Author Archives: Michael Sainsbury

Michael Sainsbury

About Michael Sainsbury

Michael Sainsbury is a former China correspondent (now based in South-East Asia), with more than 20 years’ experience writing about business, business politics and human rights across Australia and the Asia Pacific.

MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Back to basics for Pope at huge Tokyo Mass (UCA News 25-11-19)

Francis warns against the consumerism and isolation that wealthy societies can create

Posted in Asia, Religion and Faith, World Affairs | 1 Comment

MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Things haven’t been this bad between Australia and China in 30 years (Crikey, 14 August 2019)

The Morrison government’s increasing ties to the Trump administration is, by consequence, achieving quite the opposite of its previous goal of “resetting” Australia’s relationship with China.

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MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Australian Catholic Church – reform or die.

Australia’s Catholic bishops appear to have ceded control of the direction of wholesale reform in the church, with the announcement of a sweeping and unprecedented review into the management of dioceses and parishes by a group whose six-members include just … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Scott John Morrison: Where the bloody hell did he come from? (Michael West)

It’s not every Prime Minister who loses a vote on his government’s own legislation. The man who ended an 80 year run not only definitely deserves a special mention in Australia’s political history but a closer look at just where the … Continue reading

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MICHAEL SAINSBURY Vatican names two reconciled bishops to head Chinese dioceses Catholic News Service, 17.12.18)

SYDNEY (CNS) — As part of its ongoing efforts to reconcile China’s Catholic communities, the Vatican recognized two previously excommunicated Chinese bishops as heads of dioceses.

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MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Beijing’s spin on Xinjiang camps is not fooling anyone.

Communist regime has offered a string of justifications for its inhumane treatment of the Uyghur people.  This article was published by UCA News on the 6th of November. 

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MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Rohingya refugee crisis hits Myanmar’s economy (UCANews, 30.10.18))

While the Rohingya crisis and the escalating problems in Kachin and northern Shan State are grabbing headlines, Myanmar’s sagging economy and the withdrawal of investment by Western nations threaten to hit the largely impoverished nation the hardest.

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MICHAEL SAINSBURY. ScoMo’s Turnaround: Peter Dutton and Stuart Robert ride to the rescue

The Chronicles of a Fleeting Prime Minister And so he sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from The Destruction. Then came the season of The Renewal, and now, The Turnaround is upon the people. With 50 … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Not Gonski yet: ScoMo, schools, tools and the battle for Wentworth.

The ScoMo-ment, Episode II: Scott prevails for another week, consolidating his drive to not become Australia’s fourth shortest prime minister. Michael Sainsbury reports as the by-election battle for Malcolm Turnbull’s seat of Wentworth heats up.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Scott Morrison smashes shortest Prime Minister records.

Is Scott Morrison really on his way to a full half-term? As Liberal MPs flee the parliament and by-elections mushroom, the Member for Cook has already failed to earn the distinction of Australia’s fastest prime ministership. But will he vanquish … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

MICHAEL SAINSBURY Can a woman save Wentworth for the Libs? (Crikey, 12.09.18)

Liberal candidate Andrew Bragg has bowed out of the race for Wentworth, citing a need for women candidates. But will it be enough?

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MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Tim Murray, Labor’s best chance in Wentworth since Jessie Street?

If you thought that Australian politics could not get more bizarre, it’s time to think again. The race is on for one of the Liberal Party’s blue chip seats with the official retirement of Malcolm Turnbull, the Member for Wentworth.

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Payne can give proper attention to Asia that Bishop failed to do- (Crikey)

Australia’s new Foreign Minister Marise Payne has plenty to learn from Julie Bishop’s significant missteps — and indeed non-steps — in the same role.

Posted in Asia, Politics, World Affairs | 3 Comments

MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Malaysia’s ‘new’ 92-year-old leader is an old man in a hurry.(UCANEWS on 30 June 2018)

In multi-ethnic, religiously diverse Penang most people couldn’t be happier, but the government has plenty of work to do.

