Published on The Standard, China’s Business Newspaper, on June 6 (Europe still June 5, 2007).
China and India once waited for crumbs from the table of the world’s wealthiest nations but at the G8 summit in Germany this week the two rapidly growing economies will be dining as near equals.
When Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes the heads of the Group of Eight nations to the northern German resort of Heiligendamm today, they will be joined by the leaders of Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa.
The G8 leaders will especially want to hear what President Hu Jintao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have to say on the vexed issues of climate change and world trade.
Lalit Mansingh, a former Indian ambassador to the United States, said the Group of Eight “are being forced to recognize the new emerging powers.
“A lot of international economic reports – by Goldman Sachs and others – say the Chinese economy definitely and the Indian economy possibly will overtake that of the United States quite soon.
“So the invites to India, China, Brazil, etc, are a recognition of that global clout. It is also a recognition of the fact that the West will have to share power with new emerging centers.”
The so-called G8 plus five process formally began at the 2005 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, when British Prime Minister Tony Blair invited the heads of the five emerging economies to participate in the talks. (full text).