The Realigned Movement
May 29 (EIRNS)—The world looks very different when viewed from China, than it does from the United States or Europe, Helga Zepp-LaRouche commented upon her return from participating as a leading international figure in the historic Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, May 14-15. China is developing with astonishing rapidity, and it is now enthusiastically sharing that successful model with the entire planet, through the Belt and Road Initiative. As an ascending force in the economic and cultural development of the entire planet, China’s outlook is one of optimism and hope—not the pessimism and despair of most of Europe and the United States since the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
There is a global realignment now underway, Zepp-LaRouche noted, as sensible governments bring their nations on board to the Belt and Road Initiative. Only the foolhardy will remain on the outside looking in, the way Chancellor Angela Merkel is now doing with Germany.
President Donald Trump must now move quickly to make sure that the United States becomes part of that realigned movement. He wisely chose to send a top personal advisor, Matt Pottinger, as his representative to the Belt and Road Forum. Now he must negotiate America’s full participation in all aspects of that New Paradigm, including the investment of trillions of dollars in the rebuilding of America’s devastated infrastructure. Trump must move quickly to bring about real, physical economic change—that is what the millions who voted him into office are waiting for. He must move rapidly to reinstate FDR’s 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, to provide the banking and credit framework for that massive reconstruction effort—that is the mandate of the 2016 Presidential election. The conceptual road map for how to implement those policies in the United States has been repeatedly provided by Lyndon LaRouche, most recently in his Four Laws statement.
President Trump should not allow himself to be pressured, or even distracted, from that urgent agenda, by the tendentious and gratuitous accusations being thrown against his government, one after the other. The purpose of those British-mandated operations is to prevent President Trump from adopting the national and international economic policies which the British Empire fears. Denouncing and exposing those lies is of course useful, and even necessary. But the only way to decisively bury those dirty operations is to do precisely what the British most fear: implement FDR’s 1933 Glass-Steagall Act; join the Belt and Road Initiative; and start building the infrastructure and other great projects now.
There is no more fitting tribute to John F. Kennedy on this, the 100th anniversary of his birth, than to re-dedicate our nation to these policies.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
A Frank and Open Dialogue Started between Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin
May 29 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in France today, at the invitation of President Emmanuel Macron, for a tte-à-tte which turned into a discussion for more than two hours, covering all the essential topics of the day. The meeting came about in the context of the commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the visit of Tsar Peter the Great to France in 1717.
The Putin-Macron two-hour meeting started at 2 p.m., continuing through lunch. A joint press conference followed, with a short question and answer period. The two Presidents then proceeded to visit the exhibit, which is at the Grand Trianon of Versailles, and features a rich display of historical documents and archival material of the 1717 royal Russian visit, which had lasted several weeks.
The most tangible progress appears at this point to have been the decision to create a study group to examine greater cooperation between the two countries in the fight against terrorism, and in particular against Daesh/ISIS in Syria. Macron told Putin that he wanted to go beyond France’s current contribution to that fight, in the context of the international coalition fighting ISIS in the Middle East, to reinforce France’s collaboration with Russia.
The venue of the meeting at the Palace of Versailles—symbol of French grandeur for many elites—itself conveyed the message that the Franco-Russian relationship is a very longstanding and important one for the host country. Beyond the international crisis points which dominated the discussions, Macron said he wants to reinforce bilateral cooperation in the areas of culture, science and industry.
This stands in sharp contrast with former French President Francois Hollande. In October 2016, Hollande actually disinvited Putin from attending the inauguration in Paris of a new, large Orthodox religious and cultural center built by Russia, which both heads of state were supposed to inaugurate. When Hollande instead offered only a working session on Syria, Putin rejected the slight, and canceled his visit. Macron, to the contrary, decided to invite Putin to a very special ceremony loaded with significance, making Putin the first head of state to visit France since Macron’s election.
It is also important to note in trying to determine what Macron will do, that during the election campaign he stated that his foreign policy would be “Gaullo-Mitterandist.” This is a description that this news service would not employ, but Macron means by it, an independent France able to talk to all countries and not submit to any of them. The term was coined by some 20 former foreign ministers and high-level diplomats, who published a booklet during the presidential campaign calling for a return to an independent French foreign policy.