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JOSE BELO and MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Timor-Leste’s new leaders warn president

Former presidents Xanana Gusmao and Tuar Matan Ruak scotch unity government talk Overwhelmingly Catholic Timor-Leste could be heading for more political strife despite a coalition headed by independence hero Xanana Gusmao having a clear win in May 12 elections.

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MICHAEL SAINSBURY AND THOMAS ORA. Timor-Leste’s young government teeters on collapse

Asia’s most Catholic country faces the prospect of a second election inside nine months after government fractures

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | 1 Comment

MICHAEL SAINSBURY. In defence of the tragic, impotent silence of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Can Pope Francis help with her effective silence over the Rohingya crisis being perpetrated by Myanmar’s military that is a measure of her government’s helplessness?

Posted in Human Rights, World Affairs | 1 Comment

MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Religious and ethnic persecution sours ASEAN’s birthday party

Against the backdrop of a rising China, positive news out of the region is being undermined by several major crises.

Posted in World Affairs | 1 Comment

MICHAEL SAINSBURY. A shonky affair.

Here lies the exquisite dilemma for the Packer lobbyists: help push the Chinese side to get a better deal, perhaps an exchange program for their incarcerated staff, or strike another deal, leaving all those ill-gotten gains sloshing around Sydney and … Continue reading

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MICHAELSAINSBURY. Xi who must be obeyed

Already China is prodding at the U.S. at this delicate time when it is shifting administrations, testing the waters, as it were with its capture of an underwater drone not far from the Philippines this week. Internally, he faces the … Continue reading

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MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Packer kowtows after cash cow slough, Macau Crown row.

James Packer’s ignominious retreat from his once-lauded international strategy is continuing apace as 17 staff from Crown Resorts, the company he controls with 48% of its stock, continue to languish in Chinese detention centres.

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Michael Sainsbury. FIRB credibility shot with execution of Chinese gangster.

Liu Han, the Chinese criminal whose billion dollar bid for Australian mining company Sundance Resources sailed through the Foreign Investment Review Board with barely the bat of an eyelid has been executed along with his brother, Liu Wei once one of … Continue reading

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Michael Kelly and Michael Sainsbury on The Pope and the President.

When the Chinese government confirmed Xi Jingpin as the country’s president in March 2013, among the congratulatory letters received in Beijing was one from the newly elected Pope Francis. It was a nice touch from the leader of one “regime” … Continue reading

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Michael Sainsbury. Will China’s crackdown save or sink the Communist Party?

In launching an investigation into former security chief Zhou Yongkang, Chinese President Xi Jinping has entered uncharted and possibly dangerous territory. It not only raises the stakes for Xi’s increasingly iron fisted rule, but also for the Communist Party itself. … Continue reading

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Michael Sainsbury. Refugees to Cambodia

​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. On January 3 this year, men … Continue reading

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Michael Sainsbury. Australia and Cambodia’s shady asylum seeker deal.

Australia’s history of dealing with asylum seekers continues to spin into a dizzying spiral of contempt. Already under fire for shutting its doors to some of the world’s most vulnerable people, the Canberra government is now in talks with Cambodia, … Continue reading

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Michael Sainsbury. Tables have turned on China’s ex-security chief

The imminent purge of Zhou Yongkang, China’s security chief from 2007 to 2012, brings to mind that wonderful Chinese expression: “The fish rots from the head down”. Since the major clearout after Mao Zedong’s death in 1976, Zhou is now … Continue reading

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Michael Sainsbury: Are Chinese leaders cleaning up or cracking down.

In April 2009 Dr Fan Yafeng was sacked from his job as a legal researcher at a prestigious think tank, China Academy of Social Sciences. It’s not that he was no good at his job – to help the country’s … Continue reading

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Michael Sainsbury. Insults in our region continue.

Sometime late last year, the Australian government made the seemingly innocuous decision to revert, after 18 months, to calling the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar by its British name Burma. One of Tony Abbott’s growing list of regional insults. The … Continue reading

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