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Articles by Michael Sainsbury

Abbott’s cavalier disdain for foreign policy will cost lives

Don’t believe everything you read — Tony Abbott’s not doing any better overseas than he is here.

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In the Year of the Goat, we must bell the Chinese cat

Despite the optimistic posturing of Australia’s Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens, China’s economy is in trouble, and it’s time for Australia to readjust its policies to recognise the looming downturn.

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Could Aung San Suu Kyi become president of Myanmar?

As Myanmar’s ruling government is pushing for regressive legislation amounting to religious apartheid, Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi makes a bold play for democracy.

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India rises, as China comes to rain on Japan’s parade

The global pivot to Asia just became a little more complex. As everyone jostles for a bigger slice of the power pie, the Abbott government is left with some tough decisions to make on Australia’s future relationship with China.

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China’s party men concerned as anti-corruption campaign claims scalps

Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign is opaque, utterly devoid of due process — and hurting big business.

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Yingluck is right, democracy is dead in Thailand

The military junta that controls Thailand is looking every inch a dictatorship.

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China’s economic slowdown is bad — and it’s only going to get worse

Anyone depending on Chinese demand for resources (like, say, Australia) should be very worried about the quickly decelerating growth in the Chinese economy.

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Australia bets it all on India’s coal market

Tony Abbott has appointed Rio Tinto’s CEO to the Australia-India CEO Forum, doubling down on Australia’s commitment to mining coal for Indian consumption. What could possibly go wrong?

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China loses grip on Indian Ocean as economy continues to sink

Last week’s election of Maithripala Sirisena in Sri Lanka is yet another blow to China’s economic prosperity, along with falling commodity prices and competition from regional rivals.

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Move over, China — Abe’s strength is good news for Australia

Stop focusing all your attention on China — a free trade agreement with Japan will be a very big prize for Australia indeed.

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Ice cold: why China (and China alone) decided to release Kalynda Davis

China’s uncharacteristically lenient treatment of alleged drug mule Kalynda Davis is, in some ways, an anomaly and a distraction from the greater ice threat that should unite Australia and China.

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Evolve ore die — the grim future of Australia’s steel industry

The latest trade figures from China are in — and it’s not good used for our beleaguered Treasurer.

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Spotlight on Cambodia as it debates returning 13 Vietnamese asylum seekers

Cambodia’s treatment of 13 recently arrived Vietnamese asylum seekers will make or break Immigration Minister Scott Morrison’s refugee deal.

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Rising democracy burns brightly in Taiwan

Results from Taiwan’s election at the weekend send a clear message to Beijing — the people want democracy, and they have a once-in-a-century opportunity to achieve it.

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Myanmar’s student protests a glimmer of hope for reform

Myanmar’s students are unlikely to achieve much by their protest. But the fact that they are permitted to express their anger on the streets peacefully shows how far Myanmar has come.

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Catching Ire: Thai protesters turn to Katniss for inspiration

Life imitates art as Thai protestors emulate heroic protagonist Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games film franchise.

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Myanmar’s reform process is two steps forward, one back

Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi may be out of house arrest, but change is still moving slowly in Myanmar.

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With FTAs like these, who needs China?

While China persists with its counterproductive carrot-and-stick approach to trade, Australia should look to more manageable economic relationships in south-east Asia.

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There’s only one agreement that matters at APEC — and it’s not with China

Australia is spruiking its forthcoming free trade agreement with China, but with China’s economy slowing, the FTA won’t make much difference.

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Packer’s fortunes tumble as China doubles down on crooks and high-rollers

James Packer’s Macau casino and his future business prospects in the Asia Pacific have taken a hit, likely due to the Chinese government’s wide-reaching anti-corruption campaign. Whatever his next move, Packer will need to speak softly …

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China’s political fox hunt calls for some shirt-front diplomacy

Instead of quietly bowing to pressure from the Chinese Communist Party to help net fugitive Chinese officials, the Abbott government should be leveraging the opportunity to agitate for the release of Australians questionably imprisoned in China.

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China takes baby steps towards reforming its legal system

China is not going to revolutionise its legal system and become a Western-style free democracy. But President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption program suggests some change is afoot.

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Australia seeks NGO blessing for Cambodia refugee deal, likely to include Manus

Australia now hopes to send refugees from Manus Island to Cambodia as well as those from Nauru.

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Iron ore miners, beware: China is not going to keep buying our resources

China’s economy is slowing, and its housing market is in the toilet. While Treasury forecasts suggest everything is fine, underneath the surface the cracks are beginning to show.

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China’s anti-corruption campaign could hurt Aussie unis

The most important meeting of China’s Communist Party will begin today. On the agenda is a possible overhaul of China’s legal system — but its anti-corruption campaign has already begun to take its toll.

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