27 March 2017

Simon Shen

Associate professor and director of Global Studies Programme, Faculty of Social Science, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong; Lead Writer (Global) at the Hong Kong Economic Journal
  • Ang San Suu Kyi appears to have little choice but to rely on the oligarchs and the military to boost the economy. Photo: Reuters

    Why crony capitalism continues to thrive in Myanmar

    - Mar 24, 2017 4:24pm
    In my previous article I discussed how former South Korean president Park Chung-hee, by bestowing favors on big business conglomerates, gave rise to “crony capitalism” and corruption in the country. There is another country in Asia...
  • The THAAD dispute is unlikely to spin out of control as Washington and Beijing have a lot of communication channels to reduce the chances of overreaction and misjudgement. Photo: Reuters

    Will THAAD row lead to a standoff like the Cuban Missile Crisis?

    - Mar 23, 2017 10:21am
    With the dispute over the deployment of the US anti-ballistic missile system in South Korea continuing to escalate, some observers are worried that the saga might lead to an all-out military standoff in Northeast Asia like...
  • Former president Park Geun-hye is now out of power, but the economic hegemony of the "chaebol" remains. Photo: Reuters

    Park Geun-hye’s downfall and the political legacy of her father

    - Mar 22, 2017 9:57am
    Park Geun-hye’s impeachment as South Korea’s president and her fall from power probably marked not only the end of her political career but also the end of the political legacy of her father, Park Chung-hee. Almost 38...
  • Supporters of Hosni Mubarak hold up his picture during a rally. Egypt's former dictator has been cleared by a court of involvement in the killing of anti-government protesters in 2011. Photo: Reuters

    Mubarak exoneration: Why Egyptians have mixed feelings

    - Mar 20, 2017 11:38am
    As Donald Trump kept grabbing international headlines following his inauguration as US president in January, a lot of crucial news about other international political figures has been drowned out. Among the news that went largely unnoticed...
  • Latest poll figures suggest that the Turkish people are almost evenly split over President Erdogan's proposal on constitutional changes. Photo: Reuters

    Erdogan is steering Turkey towards dictatorship

    - Mar 17, 2017 9:15am
    Following the relentless purge of political opponents in the wake of the abortive coup last year against his government, President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has recently launched another major political initiative to consolidate his power. Lying...
  • All of the emirates have been allocating a large portion of government revenue into improving social welfare benefits and public services. Photo: Arabian Business

    How a knowledge-based economy powers the UAE

    - Mar 13, 2017 11:08am
    When it comes to the best country to invest in along the “One Belt, One Road”, it has to be the United Arab Emirates (UAE), not just Dubai with which we are all familiar. Indeed, it...
  • Policy flip-flops by Sri Lanka have resulted in serious delays in some Chinese investment projects in the country, including a port city initiative near Colombo. Photo: Reuters

    Sri Lanka: China’s reluctant ally

    - Mar 6, 2017 10:39am
    As President Xi Jinping has been implementing the “One Belt One Road” strategy at full throttle, Sri Lanka has emerged as a key hotspot for Chinese investments. Beijing is desperate to win over the tiny country...
  • The meeting between US Senator Marco Rubio and pro-democracy leader Joshua Wong (above) could open a new international frontier for the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. Photo: HKEJ

    Marco Rubio and the HK Human Rights and Democracy Act

    - Mar 1, 2017 10:31am
    US Republican Senator Marco Rubio, his partymate Tom Cotton and Democratic Senator Ben Cardin have jointly reintroduced the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act” to Congress, a move that might prompt Washington to review its...
  • Turning Edward Snowden over to the US may scare off US billionaires and celebrities who have sought asylum in Russia in order to dodge heavy taxes. Photo: Reuters

    Why Russia might let Edward Snowden go

    - Feb 27, 2017 9:35am
    Former CIA director Michael J. Morell told the media recently that Russian President Vladimir Putin should consider turning Edward Snowden, the former CIA contractor who currently remains in exile in Russia, over to the US authorities...
  • 'Yes California' movement leaders will need the endorsement of at least 580,000 eligible voters to kick-start a change in the state constitution. Photo: RT

    What if California succeeds in gaining independence?

