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Articles by Michael Sainsbury

The coal, hard truth: Chinese steel is the canary in the mine

The rise of cleaner energy sources adds a structural element to the ongoing downturn in demand for coal.

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A receding Chinese tide beaches all boats, and Australia’s getting stuck in the sand

China seemed like it had hit its straps in terms of economic management. But then it all started to come apart …

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Bomb attack rocks fragile Thailand ahead of Australian trade visit

Even before last night’s bomb attack in Bangkok, Thailand’s political economy was on shaky ground.

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Japan tries to re-militarise, China seethes, Australia caught in the middle

Relations between Japan and China, never very good, are at a low point. And Australia is picking sides.

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China bet it all on the sharemarket and lost. Now what?

Chinese President Xi Jinping is working overtime to distract his people (and the rest of the world) from the country’s precarious economic position.

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Malaysia mired in corruption, but Australia only sees dollar signs

Malaysia’s government is in crisis with allegations of corruption coming thick and fast. But of course, no one is suggesting the country pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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Church lets loose at its least favourite Abbott

The Jesuit head of the Asia-Pacific region has slammed Tony Abbott’s refugee policy, and the big man himself has taken a position very contrary to Abbott’s on the environment.

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Thailand shoots the messenger, Australia turns its back

Why does the Australian government pick and choose it’s targets for censure in south-east Asia? Indonesia cops a serve. China and Thailand just coast on by.

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Aussie journo Alan Morison an inspiration to us all

Alan Morison is facing up to seven years in a Thai prison for reporting on one of the most important human rights issues of our time.

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Thawley’s big mouth just exposes Abbott’s tin ear on China

The Abbott government clearly has no idea how anyone in China thinks, nor what to do to protect this vital relationship.

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Australian journalist faces jail under Thailand’s troubling ‘justice’ system

Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian are facing court — and the possibility of seven years in jail — for republishing a single paragraph of a Reuters story the Thai government disapproved of.

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Move over, NBN, here comes the National Narrowband Network

Why should you share your precious cat video-enhancing broadband with your hot-water meter? Enter the National Narrowband Network.

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‘Free trade’ with China not all that free

Most governments love a good free-trade agreement. But not all FTAs are equal.

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Orient express: is a big Aussie company greasing palms to get ahead in Asia?

There are significant business opportunities in south-east Asia — but allegations of bribery against one Australian company are muddying the waters for everyone.

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ASEAN divided as China’s power grab expands

If nations cannot solve their own internal divisions, or at lest map out a path to a more peaceful future, how can they be expected to help their neighbours in any meaningful way?

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Tiananmen Square: 26 years on, China’s abuses continue unchecked

China has no regard for human rights. And mealy-mouthed language from Australian politicians isn’t good enough.

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Why we should be worried about the South China Sea

China’s aggressive posturing over the South China Sea is a worrying development. And it’s not likely to stop there.

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Aung San Suu Kyi turning a blind eye to Rohingya plight

Has Myanmar’s opposition leader lost her moral authority?

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Twiggy shakes trees in China, looking for an olive branch

It’s unlikely the Chinese will buy a major stake in Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group, but that’s not to say they won’t enter into the iron ore fray to FMG’s advantage …

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Myanmar’s refugee crisis all but ignored by Australia

Australia’s response to the discovery of slave camps and mass graves in south-east Asia, as well as the persecution and exodus of Muslim Burmese is black mark against our international duty.

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Bear in the China shop: Hockey’s bullish fantasy ignores the coming recession

The glass-half-full crowd, including our benighted Treasurer, need to wake up to the reality of China’s economic downturn, before it drags us into recession.

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A deeply unfair budget for our Asian neighbours

When Hockey and Abbott talked up this budget of “fairness”, they neglected to mention the fiscal kindness wouldn’t extend beyond Australian borders — well, except to Cambodia.

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Bishop in Thailand, but don’t mention the C-word

Julie Bishop has visited Thailand, the highest-ranking Abbott government member to do so, but funnily enough she did not seem to want to see the refugee’s paradise that is Cambodia.

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When to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em: Packer doubles down on Japan

Poor old James Packer is not having a great time of it in Macau. But there is another enticing prospect beckoning …

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Thailand mass graves reveal migrant-slave deaths and media shackles

As Thailand’s human-trafficking history is revealed, the government is being forced to recognise that media freedom can help rid the country of this barbaric scourge.

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