-embracing, watertight,
liberal institutionalist order in the other. Equally importantly,
the English school recognizes the critical
domestic drivers of China’s bolder
view of its place in the region and the world. If Chinese area
studies is to teach us anything about
China’s worldview, it is the enduring importance of
culture, history, and ideation in shaping the
international behaviors of its political
elites over time. The English school, as
adapted to global realities beyond its formative foundation
in European high politics of the 19th century, provides
a rounded, inclusive embrace of both sets of external
and internal factors currently at work in shaping Xi
Jinping’s emerging worldview. What I’ve provided here
today is a very simple survey of a much more complex
reality of contending international relations
theoretical frameworks trying to make sense of the
21st century reality, but not for the intellectual
delectation of the academy, but as a guide for
policymakers, as well. It’s why I’ve recently myself
undertaken my own research program on Xi
Jinping’s worldview, Xi Jinping [CHINESE],, through the
Oxford University China Center. So for me, this is very much a
work in intellectual progress. In my remaining time before we
take questions in our seminar today, let me reflect
in summary form, given the theoretical discussion
that we’ve just engaged in, on what I see to be the seven
concentric circles of Xi Jinping’s worldview. These are not remarkable. These are quite
simple, but I think best explained through
the theoretical paradigm that I have just run through. Number one, in terms of Xi
Jinping’s Maslovian hierarchy of needs– in other words, what lies at
the center of his seven circles, or concentric circles
of worldview– is the paramount
importance of the party, and the party
continuing in power. We should never underestimate
that in our Western analysis of China today. It’s not a party
which is fading away. It is a party with a
strong and robust future in Xi Jinping’s mind. According to that
worldview, therefore, the continued political power
and legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party remains
foundational and central to any worldview he has about
China’s role in the world today. The second concentric circle
lies with holding the country together. The Chinese historical
tradition teaches Chinese leaders that
good emperors hold the empire together, bad,
ineffective, or weak emperors allow the empire to fall
apart, the enduring lesson of Chinese dynastic history. How that translates into
Chinese modern politics and into current worldviews
is that anyone who is a leader of China today who
embraces any policy which could see either Xinjiang,
Tibet, or Taiwan, or any other core claim to
Chinese territorial integrity, including the South
China Sea, slide away loses legitimacy against this
core historical imperative in China’s worldview, in
Xi Jinping’s worldview. The third is this, in
concentric circles, is the importance to deploy
an economic policy which raises the living standards
of the Chinese people, to restore the legitimacy of the
Chinese Communist Party, which in the past delivered
the Chinese people not only the chaos of
the Cultural Revolution, but also the economic
devastation prior to that of the Great Leap Forward. And therefore, in terms
of the future legitimacy the Chinese Communist Party and
its claim to political power, absent the ballot
box, is to continue to deliver, through one
form of economic stratagem after the other, continued rises
in Chinese living standards, but at the same time the
fundamental economic machinery, which delivers a powerful
Chinese international state. The fourth in these
concentric circles in Xi Jinping’s worldview is
the flip side of the third. Not only to raise
China’s living standards for each of its people,
to liberate not only 600 million people from poverty– an extraordinary
achievement in itself– and to increase the
aggregate economic power of the Chinese state
as a consequence, but to do so in a manner
which still enables the Chinese people to breathe
clean air, to have clean water, and also to be able to plant
crops in soil which has not been terminally contaminated. The environmental
conditionalities which we now have assumed as
part of the overall development project around the
rest of the world have more recently
come to China. Public critique
of the legitimacy of the Chinese
Communist Party as being responsible, through
its breakneck speed of economic development
over the last 30 to 40 years, with an unsustainable
environmental cost has caused the party in the last 10
years, and the last five, in particular, to haul out
the red flag, literally, and to say, unless we
can deliver substantively sustainable environmental
development, then, frankly, we lose
our legitimacy, as well. Environmental
sustainability, therefore, is not just a cute expression. It is seen axiomatically
as part and parcel of the long-term
survival, the credibility of the Chinese party and state. It affects the well-being
fundamentally of the people. Sustaining the analogy
of concentric circles, the fifth of these concentric
circles has to do with China having sufficient
geopolitical space along its maritime
eastern frontier. And that’s where China
runs into another frontier state with maritime
capabilities, namely this one, the
United States of America. This is where the two
spheres of, shall we say, worldview radically
coincide and come into conflict with each other. The Chinese, in this
worldview, resent, given their
historical experience of having been subjugated
by the Japanese during the period from
1895 to 1945, the idea that their own maritime
strategic perimeters should be controlled by others. And as a consequence,
China, in this worldview, does not accept the legitimacy
of continuing American alliance structures in East Asia
and the West Pacific, most notably with the Republic
of Korea, most notably with Japan, but other
US allies, as well, including Thailand, the
Philippines, and Australia. Furthermore, consistent with
that element of Xi Jinping’s and China’s worldview, the
continuing forward presence of the US armed forces in the
Western Pacific, west of Hawaii but including the
Aleutians, Guam, Okinawa, and other US basing
entitlements, again, from the Chinese
perspective, is seen as being undermining China’s
long-term future strategic stability across its
maritime frontier. China’s strategy, therefore, in
securing its eastern maritime frontier, over time, is to
gradually but effectively push America back, gradually
but effectively to fragment America’s alliance structures
in that part of the world, and to do so with a level of
increasing military capability, but underneath it all to do
so with the overwhelming power of its economic presence,
the political influence which derives from that presence, and
the foreign policy persuasion which comes from the same. Number six in this seven-part
set of concentric circles of China’s worldview, or
Xi Jinping’s worldview, has been more recently
developed and articulated since Xi Jinping came to power. It’s the consolidation
of China’s western continental frontier. Hence, we see the unfolding
of what has happened now with One Belt, One
Road, what we’ve seen with the
further consolidation of the institutional
machinery which already exists across Western China
and into Central Asia and beyond, the
Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the loose
security confederation called [INAUDIBLE]. China again seeks, through its
overwhelming economic diplomacy and the presence
of its investments on the ground and the
new connectivities to be opened up by the One Belt,
One Road initiative, to create a wide corridor
zone and, in fact, Eurasian continent where China’s
economic footprint becomes dominant. There’s a strategic
logic underpinning this. It’s because the other threats
to China’s own territorial integrity and history
have been delivered by continental corridors,
either from the north or from the west, either
from the Manchurians, either from the Mongols, either
from the Xiongnu in an earlier period in Chinese history,
or from Central Asia. Therefore, a deep
Chinese strategic sense of having a comfortable
strategic perimeter of its western continental
shelf constitutes this sixth of the Chinese
concentric circles which I argue are part
