Garver, the director of the Asia program at Georgia Tech’s Center for International Strategy, Technology and Policy, is questioning whether he will lead 20 Georgia Tech students on a planned visit to China next summer.
During a similar trip in 1998, his students understandably experienced some culture shock, but overall had a positive experience without experiencing any overt “anti-Americanism.”
Whether the currently scheduled trip for next year would be equally positive is now in question, he told GlobalFax, in view of the recent demonstrations against U.S. diplomatic facilities due to NATO’s bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. Last week’s revelations concerning Chinese espionage of U.S. nuclear secrets further aggravated U.S.-China relations, he added.
Dr. Garver wonders if popular anti-American sentiment could lead to confrontations between his culture-shocked young Americans and nationalist-inflamed Chinese.
“Businesses will have to make a similar calculation,” he said during a telephone interview.
Earlier in the day, he debated on a local radio program with former White House advisor Dick Morris, who argued that the U.S. should cut off trade relations with China in retaliation for its widespread program of espionage against the U.S.
Dr. Garver’s view is that the issues should be “delinked,” and resolved separately. Nevertheless, he thinks that relations are getting worse and he sees particularly difficult negotiations ahead for most favored nation trading status and China’s admission to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
And while the government is not apt to change its policies concerning foreign investment, he thinks that relations with the general population may make life for American businessmen or visitors difficult.
Dr. Garver may be reached by calling (404) 894-6846; fax, (404) 894-1903.