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Articles by Michael Sainsbury

Palmer’s China comments could scupper trade deal

The Abbott government was close to negotiating a free trade agreement with China. That is, until Clive Palmer got involved.

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Pope Francis must tread carefully in China, as Asia beckons

Pope Francis has been busy since his papacy kicked off early last year, fixing core business and now focussing on a growth strategy through Asia, writes freelance journalist Michael Sainsbury.

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China proves its anti-corruption cojones

No one could doubt Chinese President Xi Jinping’s commitment to finding and eradicating corruption within the Communist Party after a prominent party member has been thrown under the bus.

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China ‘recovery’ more a dead cat bounce

The one sector that is not seeing growth is the one most important to Australian mining: housing in China.

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Renewable energy on the table as Plibersek visits China

A partnership with China on renewable energy could have the dual benefit of showing we do want to be friends and helping set Australia’s economy up for a future beyond the quarry and the sheep’s back.

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Cambodia no place for refugees — and Abbott should know it

The desperately poor, corrupt nation of Cambodia is no place for refugees. Crikey sits down with an Australian Jesuit who has made it her home to talk about what might face asylum seekers who have the misfortune of ending up there.

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The Aussie artist nabbed by China’s secret police

Australian-Chinese artist Guo Jian has been detained by China’s feared State Security Bureau on the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Tony Abbott must call for his immediate release.

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Life under martial law in Thailand: the hot and bothered rally

Red shirts and yellow shirts sweat it out in Thailand’s tropical heat on opposite sides of Bangkok as ordinary Thais try to go about their business, ignoring the uneasy peace and presence of soldiers.

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Qantas in Asia: expensive, cramped and losing share fast

Qantas’ all-important strategy in Asia is in tatters, analysts and insiders tell Crikey. New low-cost carriers in the region are losing out to bigger rivals.

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Cambodia not a safe place for Australian refugees — or anyone else

The Australian government appears to have struck a deal with Cambodia to house 100 refugees in exchange for a massive increase in foreign aid. But Cambodia is far from a safe place to settle.

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Sub-hub Pagemasters’ jilted bride could come back to haunt

Outsourced subediting company Pagemasters walked away from a deal with an Asian consortium. It’s now looking for other Australian suitors — Pagemasters might come off second-best in the competition.

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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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Womens Agenda

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