and parcel of Xi Jinping’s worldview. The seventh and final is this. It is China’s place
in the world at large, China’s place in the future of
the international rules-based system, China’s
place in what we call the international
rules-based order. Since 1945, the order,
as we describe it, is based on two
fundamental factors. One, American power as the
principal victor of the Second World War, both in the
Atlantic and the Pacific, although the securing
of that victory depended, in large part, in
Asia, on China pinning down most of Japan’s forces within
the Japanese occupation of China, just as it did in
Europe with the Soviet Union pinning down most German forces. To the east of Berlin,
not to the west. Nonetheless, the United States
emerged as the overall victor, and contributed
itself significantly to that outcome, as we know
from the history of both the European and Pacific wars. As a result, America
emerged, in terms of its conventional
armaments, and initially through its nuclear armaments,
as the dominant global military power. After the collapse of
the Soviet Union in 1991, America entered its
unipolar moment. But quite apart
from the existence of objective American hard
power, the United States also, in the post-war period,
built a structure of international relations
around the United Nations system, around the Bretton
Woods Institutions, around the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights in 1948, which collectively
constituted what we have called the international
rules-based system. These two are inseparable– American power underpinning
it, but a rules-based system which, at the same time, in
part, became free-standing. So when we look at the seventh
of these concentric circles of China’s worldview, and
its priorities about where it wants to go, it is
simply along these lines that the assumption
that many have had in the collective West that
this international rules-based system, based on the
institutions that we evolved in the period ’48 through
to ’48 and beyond, and the continuation of
American unipolar power, is not, from
China’s perspective, necessarily the guaranteed
way of the future. China’s critique is simple. It says we were not part of
the victors’ conference in 1944 or ’45 or ’48. That was a bunch of you
white guys, basically. Former colonial powers. Or in the case of China,
the nationalist government, not the communist government. As a consequence,
China concludes that it was not a principal
stakeholder in the setting up of the system. China also concludes, however,
that the system as it’s evolved has, by and large,
since China’s admission, first to the UN in 1971, and
then later to the World Trade Organization, has been
enormously beneficial for China’s own long-term
political, international political and economic
evolution, and the rise domestically in China’s
living standards through the enormous role
played through China’s access to global trade markets
afforded to it through most favored nation status arising
from its membership of the WTO, which the US itself supported. But now we arrive at
a different reality, when sometime in the next decade
the Chinese economy will be larger than that of America’s. And in the next three
decades, the aggregate size of China’s military
may well equate that of the United States, as well. This remains to be seen. And so now we’re in a
period of contestation. We are in a period
where China also seeks to argue there may
be alternative forms which need to be embraced in terms of
the future rules-based system which are more consistent with
China’s own values at home. And where we see the friction
point arising most readily on this at present
is, of course, in the future operation of
the Human Rights Commission in Geneva, where China has
a radically different view of what constitutes human
rights compared with the West, but also frictions in
other domains, as well. It will be a complex
process, but in China’s evolving worldview
under Xi Jinping, this seventh and
outer circle of what happens with the future of
the global rules-based order is now one of active
engagement, as well, with an uncertain destination. I thank you for your
attention, and I look forward to our discussion today. [APPLAUSE] Thank you very much. I particularly
appreciate your relating some of the classic
political science theories to the realities on the
ground, and China’s attitudes toward those, and where
they fit with respect to these mostly
Western-developed political theories. This is not to
challenge you, but I can recall maybe 15
years ago hearing the great environmentalist
Lester Brown talking about the challenges that China
faces with respect to water tables, food, energy,
all of those things that mean basically
that China has to engage with the rest of the world
because they can’t produce enough for their
population as it is. Ken [? Echelberry, ?] who’s
a liberal internationalist, has written very eloquently
a few years ago– and maybe Xi has caused
this to be old news, but basically that China needs
the international system, and must engage in it. And that was one of the
rationales for joining the World Trade Organization. Now you have a situation caused
partially by the United States and President Trump’s attitude
toward the WTO, his attitude toward trade that
is challenging some of these rules-based
organizations that China has taken
some advantage of. There have been two rulings at
the WTO, one in favor of China and one against China. But China has been
pretty deferential to that international
organization, whereas it would appear, in using a
national security rationale to raise
tariffs, the United States is looking for loopholes
in that organization. And indeed, the president hasn’t
made any secret of the fact that he doesn’t
particularly like the WTO. Graham Allison recently
came back from China, and wrote an article indicating
that these trade wars could produce real conflict. And in particular, I suppose,
in the South China Sea. I don’t know, I mean, it seems
to me that one of the two cultural characteristics– this
would be a constructivist view of the world– that China is a lot more
patient than the United States when it comes to
making decisions. And I suppose that Xi, now that
he has a lifetime position, probably can be
much more patient than President
Trump, who we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. But react a little bit to
that, and to the possibility for conflict as
a result of this. Where do you think the
trade war, if it is a war– it’s not a war yet– but where is that heading,
for example, in your view? First, a couple of
points about theory, and then where we
stand on trade. Historically, I’ve
had no interest in international
relations theory. None at all. I’ve been a practitioner. And the problem
with practitioners is they assume that,
of course, they’re not affected by anyone else’s
theoretical assumptions. Of course, they are,
they just choose not to be conscious of it. So in my post-political
life, I’ve sought to re-examine some of
the theoretical foundations from the heavy bag of
intellectual prejudices I’ve picked up throughout my life,
and tried to reflect on them. Reflecting on China
is a separate question because what I discover, at
least to my own research, is here we have a Communist
Party elite which brings a Marxist intellectual
software, dialectics together with a deeply realist
view of balance of power, anchored in its
military and intelligence and security
establishment, together with a liberal internationalist
economic establishment headed by the Chinese
central bank and China’s principal private
corporations, like Alibaba, trying to make a name for
themselves in the world, together with a foreign
policy establishment which has been told by Xi Jinping
to go out and construct a new order in a
constructivist sort of way. My overall thesis, therefore,
is that the reality of China today breaks out of the
box of anyone seeking to establish some coherent
universal theoretical explanation as to what
the hell is happening. Of course, our
Chinese friends rather like that, because it
keeps us all guessing. But my contention
to you all today is it is all these
things, and not just one, that represents the
unfolding Chinese– let’s call it
international personality. Why, in the end of
my presentation, I went for something
as arcane as called the English school, for those
of you not familiar with it, is that it seeks to, based
