EIR Daily Alert Service
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19, 2017
Volume 4, Number 77
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
April 18 (EIRNS)—The world summit, “The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation,” hosted by China, is now less than a month off. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi today gave a preview to the international media, on the attendance, agenda and key concepts of the May 14-15 event in Beijing. Among the 110 nations participating, 28 will send their heads of state or government; the leaders of the United Nations and 59 other organizations will be there. Wang said, referring to Russia, Central Asia and China, that what was once a “blueprint, is now a roadmap” for this region. One day soon, this description should apply to the whole world, as the Schiller Institute’s World Land-Bridge has promoted for decades.
Conspicuously absent from this picture, are the United States, and other hold-outs centered in the North Atlantic. This reflects continued domination by the thinking, lies and dirty operations of the dead British Empire. But it needn’t be for long.
Later this week, a special half-hour video feature will be released by the Schiller Institute, on the powerful New York April 13-14 conference, titled, “U.S.-China Cooperation on the Belt & Road Initiative” (co-sponsored by the Schiller Institute.) The video will be ready-made for translation, for the widest possible circulation and impact, in the fastest possible time.
Meantime, the British Empire “element” is ever more exposed and vulnerable. The latest scandal to come out, concerns how the three top British intelligence agencies had German Chancellor Angel Merkel come to them secretly in England, at least twice, to receive a private briefing on what is reported as terror threats against Germany, unbeknownst to her own intelligence services. They were kept unaware. The story was broken a few days ago by Focus, the second-largest weekly in Germany, whose sources (names withheld) in German security services, are enraged. They raise the question of treason. Merkel never attended meetings with her own security agencies. “Why then, is she travelling to England—does she no longer trust her own people?”
Merkel’s last such secret meeting took place in Chequers, at the country estate of the British Prime Minister, then David Cameron, in October 2015. The heads of MI5 and MI6 were present, as was Robert Hannigan, head of GCHQ. This is the same time frame, as the already-exposed GCHQ surveillance of Trump and associates for alleged “Russian” connections. (Hannigan suddenly resigned on Jan. 23, 2017, as the heat flared up on Trump surveillance.) This is the ubiquitous British hand—spying, blackmail, lying, controlling.
No mere “domestic” scandals, the danger of these British operations being allowed to continue, is the threat of provoking strife and warfare on the model of “East vs. West” confrontations, such as NATO vs. Russia, or the U.S.A./South Korea vs. North Korea, which can result in annihilation by nuclear war. Already, the toll of suffering and death from years of this confrontation policy—often going by the name of “responsibility to protect,” or “show of force,” is horrible.
The significance of the Belt and Road Forum summit in May, is that it stands as a marker of a new paradigm, putting an end to the era of destruction. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the forum will be the highest-level international meeting since President Xi Jinping first announced the New Silk Road in late 2013. Wang spoke of its importance for betterment of global governance, and for bringing about justice for all.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
April 18 (EIRNS)—In preparation for the Belt and Road Forum summit to be held May 14-15, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi today described the schedule and topics to be covered, and the stunning global representation that will be present in Beijing.
Wang said that the heads of state and government of 28 nations have confirmed their participation in the event, including the Presidents of Argentina, Belarus, Chile, the Czech Republic, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Laos, the Philippines, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam, and the prime ministers of Cambodia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Poland, Serbia, Spain, Sri Lanka, and the Myanmar state counselor. He said London, Paris, and Berlin plan to send high-level representatives rather than heads of state, due to their elections. All told, more than 1,200 delegates will attend the forum, officials report, from 110 nations, and more than 60 international organizations. One would assume there is still time for President Trump to submit his registration.
Minister Wang said China is working with countries along the Belt and Road routes on nearly 20 action plans, concerning infrastructure, energy and resources, production capacity, trade, and investment. China expects to sign cooperation agreements with nearly 20 countries at the forum, he said. China will also work to build an international cooperation platform for science, technology, and environmental protection, and enhanced exchanges and training of talent.
On the first day of the summit, Wang said, there will be an opening ceremony, attended by President Xi, which will include a speech by Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli. This will be followed by “high-level meetings,” and also six parallel panel sessions. President Xi will also host a roundtable summit on the second day, to include participation by heads of state and government, the UN Secretary General, World Bank president, and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. The goal is to issue a document defining goals and principles to refine cooperation.
Putting to rest any doubt about China-Russia relations as fallout from recent British geopolitical attempted sabotage, Foreign Minister Wang said, “As for Russia and China, we, the leaders of our countries, have agreed on conjugating the EAEU [Eurasian Economic Union] and One Belt, One Road.” Wang also said China “greets with fervor” the decision by Russian President Vladimir Putin” in his participation, which “testifies to a high level of relations between our countries,” he was quoted as saying, reported TASS.
