A wise proverb states that the only constant in life is change. Be that political, economical, or social change, in all realms of this change we, as a globalizing society, must learn to adapt to that change. The G8 is an organization as they themselves put it on their website,
…[that deals] with macroeconomic management, international trade, and relations with developing countries. Questions of East-West economic relations, energy, and terrorism have also been of recurrent concern. From this initial foundation the summit agenda has broadened considerably to include microeconomic issues such as employment and the information highway, transnational issues such as the environment, crime and drugs, and a host of political-security issues ranging from human rights through regional security to arms control (G8 Information Centre).
How does a global organization that considers itself responsible for so much actually exclude one the premier powers in the world? How does an organization that wants to deal with East-West relations, exclude the east? How does an organization that wants to deal with the environment exclude one the worse polluters in the world? How does an organization that wants to deal with international trade exclude a country that is said have one of the greatest growth potentials? How does the G8 leave out China and still themselves a global organization? For the G8 to truly uphold its purpose and create the change they wish to see they must include China because of its economic implication and ignore its political afflictions, because at the end of the day membership in the G8 should not interfere with a government’s right to govern its own people.
Before I give justification for why they should be let in, let me address all the reasons others would have you leave them out. The first point of objection for them getting into the G8 is that the G8 has historically been a democratic organization. But as times have changed the old Cold War against the communists has died and political differences have for the most part not interrupted trade. Also economically China is pretty much capitalist anyway so why not let them into an economic organization if they follow mostly capitalist economic principles? The second point is the human rights violation. First of Russia has also shown human rights (HR) violations and they are still in the G8, so why is China left out because of it? In addition to that how China chooses to run its country is not an economic issue or an issue of global concern, hence that shouldn’t block their entrance into an organization that concerns itself with the economic and global issues. But if you’re the liberal, care about everyone type and China is just evil in your mind because of their HR abuses then wouldn’t the best way to change them be through the G8? If they got involved in the G8 then the other nations would have some sort of influence over China and encourage change there. So anyway you look at it, China should be in. The last major negative contention is that China doesn’t work with the global system, instead tries to slither through it to meet its own ends. And once again I say if they were in the G8 the other nations could influence them and force them into caring about global issues and not just their own. Also why not give them a chance? If you’re not convinced after the economic upsurge, then at least respect their potential and give them a chance to prove their place in the world.
The time for change has come; it is no longer the Cold War world of America, but is instead the dawn of the modern globalized society. The World Policy Journal puts the G8 into perspective by addressing its legacy:
To propel its [G8’s] legacy forward for the next phase of globalization, however, the G8 needs to acknowledge this evolutionary fact. It needs a broader, refashioned membership and mandate to strengthen the future of multilateralism-particularly now, when ominous signs of regional protectionism and a lack of global consensus on trade, security, law, and the environment have arisen (AllBusiness.com).
The time to change the world is now, and we need the best in the world to do it. To ignore China would be a fatal mistake that makes the G8 an illegitimate organization and an institution of hypocrisy, where they advocate a global society, yet ignore those they do not completely agree with. The World Policy Journal explains their hypocrisy,
It is today's great paradox: countries are clearly moving closer economically, depending on each other more for commodities, trade, and capital, but they are unfortunately moving farther apart politically. In the past, forums like the G8 have helped forge multilateral working relationships rules, behavioral codes, and mechanisms for collective progress and orderly conflict resolution. But beyond signs of diverging interests and opinions among the current members, many argue the G8 is losing relevance and may no longer adequately represent the global system's expanded roster, which now includes many non-Western countries (AllBusiness.com).
The G8 is clearly losing power and to reaffirm its power and legitimacy they must include China. Not only does their show a hand of friendship to China but also works towards ending the western cultural hegemony that has dominated the G8. The CIA fact book says,
In 2006 China had the largest current account surplus in the world - nearly $180 billion. More power generating capacity through immense Three Gorges Dam across the Yangtze River was essentially completed in 2006 and will revolutionize electrification and flood control in the area. The 11th Five-Year Program calls for a 20% reduction in energy consumption per unit of GDP by 2010 and an estimated 45% increase in GDP by 2010. The plan states that conserving resources and protecting the environment are basic goals (CIA Factbook).
China is getting ready for the world of tomorrow with economic power as well as global concerns by their side. They are the nation of tomorrow economically and the G8 cannot ignore them any longer. It is time that the G8 recognized the legitimacy of the Chinese economy and power. China is the glowing beacon of the East that needs to be included for anything to be called a world organization. How China chooses to run its country is secondary to how much of an impact they have on the world. For the G8 to carry on their function they must include China, because to build the road of tomorrow needs all the tools of today.Works Cited
"From the G8 to the "E8": is the Globalization Tide Turning?" AllBusiness. Fall 2006. World Policy Journal. 10 Jan. 2008 .
United States of America. Library. CIA. CIA Factbook. 13 Dec. 2007. 10 Jan. 2008 .
"What is the G8?" G8 Information Centre. 15 July 2005. G8. 10 Jan. 2008 .