on European experience, to draw in together
these various traditions into a single method of
explaining a much more complex current
international realities. It acknowledges
balance of power ism, it acknowledges economic
interdependence, it acknowledges that we have to
make up rules as we go along. It doesn’t accept
that we’re going to produce a perfect liberal
international order, when you’ve got the Americans
ignoring it sometimes– for example, as you
said, prospectively [? of ?] the WTO– the Chinese ignoring
it sometimes, for example, the
International Court of Justice determination on
the South China Sea. And so there’s a whole lot of
constructivist work underway, as well. So, enough said on theory. But I’ve tried to read through
the literature on this subject, and it’s given me a
very big headache. And I hope there are brighter
people in this room who can enlighten me
further on this subject, having read most of it. Let me ask you– On the bonsai point about trade
war, let me just say this– –yeah, go ahead. –I don’t know if
I agree with Graham about it producing a hot war. What I can say is that the
Chinese conclusion, having spoken to a number
of Chinese leaders and think tankers and those who
advise the international policy establishment in Beijing
over the last month– I was there a few
weeks ago again– is that the general conclusion
in Beijing is that these elements of US policy,
whether it’s on North Korea, whether it’s on trade, whether
it’s on the most recent decision on ZTE, or,
as we say in the rest of the English-speaking
world, Zed T-E– Xi Jinping’s counter
message, which was his speech at last
week’s China conference on cyber and informationization,
as the Chinese like to call it, is that we’re now, from the
Chinese perspective, beginning to see what they conclude to be
a coherent American strategy, which, number one,
repudiates the idea, finally and formally, of
peaceful cooperation, and two, has embarked upon
something new and aggressive. Now, the American
conclusion about China is, in fact, in
mirror form of that. So we are now into,
in my argument, a brand-new and
destabilizing period. Historically, the Chinese would
keep all economic questions and security questions in
completely different boxes. They would maintain
their security interests in one direction,
while prosecuting their economic
interests in another, even if they made no
inherent conceptual sense, as we would look at it
from the outside world. I think where Graham Allison
may be pointing to– and having worked with Graham for 12
months at the Belfer Center, I know how he thinks, and worked
with him a lot on [INAUDIBLE]—- is that he now sees
this confluence of the joining the
dots in Beijing about a new, much
more aggressive, forward-leaning American
strategy which has lined up the US military
establishment, Pacific command, the intelligence
establishment, American corporate interests,
as well as civil society, even down to Hollywood, in one
overall anti-China strategy. That, I think, is the
emerging consensus in Beijing. And that, I think, points in
a new and dangerous direction to what we’ve seen
for the last 40 years. I hope that’s not right,
but I can understand why they might think that. Let me just ask a couple
of more questions, and then we’ll go
to the audience. But this week in
[? Pyongyang, ?] the South Korean and
North Korean governments are meeting at a
summit on Friday. It may produce a peace
treaty finally ending the war, the Korean War. What I’m interested
in is, is this an issue which brings more
confluence between the US and China, or what is it
that you think China wants to get out of this process? Denuclearization? They’re getting the
US forces, the 28,000 that are in South Korea,
off the peninsula? What is the long-term
goal of China, would you imagine,
in this process? I think the only productive
intellectual paradigm for trying to understand what’s
happening in North Korea is to see it in terms
of overlapping or non-overlapping Venn
diagrams of interest. What’s the Chinese interest? The Chinese interest
in aggregate, I think, is along these lines. One, keep a pro-Chinese
ally on your border, rather than having
a pro-American ally on your border. Land border. South Korea is close enough,
but with the North Koreans you actually share
a land border. And China’s history
of land borders, given they’ve got 14
territorial neighbors, has historically
been problematic, through several hundred
years of Chinese history. So there is a deep learning in
the Chinese strategic culture which says with
my land borders, I want someone who is either my
ally, my friend, or a neutral, or someone who can be
politically manipulated. That’s the enduring
lessons of Chinese history. Second, as a
consequence of that– sorry, second, they’d prefer
that that pro-Chinese land neighbor did not
have nuclear weapons. But in their hierarchy
of needs, Maslov would put the first
above the second, in the way in which
they see that. They don’t like the North
Koreans having nukes, but at the end of
the day, if it meant losing North Korea
as an ally, they’ll always vote for having North
Korea as a friend and an ally. Therefore, the
Americans correctly deduce that this is not as
axiomatic a Chinese interest as it is for the United States. Why? Because you can never
conceive of a scenario where the North Koreans
would target the Chinese, as opposed to targeting
American-allied targets either in northeast Asia
or US forces in the region, or ultimately
continental United States through the use of an ICBM. Thirdly, the
Chinese interest is, if there’s to be a reunification
of North and South Korea, under whatever means,
that it should not, under any circumstances,
produce a country which is more hostile to
Chinese interests than North Korea is right now. So if there is to
be reunification, the Chinese would need to be
confident, from their view, that it was going to be a
neutral, non-allied country with the United States,
and with no US troop presence in the South. Now, I won’t go
on further to say what’s the American set
of concentric circle interests– not concentric,
the American Venn diagram of interests,
and where does that overlap with the Chinese. Eh, kind of around the
second point of the three that I’ve mentioned,
but not necessarily around the first and the third. Draw the one for North Korea
and then for South Korea, you get an increasingly
constricted space where the four sets of Venn
diagrams actually intersect. That’s where diplomacy
happens, to try and construct an agreement around that. It’s pretty tight. Unfortunately, one of
those concentric circles nowadays is the man who lives
at Mar-a-Lago and his own ego, but that’s just an
editorial comment. You know, we have,
I think justifiably, been a bit paranoid
about Russian involvement in our elections. Even paranoid
people have enemies. And quite clearly, there
is concern in Australia that China is very much
involved both in politics and in investment
and in other ways. There is the Stephen Walt
theory called bandwagoning, where a powerful country
is going to attract a relatively weaker country– I’m not trying to call
Australia a weak country, it’s strong in its own way,
but you’ve called the– [INTERPOSING VOICES] –current government,
Trumbull’s government, as engaging in something
you call Chinese jihad. You’ve been very
critical of them for what they’ve been saying. But is there a threat? Is there a threat that there
will be so much influence that the politics of your
country will be affected by it? If you follow the logic
of what I described before as Xi Jinping’s seven concentric
circles of, shall I say, worldview and interest, it
follows as a logical extension, at least of the
fifth of those, which is China’s maritime periphery in
East Asia and the West Pacific, that it would want,
through its extension of economic influence, a
more compliant economically, politically, and in foreign
policy terms, compliant East Asia than is currently the case. The deep historical resonances
in the Chinese tradition is the history of tributary
states in both the Ming and the Qing dynasty. I’m not saying that the current
Chinese leadership wishes to replicate a
tributary state model, but that’s the historical
learning about how you maintain order with, shall
we say, maritime partners. And there’s a long and
rich history of this, whether it’s tribute