He said that Germany and France expressed their desire to attend the Belt and Road Forum, their leaders are unable to attend due to the elections in these states; however, he said, London, Paris, and Berlin plan to send their high-level representatives. Wang insisted the absence of some Western leaders not be politicized. “This is the economic initiative and it deals with the economic cooperation, so we do not want it to be politicized.”
Reuters coverage politicizes non-attendance like hell, in textbook British color revolution mode. Reuters writes that, “diplomatic sources said the presence of Putin and other leaders from countries with dubious human rights records, like the Philippines and Central Asian states, had contributed to a reluctance among Western leaders to attend.”
April 18 (EIRNS)—Those world leaders planning to attend the May 14-15 Beijing Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) summit are “betting on the future,” wrote Chile’s former ambassador to China, Fernando Reyes Matta, in an opinion piece published today in the Chilean financial daily El Financiero. Writing under the headline “The Silk Road and Latin America: Looking to the Future.” Reyes confirmed that President Michelle Bachelet will both attend the summit, and will also be President Xi Jinping’s guest in a state visit, to which he invited her during his visit to Chile last November.
While every leader attending has his or her own pressures and tasks to deal with at home, the former ambassador explained, “something says that to attend is betting on the future.” The summit “is a great strategic opportunity” for Chile, he underscores, then asks: “Should we think from Latin America about linking to the BRI project? Specifically, can Chile’s interests be linked with [the BRI’s] development, if it has the same effects on the world that the Marshall Plan had on Europe?”
When the Silk Road is mentioned with regard to Latin America, Reyes recalls, what comes to mind are the famous “Nao de Manila”—the galleons built in Manila which traveled to Mexico’s Pacific Coast port of Acapulco from China between 1565 and 1815, “as a contribution to international trade between Asia and Europe. But today, we have to look at it with different eyes.” Distance is no longer an obstacle. Areas for contact can include, among other things, “possible productive interaction between distant parts of the globe,” mentioning in this context a Chile-China underwater fiber optic cable, and “the creation of new services” between Belt and Road and Latin American countries.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
April 18 (EIRNS)—Russia continues to urge maximum caution over events on the Korean Peninsula. Russian Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov called on all counties to avoid provocations following comments by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence while he was in Seoul where it was agreed to deploy a U.S. THAAD anti-missile battery to South Korea as soon as possible. “Our position is well-known and consistent. We are urging all the sides for restraint and urging all the countries to avoid any actions that could be qualified as a provocation. And we stand for continued coordinated international efforts in existing formats to settle the North Korean problem,” the Kremlin spokesman said, reported TASS yesterday.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also warned the U.S. against taking unilateral action. According to a report by TASS, Lavrov commented on Pence’s statement that “the era of strategic patience is over,” remarking that “if the U.S. Vice President meant that Washington could unilaterally use military force, then it is a risky road.
“I can’t say that Obama’s Presidency was ‘an era of strategic patience’ because the United States took quite tough steps against North Korea in order to hamper the development of industries important for missile and nuclear programs,” the Russian foreign minister said. “But the UN Security Council also imposed rather severe sanctions and on many occasions condemned Pyongyang’s activities.”
Lavrov went on to say that “we find Pyongyang’s adventurous missile launches unacceptable as they are a violation of the UN Security Council’s resolutions. But that does not mean that others can violate international law in response and use military force. We hope that there will be no more unilateral actions like the one we have recently seen in Syria while the United States will pursue the course which President (Donald) Trump has announced during his election campaign.”
April 18 (EIRNS)—Vice President Mike Pence, while in South Korea, yesterday, where he visited the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating North and South, issued fresh warnings against Pyongyang, which were met with equally belligerent language from North Korea. However, according to reported remarks by Pence at various stops, the Trump administration is holding off from extreme action, and looking to China, too. “There’s a lot of economic and political pressure points that I think China can utilize,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters yesterday.
Pence, himself, indicated that the administration is looking for a non-military way out of the crisis. “The era of strategic patience is over and while all options are on the table, President (Donald) Trump is determined to work closely with Japan, with South Korea, with all our allies in the region and with China to achieve a peaceable resolution and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” he said this morning in Tokyo, before having lunch with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Meanwhile, the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson is on its way to Korean waters. However, contrary to earlier news hype that suggested that it was ready to launch air strikes against North Korea, it is at least a week’s sailing time away, having passed north through the Sunda Strait in Indonesia, some 3,500 miles south of the Korean Peninsula, on April 15. There is expectation that the strike group may arrive in the vicinity of the Korean Peninsula around April 25.
