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Interview: China's success pivots on its strategic policy settings: former Australian PM

By Xu Haijing, Wang Xiaoshu (Xinhua)

10:21, June 04, 2013

CANBERRA, June 4 (Xinhua) -- The fundamental strength of the Chinese economy lies in its strategic policy settings and in the leadership's knowing when to change those settings, says former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Rudd, probably the best known Mandarin-speaking politician in the Western world, made the remarks during a recent interview with Xinhua.

"Chinese people are very intelligent. The Chinese leadership is very intelligent. They've worked out the core challenge through the five-year plan, which is to change China's economic growth model," Rudd said.

He added that the current economic model served China well during the past 30 years until 2008.

Now, Rudd said, China is establishing a new model by transferring a driver of growth from investments to consumption.

"The old model has been very effective but its time has come and gone," Rudd said. "Therefore China is moving to a new model. The challenge for the Chinese leadership is to implement that transition effectively. All the other elements that go to China's current economic success will depend on the successful nature of that transition."

Rudd is expected to visit China's southwestern city of Chengdu in early June to attend the Fortune Forum there.

Recalling his first trip to Chengdu in 1986, Rudd said the city has since changed a lot.

"It's a massive city and it's a modern city," he said, noting Australia's recent decision to establish a consulate-general there.

As for the disparity between China's east and west, Rudd said the question of the divide between China's coastal, hinterland and western provinces has been a debate that's gone on for the past 20 years.

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