G3 maps global economic order

04.11.26: THE NEW Group of Three leading powers - Europe, America and China - today held its first world economic summit in Hawaii.

The meeting of G3, intended as a framework for political and economic co-operation between the three superpowers, is being christened the first summit of the "global federation" by diplomatic correspondents.

China, which has long since displaced Japan as the leading economy in Asia, was originally unwilling to participate. But economic problems in the previously booming Chinese economy, brought about by high wage costs and an overvalued yuan, forced it to come to the negotiating table. There is speculation that the yuan, as well as the Japanese yen, will soon join the euro-dollar in what will be the first global single currency.

Other issues high on the agenda include an attempt to fix a date to start disarmament talks on germ and technological warfare and a global conference on reforming and possibly replacing the United Nations. The Chinese government said it wanted to raise the matter of human rights abuses in Europe.

Although the G3 meeting raises the prospect of global government, there are many hurdles to overcome, not least because China, on population grounds, has said it wants as many votes on joint decisions as America and Europe put together.

The new G3 created intense interest in London, where the prime minister's official spokesman said: "I think, at some stage, Britain will deserve its place at the top table."