Campus News

CITS colloquium aims to facilitate better relations between US, China

The relationship between the U.S. and China has come a long way since former President Richard Nixon visited China more than 40 years ago.

However, there have been strains in that relationship in recent years, said William Keller, international affairs professor in the School of Public and International Affairs.

“At the political level, things have become much more tense,” said Keller, who also is the Gary Bertsch Director of SPIA’s Center for International Trade and Security.

With an aim to promote better relations between the two nations starting at a regional level, CITS has helped establish the U.S.-China New Relationship Colloquium. The colloquium is a cooperative initiative among the CITS, the China Reform Forum and China’s Central University of Finance and Economics.

Keller said the colloquium aims to find feasible ways to stimulate an economic and cultural exchange between the two countries.

The first official meeting of the colloquium is in May, with Keller and other CITS faculty and staff visiting Beijing. Subsequent colloquia will rotate between the U.S. and China on a biannual basis.

Earlier this spring, retired Gen. Pan Zhenqiang, a Chinese scholar, visited UGA to help establish the framework of the colloquium with CITS.

Pan said U.S. and Chinese leaders don’t fully understand each other. Pan believes the colloquium is one way for individuals in the U.S. and China to develop a better appreciation for the cultural differences that sometimes muddy the relationship.

While the colloquium is still in the planning stages of establishing concrete initiatives, Keller imagines the group facilitating cooperation between Georgia-based industry and China in areas such as environmental technology and investment.