April 18 (EIRNS)—North Korean Ambassador to the United Nations Kim In Ryong told reporters on April 17 that the U.S. and South Korea were destabilizing the Korean Peninsula. “As everybody knows, nowadays the U.S. without any hesitation perpetrates military attacks and threatens a sovereign state while claiming peace by strength,” Ambassador Kim said as reported by TASS. “The recent U.S. massive missile attack on Syria tells you well of it.”
“The U.S. is disturbing global peace and stability and insisting on the gangster-like logic that its invasion of a sovereign state is ‘decisive, just and proportionate’ and contributes to ‘defending’ the international order in its bid to apply it to the Korean Peninsula as well,” the ambassador said.
“The U.S. introduces into the Korean Peninsula, the world’s biggest hotspot, huge nuclear strategic assets, seriously threatening peace and security of the peninsula and pushing the situation there to the brink of a war,” Kim said. “This has created a situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment on the peninsula and posed a serious threat to world peace and security, to say nothing of those in Northeast Asia,” he said.
“The D.P.R.K.’s measures for bolstering up nuclear force are self-defensive ones to cope with the U.S. vicious nuclear threat and blackmail,” he said. “They reflect the determination of the army and people of the D.P.R.K. to counter nukes and the ICBM in kind.”
Kim also said the North Korean authorities had never recognized “the unreasonable resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council against it with the U.S. double-dealing standard.
“The prevailing grave situation proves once again that the D.P.R.K. was entirely just when it increased in every possible way its military capabilities for self-defense and preemptive attack with a nuclear force as a pivot,” he said. “As long as the U.S. and its vassal forces scheme to bring down the socialist system in the D.P.R.K., it will further increase its military muscle, protect peace and security of the country by its own efforts and invariably pursue its line in the future, too.”
April 18 (EIRNS)—Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni is expected in Washington on April 20, to meet President Trump and discuss several issues, including the preparation of the coming G7 meeting—Italy is the host country—and the Libya situation. The daily La Stampa reports that “last week a delegation from the Prime Minister’s office met with Trump’s collaborators in Washington to discuss Libya in particular.”
Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano discussed the Libya situation last week in Moscow with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and with President Vladimir Putin. Gentiloni is expected in Moscow, too. Italy is particularly concerned in the stabilization of Libya because of 1) the refugee flow and 2) its oil supplies.
Under the Obama regime, Italy played along with the so-called “UN-recognized” government in Tripoli, but is now oriented to a solution involving Russia and Gen. Khalifa Haftar in Tobruk, backed by Russia and Egypt. Negotiations towards this solution have involved economic deals among main actors on the scene in the past months; Russia, Italy, Egypt, Libya (both factions), and Qatar.
Recently Rosneft entered the Libyan National Oil Corp. and bought a 30% share in the concessions of the Shoroul gas field offshore from Egypt, run by the Italian national oil company, ENI. Previously, the Russian government had privatized 19% of Rosneft, which was bought by Glencore and the Qatar Sovereign Fund. Italy’s Banca Intesa had organized the financial side of the operation.
On Monday, April 9, Putin gave Russia’s Order of Friendship to Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg, Qatari royal Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani, and Intesa executives including CEO Carlo Messina, for their “great contribution to strengthening cooperation with Russia.” Antonio Fallico, chairman of Banca Intesa Russia, was awarded the Order of Honor.
Fallico, the brain of the financial side of the operation, was not awarded the Order of Friendship, which he had been earlier awarded. In a recent meeting of his “Conoscere Eurasia” association in Taormina, the seat of the coming G7 summit, the Sicilian-born Fallico had called on the Italian government to mediate Russia’s return to the G7/G8.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
April 18 (EIRNS)—Focus, Germany’s second-largest weekly, reveals one of the biggest political scandals—bordering on outright treason—committed by a leading politician of the country: Chancellor Angela Merkel at least twice met the heads of the three branches of British Intelligence, MI5, MI6, and GCHQ, to supposedly get a briefing on “terrorist threats against Germany.” The meeting included the same director of GCHQ who carried out the infamous phone-tapping operations in Germany. Briefed about the affair by Focus, unnamed German security experts were enraged—since Merkel never, ever attended such a meeting of German agency officials. “Why then is she travelling to England—does she no longer trust her own people?”
Merkel’s last such secret meeting took place at Chequers, the country estate of the U.K. Prime Ministers, then David Cameron in October 2015, with Robert Hannigan (GCHQ), Andrew Parker (MI5) and Alex Younger (MI6).
