25 February 2020

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
  • Self-proclaimed president of the "Free Republic of Liberland" Vit Jedlicka (seated, C) gives out free citizenship in the village Backi Monostor in Serbia earlier this month. Photo: Reuters

    Will Liberland become a real country?

    - May 20, 2015 8:11am
    On the Western bank of Danube River, near the border between Serbia and Croatia, a new micronation called Liberland was founded on April 13. Czech scholar Vit Jedlicka established the country on a tiny 7-square-kilometer patch...
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on his people to remain vigilant against threats posed by foreign powers. Photo: AFP

    How crisis helps Putin cement his power

    - May 11, 2015 2:25pm
    The reason why Russian President Vladimir Putin has been able to maintain his high popularity lies in how he successfully uses nationalism to construct a sense of threat from foreign powers. His national security adviser, Nikolai...
  • Many Mexicans who cross the border to the United States end up as illegal immigrants. Photo: Bloomberg

    Russian scholar’s doomsday prediction about the US

    - May 4, 2015 2:03pm
    This column has mentioned the United States’ plan to divide Russia into three parts: Europe, Siberia and Far East. Conversely, Russian political scientist Igor Panarin proposed a theory about the disintegration of the United States into six...
  • President Joko Widodo wants to turn Indonesia into a maritime power and project its influence beyond its borders.  Photo: Bloomberg

    Why Indonesia wants a bigger say in AIIB

    - Apr 27, 2015 2:53pm
    Indonesia is a rising economy in the Asia-Pacific region and may become a main investment target for the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Apart from contributing 3 percent of the AIIB’s capital, Indonesia also wants...
  • Singapore serves as a bridge between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other economies. Photo: Bloomberg

    Why Singapore plays a pivotal role in ASEAN

    - Apr 20, 2015 11:36am
    Singapore’s outlook is generally considered positive as it enters a new era. One reason is its good relationship with both China and the United States, and another is its unique position in the Association of Southeast...
  • If the AIIB accepts only sovereign entities, Hong Kong cannot join it except under China's membership. Photo: Bloomberg

    How can HK get into China-led AIIB?

    - Apr 10, 2015 3:08pm
    One of the hottest issues in recent weeks is a proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) led by China. This has important implications for Hong Kong and the mainland. Under “one country, two systems”, Hong Kong...
  • Australia is one of the latest countries to make sure it won't be left out of the AIIB, having applied on the weekend to join the bank. Photo: Bloomberg

    What is the diplomatic value of AIIB to China?

    - Mar 30, 2015 4:17pm
    After Britain, Australia has also shown its interest in joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), following G7 members like Germany, France and Italy. South Korea, which once changed its mind under pressure from the United...
  • Through clever photo opportunities and publicity stunts, Russian leader Vladimir Putin has cultivated a macho image of himself.

    Why image is everything for Putin

    - Mar 23, 2015 4:11pm
    The key to Vladimir Putin’s high popularity in Russia, notwithstanding the battle in Crimea and the sudden death of his enemies, is his strongman image. But will the 62-year-old leader be able to maintain this image...
  • Central Asian nations pursue a multi-dimensional strategy to balance various pulls from the US, Russia and China.

    Why Middle Asia will gladly join China’s silk road plan

    - Mar 16, 2015 12:00pm
    Although “One Belt, One Road” is commonly regarded as China’s strategy to balance the United States’ pivot to the Asia-Pacific region, its impact on Russia should not be ignored. The Silk Road Economic Belt starts from...
  • Turkish tanks pass through Kobani after Kurds drove Islamic State from the town in northern Syria. Photo: Reuters

    Defeating IS may give Kurds chance to build their own country

    - Mar 9, 2015 11:51am
    Last month, Islamic State retreated from the strategically important Syrian town of Kobani, which had been occupied for almost six months. For the first time, IS admitted it was defeated. The Islamic militants claimed they were...
  • The Islamic State seems to think that graphic hostage beheading videos are the most "cost-effective" way to gain global attention. Credit: AFP

    What does ISIS hope to gain with horrific videos?

