UB Professors Nancy Wei and William Lay help launch new current-events series at Black Rock Branch Library on January 24

University of Bridgeport (UB) professors Dr. Chunjuan Nancy Wei and William Lay will be the inaugural speakers at Black Rock Branch Library’s new current-events lecture series, Exploring Headlines, when they present “Tensions in the South China Sea: Economic and Political Dimensions” at 7 p.m., January 24.

A question-and-answer session and reception will follow the lecture. Black Rock Branch Library is located at 2705 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport. The event is free but seating is limited. To register, please e-mail jsoltis@bridgeportpubliclibrary.org or call (203) 337-9676.

“We created Exploring Headlines for the community to delve more deeply into important issues of today, be they politics or medicine or education and politics,” said Black Rock Community Librarian John Soltis. “The dispute in the South China Sea is of utmost importance to the United States, and we are most fortunate to have Dr. Wei and Professor Lay shed light about the region and this important and developing news story.”
Background: China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei, and Malaysia have all laid claim to all or part of the South China Sea, and recently the U.S. has sent aircraft carriers to the disputed area, which provides for rich oil and natural gas reserves, an estimated 10 percent of the world’s fisheries catch, and $5 trillion in shipping trade annually. “Tensions in the South China Sea” will focus on Sino-Philippine maritime-border claims as well as far-reaching geopolitical, financial, and legal consequences for the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest economies.

About the speakers
: Dr. Wei is an assistant professor of International Political Economy and Diplomacy at UB’s International College. A China expert, she was among a group of American professors invited to brief a visiting delegation of Vietnamese administrators on a variety of international topics, including the South China Sea. William Lay teaches Criminal Justice and Human Security at the International College and is an authority on international law.