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09:37, July 07, 2008

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President Hu Jintao is in Japan today - his second visit this year - for the enlarged dialogue with the leaders of Group of Eight industrial countries, who gather there on July 7-9. It is Hu's fifth presence for the supplement to the G8 summit.

In the past five years the G8 leaders have added dialogues between leaders of developed and developing countries to their "rich nations' club". Ideally, the change is expected to build a platform where some developing countries could have dialogues with the rich nations on major international issues.

More voices should be heard. Cooperation between industrial nations and developing economies is necessary to address global problems such as realizing the millennium development goals by the target date of 2015. The eight goals, laid down by the United Nations, range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education.

China's participation in the enlarged dialogue meetings at the summit is part of the outreach initiative to include China, Brazil, India and the other dynamic, developing economies. These developing countries have an important role to play in determining the framework for international development policies and could also act as anchors for development and security in their respective regions.

So many puzzles await this year's G8 summit. Global warming, spiraling oil and food prices, nuclear proliferation and poverty reduction are key items on the agenda Japan plans to pitch at the summit. Hurdles can be expected as the G8 nations have conflicting interests on various issues.

On the fight against climate change, which will top the agenda, the leaders will focus their discussion on whether they can pave the way for an effective global framework to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

On the economic front, the G8 leaders are expected to study measures to strengthen policy coordination to better deal with surging and volatile oil and food prices, and to cushion their impact on the world economy.

High hopes are pinned on the three-day summit to find out what is wrong with the world economy and ways to address the problems properly. The solutions can be sensible when the views of the developing nations really have the rich nations' ear.

The worry of Lourdes Aranda, Mexico's deputy foreign minister and coordinator on the G8 for the G5 - namely China, India, Mexico, Brazil and South Africa, over insufficient time for talks between them and the G8 nations is understandable.

This year's G8 has shortened the dialogue with the G5 nations, formalized at the Heiligendamm summit last year in Germany, by inviting other non-G8 countries such as Indonesia, the Republic of Korea and Australia.

Source:China Daily

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