    - Mar 2, 2015 3:46pm
    With the beheading of Japanese and Western hostages and the burning-alive of a Jordanian pilot, Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has shocked the world. Now, why is the jihadist group doing all these things? According...
  • China aims to enhance its economic and geopolitical interests through the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives. Credit:

    Why China is so keen on pushing ‘One Belt, One Road’

    - Feb 23, 2015 12:56pm
    After announcing the “Silk Road Economic Belt” and “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” in September and October 2013 respectively, Chinese leader Xi Jinping began promoting the concepts actively last year. The Silk Road Economic Belt starts from...
  • Concepts such as "national security" and "subversion of state power" have come into play in Bangladesh war crimes trials. Credit:

    Retribution vs justice: What do Bangladesh war trials tell us?

    - Feb 10, 2015 2:50pm
    In October 2014, the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh held an important trial that has probably escaped the attention of most people outside the country. A leader of the opposition party was charged with “war crime”...
  • Women queue for food at a refugee center in Chad after fleeing violence in Nigeria. Boko Haram militants have razed many villages and murdered hundreds in West Africa, but world powers have largely chosen to ignore that mayhem. Photo: Reuters

    Why Boko Haram is getting away with murder

    - Jan 30, 2015 8:06am
    Boko Haram, the Nigeria-based Islamic militant group, destroyed two towns in the country recently. Last year, the group kidnapped a number of female students. But apart from regional reports, there was limited international coverage. Compared to...
  • For many people, "Chinese Dream" means a corruption-free nation. Photo: Reuters

    What ‘Chinese Dream’ means to the masses

    - Jan 23, 2015 3:54pm
    President Xi Jinping’s “Chinese Dream” encapsulates his vision of the nation’s future. It is about national rejuvenation, a more prosperous society and a better quality of life for the people. But apart from the official line, the...
  • Singapore has developed a hinterland network that is more multi-dimensional than that of Hong Kong. Photo: Bloomberg

    Hinterland networks: Why Singapore is scoring over HK

    - Jan 23, 2015 9:46am
    In his 1996 book “Hong Kong: Asia’s Network City”, economic historian Takeshi Hamashita had identified eight hinterlands for Hong Kong, ranging from Northeast Asia to Southeast Asia. They are: 1. The coastal regions from South China to...
  • President Xi Jinping is willing to challenge the United States over the right of discourse in the international arena. Photo: AFP

    How Xi’s bluntness contrasts with Hu’s risk aversion

    - Jan 14, 2015 5:11pm
    In the era of Hu Jintao, complacent words and phrases were subjected to self-censorship to avoid creating misunderstanding and suspicion in the international arena or challenging the international discourse dominated by the United States. For example, “peaceful...
  • Lam Pou Chuen had a unique voice that made Doraemon sound neither like a kid nor an ordinary adult but a special being that grows up with the audience. Photo: Hong Kong Allies

    HK Doraemon stands for golden period

    - Jan 14, 2015 9:43am
    The passing of Lam Pou Chuen — voice actor of the Japanese cartoon character Doraemon — earlier this month, made the headline of many local newspapers. His death shocked many fans. As one of them, I...
  • The Philippines' aggressive infrastructure program has created millions of jobs. Photo: Bloomberg

    Philippine economy: miracle or bubble?

    - Jan 12, 2015 12:23pm
    Last July, the population of the Philippines hit 100 million. All babies born around that particular time were given five thousand pesos as “souvenir”. This population threshold is considered a critical level for a country to...
  • Hong Kong and Taiwan are feeling nostalgic about their colonial past for very different reasons. Photo: HKEJ

    How Hong Kong and Taiwan evolved from colonial history

    - Dec 24, 2014 3:52pm
    Hong Kong and Taiwan have recently shown a strong attachment to their colonial history under the British and Japanese, respectively. However, there are some noticeable differences that likely led to very different paths for the former...