The faltering state of Asian security as captured in 3 key speeches at the Shangri-La Dialogue

From Asian community to guard rails – how keynote speeches by Australian PMs Rudd, Turnbull and Albanese track the geopolitical changes in Asia over the decades.

(From left) Former Australian prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull, and current PM Anthony Albanese. PHOTOS: FACEBOOK/KEVIN RUDD, MALCOLM TURNBULL, REUTERS
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Putting away my notes from this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue – where, for the third time in 20 iterations, an Australian prime minister delivered the opening keynote – I decided to go back and read through all the three speeches, delivered at intervals of eight and six years since Mr Kevin Rudd spoke here in 2009.

When Mr Rudd, recently appointed his nation’s ambassador to the United States, addressed the Asian Security Summit as it is actually called, the now-ubiquitous iPhone – which would grow to be emblematic of the enmeshing of the American and Chinese economies – was just two years old. Facebook had just about started to gain ground, and WhatsApp was yet to be unleashed upon the world. 

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