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Articles by Michael Sainsbury

Better optics, but Abbott sidestepping tricky issues of trade

The Australian trade mission is progressing as planned, but will anything tangible come of it?

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Talk is cheap: Abbott’s Asia trip missing the real opportunities?

Tony Abbott will get some valuable face time with prime ministers in China, but his entourage’s insistence on sticking with him instead of meeting with Chinese business means the trip’s real potential value could be lost.

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Death-defying diplomacy when Abbott’s three-ring circus rolls into Asia

Tony Abbott will be trying to appease China, Japan and South Korea on his upcoming Asian tour. Competing interests, a lack of planning and a whirlwind itinerary mean the trip will be fraught.

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Tokyo drift: Japan could prove James Packer’s trump card

James Packer’s Crown group is eyeing up the lucrative Japanese market, which is likely to soon legalise casino gambling. But he will face stiff competition to secure the sought-after licences.

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How China is using a fake news service to spread its propaganda

One of the coveted spots for foreign media at Chinese press conferences is going to a “journalist” from Global CAMG — a front for the Chinese government and not a legitimate news organisation at all.

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Big promises but little reform in increasingly violent China

Xi Jinping, the most powerful person in China, has promised to crack down on corruption and institute real economic reform. Unfortunately, the reality on the ground shows neither is happening.

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‘Dereliction of duty’: Thailand’s PM facing the corruption music

As violence rages in Thailand, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is facing charges of dereliction of duty. Crikey’s Asian correspondent reports from Bangkok on the political downfall and the Australian connection.

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Asian jitters: Japan, China and Australia picking sides?

Japan and China are stoking age-old tensions of late. But so far there has not been a peep from Canberra condemning Australia’s new best friend. Should we be taking sides?

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Thailand votes and dances down the road to possible civil war

Yesterday’s election in Thailand did nothing to help heal the rift between government and anti-government forces. The Democrats held a music festival instead of getting out the vote.

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Abbott turning Japanese, China fuming, Bishop stuck in the middle

Tony Abbott’s strange decision to support Japan and the US over China has angered our biggest trading partner. With Abbott planning a trip to China in April, he will have to tread very carefully.

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China walks an economic tightrope as Australia holds its breath

By all measures, China’s economic growth is slowing. How much will it slow, and how quickly? And what does that mean for Australia? Local business will be holding its breath.

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After years of torture, glimmers of political hope for Cambodia

Opposition political forces against Cambodian PM-cum-dictator Hun Sen are growing. But the Cambodian National Rescue Party has its own problems to be a real hope for a long-tortured people.

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A city facing shutdown, the nation of Thailand in political stalemate

Thailand is holding its breath with a planned shutdown of Bangkok only days away. Everyone is wondering: how bad will it get? What will the outcome be? And when will this cycle of violence and retribution finally end?

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The Chinese reform agenda: a committee to push it forward?

There’s high hopes of further economic and social reform to come from the Chinese Community Party’s 18th CCP Central Committee Third Plenum. But the big calls will probably be dodged.

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Don’t call it stimulus, but China’s cash splash helps miners

Chinese banks and government bodies are pumping money into the country’s ailing economy. But as Michael Sainbury writes, officials are refusing to call it a stimulus measure.

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China is driving our economy, but will be ignored in the election

Treasury clearly needs to lift its game on China — they got it wrong in May and may well be wrong again.

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Holiday in Cambodia: a leader returns to fuel unrealistic hope

For the first time since 1979, there is a real feeling in Cambodia that dictator Hun Sen can be thrown out.

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Rudd’s right, China is having a mini-economic crisis

Kevin Rudd has changed Labor’s economic tack, warning of peril ahead as the Chinese economy slows. He’s right; China is having a mini-economic crisis. Interbank rates are soaring, banking habits are poor, and forecasts are souring.

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‘Don’t mention this’: China’s economy is worse than you think

The Chinese economy is no longer growing at a rate of knots. Will the new leadership succeed with economic reform — and what would happen to Australia if they don’t?

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Wooing the Middle Kingdom: Gillard posts a solid win in China

Julia Gillard wraps up a five-day trip to China with a deal that sees the bilateral relationship move up a notch. It’s a solid win which comes after too much neglect and hamfistedness from Australian PMs in their dealings with China.

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Australia’s uncertainty about China dominates PM’s visit

Julia Gillard is on her second trip to China as PM. There are tentative signs of the relationship improving, but a key topic behind the scenes is how to address Australia’s uncertainty over China. Our correspondent is in Bo’ao.

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The skies clear as China changes guard, but what lies beneath?

China’s annual “Parliament” is underway and all eyes are on the country’s two new leaders. Will the new guard shift the focus from internal stability towards economic reform? You might have to wait to find out.

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Xi’s challenge: addressing China’s income inequality

New leader of China’s Communist Party Xi Jinping has made a commitment to addressing income inequality in China. But without wide-ranging reforms, real change seems unlikely.

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How China could shape Australia’s election campaign

Julia Gillard will take centre stage at a high-profile economic forum in China in two months. The Middle Kingdom may help shape Australia’s election campaign, so the trip is significant.

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Past catches up with Albanese, but is Rio back to the future?

Rio chief Tom Albanese has been eased out after a series of failures. But in appointing Sam Walsh to stand in, has Rio Tinto learnt from its mistakes?

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