SYDNEY The number of Hong Kong citizens applying to study at Australian universities has hit a three-year-high midway through 2020, according to government data, amid fears a new security law is ushering in a more authoritarian era for China's freest city.
* Australia was among top four wheat exporters before
SYDNEY Just months after rains broke Australia's crippling three-year drought, fields of grain have sprung to life, lifting forecasts for a bumper wheat harvest and reviving the beaten up agricultural sector through roaring tractor sales and increased lending.
SYDNEY The Pacific island nation of Tonga has asked Beijing to restructure its large bilateral debt load, the government said on Thursday, as the pandemic upends the region's tourism revenues and an onerous Chinese loan repayment schedule looms.
MELBOURNE/SYDNEY When mining giant Rio Tinto blew up two ancient caves in Western Australia's iron-ore rich Pilbara with state approval, the destruction was met with anger from indigenous landowners for whom the sites were of deep cultural and sacred importance.
SYDNEY/SINGAPORE Many Hong Kong residents are scouring for new jobs and homes overseas, fearful that a new national security law imposed by Beijing will crush coveted rights not enjoyed on the mainland and herald a new authoritarian era for China's freeest city.
SYDNEY The leader of small but strategically located Kiribati has won a closely watched presidential run-off after campaigning on a pro-China platform, in a set back to Taiwan's hopes to re-establish ties with a country that ditched it for Beijing last year.
SYDNEY/TAIPEI The presidential run-off in the Pacific island nation of Kiribati between a pro-Beijing leader and an opposition candidate sympathetic to Taiwan is the most aggressive campaign in the country's history, according to former president Anote Tong.
SYDNEY Chinese buyer enquiries for Australian homes fell to their lowest in almost three years in May, according to independent data, suggesting multi-billion dollar housing demand could be another casualty of a diplomatic spat between the two countries.
* Border closures during pandemic have devastated wool