"If you are going to have a disagreement with Beijing, as many governments around the world are now doing, it's far better to arrive at that position conjointly with other countries rather than unilaterally, because it makes it easier for China to exert bilateral leverage against you," Mr Rudd told the BBC's Talking Business Asia programme.
His comments come as relations between Australia and China have deteriorated to their worst point in decades. The relationship has soured following a series of economic and diplomatic blows dealt by each side. Australia has scrapped agreements tied to China's massive infrastructure project, the Belt and Road Initiative. It also banned Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei from building the country's 5G network.