being delivered from Seoul or from Vietnam
or from the various Khmer kingdoms of Southeast
Asia, the Malay states, and even across
to the Arab world. There’s a long history of this. And so it follows
as a matter of logic that China, whether
it’s directly influenced by its
history on that or, through simply the power
of its economic diplomacy, but most acutely the sheer scale
of the Chinese economy, which dominates everything
in East Asia, given that it’s
second in the world only to the United States,
that the Chinese network of influence grows
bigger and bigger. That’s what I’d just describe
as an empirical reality. And China, like other
states, will therefore seek to obtain as much influence
within those countries as possible, either through
direct economic engagement, through its own
activities within elements of their own diaspora, its
influence over Chinese language newspapers, et cetera. My argument against
Prime Minister Trumbull– or Turnbull, depending
on whose name you apply– is that each of these,
as it were, factors, whether they are
domestic to Australia or in our immediate
region, are quite capable of being dealt
with through the existing means available to
Australian politics, law enforcement, foreign
investment rules, and the way in which we just do
business as a nation. We’re a country which
has dealt with waves of British migration,
British investment, waves of American investment,
waves of Japanese investment, waves of Korean investment. We’ve been doing this
for about 150 years. We’re kind of used to it. This is just the latest wave. And so how do you deal with it? By using the laws that we
have available domestically concerning the autonomy of
our political parties, laws relating to campaign finance,
laws relating to freedom of the press, laws relating
to competition policy and there being an
open and free media, laws relating in a
nondiscriminatory basis to foreign
investment, laws which protect the core national
economic interests of the country, as well as
our normal criminal law, which is as vast and as
expensive and, frankly, extensive and as complex
as your bloody criminal law in this country, which I
still don’t understand. And so, as a consequence, you
put all those things together, we have the capacity to
handle these challenges. The question is whether you
have national politicians who want to elevate that
to a point where it becomes a domestic
political crusade little more sophisticated than McCarthyism
and Reds Under the Beds, which we’ve been through in
this country in the 1950s, and its resonances elsewhere
in the Western world in the ’50s and ’60s, as well. I don’t think that’s
smart, I think it creates more
problems than it solves, and that’s why I have repeatedly
attacked Prime Minister Trumbull over this
in recent weeks, because I just don’t think it’s
an intelligent way of dealing with– let’s call it this challenge– logical, natural challenge
arising from China’s expanded influence in the region. Let’s open it up. Do we have questions
for the prime minister? There’s one over there. It seems like, since our
president’s early visit to Trump in Florida,
he’s figured out how to orchestrate this entire
North Korea and China/American world interaction to perhaps
to everybody’s benefit, but perhaps more to his benefit. What do you think? You mean for President
Trump’s benefit? For the world’s benefit, but
more for China’s benefit. It seems like Xi is a very
bright guy, and the orchestra leader of everything
that’s happened. I think the way
I look at it is I think it’s fair to say that,
to the extent that President Trump has a strategy
towards China, I think he has a series of
impulses towards China, which, in aggregate form, end up
being a sort of strategy. And his strategy is be
tough, demand outcomes, whether they are in
economic and security terms, and hope that it works. I think that’s about it. Now, that’s OK. That’s a strategy. It’s different to the one that’s
been deployed in the past, and he would say,
therefore, it’s better. That’s his argument. On the other side, you
have a Chinese state which is steeped in decades
of strategic experience in dealing with the Soviet Union
and dealing with United States pre-Nixon, the United
States post-Nixon, hostile environments around
it, with no natural allies in the world apart from
the crazy North Koreans. And so Chinese
statecraft and strategy is a highly
sophisticated industry. People who work on this
within the Chinese system, in my experience,
are very smart. They study the world acutely. They don’t always get
the conclusions right, or what we would say in
an objective sort of way. But it’s a very
sophisticated apparatus. Now, when that apparatus looks
at Trump, they see two things. One, they see enormous
strategic opportunity. Why? Because Trump, as they
see it, is trashing the democratic brand of
the party, the philosophy, both at home and abroad,
and that the whole notion of the integrity of
Western liberal democracy has taken a big hit around
the head as a consequence of, A, the method of
Trump’s election, and B, shall I say the
manner with which he’s executed political office. That’s my sort of neutral
way of expressing it. But on top of that– I think execution
is a good word. –yeah, but on top
of that, the Chinese not only sense strategic
opportunity with that, they see strategic
opportunity with him trashing America’s brand in international
climate change negotiations and with trashing America’s
brand prospectively in the integrity of the
international rules-based order on trade. Now, these are two areas
where, traditionally, America has been strong, and is
now on the back foot. So they see a triple
opportunity in the world. Our authoritarianism in China
is suddenly looking a bit rosier compared with the chaos of
the American and broader Western democratic experiment. B, the Americans have trashed
their climate change brand. And C, they are trashing
their trade brand, as the architects and the patron
science of global free trade. Now, to conclude,
on the reverse side of the agenda, the Chinese,
however, are anxious. The anxiety hinges on
one thing, and that is Trump’s enormous
strategic unpredictability. That is, they observe
carefully [INAUDIBLE],, they observe carefully the
fact that positions are ditched within 24 hours– kill the TPP, reopen
the TPP, kill it again. That was in three days. That’s just one recent example. But the strategic message
which our Chinese friends take from that is that
nothing can therefore be assumed about the
predictability of President Trump’s behavior in the event of
a real security crisis arising over North Korea, over
the Taiwan Straits, or in the South China Sea,
or the real predictability of Trump’s actions
if, in fact, we end up in not just a rhetorical trade
war, but a real one, where the measures which have been
debated so far and announced are actually allowed
to take effect, which is, in some cases, a
matter of only six weeks away. So the reality is a complex
mix of these three elements– the Trump strategy as
I’ve just described it, the Chinese seeing this as
full of a period of continuing strategic opportunity, which
is a term the Chinese use, and replete with risks
because of Trump’s own unpredictability. Thank you. Sorry, I just have
a quick question. Thank you very
much for your talk. And so you’ve kind of looked at
this from a pretty high macro, international level, which is
understandable because we’re in the IR department. But I was wondering if
you could comment on the way in which the Chinese– I can do low, as well. –oh, yeah. I’ve been in
Australian politics. We can go very
low, if you’d like. If you could comment on the way
in which the Chinese government is forming– the way in which it forms
its Chinese citizens. So with the– I haven’t read too
much about this, but the way in which
it’s giving kind of social points to its citizens
now, how they’re trying– just to comment on the
way in which that aligns with the seven concentric
circles, Xi’s seven concentric circles, as well
as how that contributes to its politics in general. Yeah, it’s concentric
circle number one in the hierarchy of needs. It’s about the future
power of the party. And so it deals with
the party’s relationship with the citizenry. And so per medium of
the new technologies, you now have not just, shall
we say, good old credit ratings delivered by the Bank
