The ideology of China has brought enormous benefits to the Chinese people, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has said.
Rudd also called on the observers and analysts in the West to find "a necessary balance" in their China debate so as to avoid demonizing China or the other way.
In a public talk on Friday night at his alma mater, the Australian National University (ANU), Rudd, a fluent Mandarin speaker and a world renowned China expert, spoke highly of China's poverty reduction and many other social developments, saying "there is nothing more ignoble than poverty."
He said in the past decades, China has successfully elevated more than 700 million of the population out of poverty, an achievement that should be recognized and given the thumbs up.
Rudd completed his Bachelor's degree in Asian studies at ANU in 1981 before embarking on a diplomatic, and subsequently, public service and political careers. He served as the leader of the Australian Labor Party from 2006 to 2010 and as the prime minister of Australia from 2007 to 2010 and again briefly in 2013. He was Australia's foreign minister from 2010 to 2012.
After quitting politics in 2013, Rudd was named in 2014 as a senior fellow with John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and later a few other positions in various universities and think tanks mainly in the United States.
In his talk held to promote his autobiography, Rudd recalled his visits to the poor villages around the Chinese capital of Beijing in the 1980s when China's reform and opening up policy was in its early stage and was shocked by the poor and backward situation there.
"People now are able to choose the clothes they wear, to form whichever relation they can form, to marry whoever they want, to choose whatever job they can find," Rudd said, adding that there are hundreds of millions of people whose lives have been changed, and they should not be ignored when the observers and analysts in the West debate on China affairs.
Rudd said that to understand the direction of China's development at present, one must know China's history in which it had been pursuing to build a prosperous and strong nation so as to guard against humiliation from outside including the exploitation from the West and invasion from Japan.
Now, China has gained national wealth and power, he noted.
"When China surpasses the United States sometime next decade as the world's largest economy, it'll be the first time since (King) George III (late half of 1700s) that we will have a non-Western, non-English speaking ... country as the world's largest economy."
As a result, people then should not think the rule of the global system will still remain unchanged. If people think so, "that will be a sand castle in your dream," he said.
Rudd said China has become a big contributor to international organizations including the United Nations, and China is working to integrate itself with these international organizations, resulting in China's bigger role in them.
Furthermore, China has also initiated a new set of international mechanisms featuring the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Belt and Road Initiative, among others.
"These are the unfolding contours of what is going to be unique for us," Rudd added.