About Scott Simon

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Scott Simon

“One China” as Floating Signifier: the Benefits of Diplomatic Ambiguity

When Canada recognized the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1970, the Joint Communiqué stated, “The Chinese Government reaffirms that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China. The Canadian Government takes note of this position of the Chinese Government.” Canada maintained diplomatic silence, in spite of Chin… Read More

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Arunachal Pradesh: Meeting China’s Claim in the Eastern Himalayas

Last week, Chief Minister Nabam Tuki of the Northeast Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh led a delegation to Canada. He attended the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce in Toronto and participated in the Brand India Expo in Ottawa. Meeting prospective investors and government officials, he highlighted the potential of Indo-Canadian cooperation in his stat… Read More

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The Senkaku Islands: A Forgotten Flashpoint in the Western Pacific

The uninhabited Senkaku Islands of Japan, claimed by both China and Taiwan under the name Diaoyutai, may seem of minor significance to observers outside the region. These eight uninhabited islands have a land area of only 6.3 km2 and a highest elevation of 383m. Yet every time Japan affirms its sovereignty over the islets, it is met with rebuttals from Beiji… Read More

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Keystone XL and its Impact on Canada-U.S. Relations: A Red Herring?

A delay in U.S. approval for TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline (in order to avoid Nebraska’s environmentally-sensitive Sandhills and underlying agricultural aquifer) has led to speculation that Canada should shift its balance of trade from the U.S. to Asia. Certain segments of our foreign policy community have been salivating over the Chines… Read More

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Taiwan and the UNFCCC: A Modest Proposal

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which entered force in 1994 and has been ratified by almost all countries, is the leading international institution working on climate change. The Conference of the Parties (COP) supervises implementation of the UNFCCC. To date, the Convention’s major achievement is the 1997 Kyoto Pr… Read More

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Taiwan’s Presidential Candidates and their Indigenous Platforms

This essay first appeared on the Taiwan 2012 blog. Indigenous people, accounting for about 2% of Taiwan’s population, are unlikely to influence the 2012 presidential election outcomes. Nonetheless, the relative success of the candidates in indigenous communities may influence elections for the Legislative Yuan, which has a quota of six indigenous le… Read More

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Canada and UNDRIP: Moving Forward on Indigenous Diplomacy

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) was adopted by the General Assembly on September 13, 2007, with 144 states in favour, 11 abstentions, and 4 votes against. Canada, like Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, originally voted against UNDRIP, but eventually changed its policy. In the March 2010 Speech fro… Read More

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100 Years of the Republic of China: Reason to Celebrate

October 10, 2011, marks the centennial anniversary of the Hsinhai Revolution and the subsequent establishment of the Republic of China (ROC). The revolution’s political philosophy, developed by Dr. Sun Yat-sen, was the “Three Principles of the People.” Principles of minzu (nationalism, “government of the people”), minquan (democracy, “government… Read More

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