17 January 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
  • 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...
  • The approval ratings of the scandal-ridden Malaysian leader Najib Razak have continued to decline over the past two years. Photo: Reuters

    Malaysia and China playing diplomatic footsie with each other

    - Dec 28, 2016 9:39am
    With Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte adjusting his country’s long-standing “lean-to-one-side” policy towards the United States and trying to repair relations with China, it appears Malaysia is also seeking to strengthen ties with China as well. Recently...
  • Public healthcare system in the Philippines owes much of its improvement to US colonial authorities during the early days. Photo: Wealth Health Organization

    Should Filipinos remain grateful to the US?

    - Dec 21, 2016 10:24am
    After taking control of the Philippines in 1902, the United States did a great job in spreading US values among the Filipinos, assimilating them into American culture and promoting English as an official language, the effects...
  • Qbobo says he finds fulfilment in making Hongkongers happy. More importantly, he wants to set a model for ethnic minorities. Photo: YouTube

    From Singh to Qbobo: Prime act of an Indian Hongkonger

    - Dec 20, 2016 4:09pm
    Gill Mohindepaul Singh may not be a familiar name to most Hongkongers but how about Qbobo (literally cute baby in Cantonese)? We got to know him through TVB. Many Hongkongers were amazed by this hunky Indian’s versatile,...
  • President Rofrigo Duterte's anti-US rhetoric is apparently just a diplomatic tactic to maximize his country's gains as the US and China vie for influence in the region. Photo: Reuters

    Should Filipinos love or hate the Americans?

    - Dec 19, 2016 10:02am
    The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has been known for his anti-US rhetoric. Ever since he was sworn in on June 30 this year, he has been highly critical of President Barack Obama and his...
  • Donald Trump may bring his bargaining skill in business to the US-China relationship. That may include using the separatist movement in Hong Kong to his advantage. Photo: Reuters

    What is Hong Kong’s role in US-China relations under Trump?

    - Dec 15, 2016 12:57pm
    Are recent events such as Donald Trump’s phone conservation with his Taiwan counterpart Tsai Ing-wen, his doubts about whether the US should continue to stick to the “One China” policy and Leung Chun-ying’s sudden withdrawal from...
  • Abortion has been a divisive issue in the US with pro-life and pro-choice groups holding polarized views. Photo:

    Why US abortion is a never-ending saga

    - Dec 12, 2016 9:47am
    Perhaps only Americans or expats who have spent a substantial amount of time in the US would understand why abortion has been such a divisive and polarizing issue in the US. During an interview with CBS...
  • The new Thai king Maha Vajiralongkorn has his work cut out for him trying to mend fences with the rebellious south. Photo: Reuters

    South Thailand Islamic insurgency: The new king’s nightmare

    - Dec 9, 2016 10:03am
    Now that Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn has been officially proclaimed the new king of Thailand, one of his most urgent tasks is to give immediate attention not only to the ensuing power struggle between the military...
  • NASA has all the necessary technologies and know-how to put people back on the moon again. All it needs is extra funding. Photo: NASA

    Donald Trump’s ‘Return to the Moon’ project

    - Dec 8, 2016 11:26am
    Among all the election promises made by Donald Trump during the campaign, perhaps one stands the best chance of being fulfilled quickly — sending Americans back to the moon again as soon as possible. Since the...
  • Marine Le Pen went to extreme lengths to reshape her party's image as she expelled her own father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, from the organization he founded. Photo:

    Why we need to take Marine Le Pen seriously

    - Dec 7, 2016 10:23am
    Following the surprising outcomes of the Brexit referendum and the US presidential election, there are fears that we could witness another possible stunning upset — this time from the upcoming French presidential election. There is anxiety...
  • It won’t be surprising if Ivanka Trump is appointed as US ambassador to Japan by her father, President-elect Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters

    Will Ivanka Trump be the next US ambassador to Japan?

    - Dec 5, 2016 11:16am
    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s meeting with President-elect Donald Trump in New York in November was an important diplomatic event but it was Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, who was the focus of international media attention....
  • Supporters of legalization of the recreational use of marijuana cite the elimination of the black market and higher tax revenue among the benefits. Photo: Reuters

    How marijuana legalization became a political issue in Nevada

    - Nov 28, 2016 9:57am
    In the recent US presidential and congressional elections, voters across the country were asked not only to choose the next president and lawmakers in both Congress and state legislatures but also to decide on more than...
  • Independent or small party candidates may not win elections in the US, but they can alter the outcome of the overall result. Photo: Xinhua

    Can a third party become viable in US politics?

    - Nov 25, 2016 12:37pm
    The 2016 US presidential election may have been a grudge fight between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but we can’t dismiss the influence of other independent candidates or candidates from small parties. Gary Johnson of the...
  • Will Donald Trump follow through on his threat to brand China a currency manipulator? Photo: CNSA

    What’s the real story behind the yuan manipulation?

    - Nov 24, 2016 1:08pm
    In the policy outline of US President-elect Donald Trump for his first 100 days in office, he vows to declare China a “currency manipulator” and impose punitive anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese products. As he put it...
  • It remains highly questionable whether Hong Kong will be on the to-do list of the incoming administration of Donald Trump (left, with US House Speaker Paul Ryan). Photo: Reuters

    Hong Kong likely to witness rise of own Trump phenomenon

    - Nov 21, 2016 10:13am
    As the US presidential election result has begun to sink in, perhaps it is time for us to reflect on Donald Trump’s victory and think about what insights we can draw from his stunning triumph. First,...

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