Syaru Shirley Lin

Compton Visiting Professor

Fast Facts

  • Faculty member at Chinese University of Hong Kong, Tsinghua University (Beijing) and National Chengchi University (Taipei) 
  • Former partner at Goldman Sachs
  • Founding board member of Alibaba Group
  • Member, Hong Kong Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation
  • Expertise on China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, East Asia, international political economy, international finance and banking, innovation and entrepreneurship, privatization


Areas Of Expertise

  • Foreign Affairs
  • Asia
  • Economic Issues
  • Finance and Banking
  • Trade

Syaru Shirley Lin, Compton Visiting Professor in World Politics at the Miller Center, teaches at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Tsinghua University in Beijing and National Chengchi University in Taipei. Her book, Taiwan’s China Dilemma, on the impact of the evolution of Taiwanese national identity on cross-Strait economic policy, was published by Stanford University Press in 2016 and in Chinese in 2019. Lin is currently working on the high-income trap in East Asia. Her commentaries frequently appear in both English and Chinese media. 

Lin graduated from Harvard College and earned a PhD from the University of Hong Kong. Previously, she was a partner at Goldman Sachs, where she led the firm’s private equity and venture capital efforts in Asia. She spearheaded the firm’s investments in many technology start-ups and was a founding board member of the Alibaba Group and the Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation. She also specialized in the privatization of state-owned enterprises in China and Singapore. 

Lin currently serves on the boards of Goldman Sachs Asia Bank, Langham Hospitality Investments, Mercuries Life Insurance, and Swire Pacific Limited. She is also a director of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation and was appointed by the Hong Kong government as a member of the Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation.

Syaru Shirley Lin News Feed

“Taiwanese voters, for the first time, are voting between two candidates that have completely different visions of what Taiwan’s relationship is with China and the world,” said Shirley Lin, Compton Visiting Professor in World Politics at the Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia.
Syaru Shirley Lin CNBC
As Taiwanese voters prepare to go to the polls Saturday to elect their next president, they are choosing between two candidates who take fundamentally different positions on an issue whose implications go far beyond Taiwan: how to preserve a country’s democracy and freedom while maintaining economic relations with a neighboring giant that wants to subsume it.
Syaru Shirley Lin Los Angeles Times
The 2019 protests in Hong Kong have riveted the world, as their focus has expanded from an extradition bill to alleged police misconduct, Hong Kong’s electoral system, and the broader relationship between Hong Kong and the government in Beijing. Understanding the history of the Sino-British negotiations, the deeper social, economic and political roots of the protests and the responses of Beijing and the Hong Kong government are of utmost importance into assess the future course for the city and proposed unification with Taiwan.
Syaru Shirley Lin The Stimson Center
Since 2012, Xi Jinping has crafted a Taiwan policy that features two somewhat contradictory elements. On the one hand, it contains stronger measures aimed at deterring any steps toward independence, including a reduction of Taiwan’s international space, a continued military build-up, and frequent demonstrations of military force and economic coercion. On the other hand, Xi has also employed positive economic incentives, aimed largely at young people and the working class in Taiwan, to secure their support for eventual political unification with China.
Syaru Shirley Lin China Leadership Monitor