24 May 2019

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
  • A sports store in Manama. Every weekend, many Saudis drive across the border into Bahrain, where they can shop till they drop and enjoy the freedom that is not available in their own country. Photo: Reuters

    How Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are benefiting from each other

    - Feb 4, 2019 2:50pm
    In previous articles, I talked about a number of microstates scattered across Europe (Andorra, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Monaco, etc.) that serve as financial windows or tax havens for traditional European powers. In the Middle Est, Bahrain...
  • An Autumn scene in Vancouver. Many Canadians are no longer as friendly to new immigrants as they used to be. Photo: Xinhua

    How ordinary Canadians view China and Meng’s case

    - Jan 31, 2019 6:47pm
    Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of the mainland telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., was arrested by Canadian authorities on Dec. 1 at the request of the United States.  Meng’s apprehension immediately sparked a diplomatic...
  • The greater a society becomes automated, the more vulnerable it would be to cyber attacks. Photo: Reuters

    The future of terrorism

    - Jan 28, 2019 11:40am
    In a recent article, I discussed the 1989 essay “The End of History?” by the acclaimed American political scientist Francis Fukuyama, in which he warned of the ramifications of the developing biotechnology for the future of...
  • A file picture from May 2006 shows Chagossians celebrating after a London court ruled that natives of the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia had been unfairly ejected from their land many decades ago. Photo: Bloomberg

    BIOT: The last conspiracy of the British Empire

    - Jan 25, 2019 6:42pm
    As the United Kingdom grapples with Brexit woes, a dishonorable historical event of the British Empire surfaced again in news recently but received very little public attention. The matter involves a region known as the British...
  • In pursuing hardline immigration policies, Donald Trump seems to forget the immense contributions that millions of foreign workers are bringing to the US labor force and the economy, critics say. Photo: AFP

    US immigration debate: Going beyond the surface

    - Jan 21, 2019 10:27am
    Ever since he took office two years ago, US President Donald Trump has been vigorously promoting the “America First” policy theme. A key element in that political agenda is tightening the relatively loose immigration policies adopted...
  • File picture shows remembrance poppies and a Canadian flag on the grave of an unknown soldier at the Sai Wan War Cemetery.during a Canadian ceremony honoring those who died in the Battle of Hong Kong and World War II. Photo: AFP

    John Robert Osborn: a Canadian soldier we will always remember

    - Jan 17, 2019 6:42pm
    In a previous article, I mentioned that Canada was a key member of the Allies of World War II, during which more than 23,000 Canadian soldiers died in battle.  Among them, about a thousand perished in...
  • Physicist Max Tegmark predicts that humans will get used to artificial intelligence making the decisions for them that they will eventually allow them to rule society. Photo: Reuters

    When humans are ruled by artificial intelligence

    - Jan 9, 2019 6:44pm
    In his book Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, physicist Max Tegmark makes a lot of predictions about the new ethical paradigms likely to be adopted in the future. Among his projections...
  • US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greet military personnel during an unannounced visit to the Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on Dec. 26. Photo: Reuters

    The political calculations behind Trump’s Xmas visit to Iraq

    - Dec 31, 2018 12:14pm
    Last Wednesday, US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania paid an unannounced visit to the Al Asad Air Base in Iraq and met with American troops. No matter whether you like Trump or not, you...
  • US Marine Corps tactical vehicles are seen driving along a road near the town of Tal Baydar in the countryside of Hasakeh province in Syria on Dec. 21. US President Donald Trump has ordered a withdrawal of the estimated 2,000 US troops in Syria. Photo: AF

    How Trump has betrayed Syrian Kurds with US troop withdrawal

    - Dec 31, 2018 10:43am
    In one of my previous articles, I wrote about fading hopes in relation to the future of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq. Now, the outlook for the Kurdish movement has suddenly even grimmer as...
  • A picture taken on Dec. 4, 2016 shows floral wreaths at the base of the Cross of Sacrifice memorial during a Canadian Commemorative Ceremony in the Sai Wan War Cemetery in Hong Kong. Photo: AFP

    How HK and Canada have a shared chapter in history

    - Dec 27, 2018 6:35pm
    The arrest of Huawei’s global chief financial officer Sabrina Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, Canada has cast a fresh spotlight on international relations and drawn much media attention in Hong Kong. Given the media frenzy surrounding the...
  • A helicopter patrols a border crossing after the border between Mexico and the US was closed in the San Ysidro neighborhood of San Diego on Nov. 25. Trump’s vow to crack down on illegal immigrants has struck a deep chord among his supporters. Pic: Reuters

    Trump and his ‘Mexico card’

    - Dec 24, 2018 12:07pm
    Ever since Donald Trump assumed the US presidency in January 2017, Washington saw its relations with quite a few countries take a turn for the worse, including the ties with Mexico. One of Trump’s most controversial policies...
  • The Erbil International Airport in Erbil, the administrative capital of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq. The region has seen a rapid rise in its international status. Photo: Reuters

    How long will Kurdish autonomy last?