of America based on whether you paid your mortgage a few times
last year, but now much more active and immediate
credit ratings, financial credit ratings,
given the explosion of Alibaba and the other
platforms, including JD, so that you have credit
profiles now on much of the citizenry, hundreds
of millions, which also then, because of the nature of
the Chinese political system, where there are no privacy laws,
become available to the state. Move on from that, these
technologies now also, through multiple
applications, are able to provide
social, let’s call it, ratings of China’s citizenry. By tracking all of your
WeChat conversations– I use WeChat, as well,
which is the Chinese– what would you call it– Snap– not Snapchat,
it would be Chinese– Instagram? WhatsApp. –WhatsApp. Chinese WhatsApp, yeah. I use WhatsApp, too. I use so many app bots
that it gets confusing. Twitter, [INAUDIBLE]
WeChat, WhatsApp. No one would have known
what that sentence meant 10 years ago. But the bottom line is,
because of their ability to capture so much data,
you now have, as you said, social rating
scores, which is, ah, this is all terrific,
good contributor to the local
community, but we do note there have been two
postings by you, either on [INAUDIBLE] or in WeChat
exchanges, which have mentioned the words Dalai Lama. This is not good. And so that is where it’s going. You add to that what’s now
unfolding in parts of China like Xinjiang, with
the application of facial recognition
technologies, you see a further
aggregation in the capacity of the Chinese state empowered
by the new technologies to have much more comprehensive,
rolling, up-to-date, mobile, tactically deployable profiles
on the entire citizenry, all 1.4 billion, over time. And the rest of
the world, as well, depending on how we engage
those Chinese systems. And so that’s a matter
for Chinese citizens. But you ask where it fits
in the Maslovian hierarchy. It’s number one, the future of
the party in a Leninist system. I saw someone in the
back there [INAUDIBLE].. We have an overflow group, so
everybody use a microphone. Please identify yourself– Hello, overflow people,
wherever you are. –yes, right. Upstairs. Upstairs. Yeah. Thank you, Prime Minister,
for visiting Brown. I’m a sophomore here. Good. Yeah, and so–
yeah, still young. Sophomore– is that fancy
American talk for second year? Yeah, I guess. I’m also from Korea, so
it’s a fancy American term. But anyway, my
question is, so we’ve talked a little bit about
China’s interests, and North Korea– especially with
the developing summit between the two Korean
leaders, but how would that change China’s interests, and
its relationship with South Korea? So since North
Korea, a Korea that is more conducive to Chinese
ideology, or Chinese thoughts, is trying to normalize, and come
into the international order– would that shift China-South
Korea relationship, and make China prioritize
North Korea over South Korea? Or how would that unfold? Thank you. Well, let me just answer that by
going to this major event which will happen this
Friday, which is the inter-Korean
summit at Panmunjom, and I do not believe we should
be dismissive of it in advance. I think we should be cautious,
careful, but open-minded about what it produces. I’ve always been someone
who pays attention to the importance of
diplomacy, but always a realist diplomacy– which is, what
can we produce out of this, which is substantive,
but most importantly, enforceable. So, go to the summit, item one– what does the South, and what
is the rest of the West, led by the United States, want? De-nuclearization of the North. Second, what does that mean? Does it mean cessation of
production of nuclear material, at a minimum? Does it mean the cessation
of testing, at a minimum? Does it mean the removal of
existing nuclear weapons, at a minimum? Does it mean the removal
of short, medium, and long-range rocketry, missile
capabilities, ballistic missile capabilities? Yes. So the practical question
is, which of those sub-boxes are ticked, if any? And what is the timetable
for their removal? And what is the
verification of that– given we’ve been round this
race track a few times before in debates about North
Korea’s nuclear potential, since 1994, when
they first cheated. On the other side
of the agenda, it’s what does North Korea want? And to be very brutal
about that, as well. What do they want? They want an end of all
international economic sanctions. They want a security
guarantee for their regime, so they can continue to
maintain their peculiar form of a one-party state, which
is also an inherited feudal system, handed on from
grandfather to father to son– coming out of the mystical
forces of some strange mountain in the north of the country,
where, according to North Korean mythology, they all
emerged in the ancient recesses of time. Kind of weird, when
you think about it. Certainly something
I couldn’t have got elected on in Australia. And then thirdly, what does it
mean in terms of an economic– let’s call it a rescue
package for North Korea, which is capable of
rapidly modernizing the North Korean economy? Fourthly, what do they want in
terms of inter-Korean union, if anything at this stage? And fifthly, what
verification do they want that their
security needs, their international guarantees
of their future regime and national security,
will, in fact, be honored? So if I was being
brutal and Germanic about the way in
which I’d line up the two sets of lists
of Maslovian needs, it’s kind of those. So what will they get? I’m not sure my, friend. I think what they’ll get is some
broad agreed generic statement about the centrality
of de-nuclearization, and about the normalization of
the North Korean relationship with the South, and
the United States, through the formal
negotiation of a peace treaty. And that everything else is then
staged in steps of negotiations with officials in the weeks
and months that follow, with verification
procedures attached. Will it work? Look, I’m not a betting
man, because I always lose when I bet– but the bottom
line is, given all that’s working
against this, it’s got about a one in four chance
of turning into something. And so therefore, I believe,
you’ve got to give it a go. But we should be very
mindful of the three and four factor, which is based
on the history of North Korean cheating on these sort
of agreements in the past. Let’s take a couple of more. Yeah, OK. Hi, my name is [NON-ENGLISH]. I am a student here at Brown. And so, with regard to your– at the beginning
of your lecture, you mentioned a lot about the
development of [INAUDIBLE] Chinese political
thought, and how it is deeply rooted in history. And as somewhat of a historian
myself, I kind of see– so you mentioned
how historically, Chinese political
power is deeply rooted in hierarchy and
privilege, and they don’t see a reason for getting
rid of that in the future. And then also this
Marxist, Leninist– Political elites don’t. I’m sorry? My point is, the political
elites don’t see the need to get rid of that. OK, because there’s
infiltration, or widespread study of
Leninist-Marxism in China is more of a product in the
early 20th century, when, for instance, [NON-ENGLISH]
and then [NON-ENGLISH],, all these people went
to study in France, and that had a heavy influence
on their later political careers. And so that was also a
kind of a period in China when China was vastly exposing
itself to Western ideas. But certain forms took root
in China, but others did not. So how do you see this
kind of development in which China was very
much going out to the West, and then learning Western
ideas, but took on, instead, certain ideologies
but not others. And how do you see this moving
forward in the 21st century, how would the Chinese
political views evolve? These are very large
questions, my friend. And I am not Chinese, so it’s
very hard for me to answer. I’ve worked on China for
the last 35 or 40 years. I’ve lived there, I’ve
worked there, I read Chinese, I follow the debates to
the extent that I can. I’ve got many Chinese friends. But I know the limitations of
my knowledge, and certainly my ability to predict. Two or three quick
points, though. One, why did they adopt Marxism? He was it Westerner, wasn’t he? Yeah, yeah– and I blamed
the British Library. That’s where he
did all his work. If they only provided better
refreshments at lunch time, we wouldn’t have ended
