As the Indo-Pacific has become more important than ever before, it is high time that the G7 adapted itself to this changing reality.
Given the threat to free-market democracies posed by authoritarian and revisionist China and Russia, the G7 (Group of Seven), a club of wealthy industrialized democracies, needs to be expanded and strengthened. South Korea is the logical new member of this forum. As a G8 member, South Korea would make a valuable contribution to strengthening free-market democracy in the Indo-Pacific and around the world.
Despite the growing importance of the Indo-Pacific in the global economy and the burgeoning challenge from China to the rules-based international order, the G7 at present has only one member located in Asia, namely Japan. This imbalance needs to be corrected. The Indo-Pacific economies already contribute the largest share to the global economy, more than North America or the European Union, and they constitute the fastest-growing region of the global economy. It is high time that the G7 welcomed another member from the Indo-Pacific to make itself more relevant to this changing reality.
South Korea is the logical new G8 member from the Indo-Pacific because, next to Japan, it is the largest and wealthiest free-market democracy in Asia. Under the present government of Yoon Suk-yeol, Seoul is pursuing a foreign policy that aligns South Korea more firmly with the democratic West vis-à-vis China. A logical culmination of this present trajectory is for Seoul to join the G7.