    - Dec 20, 2018 6:19pm
    When I recently visited the city of Erbil, the administrative capital of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq, and Sulaymaniyah, its cultural capital, I was deeply struck by the economic prosperity across the region and...
  • A file picture shows an area in Mosul after US-led coalition forces launched an air raid campaign against IS militants. The Iraqi city is struggling to rebuild itself after a terrible ordeal since 2014 Photo: AFP

    Sunset in Mosul

    - Dec 19, 2018 4:05pm
    During my recent trip to northern Iraq, I had wanted to visit, among other places, Mosul, the second largest city of the country and once the capital of the Islamic State (IS) in the Persian Gulf...
  • Kurdish people in Turkey watch smoke billowing from Kobane as they gather upon a hill overlooking the Syrian town in October 2014. The Kurds are left helpless amid a power game between Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. Photo: AFP

    Is Kurdish independence possible?

    - Dec 13, 2018 5:56pm
    I recently traveled to the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq, where I had a chance to interact with some locals and gain fresh insights on the situation there. Although the Kurdish people’s bid for independence...
  • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte still enjoys strong public support, based on recent popularity polls, despite his brutal war against drugs. Photo: Reuters

    Why Duterte’s drug war is still popular despite its brutality

    - Oct 18, 2018 6:29pm
    President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines is undoubtedly a larger-than-life political figure who adheres to the principle that “the end justifies the means”. And perhaps nothing exemplifies his take-no-prisoners and slash-and-burn approach to governance more than...
  • A photo shows areas affected by landslides after a 7.5 quake hit Hela region in Papua New Guinea in February. In PNG, only 15% of the population lives in urban areas, while the rest are scattered across rural regions. Credit: Bernard J McQueen via Reuters

    Is Papua New Guinea really as dangerous as people say?

    - Oct 9, 2018 6:12pm
    Recently I made a trip to Papua New Guinea, the remote southwestern Pacific island country that is due to host the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in November. Before I set out for the place,...
  • National Security Advisor John Bolton has been highly unorthodox and radical in his political stance and rhetoric, but probably those were the qualities US President Donald Trump was looking for, which is why he offered him the job. Photo: AFP

    Is John Bolton a time bomb in Trump administration?

    - Sep 28, 2018 12:52pm
    Ever since Steve Bannon left the White House, US National Security Advisor John Bolton has replaced him as the No. 1 madman in President Donald Trump’s governing team. And although Bolton has a pretty bad reputation...
  • US-Canada relations have come under great strain in recent months as Donald Trump engages in belligerent rhetoric on trade issues. Photo: Bloomberg

    Canada’s difficult choices in the Trump era

    - Sep 19, 2018 10:58am
    After Donald Trump took office as US president in January last year, the once brotherly ties between the United States and Canada have turned increasingly sour, with the two countries drifting apart and Canadian Prime Minister...
  • The French PSA Group has been quite aggressive in its bid to conquer the Iranian market. One of its brands, Peugeot, became the best seller in Iran in 2014. Photo: Bloomberg

    Trump threat thwarts European carmakers’ bid to conquer Iran

    - Sep 17, 2018 6:20pm
    US President Donald Trump has threatened to ban from the American market all companies that have business dealings with Iran. His threat has virtually thrown a monkey wrench into aggressive plans by major European automakers to...
  • Singaporean officials have made it clear they won't consider banning smoking in public housing flats, as suggested by a lawmaker. Photo: Bloomberg

    Proposal to ban smoking at home sparks hot debate in Singapore

    - Sep 14, 2018 6:25pm
    Smoking has been banned in public facilities and venues in Singapore for years. Recently, however, a lawmaker has proposed that the government also ban cigarette smoking in all public housing units, also known as “HDB flats”...

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