    - Feb 20, 2017 10:01am
    A “separatist” movement known as “Yes California”, backed by a fringe political group, is underway in the Golden State with the aim of seeking secession from the United States. According to the US constitution, a state...
  • By unleashing extreme measures and examining the response, US President Donald Trump can identify his friends and foes in Washington. Photo: Reuters

    Why Donald Trump is declaring war on all fronts

    - Feb 3, 2017 9:28am
    Almost immediately after he assumed office, US President Donald Trump is quickly delivering on his campaign promises one by one. Recently, he has been busy signing executive orders in the Oval Office undoing the legacy of...
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is defined by a set of shared values including “openness, respect, compassion, willingness to work hard, to be there for each other, to search for equality and justice”. Photo: Reuters

    How Canada goes against the tide and embraces openness

    - Feb 1, 2017 9:34am
    As the world is drawn to right-wing conservatism, it appears Canada under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has become the only western developed country that is still embracing left-wing pluralism. In fact, when Trudeau, who represents the...
  • Nine armored personnel carriers that belong to the Singaporean army were seized by Hong Kong customs on Nov. 24. Photo: AP

    Sino-Singapore tensions: How long will these last

    - Jan 25, 2017 9:40am
    Relations between China and Singapore have been turbulent in recent months since the tiny Southeast Asian country took sides with the US over the territorial dispute in the South China Sea, angering Beijing. And the recent...
  • Although the international community has a rather mediocre opinion of former UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, he is considered a national pride in South Korea and enjoys high popularity. Photo: Reuters

    Is Ban Ki-moon likely to be the next South Korean president?

    - Jan 19, 2017 10:06am
    After having served as secretary general of the United Nations for 10 years, Ban Ki-moon has finally returned to his home country, which has been engulfed by political turmoil in recent months. Will his track record...
  • Alpha Go beat top player Lee Sedol, 4-1, in a five-game match, bringing the prospect of wide application of artificial intelligence one step closer. Photo: Reuters

    2016: Year of revolution in everyday life

    - Jan 16, 2017 10:07am
    For academics specializing in international relations like myself, 2016 was an eventful year that was full of surprises. It was also a year of revolution in everyday life. It was during the past year that the...
  • If Ahok (pictured here) is convicted or removed from his position, the next Jarkata governor will most likely be an Islamic conservative, a prospect that can undermine President Joko Widodo’s relection chances. Photo: Reuters

    The politics behind blasphemy charges on Jakarta’s Ahok

    - Jan 13, 2017 9:48am
    A political controversy surrounding Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, commonly referred to by his nickname “Ahok”, has been snowballing in recent months and could have profound political implications for Indonesia in the days ahead. Ahok, an...
  • Beijing owes its successful re-establishment of foreign relations with Sao Tome to the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation Between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, or more often known as Forum Macao. Photo:

    Sao Tome and Principe: Why this country matters

    - Jan 12, 2017 10:56am
    Taiwan has suffered a major foreign policy setback after Sao Tome and Principe, a tiny country on the western coast of Africa, announced that it would break off diplomatic relations with Taipei and re-establish ties with...
  • Steve Bannon aligned himself with Donald Trump because he believes Trump is the 'chosen one' to bring his far-right politics to fruition. Photo: Reuters

    How far can Trump’s chief strategist go?

    - Jan 6, 2017 10:05am
    President-elect Donald Trump raised a lot of eyebrows by appointing Steve Bannon, an ultra-right cyber media magnate, as “chief strategic officer”, a new position that is ranked higher than the White House chief of staff. Born...
  • Relations between Beijing and Taipei deteriorated rapidly after Tsai Ing-wen took over as Taiwan's president in May.

    Top 10 international news of 2016 (Part 2)

    - Jan 3, 2017 9:43am
    In my previous column, I talked about 5 of the top 10 international news of 2016. Now, I will discuss the rest of them. 6. Major setbacks for free trade and the rise of protectionism: The...
  • The unsuccessful coup attempt against President Erdoğan and his ensuing purges of the army and the government signalled a revival of strongman politics in Turkey. Photo:Reuters

    Top international news of 2016 (Part 1)

    - Dec 30, 2016 12:13pm
    The year 2016 may go down in history as a decisive year in the course of development of human society. Public anger around the world against political correctness and hypocrisy, globalization, acceptance of refugees and free...

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