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Articles by Michael Sainsbury

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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The battle for Beijing could destabilise Canberra

Next August the government will choose a new ambassador to China. But with numerous forces competing for what could be the first political appointment, Abbott might not be the prime minister to send the newbie to Beijing.

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Backroom Beijing power struggle could be fuelling Hong Kong protests

China is at a loss as to what to do about peaceful Hong Kong protesters, and thus far its attempts to handle the situation have been disastrous. But whatever the outcome, Beijing will never be the same.

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China’s ABC bullying part of a long game

Relations with China are at a nadir due to the Abbott government’s embrace of Japan. Beijing’s threats to the ABC are just part of the strategy.

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Morrison seals refugees’ Cambodian fate — but for how many?

The Australian government will give Cambodia $40 million a year to take some of the refugees currently on Nauru. But will the deal involve five or 1000?

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Cambodia refugee deal costs soar, with moral price immeasurable

Scott Morrison’s new refugee deal with Cambodia has no cap on the number of people to be “resettled” in one of Asia’s poorest nations.

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Morrison fumes, Cambodia asylum seeker deal stalls

Australia’s plan to send refugees to Cambodia might not come to fruition, as the Cambodian government is dragging its feet.

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Joyce’s mangy kangaroo must look to Asia for help

In 2011, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce claimed Jetstar was the region’s “leading low cost carrier”. Clearly, this is no longer the case. It’s time for Joyce to eat humble pie, and accept an economic rescue from his south-east Asian counterparts.

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China’s housing bubble is bursting — and Australia should be very worried

Australia depends on the Chinese housing market for more than just iron ore and steel — our entire economy will feel the shock waves of China’s property bubble bursting.

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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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