up with [NON-ENGLISH],, he would have written
comedy, instead. But that was not a
serious point, I’m sorry. I think, if you look at the
great Chinese intellectual ferment from the
end of the Chen, and right from the period
you know [NON-ENGLISH] and [NON-ENGLISH]
and [NON-ENGLISH],, and that period from
basically 1890 to 1920, the new Chinese
intellectual class– let’s call it the May
the Fourth movement was [INAUDIBLE] in 1919. They were looking for a way out
of China’s national dilemma, two-fold– its collapsing
imperial structure, which had failed so demonstrably
to keep the West out, through what happened from the
Opium Wars on in the 1840s, the second Opium Wars the 1860s,
and then the [NON-ENGLISH] in 1899, 1900. And then the calamity
of the first World War, not in terms of loss
of Chinese lives, but in terms of the failure
of the peace conference to deliver back to
China, German territory, instead ceded to Japan. There’s this huge intellectual
ferment, which is basically, how do we [NON-ENGLISH],,
how do we save the country? I get that– if I was
Chinese, I’d get that. And if you come from an ancient
and continuing civilization, of its remarkable achievements
going back 3,000 years, then you’d feel this
doubly deeply, culturally, personally, individually. I get that, too. And so, in comes an
intellectual framework to make sense of
not just class war, but colonial exploitation– which is international
class war. And suddenly, this intellectual
paradigm made a lot of sense to Chinese intellectuals
at the time. Why did it prevail, is not
just its intellectual elegance, but because through
Leninist parties coming out of the organizational
methods of the Soviet party– which had succeeded, of course,
in 1917 in the Bolshevik Revolution, and
progressively through 1922– is that you had organization,
Lenin, “And what then shall we do?” Not just have a seminar,
let’s go and organize and burn down the state. Which is what he did. So they had this
real, living example, together with a coherent
worldview, the [NON-ENGLISH],, which enabled them to form
a political movement with an ideological program,
which, to some extent, they adopted to
Chinese circumstances because of the role of
the peasantry as opposed to the urban proletariat. And they prevailed. Liberal intellectuals, the
other ones who were examined, most particularly through
the agency of people like [NON-ENGLISH],, and the
applicability of liberal intellectual models,
[NON-ENGLISH] and the rest of them, to China’s
domestic circumstances– when applied to
the Chinese state, through the imperfect mechanism
of the nationalist government, under [NON-ENGLISH] in the ’20s
and ’30s, these were perhaps never given proper
opportunity to succeed, because of the
Japanese invasion, because of the
Japanese invasion, but because also of the
depth of corruption within the nationalist regime. A couple of factors combine. So there are historical
determinants, I think. When you turn to the
future, and let’s called it the future of
ideas, shaping China’s future, and where it wants to
be at home and abroad, it’s very difficult to know
of the current ferment what will ultimately prevail. I suppose, given the wreckage
which the party inflicted on the Chinese people through
the [NON-ENGLISH] and through the [NON-ENGLISH],, the party for
40 years has been in a repair mode, repairing its
historical credibility, having almost destroyed the
country between 1959 and 1976. Now, that’s achieved, and while
the Chinese public may not be in love with
the party, I think they respect its achievements– in terms of what’s
been delivered on living standards and China’s
role in the world today. And that is a reasonable
thing for the party to feel proud about,
and for Chinese people to feel proud about. But for for the future, the
great intellectual question is, what, then, fills the ideas
vacuum within the country? I run into very few young
Chinese around the world, or in China today,
saying, I’m just brimming full of
Marxist idealism. [LAUGHTER] I haven’t met one, and I’ve
met more of them in the West these days that
I’ve met in China. And then you say, so what
are you brimming full with? And I’ll say, I’m brimming
full of materialism, thank you very much. I want to have 10 houses,
I want to have five cars, I want to have three passports,
and a partridge in a pear tree. Terrible Western joke, for
those of you who didn’t get it. But then the theoreticians
are saying, hang on, that’s just creating
a total values vacuum. Because we have Marxist
materialism being replaced with capitalist materialism. At least the Marxists
believed in a code of morality of some sorts, which was about,
let’s call it, social justice, delivered by
revolutionary albeit. And so, hence, the great search. So hence the retreat into
the Chinese tradition. Let’s breathe some old life back
into [NON-ENGLISH] Confucius, and let’s have a new
form of Confucianism, which is not just
about hierarchy, but it’s about classical
Confucian [NON-ENGLISH],, as well. And so you see
the [NON-ENGLISH],, the billboards around Beijing,
advertising classical Chinese virtues and values. Now, I get all of that. But where does that take you? Is that simply a mask
for continued Chinese authoritarianism? Or is it towards some other
political destination? And that, my friend, lies
in your hands, not mine. I think that’s a
wonderful place to end– because the Prime Minister has
to get up to Boston College, and there may be traffic. But let me just say this,
as you were speaking, and you preceded what you said
with a statement of humility about how little you know
about China because you’re not Chinese, and I say
this for Americans here in this audience, and
that is that, we are losing this kind of capacity– the
kind of knowledge of history, of culture, of the
language, and of the system, the political system that
exists in China, in our State Department today. The US State Department is
being just absolutely killed, in terms of its effectiveness. I remember the days when we lost
a lot of our Soviet experts, or our Russian speakers. And this is devastating. I would like to think that
our electoral system, based on the electoral college, and
president running separately, could produce the kind of
prime minister or president that we have here– a person with so much knowledge
of the way the world works. But if we don’t have a system,
a parliamentary system, that places a premium on
that kind of knowledge– which most parliamentary
systems do. I’ll never forget introducing
the Canadian Prime Minister at a speech out
at the Humphrey School, and basically
listening to myself talk about the
various ministries in which he served in before
becoming prime minister. He was prepared to
become a prime minister. And you were certainly
prepared, not only because of your experience
in the parliament, but because of your diplomatic
experience, as well. I think we need to be
thinking about this. And if we can’t elect presidents
with that kind of knowledge– they might have a
knowledge of other things– but we certainly
need to surround them with people who have this
kind of diplomatic skill. It’s been very, very
impressive, Kevin. I appreciate so much you coming
here and sharing your views. And keep it up, because
you are building bridges– building a very important
bridge between the United States and not only
Australia, but China. And that’s going to be
increasingly important as the years go by. Thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] Just as I go and make
my way to Boston– I still can’t pronounce
that name, wherever it is. Red Sox. Yeah, Red Sox territory–
yeah, the land of the Red Sox, is for those of you who
are young in the business of studying China and studying
international relations, keep at it. The world needs you. It’s going to get more
complex, not less. And so the more of you
who are mainstreamed, if it’s either in corporate
life, or political life, or in bureaucratic life, or
diplomatic life, the better. And it does require a hang of
a lot of discipline, a hang of a lot of perseverance. But you know, people
make the difference. We’re not passive pawns in the
hands of an immovable force of history. You’re all active agents
in shaping the future. And people like yourselves can
move the dial in a big way. So young people of America,
young people of China, go to it. Absolutely, very good. [APPLAUSE]

