19 November 2018

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
  • Penang has the largest Chinese population among all Malaysian states. And many of those people speak Cantonese. Photo: Internet

    Missing the old HK? Try Penang

    - Mar 31, 2016 4:57pm
    Preservation of traditional Chinese characters and the Cantonese dialect has become a key element in the nativism campaign in Hong Kong in recent years. Many see the city as one of the last few remaining strongholds...
  • While the terrorist attacks in Belgium caused fewer casualties than recent similar attacks in France, they might have more far-reaching implications for the West. Photo: Bloomberg

    Why the attacks on Belgium are so worrisome

    - Mar 24, 2016 4:09pm
    This week’s terrorist attacks on Belgium killed at least 35 people and injured more than a hundred. The casualties this time might be less severe than those caused by similar attacks on Paris several months ago,...
  • President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan shakes hands with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Thanks to the "One Belt, One Road" strategy the Central Asian country has come under the spotlight lately. Photo: CNSA

    How can Hong Kong gain from Kazakhstan’s economic reforms?

    - Mar 11, 2016 4:10pm
    Thanks to the “One Belt, One Road” strategy that has received a lot of publicity lately, Kazakhstan, a landlocked country in Central Asia that was a part of the former Soviet Union, has become increasingly known...
  • Israeli tech company Consumer Physics invented this spectrometer that can be operated through a cellphone. The device measures the intensity and other properties of light.  Photo: Bloomberg

    Israel tech really means business

    - Mar 10, 2016 4:00pm
    News on Israel often concerns the Palestinian issue, but this small country, which places much emphasis on the development of cutting-edge technologies, has pulled off a lot of phenomenal technological achievements largely overlooked by global media. In recent...
  • In the face of demands from the state of Sarawak for more autonomy, scandal-ridden Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak might eventually make concessions to win the state's support. Photo: Reuters

    ‘One country, two systems’ in Malaysia

    - Feb 24, 2016 3:55pm
    “One country, two systems” is an epoch-making innovation unique to China and Hong Kong — Beijing has repeated that a thousand times over the years, but it is a myth. As a matter of fact, “one...
  • The Gui Minhai case might put Sweden’s human rights diplomacy to a rigorous test, given the high stakes involved. Photo: CCTV

    Gui Minhai case a test of longstanding Sweden-China friendship

    - Feb 19, 2016 3:41pm
    The disappearance in Thailand last year of mainland China-born Gui Minhai, a naturalized Swedish citizen and co-owner of the publishing firm in Hong Kong run by Lee Bo, and his recent reappearance on Chinese national television saying he...
  • The "Stellarator" reactor invented by Germany's Max Planck Institutes may turn out to be a huge game-changer for the global energy market.

    Here comes the game-changer: the Stellarator reactor

    - Feb 5, 2016 4:12pm
    The Middle East has been witnessing dramatic changes in recent months, with Iran back in favor with the West and Saudi Arabia, a traditional US ally, on its way towards radicalization. There are certainly multiple factors...
  • As Pyongyang continues to ratchet up tensions, a growing number of South Koreans want their nation to develop its own nuclear deterrent. Photo: AFP

    Will South Korea develop its own nuclear weapons?

    - Feb 3, 2016 3:39pm
    North Korea stunned the world early last month by claiming that it had successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb. While many western experts and observers believe that Pyongyang was only bluffing, the bold announcement however leaves the...
  • Although the BNO passport (left) is only a travel document, it might prove life-saving in times of crisis. Photo: Internet

    Why it’s a good idea to renew your BNO passport

    - Jan 11, 2016 3:28pm
    Recently I received a lot of questions from friends and netizens regarding the issue of renewal of British National Overseas (BNO) passports. The debate appears to have got a new lease of life following the mysterious...
  • As the only international financial center in the Middle East where IS can move its money around easily, Dubai is unlikely to become its next target. Photo: Bloomberg

    Why IS is unlikely to come after Dubai

    - Dec 18, 2015 3:49pm
    As I mentioned in an earlier column, some western international relations experts at a recent academic seminar suggested that Dubai has the potential to replace Hong Kong as the next global financial and logistical hub. Some readers...
  • South Korean President Park Geun-hye (right) has gone to great lengths to strengthen Sino-Korean ties, but her country's military alliance with the US will remain irreplaceable in the foreseeable future. Photo: AFP

    What is tricky about China-South Korea relations

    - Dec 15, 2015 3:22pm
    The “One Belt, One Road” plan put forward by President Xi Jinping and the series of overseas infrastructural programs that come along with it are as much a part of China’s ambitious diplomatic strategy to counter...
  • It might be just a matter of time before the computer screen or even smartphones will replace university lectures as the major platform for receiving higher education. Photo: Internet

    What will happen to universities in the internet era?

