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PODCAST: Hong Kong 2020: Perspectives on an Ongoing Crisis

PODCAST: Hong Kong 2020: Perspectives on an Ongoing Crisis

A panel discussion on the Hong Kong protests

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This talk is moderated by Alex Wang, Professor at UCLA Law School

Please note: Michael Forsythe participated via video.


BELLETTE LEE, Lecturer at UCLA Department of Political Science and a Hong Kong native

Dr. Yuen-ching Bellette Lee is a Hong Kong native and a faculty member at the UCLA Political Science Department. She specializes in Chinese and Hong Kong politics and current affairs, teaching courses on Chinese politics of reform. She holds a PhD in Philosophy from University of Chicago, an M.A. from University of Birmingham, U.K., an M.A. from Australian National University, and a B.A. from University of Hong Kong. Her research focuses on Chinese protests and environmental activism, specifically on the conflict surrounding the Three Gorges Dam. She is the author of Water Power: The “Hydropower Discourse” of China in an Age of Environmental Sustainability (2014) and Global Capital, National Development and Transnational Environmental Activism: Conflict and the Three Gorges Dam (2013). She has participated in previous panels on the current Hong Kong protests, and brings a unique native perspective and Chinese political expertise to the China/Hong Kong conflict.

JEFFREY WASSERSTROM, Professor of History at UCI and an expert on the history of Chinese protest movements

 Jeffrey Wasserstrom is a history professor at the School of Humanities at UCI, specializing in modern Chinese history with a strong interest in connecting China's past to its present and placing both into global perspective. He has just completed the book Vigil: Hong Kong on the Brink, about the current Hong Kong protests. He has also written Student Protests in Twentieth-Century China: The View from Shanghai (Stanford, 1991) and Global Shanghai, 1850-2010 (Routledge, 2009), which both focus on China's largest metropolis. Other publications include China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know and Eight Juxtapositions: China through Imperfect Analogies from Mark Twain to Manchukuo (Penguin, 2016). He holds a PhD in History from UC Berkeley, an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Harvard University, and a B.A. in History from UC Santa Cruz. He has also held editorial roles for "The China Beat," an electronic magazine, and the Los Angeles Review of Book's China Channel. He is a renowned expert on the history of Chinese protest. 


MICHAEL FORSYTHE, Reporter for the New York Times and former correspondent for the New York Times'  Hong Kong office

 Michael Forsythe is a reporter on the investigations team for the New York Times. Until February 2017, he was a correspondent in the Hong Kong office, focusing on the intersection of money and politics in China. He has done extensive investigative journalism reporting from both Hong Kong and Beijing. He has authored numerous articles pertaining to Chinese politics, including Inside a Brazen Scheme to Woo China: Gifts, Golf and a $4,254 Wine (Oct. 2019), Corruption Inquiry Draws Nearer to Former Chinese Prime Minister (Feb. 2018), and He Tweeted About Chinese Corruption. Twitter Suspended His Account (April 2017). He will join the panel by video from New York City. Forsythe brings a unique journalistic perspective to the topic.



 ALEX WANG, Professor at UCLA Law School

Alex Wang is Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law, and a leading expert on environmental law and the law and politics of China. His research focuses on the social effects of law, and the interaction of law and institutions in China and the United States. His previous research has examined, among other things, the institutional design of environmental law and policy, addressing air pollution, climate change, and other environmental issues. Prior to 2011, Wang was a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) based in Beijing and the founding director of NRDC's China Environmental Law & Governance Project. Wang holds a J.D. from NYU School of Law and earned his B.S. in Biology with distinction from Duke University. He is a member and former fellow (2008-10) of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Advisory Board to the Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations. He is a regular speaker on issues related to China and environmental protection.