Development is the only solution

UPDATED: 17:03, June 14, 2007

The recent meeting between G-8 leaders and the leaders of five developing countries in a small German town is a true indication that some major changes are taking place in the world. Beginning two years ago, the G8 +5 dialogue model has declared to the world that this stage of globalization is no longer entirely dominated by developed countries.

Today, the G8 is facing totally different global issues. It cannot possibly solve these problems by relying solely on the strength of developed countries, for at least two reasons. First, there are some new issues, such as global climate warming, that have arisen in the process of globalization. These issues usually involve a broader scale of impact. Second, there are new participants joining the team of the world economy. Developing countries are grabbing a higher share in the world economy. Just as the British "Financial Times" commentary said, "G-8 leaders know they have a major problem. Unless they can find some way to open up more comprehensive contact with non-member countries, especially with emerging powers such as India, Brazil and China; they are otherwise losing rationality as a group. What's more important, they will be unable to cope with the challenges at the top of their agenda."

It is always a good thing to have developing countries come up in the world economic arena, making the prospect of globalization more promising. A recent report by the World Bank shows that China contributes to 67% of efforts on poverty reduction. Of course, developing countries may also bring about new problems; for example, those related to the climate issue, as discussed in the meeting.

What we should do is share in the responsibility of solving these problems. This is not about developed countries setting up certain rules, and then asking developing countries to comply with them. In fact, western countries have also experienced similar initial stages of development. Moreover, some western countries are the main "creators" of climate issues.

Nowadays, developing countries are shouldering the arduous tasks of industrialization and modernization. In addition, they are experiencing a totally different international environment from the ones developed countries had experienced during industrialization. However, development still remains as its foundation and core. As was estimated by the World Bank, developing countries need at least $30 billion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector every year, and another $10 billion to $40 billion to adapt to the inevitable impact that has been brought about by climate change. It can be said that without development, there would be no solution to climate issues.

In particular, many developing countries are still not completely free of poverty. Priority should be given to the question of how to help developing countries eliminate of poverty, so as to improve the level of development. Overemphasis on the responsibility of developing countries would not help them fulfill certain goals such as reducing emissions. On the contrary, it might also bring the risk of an imbalance in economic globalization. Therefore, it is very wise for the G-8 summit to decide to provide $60 billion to Africa's poorest countries, to cope with AIDS, malaria, and other diseases.

Chinese President Hu Jintao pointed out during the meeting that the climate change is an environmental issue; however in a final analysis, it is an issue of development. In the world economic arena, developed countries can only solve new problems in globalization by working together with developing countries, and maintaining sustainable development.

By People's Daily Online; The author, Ding Gang, is a senior editor of the People's Daily

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