Former Aussie PM and foreign minister Kevin Rudd has joined Sina Weibo, attracting 100,000 followers within three days of his joining the Chinese microblogging platform.
Peter Cai of the Sydney Morning Herald writes:
The Mandarin-speaking Mr Rudd… expressed his desire to hone his language skills further and travel to China more often. ”Since I have left my old job as the foreign minister, I have got more time to develop some of my long-term hobbies such as the Chinese language and I am also excited by the prospect of going to China more frequently.” He signed off as ”Lao Lu”, or ”Old Lu”, an intimate and yet deferential way of addressing senior workers in China. Mr Rudd is widely known in China as Lu Kewen, a name he adopted during his student days at the Australian National University.
The history behind the name as explained by Mr Rudd is ”Lu signifies that I must know the Chinese mainland, Kewen means that I must overcome the language barrier.” Mr Rudd still remains hugely popular with his Chinese supporters, both in Australia and China. His initial post was re-tweeted more 3500 times and more than 2000 people have commented on it.
One of his fans has urged Mr Rudd to start another coup: ”Lao Lu, the Chinese people support you to start another coup d’etat and bring down that old woman.”
Rudd mounted a leadership challenge against Julia Gillard in February this year, after a dramatic resignation from his position as foreign minister, saying, “I can only serve as Foreign Minister if I have the confidence of Prime Minister Gillard and her senior ministers.” Gillard went on to win the leadership spill comfortably with 71 votes to Rudd’s 31.
Follow Kevin Rudd on Weibo here.