    - Dec 10, 2015 3:24pm
    In the recent Hong Kong Economic Summit, an annual forum organized by the Hong Kong Economic Journal, Dr. Ceng Ming, deputy chief executive of the Alibaba Group, shared his views on the future of university education...
  • The conclusion of the seven-party agreement this summer has opened the gateway for western companies to enter the Iranian market. Photo: Reuters

    Iran on its way to becoming a super BRICS country

    - Nov 27, 2015 3:04pm
    When it comes to BRICS, many people think of five countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Or they may also think of the new BRICS such as Kazakhstan and Turkey. However, if you ask any expert...
  • The recent terrorist attacks on Paris may offer the French government an opportunity to form and lead an international united front against IS. Photo: Internet

    Eight things France needs to do after terror attacks

    - Nov 17, 2015 3:05pm
    Friday night’s terrorist attacks on Paris shocked the entire world, and the Islamic State (IS) quickly claimed responsibility for the carnage. As Islamist terrorism has taken root in every segment of the French society, it is likely...
  • Once Aung San Suu Kyi falls from grace, there will be no one else in Myanmar apart from the military able to  hold the country together. Photo: Xinhua

    Why Aung San Suu Kyi should not head government

    - Nov 12, 2015 4:01pm
    Myanmar general election Sunday ended with a landslide victory for the National League for Democracy (NLD), led by democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi. The ruling party and the military have conceded defeat. However, even though...
  • Pragmatism might dominate current Sino-German relations, but that doesn't necessarily mean Angela Merkel will stop taking a stance on human rights issues in China. Photo: Reuters

    How Sino-German relations differ from Sino-British relations

    - Nov 4, 2015 2:59pm
    Almost immediately after President Xi Jinping returned from his state visit to Britain, German Chancellor Angela Merkel led a huge delegation to Beijing on Oct. 29. Some western media mocked her visit, saying “Germany and Britain...
  • Despite the fact that there is widespread opposition to the TPP in Japan, particularly among farmers, Japan's full integration into the US-led trade alliance is inevitable. Photo: Bloomberg

    TPP presents both risks and opportunities for Japan

    - Oct 30, 2015 3:30pm
    The conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP) spearheaded by the US could have profound and far-reaching implications for Japan in economic and strategic terms. As Tanaka Hitoshi, a senior Japanese Foreign Ministry official who...
  • President Xi Jinping is warmly greeted by Mark Zuckerberg in Seattle. People should not read too much into their meeting, says a China watcher. Photo: HKEJ

    Why Facebook is so eager to re-enter China

    - Oct 20, 2015 2:43pm
    On the first leg of his official state visit to the US in September, President Xi Jinping met with Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg in Seattle. Zuckerberg spoke with him in fluent Mandarin during...
  • Allegations of eavesdropping by US intelligence agencies on European leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel have posed a major obstacle to the conclusion of the TTIP between the US and Europe. Photo: HKEJ

    Why Europe is skeptical about the TTIP

    - Oct 15, 2015 3:22pm
    Last week, the US government announced it had reached a framework agreement with a dozen other countries on a Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPP). Washington has been trying to negotiate a similar trade agreement with Europe...
  • Investment bankers are actively searching for countries that are good to invest in amid the economic slowdown in BRICS. Photo: HKEJ

    How fragile is the “Fragile Five”?

    - Sep 24, 2015 3:05pm
    The investment banking sector often likes to categorize countries according to certain specific conditions and then give them a catchy name. Among these names, the best-known is probably “BRIC”, a name coined in 2001 by Jim...

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