Georgetown University announced yesterday that it will get $500,000 from Nationalist China to establish a Chinese studies program and an exchange of scholars and students between Georgetown and Taiwan.
The announcement came just a week after the university received $750,000 from the United Arab Emirates to establish an endowed professorship in Arab studies.
The Chinese, who lost formal American recognition in January 1979 to the mainland People's Republic of China, also wanted to establish an endowed chair. But Georgetown officials said they are still $250,000 short of the amount needed.
As a result, Peter Krogh, dean of Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, said the professorship could not be officially set up now.
The Chinese, who want the chair to be named after Sun Yat-sen, who founded the Chinese Republic in 1911, stayed away from a ceremony celebrating the gift, although a spokesman said later that they intend to carry through with their commitment.
Ivan Wang, director of information for the Nationalist Chinese office here, which is now called the Coordination Council of North American Affairs, explained in a telephone interview: "We felt that if we couldn't mention that the chair was named for Sun Yat-sen it would be better not to come. But there's no ill feeling. Things have been signed in black and white."
At the ceremony, held in the office of Georgetown President Timothy Healy, Krogh said he hoped enough funds could be raised to officially name the chair in the fall.
"Georgetown has the world's largest school of international relations," Krogh said. "China has the world's largest culture. The two need to be brought closer together."
During the past five years Georgetown has received $2.4 million from eight Arab governments for its Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. About 10 years ago, it received $619,000 from the government of West Germany.
"We leave no stone unturned (in trying to get funds)," Krogh remarked.
Besides its exchange program with Nationalist China, which will be carried out with the National Chenghi University in Taipei, Krogh said Georgetown is seeking to establish a scholarly exchange with mainland China through Fudan University in Shanghai.
He declined to speculate how the gift from the Nationalist Chinese would affect the university's dealings with the Communist Chinese.
"We don't go around to (the People's Republic) asking if it is all right to get money from other sources," Krogh said. "That's not our modus operandi. We assume that they are anxious to get on with an exchange with this country, too."
A Georgetown official said there are now 11 students from China and 14 from Taiwan enrolled at the university. There has been no friction between the two groups.