At the end of May, eight American students including three Nunn School undergraduates participated in a lively dialogue and debate with ten mainland Chinese students on US-China relations, the rise of China, and the role of the US in the Asia Pacific Region.
International Affairs and Modern Languages (IAML) undergrads Eda Kosma, Gillen Heisler, and Kenny Risner spoke on topics ranging from regional alliances, human rights, environmental policy in a rapidly industrializing China, and US-China military cooperation.
The discussion was co-led by Sam Nunn Scool of International Affairs Professor John Garver and Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS) Professor Li Yongning. Dr. Garver noted the dialogue's value and importance of enabling direct interaction as means to enhance understanding of each other's countries in order to strengthen communication and to establish cooperation and friendship. Both are vital to the development of future Sino-US relations. GDUFS, which is located in southeast China's Pearl River Delta, hosted and moderated the event.
Beyond the formal discussion, IAML student Kenny Risner reflected that "Having never traveled to China before, I had no idea what to expect when getting the chance to have a face-to-face meeting with some of the nation's youth. With a China-based future career path in mind, this dialogue was a great opportunity for me to get my first exposure to the country's youth and their perspectives on US-Chinese relations. Aside from political conversations, I loved getting a first hand account of the true Chinese youth culture and getting to share a few insights of my own."
All of the American students were in mainland China as part of Georgia Tech's summer study abroad program on East Asian Political and Economic Development. In addition to the Nunn School students, Georgia Tech undergraduates from the Colleges of Computing, Management, and Engineering also represented the U.S. in the international youth dialogue.
Article, in Chinese, on the Youth Dialogue event: