23 February 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
  • Beijing regards ISIS as just another Islamic fundamentalist group with an agenda to rise against western imperialism. Photo: Reuters

    Why China is reluctant to join the fight against ISIS

    - Jun 17, 2016 11:30am
    Recently the question of whether China will join the war against Islamic State has received much attention in western media. The Guardian last month ran a commentary on the issue, saying the extremist group, also known...
  • Some pundits predict that in a hundred years' time, the internet will replace universities as the major platform of receiving higher education. Photo: Internet

    The internet and the second printing revolution

    - Jun 15, 2016 9:01am
    In a new book titled “The 100 most influential figures of the second millennium”, Johannes Gutenberg, the German blacksmith who introduced the mechanical movable type printing to Europe in the 15th century, ranks very high on...
  • A blizzard in December last year epitomizes the harsh conditions in Russia's far east. Photo: internet

    Russia eyes development potential in its far east

    - Jun 8, 2016 10:43am
    Russian President Vladimir Putin recently issued an executive order encouraging Russians to explore the far eastern region of the country. Under the order, all Russian citizens are eligible to apply to the authorities of the Far Eastern...
  • The 2015 Hong Kong movie Helios features an espionage plot inspired by some historical events in the city. Photo: Media Asia Film

    What a movie tells us about HK as an espionage capital

    - Jun 6, 2016 2:40pm
    Helios (赤道), a 2015 Hong Kong crime thriller, was truly one of a kind on the local film scene, with a plot full of twists that ended in a cliffhanger. The movie featured an international ensemble cast...
  • Will Rodrigo Duterte deliver on his promise to fight crime in the Philippines, or will he end up as corrupt as most of his predecessors? Photo: ABS-CBN

    Is Rodrigo Duterte the real deal?

    - Jun 1, 2016 10:35am
    Ever since a billionaire real estate developer took the United States by storm in the country’s presidential primaries, “Donald Trump” has become a nickname for any politician who is not afraid to defy political correctness and...
  • King Willem-Alexander (inset) has publicly declared that the era of the welfare state for the Netherlands is over. Photo:, internet

    Is the Netherlands really paradise on earth?

    - May 30, 2016 9:57am
    Many of my friends have told me they long for the kind of laid-back and carefree lifestyle in European countries — in particular, the Netherlands, which is famous for its high level of social liberty and...
  • The finance ministers of (from left) West Germany, France, the United States, Britain and Japan signed a historic currency adjustment agreement in New York City's Plaza Hotel in 1985. Photo: internet

    Did the Plaza Accord ‘conspiracy’ doom Japan, and is China next?

    - May 18, 2016 9:50am
    The Plaza Accord, a multilateral agreement concluded among the United States, Japan, West Germany, France and Britain in 1985 to depreciate the US dollar against the yen and the Deutsche mark, has often been seen as...
  • Bernie Sanders appeals to the young and working class, who are fed up with business as usual in US politics. Photo: AFP

    How Bernie Sanders is riding the tide of support for change

    - May 12, 2016 11:11am
    Senator Bernie Sanders, now a household name in the United States, is one of the most polarizing and extraordinary personalities in the political scene in Washington in recent decades. Even though his chances of getting the...
  • China imports billions of barrels of crude oil from Nigeria each year. Nigeria is China's second largest export market in Africa, accounting for 8 percent of exports to the continent. Photo: Internet

    Why Nigeria prefers China to the West

    - May 5, 2016 1:39pm
    Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari received little media attention during a recent visit to China but the trip could ultimately prove critical in advancing bilateral relations.      The increasingly close ties between the two countries could also...
  • The Kenya “kidnapping” could be just a prelude to a more heavy-handed crackdown by Beijing on Taiwan in the days ahead. Photo: Xinhua

    Is China bullying Taiwan in the Kenya case?

    - Apr 22, 2016 10:11am
    Recently, the Kenyan authorities deported 45 Taiwanese who had been convicted of telephone fraud against mainland Chinese and sent them back to China on a Chinese flight at Beijing’s request. The deportation immediately provoked a strong...
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with his Czech counterpart Milos Zeman during an official trip to Prague late last month. Photo: AFP

    Sino-Czech relations: Is everything really hunky-dory?

    - Apr 14, 2016 4:54pm
    After the fall of the Eastern Bloc in the early 90s, the Czech Republic became increasingly pro-western and pro-democracy, and turned critical of China’s human rights record. The former Czech president, Vaclav Havel, even invited the...
  • The documents leaked from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca won't change anything, because western governments need tax havens to provide secrecy for the funding of their intelligence operations. Photo: internet

    The Panama Papers won’t change anything

    - Apr 8, 2016 4:16pm
    Dubbed the “biggest leak in history”, the Panama Papers recently released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists have taken the international community by storm. [Editor's note: Heads are already rolling, as the prime minister of...
  • 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...

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