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China's white-paper protests will have long-term impact: Kevin Rudd

Ex-Australian PM sees higher Taiwan invasion risk in 2030s

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd speaks to Nikkei Asia at the International House of Japan in Tokyo on Dec. 5. (Photo by Konosuke Urata)

TOKYO -- The "white-paper protests" that have taken place in cities across China in opposition to COVID lockdowns will not immediately topple the current administration, but they will have an impact in the future, possibly when President Xi Jinping steps down, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told Nikkei Asia.

Rudd, a fluent-Mandarin speaker and a keen observer of Chinese politics, cited the four-decade correction of the Mao Zedong years, led by former paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, and said that there will be a similar correction of Xi's Marxist-Leninist tilt after he steps down, bringing China back to a more pragmatic "middle course."

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