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Expert: China-G8 Ties Promote Int'l Stability
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China's co-operation with the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized nations will help promote international stability and economic development, experts said.

As the world's largest developing country, China has established close relations with G8 members, many of which are major trade partners.

Shen Jiru, a researcher with the Institute of World Economics and Politics under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said China's increasing contact with the group over the past few years has helped enhance mutual understanding and eased contradictions and disputes.

"The dialogue between China and the G8 can help co-ordinate their stance on some key political and economic issues in the world," Shen told China Daily.

"Given China's growing economic and political clout, its co-operation with the G8 will play a positive role in promoting international stability and economic growth."

The researcher's comments came as President Hu Jintao visits St. Petersburg for the meeting between developing countries and the G8 nations on the sidelines of the group's annual summit.

China is not a member of the G8, which includes the United States, Japan, Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Italy and Russia.

China does however attach importance to the role of the G8 in international affairs and is willing to conduct dialogue with the group on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said on Thursday.

She said China holds that developed and developing countries should become equal partners and make joint efforts to deal with global challenges.

"From a long-term perspective, strengthening co-operation between China and the G8 not only accords with each other's interests, but also benefits world peace and stability," Jiang told a press briefing on Thursday.

With China's growing political and economic power, there have been emerging arguments that China, now the world's fourth-largest economy, should be admitted to the G8.

Shen, however, said there is little chance of China joining the G8 soon.

First of all, it remains uncertain whether the G8 members can reach a consensus on the issue, as some of them still oppose the inclusion of China.

"What's more important, it hinges on whether the G8 can abandon its long-held cold-war mentality, take new members on as equal partners and drop its ideological discrimination against new members," Shen said.

"The group should not be used as an instrument to interfere with the internal affairs of new members."

He was apparently referring to some G8 members' finger-pointing at democracy and human rights issues in other countries, as well as their taste for unilateral action.

The researcher went on to stress that not being a G8 member does not have any substantial impact on China's role in international affairs.

(China Daily July 17, 2006)


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