Kevin Rudd is the Manchurian candidate

Via Michael Sainsbury at Crikey:

Kevin Rudd, once a firm China sceptic, has become Australia’s first (former) prime minister to openly consort with the ruling Communist Party’s United Front Work Department (UFWD).

The UFWD is responsible for spreading Chinese government interests in offshore nations — including Australia.

UFWD groups are disguised with dull and prosaic names, but their real purpose is to infiltrate nations across the world to influence business, politics, policy and education, and report directly back to Beijing.

Rudd, who was PM from 2007-2009 and again in 2012, spoke in the Communist Party’s UFWD’s Central Institute of Socialism in November 2017. In October 2018, he was greeted as a “rock star” according to a report in the AFR at the United Front-sponsored Australia-China Future Forum.

Kevin Rudd at Australia-China Future Forum tweet

But it was his appearance this year with the leadership of the UFWD body Australia China Economics, Trade and Culture Association (ACETCA) that set China watchers abuzz. At an ACETCA event in Fujian, China, in June he was seen with Lin Yi, chair of Shenglong (Aqualand) and permanent honorary chair of ACETCA.

The connection with ACETCA is now very much a Rudd family business. Rudd’s youngest son Marcus is a principal at advisory firm Tam and Rudd Consulting. His business partner Ian Tam is a prominent United Front identity in Australia and vice-chairman of ACETCA.

Crikey understands Tam is the driving force behind the group. At the First International Grasslands Spring Festival Evening on Sydney Harbour, Tam was noted as the “representative of former Australian PM Kevin Rudd“.

Rudd himself is the head of New York-based Asia Society Policy Institute, which has a laser focus on China. His daughter Jessica, an author, is a lifestyle ambassador for Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group, a conglomerate closely connected to the CPP.

She sells Australian products into China via her Jessica’s Suitcase website, which is on the Alibaba platform. Her husband Albert Tse, who was working at Macquarie Group in Beijing less than a decade ago as an investment banker, now has his own own private equity firm, Wattle Hill Capital, that has the backing of several wealthy Chinese families.

Rudd was also made chair of the Chinese North International University Alliance international advisory board in March 2019, and last month was elected chairman of the China-backed Global Sharing Economy Forum.

In light of this, it’s worth noting that on November 25, Kevin Rudd launched Peter Hartcher’s Quarterly Essay, “Red Flag”, about Chinese influence and how Australia should deal with it, now the dominant narrative of China-Australia relations.

What happened to the feisty Rudd of yesteryear, who took on China over Tibet, and branded the Communist Party as “trying to rat-fuck us” after they sank the Copenhagen Climate Conference? What happened to the Rudd who described the country as a potential military threat in a 2009 defence white paper?

Now he’s downplaying concerns over Chinese influence in Australia.

Rudd said it was “kind of crazy to overreact and to get into reds under the bed land, to get into yellow peril land” regarding warnings from Australian security chiefs about Chinese influence. It’s hard to fathom a former prime minister describing credible information about the Chinese government trying install operatives in Australian Parliament as an “overreaction.”

Sure, Labor supported the foreign interference legislation, Rudd admits, but adds quickly that “should not result in some sort of anti-Chinese domestic political witch-hunt”.

But he failed to tell the gathered throng about his connections with UFWD organisations, that he has assiduously rebuilt his ties with Beijing and worked his way back into its good graces.

By 2017, Rudd was in deep. He started repeating a party propaganda line, claiming that under President Xi Jinping there had been more freedom of religion in China. In fact, under Xi, religious diversity is being repressed with an aggression not seen since the time of Mao Zedong. As well, Rudd has barely issued a murmur of the incarceration of 1.2 million Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang gulags.

There is, of course, another path for former political leaders — one that people like former US president Jimmy Carter have taken. And that is to use cachet and influence to work for the rights and freedoms of people trapped in authoritarian systems.

One person who could use Rudd’s help right now is writer Yang Hengjun who, it was revealed last week, has had his interrogation regime ratcheted up as Chinese authorities strive to force a “confession”, quite possibly through torture.

But that isn’t the sort of thing Rudd would want to chat about over a bottle of Moutai with his mates at the United Front.

David Llewellyn-Smith


  1. “What happened to the feisty Rudd of yesteryear”

    I’ll guess it’s the exact same Rudd as today, with the Rudd of today seeing a different opportunity to advance himself/his interests/his finanacial situation..

  2. I don’t think Kevvy is the Manchurian candidate. I think this is consistent with him being an invidual with a malignant narcissistic personality.

    Kevvy is trying to work both sides in his continuing quest to be made UN secretary general.
    He seemingly no qualms as to who he uses (including the CCP) to get what he wants.

    • wow, Xi really does think he’s god.

      I can’t see him nor Trump backing down with this economic contest… tariffs to the moon I guess!?

      thanks for sharing!

  3. TailorTrashMEMBER

    His most esteemed and honourable excellency
    The proconsul general and lord protector off the
    Province of New China ……

    Well it does have a certain kind of ring to it that would sit very comfortably with that puffed up pr1ck

  4. SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

    Kevin Rudd hasn’t changed one bit, this is what he was like when PM, he would wake one morning and announce something, then wake up the next morning and announce something completely different, it all came down to what his psychotic ego wanted to do
    one minute he’s getting his arsed kissed by the united front, next he’s in front of an audience introducing an essay about Chinese influence, he’s a very dangerous ego maniac, in fact i’d say he’s a totally unhinged psycho who should probably be on some kind of medication

  5. Rock Star in naff pink tie & copy cat suit. Wtf are they dressed identical with their feet in stirrups?

      • Haroldus…you’re welcome.
        Felt I had to call out the absurdity of Rudds costuming – seriously they don’t dress by accident..I’d love to have a crack at styling his wardrobe. cheers

  6. Maybe CCP is paying his bills and house renovations….. they do that for all Labor MP’s past and present, right ??

  7. John Howards Bowling Coach

    Rudd is what you get when the nerdy wimp gets into power. He thinks he hold the best ideas, and is hell bent on making the world pay for having beaten him up as a kid. He can’t get past the reality that he can and should learn from others , so it trapped in a feedback loop all the while beaming at how clever he is. It must have stung when Turnbull didn’t support his bid to make in in the UN, Turnbull being the big bully would have sent him into a meltdown with memories of school days. It’s just a different version of Penny Wong, trapped into her own world where all her views are coloured by her overwhelming sense of being a gay asian female. Rudd feels he is smarter and in fact it is this belief that limits his ability to understand direction he should have taken by learning from others. Self belief is only as valuable as your own wisdom.

  8. “Sure, Labor supported the foreign interference legislation, Rudd admits, but adds quickly that “should not result in some sort of anti-Chinese domestic political witch-hunt”.”

    He has been bought, and he doesn’t want to get caught.