Kevin Rudd speaks during the launch of the Quarterly Essay "Red Flag".
Kevin Rudd speaks during the launch of the Quarterly Essay "Red Flag". (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

Kevin Rudd, once a firm China sceptic, has become Australia's first (former) prime minister to openly consort with the ruling Communist Party’s United Front Work Department (UFWD).

The UFWD is responsible for spreading Chinese government interests in offshore nations -- including Australia.

UFWD groups are disguised with dull and prosaic names, but their real purpose is to infiltrate nations across the world to influence business, politics, policy and education, and report directly back to Beijing.