The concrete results of the Macron-Putin summit are in line with what Franco-Russian analyst and economist Jacques Sapir developed in an article posted today in Sputnik, and a similar on in RT, as constituting a re-set for Franco-Russian relations. Besides the low-point under Hollande, relations between the two nations were further strained during the Presidential election period, by a murky atmosphere of accusations and rumors spread in the media. Russia was accused of election interference; Macron was accused of secret bank accounts, homosexuality, etc.
It would be difficult for either side to try to take huge steps in this first meeting, because their own home constituencies may not quickly follow. But progress can proceed pragmatically on different issues, such as Ukraine and Syria.
Lavrov: Eurasian Integration Is Russia’s Foreign Policy Priority
May 29 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov delivered the welcoming speech to the First Congress of the Assembly of the People of Eurasia, and emphasized that Russia’s top foreign policy priority is to develop Eurasian integration, especially between Russia and China, and Eurasian Economic Union foreign relations, according to TASS May 28.
“President Vladimir Putin’s initiative to organize a big Eurasian partnership is aimed at the well-being and the expanding sustainable development” of the region, Lavrov said. “We can see in this a good opportunity to organize a new economic space from the Atlantic to the Pacific.” He said “the Chinese friends have actively supported this idea,” and that members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have also demonstrated interest in it.
In fact, President Putin’s proposal for a big Eurasian partnership was specifically mentioned by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during his visit to Moscow last week, as a central idea that China fully backs. Wang also reported that specific agreements between the two countries in this regard will be signed when Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Russia in July.
Indian Prime Minister Starts His Trip to Three European Nations and Russia
May 29 (EIRNS)—Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has begun his four-nation trip through Germany, Spain, Russia, and France today and will be returning home on June 3. In Russia, he will be heading the 18th India-Russia Annual Summit in St. Petersburg with Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom he will also hold a bilateral summit. From all available accounts, one of the main purposes of Modi’s six-day trip is to tie up business deals and to encourage investment in India.
In Germany, he will be meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Speaking prior to his departure, Randhir Jaiswal, Joint secretary (Europe West) in India’s External Affairs Ministry, stressed that Germany is the largest trading partner of India in the European Union. “Germany’s economic profile, support, excellence, and expertise match with our development priorities, be it ‘Make in India,’ ‘Skill India,’ ‘Clean India,’ ‘Digital India,’ and ‘Smart Cities,’ ” Jaiswal said, the Hindustan Times reported.
In Spain, discussions will center on investment and technology. Jaiswal said: “Spain enjoys a reputation in the fields of renewable energy, high-speed rail, infrastructure, tunneling, technology solutions, including civil aviation air space management, and waste water management.”
In Russia, G.V. Srinivas, joint secretary (Eurasia) in India’s Ministry of External Affairs, said Modi’s participation in the India-Russia Annual Summit “signals that there will be emphasis on trade and investment during the Russian leg of the tour.” He also pointed out that, while India-Russia cooperation in the areas of defense, nuclear, and space was “very, very ahead,” bilateral trade has come down for a variety of reasons, from $10 billion to around $7 billion now, the Hindustan Times article reported.
Also likely to be on Modi’s agenda during his talks with President Putin, is the growing divergence in the views between Moscow and New Delhi vis-à-vis Afghanistan. While Russia is now talking openly of accommodating the Taliban to share power in Kabul, India has remained vehemently opposed to that view.
Kenya President: Africa Does Not Need EU Lecturing, It Needs Win-Win Cooperation
May 29 (EIRNS)—Invited to attend the G7 Summit as one of five “outreach” guests from Africa (Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Niger, and Kenya), Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta told the press before his return to Nairobi yesterday, that the summit-related talks found that it was “time for the world’s most industrialized countries to stop dictating positions to Africa but rather listen to what the continent’s needs are, and see how they can harmonize their own objectives with those of Africans.
“As opposed to it being a top-down engagement, we need to be able to discuss, to deliberate, and indeed to recognize that Africa is coming forth. Africa is now in a position to determine where her problems lie, what the solutions are, and the G7 needs to partner with us in terms of building homemade solutions as opposed to imported ones for our problems,” the President said. Africans expect G7 leaders to be willing to engage the continent “in the spirit of partnership that seeks win-win solutions for both partners rather than dependency.”
