Category Archives: Foreign Affairs

With FTAs like these, who needs China?

Michael Sainsbury While China persists with its counterproductive carrot-and-stick approach to trade, Australia should look to more manageable economic relationships in south-east Asia. As the annual end-of-year orgy for global leaders ended in Brisbane yesterday, the opportunities that south-east Asia presents for Australia became ever clearer. The G20 capped off 10 days of frantic jockeying.

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

  Michael Sainsbury Australia is spruiking its forthcoming free trade agreement with China, but with China’s economy slowing, the FTA won’t make much difference. Trade Minister Andrew Robb, who along with Prime Minister Tony Abbott is in Beijing for the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit, was everywhere yesterday talking up the prospect of a free trade

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

Michael Sainsbury 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. The Abbott government continues to be in a quandary about how to deal with China. Last week,

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Hong Kong Update, Monday 20 October

Democracy activists continue to pressure Hong Kong’s government across the harbour from Central at Mong Kok in Kowloon, where they gathered every day last week. Erecting barricades, police dismantling barricades and media reporting traffic was back to normal on Thursday, 17 October. Then up went the barricades again. Finally this ended in violent clashes on Saturday, with riot police going in kitted

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The battle for Beijing could destabilise Canberra

Michael Sainsbury There is growing talk in diplomatic and business circles that the Abbott government is considering making the first political appointment of an ambassador to China since Bob Hawke sent Ross Garnaut to Beijing in 1985. The job is up next August when incumbent Frances Adamson — the first woman to hold the post

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