Newswise — CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Oct. 2, 2014 — Tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters have occupied downtown Hong Kong since Sept. 28, calling for the local chief executive’s resignation. The University of Virginia has several experts who can comment on different aspects of the situation.

Charles Laughlin, Ellen Bayard Weedon Professor of East Asian Studies and director of U.Va.’s East Asia Center, can put this in the larger context of modern Chinese history, and the role of language, culture and creativity in social movements. He can be reached at 434-409-0368. Laughlin has been following the situation closely and Tweeting about developments; see those tweets here.

Harry Harding, a professor of public policy and politics and vice chairman of the Asia Foundation, is one of America’s preeminent China scholars. He can provide background on the controversy over the electoral reform that sparked the protests, the deeper socio-economic issues that underlie them, U.S.-China relations and China’s foreign relations. He can be reached at [email protected].

Aynne Kokas, an assistant professor of media studies, can offer a unique angle on the role of media and technology on the protest. “I would be very interested in talking about the use of media and technology, and would also be happy to share my firsthand experiences and photos from the first major Occupy Central protests in July as background for any coverage,” Kokas said. She can be reached at [email protected]. She, too, has been providing commentary on Twitter; see those tweets here.

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