51 thoughts on “Kevin Rudd ─ Understanding China under Xi Jinping

  1. Xi Jinping will prove to be a disaster for China. Under his leadership: (1) Chinese economy has experienced a slowdown & is on downward spiral (2) Senior PLA officers have differences with him & many Generals have been arrested or sacked. (3) His policies have brought deteriorating relationships with all its neighbors (4) He is unable to get along well with his senior colleagues in CCP (5) Because of his policies US could install THAAD in South Korea so close to the Chinese mainland (6) because of his reputation, countries no longer trust his OBOR (Belt Road Initiative). (7) While the US penalized China for IPR violations after prolonged investigations under Sec. 301, Xi arrogantly hit back penalizing equivalent amount trade of Trump supporting America states blatantly bringing politics into trade.

    China's GDP has been propped up by massive worthless capital investments including hundreds of ghost cities and huge manufacturing overcapacity. China is surviving because of external trade. Its massive Forex Reserves hide its internal bankruptcy & Yuan (RMB) is really worth a toilet paper.

  2. By and large not a bad discourse; but a tributary system in the 21st Century?! Seriously mate?! Of course, it could well be an innuendo to defame China, another one of those over reach statement from Rudd?! Most likely! For those whom doesn't know, Rudd is intellectually sharp but has this habit of making over reach statements or promises while he's the PM, a reason for his down fall in politics in Australia; but no one is perfect, least of all a fucking politician! I know, I voted for him twice! Not a bad bloke, I wouldn't mind offer him a cuppa if we meet.

  3. Do you know what really does in China. He is on the board of one of the lagest College group in China. All China Qwned, do you think he will bite the hand that feeds him

  4. I like Kevin Rudd's lecture, but sometimes I have to listen to his sentence a few times to understand what he means.I have to buck up my English.

  5. 37:35 is awesome!!!))) I'm burst into tears with laughter. Oh, please, stop it hahahaaahah xD

  6. Kevin should drop out of public life. He has put Australia in significantly poor position economically. He is crawling up and brown nosing Chinese for relevancy.

  7. After listening to the whole lecture its apparent China's foreign strategy remains pragmatic.One sentence sums it up. On all matters it matters not the cat is black in color or white so long as it catches the mice. On domestic front All the ideological indoctrination has failed due to economic progress it is now done only as a distraction while the real method of control is in control of data of the population. Whenever the state loses the confidence of the population due to its official's misdeeds they immediately backtrack and sooth the population. As soon as they forget they march onward. The pressure release valve is stepping back each time the Govt blunders and then once it calms down move straight back in to restore control.

  8. Maoist though…what a JOKE. All of his ideology was shaped by his place on the low end of the societal totem pole, might as well be called "country bumpkin thought". China needs to let go of communism and socialism. It. Does. NOT. WORK.

  9. What motivate Xi's pragmatic politics? Fearsome of lost ruling status, hiburs out of ignorance of history…

  10. Thank you for this video. As a recent 'China watcher' I find China's transformation post-Hu (Hu Jintao) both alarming and fascinating.

  11. I regard Mr. Rudd the foremost scholar on China. China's DNA, –Confucianism, and Taoism will evolve and restore China to be the top nation state of the world again, eventually.

  12. Hello friends, don't believe this Kevin Rudd what he said or commence About communists China. He cannot fix the Australia problems. When in power he abuse n misuse it. Implement gonsky n give free installation of insulation to household. Whereby youngster was kill. No proper training. Gonsky I really don't know what the shit is he doing. All gone wrong and was kick out by his own party. N also approved the new 457 visa for cheap foreign workers to help his wife company to employed. Look at his face not clean, very shrewd n his eyes wicked n evil. Didn't do any good things for the Australians. He knows nothing About communists China. He still don't know this new president Zi zing ping is not fully control communists China. The previous president ziang Zi Ming n his deputy still very strong. Where the new president dare not to persecuted Ziang Zi Ming and his deputy. So Kevin don't teach Trump. U are far far away.

  13. Hello friends, don't know how much he is paid to give such a speech. In 1992 communists China already got no raw materials to manufacture so they start using all kinds of toxicsproducts to produce mainly food for export. No body knows. Communists are practising one of it's 9 rules. To poison the democratic world. Fake baby milk powder make of malamine. Plastic rice, sea cucumber, can corn beef. N worst are dog food. Which were imported by England, there many dog owners complain their dogs were dead.

  14. Kevin if you are so smart Alex, you already fixing Australia economy n you know you had done a lots of problems for Australia otherwise you won't be kick out of the parliament for not long. You served the shortest period in parliament.

  15. Kevin Rudd you r suck. If you r leader of Australia you will 1000%betray the Australians by selling off Australia to the communists China Chinese. And all Australians will be kick out by this evil monstrous communists China Chinese.

