CHINA / National

Chinese President to attend G8 summit in Russia
Updated: 2006-07-12 08:04

Chinese President Hu Jintao will attend the G8 summit in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on July 17 at the invitation of his counterpart Vladimir Putin, Chinese foreign ministry said.

"At the invitation of President Vladimir Putin of Russia, President Hu Jintao will attend the outreach session of the G8 summit to be held in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on July 17," ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.

Hu was expected to participate in discussions focusing on energy, security, prevention and control of epidemic diseases, African development and other topics, she said.

On July 16, Hu will also hold a group meeting with the leaders of India, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico and the Republic of Congo, she told journalists at a regular briefing.

She did not say where the group meeting would take place. However, the leaders of India, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico are also expected to attend the summit.

As G8 leaders prepare to meet this weekend, there is speculation over whether their exclusive club should become the G11 by integrating the important emerging economies of Brazil, China and India.

"When we were deciding on who would be invited to participate in the summit, the Russian president's position was that it was pointless to discuss energy security without India and China," said Igor Shuvalov, a top aide to President Vladimir Putin, ahead of the Saint Petersburg meeting.

"They exercise a great influence on price growth, are leading consumers of energy resources, and have developing economies," Shuvalov said.

Although China is not a formal member of the G8 group of industrialized nations, Hu attended the last two summit meetings in Scotland and in France in 2005 and 2004 respectively.

Last year, China overtook Britain and France as the world's fourth biggest economy, and India is posting comparable growth with its population of more than one billion.

The G8 comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States.


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