Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has been selected as the country's next ambassador to the United States when both nations are strengthening their security cooperation in response to China's rise.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese called Rudd one of the world's most sought-after experts on China and said he would bring a wealth of expertise to the position when the strategic competition was reshaping the area.
Today, before Foreign Minister Penny Wong's state visit to China, Albanese stated at a press conference, "Kevin Rudd is an exceptional appointment."
"By accepting this post as a former Australian prime minister and foreign minister, he has brought much credit to Australia."
Since leaving parliament in 2013, Rudd, fluent in Mandarin, has written and talked extensively about foreign relations with China. In September, he finished a doctorate at Oxford on the worldview of Chinese President Xi Jinping and is now the director of the Asia Society in New York.
His office did not respond to a request for comment immediately.
Albanese stated that the nomination of Rudd, which followed the appointment of former foreign minister Stephen Smith to the UK ambassadorship in September, demonstrated the significance of the AUKUS nuclear submarine security agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom.
Albanese stated, "It is no accident that we are engaged in AUKUS and that these decisions demand tremendous diplomatic savvy and an understanding of the existing political processes."