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Kevin Rudd, Australia's new U.S. envoy, seen bringing change to China playbook

Sinologist seeks to 'engage and hedge' against 'ideological man' Xi

Kevin Rudd, Australia's new ambassador to the U.S., speaks to Nikkei Asia in Tokyo in early December. (Photo by Konosuke Urata) 

BRISBANE, Australia -- The appointment of Kevin Rudd as Canberra's next ambassador to the U.S. surprised few in Australia.

The former two-time prime minister has maintained a public profile in both countries and has cultivated a profile as an analyst and commentator to be reckoned with, especially on China and its president, Xi Jinping.

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