  16. Kevin you doesn't know now inside communists Chinese have two parties in charge. One is Ziang Zi Ming n his deputy Cheng the Chiang. You talk all nonsense. Just read a few lines of Chinese n you think you know a lot. By now no action taken against these two n their cronies for commuting serious crimes. If you know you should mentions about what crimes they committed. You are a preacher. Nothing more.

  17. The other one is Xi zing ping n Wang chi San. They are living in a dangerous environment. Any moment will be poison or assassinated. If happen that's means game's over. Old evils take back communists China. One day these two hasn't been prosecuted it's mean zing ping still not fully control communists China.

  18. Kevin Rudd is a communists belong to Australia Labour party. His ideology same as CCC. Self interest only. Talk nonsense like preacher.

  19. But China buys Australian commodities. Who else in the world could possibly consume that much iron in a single year?

  20. From Hungary to Africa. Everyone buys Chinese goods. Even with all the hate about China putting plastic into foods. LOL. The people all over the world keep buying Chinese stuff

  21. The 20 countries with the highest trade surplus in 2016 (in billion U.S. dollars)
    Trade surplus in billion U.S. dollars
    China 510.73510.73
    Germany 284.76284.76
    Russia 90.4290.42

  22. Too bad not one question about the triangle Russia-US-China, what's Putin's vision (and fears) — and why should Trump be so fixated on this Russia thing?

  23. Kevin Rudd has been in the speaking circuit since becoming Australia's Prime Minister, with impressive credentials. Fluent in Chinese, visiting professor of Xinhua U, speaking in international forums, apparently is a proponent of the New World Order and seemingly an unofficial representative of the China's Ministry of Public Information. I view him as China's influential propagandist having a view tilted more to promoting China's rise around the globe. I have reviewed his speeches in various forums since 2015, at least. I have noted little or superficial objective solution to what can promote healthy international relations. I see his misperceptions of the U.S. policies addressed toward defending values upheld by the U.S. that had earned them the status as a friend of the democracies of the World, China not being of the same order.

    Question to Kevin Rudd: Do you recognize that in the current economic climate, CIA's assessment is that China has engaged America in a Cold War? Where is your loyalty if you were given a choice – China or America (representing the free democracies of the world)?

  24. Guided democracy.. Singapore is a dictatoriship.. a totalitarian regime.. It is not a government.. because it denies its people a voice.

  25. The US is a warmongering lawless rogue state. Trump is a low life pathological liar and a little Adolf Hitler while Pence from the fascist Christian Right is a little Joseph Goebbels. Read Chris Hedges book, America the farewell tour and check out his, Joseph Stiglitz and Jeffrey Sachs videos on YouTube. Also read 'How Fascism Works' by Jason Stanley.

  26. The speaker is knowledgeable to history of China from his study. Of course, he can not figure out what Chin a wants. It is a complicate matter to figure out what s nation wants. It is a process with so many factors and time consuming together to form it. This is a meaningful interview. Good job.

  27. How can a society that represses free thought and diversity get to the top? It can't which is why CCP has to resort to intellectual theft from the West; uses Debt Traps to enslave unsuspecting countries; concentration camp Uyghurs in East Turkestan; utilizes dystopian Social Credit Systems to repress dissent; imprisons people who disagree with CCP; need to use 50-Cent internet troll propagandists to flood internet comments; Winnie-the-Poo making himself Emperor for Life; Winnie makes $8K USD per year, yet he can afford to send his daughter to Harvard; how is Winnie's family worth $250 Million USD; funny how he is imprisoning Zemin's loyalists for corruption but he can't explain his wealth; why is 70% of the internet blocked in China?; You Tube, FB, Instagram, most social media is blocked in China…why is CCP so afraid of its people?

  28. The real-life Manchurian Candidate. Remember when Rudd was the Stormy Daniels of the 24hr media cycle, well Shorten is the Linda Lovelace of any minority fad, swallowing anything to dupe the good citizens of Australia! Imagine the Politburo with the keys to the treasury coffers. This May 2019, be afraid of Labor, be very afraid!

  29. I am looking for the innuendo on that narrative, " . . . brown university . . . ", even though I am brown and English is not my mother tone. Kevin Rudd is not brown and can never become brown. What this old thug expression are like those of Greco-Roman barbarian at the ancient time. Old man where is your ancestors came from? I tell you the truth –

    one of them in this situation:
    Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

    給我你的累,你的窮人,
    你蜷縮的群眾渴望自由呼吸,
    你岸邊的 慘不忍睹的 垃圾。
    發送 這些暴風雨,無家可歸的,扔給我,
    我在 金門旁邊 我舉起燈!

  30. Old man where is your ancestors came from? I tell you the truth –
    Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

    給我你的累,你的窮人,
    你蜷縮的群眾渴望自由呼吸,
    你岸邊的 慘不忍睹的 垃圾。
    發送 這些暴風雨,無家可歸的,扔給我,
    我在 金門旁邊 我舉起燈!

  31. As a Chinese, I think Rudd has missed to touch on 2 very essential points in his main presentation regarding what shapes Xi's as well as Chinese people's worldview.

    1, The so-called "Hundred Years of Humiliations" in the hands of imperialist West and Japan. These humiliations are so deeply ingrained in the Chinese collective minds in recent era that they not only affect the Chinese people within China, but also influence the Chinese people who have lived many generations outside of China. To understand what shape such Chinese collective mentality, you will have to dig into the history, traditions, philosophies, and cultures of China.

    2, The collapse of Soviet Union has a profound impact on Xi's thinking (as well as general Chinese people's) regarding the future of not just the Chinese Communist Party, but the future of the nation as a whole. Xi once commented on the Soviet's collapse: when Gorbachev signed the death certificate of USSR and let the country splinter, it's so astonishing that not even one Russian was man enough to stand up against it! And Xi is determined, by all means, to not let this happen to China. To the collective mind-set of the Chinese people, the break up of the nation is a huge shame to be avoided by all means. Again, to understand this pysche, you will have to go back to China's history, especially after the formation of the first unified Chinese nation, the Qin dynasty in 221 BC.

  32. It give me a taste of arrogance and blindness wrapped in rationality without too much logic. The problem of all westerners is they are unable to put themselves in the place of the Other: Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Latin-Americans, Africans, you name it.

  33. Most notably Stolen generation. Follow the land owner law . Send back all slant eyes people to their home land. ( it means if they are not part of common wealth countries) Harvard university or coward. Chinese products are polluted

  34. President Xi. Compare on both democracy and communism, I am more care about it is governance or bad governance. You are leading Chinese people on the right track

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *