GO & A

GQ (Australia) - - GQ & A -

old ag­grieved La­bor lu­mi­nary, com­par­ing the ‘‘re­peated lies’’ told about him, by es­tranged col­leagues and the media, to Goebbels’ in­fa­mous Nazi pro­pa­ganda meth­ods. Yes, it would ap­pear the killing sea­son is not en­tirely over.

GQ: What mo­ti­vated your move to the United States? Kevin Rudd:

Just on 18 months ago, af­ter the last fed­eral elec­tion, the [for­mer] Dean of the Kennedy School, Graham Al­li­son, in­vited me to Har­vard to do a piece of pol­icy work on the fu­ture of Us-china re­la­tions – about a 12-month pro­ject. To­ward the end of last year I was here at the Asia So­ci­ety in New York de­liv­er­ing a speech and hav­ing done so, the trustees kindly in­vited me to be­come the inau­gu­ral pres­i­dent of their think tank, the Asia So­ci­ety Pol­icy In­sti­tute. Be­cause I’m a China guy, they thought I’d be the right per­son, and hav­ing never lived in the Big Ap­ple, Therese and I de­cided this is a good place to come.

GQ: We’re go­ing to pre­sume you’re not in­stalled among the cool kids of Wil­liams­burg, so where have you set up home? KR:

It’s [a house] in Man­hat­tan, though I’m try­ing to pre­serve my pri­vacy.

GQ: Is there a lot of travel in­volved with your cur­rent work? KR:

I’m in China ev­ery two months. I have re­cently come back from 10 days in China and a pe­riod in Ja­pan. I’m of­ten in In­dia and South-east Asia.

GQ: Some spies in Washington said that you’ve been called in by Pres­i­dent Obama to pro­vide di­rect strate­gic ad­vice on the Us-china re­la­tion­ship. Could you elab­o­rate on this for us? KR:

Well, the Us-china re­la­tion­ship is a very, very com­plex one. These two coun­tries are vastly dif­fer­ent, vastly dif­fer­ent ori­gins, not just [in] lan­guage but their ways of view­ing the world. But my ar­gu­ment in the re­port I’ve writ­ten on this sub­ject, and the ad­vice I seek to give to both gov­ern­ments qui­etly be­hind the scenes is, on any hard­headed anal­y­sis, you two guys prob­a­bly have more in com­mon than you have by way of deep strate­gic dif­fer­ence. Ev­ery­one will quickly give you the list of where the US and China are not get­ting along, whether it’s over Ja­pan and the East China Sea or the South China Sea with the Philip­pines and Viet­nam, or the ques­tion of Tai­wan or hu­man rights, democ­racy, the rule of law… But there is a much longer list of where these gov­ern­ments are work­ing to­gether, or can be.

GQ: So you don’t agree that Obama’s Asia pol­icy has failed – what then is your as­sess­ment, in light of ad­vis­ing him? KR:

I don’t put my­self for­ward for­mally as any­body’s ad­viser. I’m just from a third party.

GQ: But they sought you out… KR:

Var­i­ous peo­ple do from time to time, but I’m not part of their sys­tem­atic for­mal ad­vi­sory net­work. But I think about these ques­tions a lot. What I seek to do, and we at the Asia So­ci­ety do, is seek to build bridges be­tween China and the United States and be­tween var­i­ous coun­tries of Asia and to work out what com­mon chal­lenges these coun­tries are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing, rather than em­pha­sis­ing purely the dif­fer­ences… It takes two to tango in in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions, just like on the dance foor.

GQ: Danc­ing, hey? Does much of that go on for you and Therese in New York? Do you get out to en­joy the city much? KR:

We’ve re­cently been out danc­ing in Man­hat­tan and had a lot of fun. I’m not what you’d call Fred As­taire – a slow and steady smooch rather than any­thing that I would de­scribe as more el­e­gant. We go and see shows; we see movies. Most re­cently we went to see The Au­di­ence with He­len Mir­ren on Broad­way.

GQ: Do you see your­self liv­ing here for some time? KR: GQ: Was it dif­fi­cult for you to leave Aus­tralian pol­i­tics be­hind – did the back­stab­bing and gen­eral blood-let­ting make the de­ci­sion any eas­ier? KR:

For a while. I have a very sim­ple phi­los­o­phy when it comes to pol­i­tics and life, and that is, no re­grets. What you’ve done, you’ve done to the ab­so­lute best of your abil­ity and then you iden­tify the next chal­lenges. By in­stinct I’m a global citizen, and I have lived out of Aus­tralia for many years – I feel very much at

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