Georgia is running a serious risk of becoming only inward looking and cut off from the rest of the world like China’s “Middle Kingdom,” an obviously irked Kun-young Chiu, a Valdosta-based engineer who has promoted closer ties with China’s Heilongjiang Province, told GlobalFax.

      Mr. Chiu said that he received word last week from Heilongjiang officials rescinding their offer to pick up expenses for Gov. Zell Miller, and Lt. Gov. Pierre Howard,  should they be able to attend a major trade fair in Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang Province in the northeastern corner of China, June 15-21.

     The provincial government also invited a representative from the state Senate and House, and experts in veterinarian science, agriculture, petro chemicals and international trade.  The expenses would have been limited to their stays in Harbin, and would not have covered their airfares.

      “We have missed a golden opportunity,” said Mr. Chiu, who did not expect the governor or lieutenant governor would be able to make the trip, but was disappointed that Georgia will not be sending a delegation of any sort including representatives of the state’s Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism and the state’s chambers of commerce.

       Last year, Mr. Chiu arranged for masterpieces from Heilongjiang Provincial Museum to be on exhibit in Atlanta during the Olympics.

        A spokesman for Mr. Miller said that the state of Georgia picks up all expenses on the governor’s trade missions, and that “at least dozens” of invitations are received to attend state, national and international events every week.

      Mr. Miller is on a trade mission to Canada this week.

      Mr. Chiu may be reached by calling (912) 244-4002; fax, (912) 244-1374.