Tuesday, June 03, 2003

NYT Columnist argues that China should be added to the G-8 -- Bringing China In From the Cold
Many of the points are valid, tepid attemps at humor excepted. However, I think Mr. Kristoff is missing the main reason China is not a part of the G-8. The industrialized world fully understands, and justifiably fears, the potential and already existing power China has. But memebership in G-8 is a priviledge, not a right. Sure, we could include China in the G-8 tomorrow, but what would the world gain for it? G-8 is not a legislative or executive body. It has no formal power other than prestige it bestows on those invited, scorn on those disinvited, and an opportunity to have serious private talks between heads of government. China's inclusion in the G-8 will, indeed must, follow the pattern WTO established a couple of years ago -- show us you want it. Open up markets and protect individual freedoms. Encouraging the current government by giving it the prestige of being a G-8 (G-9) member *as-is* will only promote the spread of current policies of one-party domination, political intimidation, and behind-the-scenes crony capitalism. If China wants to join the club it must play by the rules, or at least show its willingness to try to play by them, like Russia does.

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