April 18 (EIRNS)—In an April 17 posting on his website, Stonecoldtruth, (“Why CIA Director Mike Pompeo Must Resign,”) Trump campaign associate Roger Stone states, concerning Trump’s airstrike on Syria, “Acting on faulty intelligence endorsed by Director Pompeo, the President has now violated international law, the UN Charter and the War Powers Agreement with Congress. While he has won praise from hawks on both sides of the aisle, who have denounced him in the past, and has been lauded by the mainstream media, which holds him in contempt, a further expansion of the war in Syria would mean violation of non-interventionism, the very concept that won Donald Trump the presidency. It would be the functional end of ‘Trumpism.’ ”
April 18 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov would rather listen to U.S. President Donald Trump than to U.S. National Security Advisor Herbert McMaster. Speaking at a joint press conference yesterday with the Senegalese foreign minister, Lavrov responded to a press question on McMaster’s statement that it was time to have “tough discussions with Russia” on its steps in Syria. Lavrov replied that Russia relies on the words of the President, not his advisor.
According to the Foreign Ministry transcript, Lavrov said: “This is a complex question. I have no desire to comment on the unsubstantiated accusations made against Russia. First they concerned Ukraine, and now the focus has shifted to Syria. I have seen media reports that U.S. or British officials are saying that they could cooperate with Russia if it [behaved] in Ukraine and, Syria, and now the Korean Peninsula has been added to the list. It appears that we must do something for somebody on the Korean Peninsula too, although we did not create the chaos that is reigning there.
“ISIS, and before it, al-Qaeda and Jabhat al-Nusra, are the offspring of opportunistic projects that involved our Western partners, primarily many U.S. administrations, which began by supporting the mujahideen in Afghanistan and praising them as freedom fighters, and continued this policy in Iraq and Libya. And now that these countries have been ruined, it appears that we must pay for the consequences.
“This is not how partners act. This approach is not acceptable to us. We will not listen to what President Trump’s advisor has said, but what President Trump himself has said, that he is optimistic when it comes to improving relations with Russia. We are ready for this.”
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
April 18 (EIRNS)—Coming near the start of a groundbreaking year for China’s space program, the country will celebrate its second annual National Space Day next week. April 24th is the anniversary of China’s first satellite launch, in 1970. The kick-off this year will be in Xi’an, in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, Xinhua reports. The provincial capital, Xi’an has a density of high-technology companies and institutions, and a satellite mission control. The focus will be on applications of space technology in economic and social development, chief engineer Tian Yulong of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) said. Tian Yulong reported that Chinese astronauts and scientists will give talks, and an exhibition will be held at Xi’an Technical University.
Last year’s celebration was highlighted by the participation by President Xi Jinping, who talked to the scientists and engineers about the importance of China’s space program. There were lectures by astronauts, exhibits of future missions, and a broad range of educational activities for the public.
The Russian government, and in nearly every country in the world, including in many cities in the U.S., celebrates April 12 as “Yuri’s Night,” recognizing the contribution of the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, on April 12, 1961. It would seem likely that China’s National Space Day could also become a worldwide celebration, as this week China plans to send its first cargo transport ship to space, and later this year, send a challenging sample return mission from the Moon.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
April 18 (EIRNS)—In the draft budget approved by Parliament last week, the Italian government warns that the coming end of quantitative easing (QE) can produce a severe financial crisis for Italy. The document says: “A careful reflection upon the concrete value of the country credibility is particularly relevant, in light of the expectations of a consensus that demand a termination of the ECB [European Central Bank] program of sovereign assets purchases within the end of 2018. Italy shall not find itself unprepared.”
The last sentence is pure whistling past the graveyard. There is only one way not to be unprepared: Leave the euro!
Ending the APP program means that Italian sovereign bonds won’t have a purchaser of last resort and will be totally in the hands of the markets, interest rates will skyrocket and a financial crisis will break out.
In the past, Italian sovereign debt was protected in two ways: First, it was entirely national, i.e. owned by Italian citizens.
Secondly, the Bank of Italy was mandated by Treasury to buy unsold debt issuances at an established price. This automatically set the purchase rate for investors at official tenders.
This provision was dismantled in 1981, with a simple letter sent by then Finance minister Beniamino Andreatta, a free-market priest and a pro-euro fanatic, to the central bank. At the same time, IMF prescriptions for liberalization of capital flows were adopted, which forced the government to dramatically raise interest rates in order to stop capital flight.
As a result of that pincher, Italian national debt, which was below 60% of GDP, skyrocketed and doubled in a few years.
“Preparing” for the end of QE means either re-introducing protection or surrendering to the Troika.