Monday, June 13, 2005

Council Question

Today I was discussing the upcoming G8 summit with a friend, and we couldn't for the life of us, remember all 8 countries in the association. We started with the 5 permanent UN security council countries: US, UK, France, China, and Russia. Then we added Germany and Japan. Then we were stumped.

She suggested Italy. Another friend suggested Canada. A third suggested India. We laughed at the India suggestion, but I still couldn't remember.

Now, doing a quick Wikipedia lookup on the subject, I find that the G8 is made of US, UK, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, Canada, and Italy. This, of course, was a bit surprising to me.

Maybe I've been living in a cave, but why is China not part of the G8? Is it because they are such commie jack-asses to the world? Is it simply because we don't like them? Aren't they a huge global powerhouse? Has no one invited them, or do they simply reject invitations?

I understand that China is still developing in many ways, but then, so is Russia. I also understand how reticent the G8 would be to let a communist regime into the party, but isn't it a little rude to throw a party and not invite that one foreign kid who believes something that nobody else as the party believes, just because he is different?

A little more research taught me that China, along with Brazil, India, and South Africa, sometimes meets with the G8 (thus, G8+4) to discuss economic issues. What? How did China get grouped in with those countries?

A quick google revealed even more information. The G8 is apparently a little wary of China's currency in relation to theirs, at least enough so that they won't talk about it. Also, a finance minister has been invited by the UK, and plans to attend the summit. Lastly, I found an interesting commentary on why China should join the G8 here.

I feel a little silly that I just assumed China was part of the G8, but I certainly have learned something about international politics in the process. I just assumed, I think, that since they were on the UN security council that they must be part of the G8, and obviously, I was wrong. I feel almost humbled, but not quite.


Blogger Rod Aminian said...

If I'm not mistaken, China had a tough time getting into the World Trade Organization for it's sketchy economic practices. In fact, I believe it took well over a decade of negotiations, and even then there was resistence.

I figure the same applies to the G8?

12:59 AM  

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