By David Li, bostonese.com
Cambridge, Mass., April 19, 2014, — The 17th Harvard China Forum(HCF) opened with a welcome ceremony in the evening of April 18 at Charles Hotel in Harvard Square. About 500 attendees packed the large ballroom to listen to speeches by former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, China Entrepreneurs Forum president Tian Yuan, and Taikang Life Insurance’s Duan Guosheng. The three-day conference is one of the largest China focused conferences in the US.
(Front row from left)17th HCF Co-VP Yuechen Zhao, Co-Presidents Helen Shi, Eric Ziyao Wang, Co-VP Sabrina Castenfelt with the organization team (from HCF official Facebook page).
Kevin Rudd delivered an entertaining speech in both Chinese and English at welcome ceremony of 17th Harvard China Forum at Charles Hotel. Mr. Rudd did a survey of how many Laowai (non-Chinese) in the room, and which provinces of China the Chinese attendees came from first. His fluent Chinese won loud applause from the audience.
Mr. Rudd thanks the students who organized the conference. He pointed out the US-China relations is the most important bilateral relations in the world. Constructive US-China relations will be good for both countries, good for Asia Pacific region, and good for the whole world.
“I read newspapers everyday, and I thought I was the only one optimistic about US-China relations,” said Mr. Rudd. He pointed out that there were a lot of negative media coverage that focused on the differences between US and China. But the two countries must work together because of comment interests, such as maintaining world peace and economic growth, fighting terrorism, and responding to climate change.
“The future of US-China relations doesn’t lie on the hands of the media. It’s on the hands of peoples of the two countries, and on the hands of everyone in this room,” said Mr. Rudd.
Kevin Rudd, Australia’s 26th Prime Minister, held office from December 3, 2007 to June 24, 2010, and for 11 weeks in 2013. His government was characterized by a commitment to fairness, expressed in education and employment reforms, health delivery and financial initiatives such as taxation adjustments. While attending Australian National University, he majored in Chinese language and Chinese history, and became proficient in Mandarin. In 1980 he continued his Chinese studies at the Mandarin Training Center of National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, Taiwan.
After the Labor Party was defeated in the September 2013 Australian elections, Mr. Rudd resigned as Prime Minister for the second time on September 18, 2013, and later resigned his MP seat in Parliament in Nov. 2013. In February 2014, he was named a Senior Fellow with John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is leading a major research effort on Sino-US relations at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.