Although Kenyatta did not mention China, it is no secret among experts, that China’s major investment in Kenya—without insisting on conditionalities the way the Europeans do, contributes significantly to the Kenyan self-confidence, now growing. China is viewing Kenya as a key partner in Africa, as shown also by President Xi Jinping’s sending State Councilor Wang Yong to Nairobi on May 31, to attend the official opening of the new standard-gauge railroad there, built by the Chinese. Wang will also visit Niger, Angola, and Zambia over June 1-9 at the invitation of the three countries’ governments.
China Suggests Making Vladivostok a Belt and Road Special Economic Zone
May 29 (EIRNS)—President of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences and member of China’s National People’s Congress Wang Zhan, has suggested that Russia’s Far East port city of Vladivostok could be the first special economic zone within China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The story is in today’s Sputnik.
“The model of special economic zones is a very important factor in the success of China’s economic reform. We have Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and Pudong New Economic Zone. After visiting over 20 countries along the Belt and Road Initiative, I think Russia’s Vladivostok has the best chance to become a Shenzhen-like Special Economic Zone,” Wang said at the opening ceremony in Moscow, of the Third International Conference, “Russia and China: Taking on a New Quality of Bilateral Relations,” Sputnik reported. Vladivostok is the administrative center of the Primorsky Krai, which borders China and North Korea.
To make Vladivostok a bridge between Russia and Asia’s Far East has been mooted before. In March 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Vladivostok, which has been Russia’s main naval base since 1860, and surrounding districts are to be given the status of a free port.
“The facility would comprise a seaport, airport zone, an industrial zone, a scientific zone, and a tourist-recreational zone, which includes gaming facilities. The free port and advanced special economic zones will help the Russian Far East region become a new showcase for foreign investors,” Putin said.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
North Korea Fires Yet Another Missile
May 29 (EIRNS)—North Korea fired another ballistic missile yesterday, but it is being identified as a Scud-type missile rather than as another test intended to bring Pyongyang’s ICBM ambitions closer to realization. This was the North’s ninth missile test this year and the third since Moon Jae-in’s May 9 election as president of South Korea, reports the Korea Times. The missile is reported to have flown about 450 km and landed in waters within Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
Moon called a meeting of his top security officials, in response, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared, “We absolutely cannot accept North Korea’s repeated provocations despite repeated warnings by the international community.” Abe vowed that to deter North Korea, “we, together with the United States, will take concrete actions.” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga held an emergency press conference during which he reported that Japan had already filed a protest with North Korea, using “the strongest wording” to denounce Pyongyang.
In Moscow, Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov issued a statement condemning the launch, but also called for restraint on all sides. “Certainly, we condemn this and express concerns over the developments. But at the same time, we urge our partners with whom we are working on this issue to show restraint, including on military activity in this region,” Titov said, reported TASS.
The only statement out of Beijing so far, as reported by Reuters, was a call on Pyongyang to create the conditions for a return to talks after it fired at least one short-range ballistic missile. “At present the situation on the Korean peninsula is complex and sensitive, and we hope all relevant sides maintain calm and exercise restraint,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in an emailed statement.
In the hours before the latest North Korea missile firing, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” to warn that war on the Korean Peninsula would be “catastrophic.”
“We are working with the international community to deal with this issue. This regime is a threat to the region, to Japan, to South Korea. And in the event of war, they would bring danger to China and to Russia as well,” he said. “The bottom line is it would be a catastrophic war if this turns into a combat if we’re not able to resolve this situation through diplomatic means.”
Meanwhile, a third U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz, is to leave Washington state on June 1, and proceed to the region, according to Asahi Shimbun, which notes this is a re-direction from its original orders to go to the Middle East. The USS Carl Vinson is still in the vicinity of the Korean Peninsula. The Yokosuka-based USS Ronald Reagan has been en route to the region since May 16 and is expected to join the Vinson in exercises.
China Responds to U.S. Navy Provocations in South China Sea
May 29 (EIRNS)—Twice in the past week, the U.S. Navy has carried out provocations in the South China Sea. On May 24, the USS Dewey, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, sailed to within 12 miles of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, where China has built an artificial island, during a so-called “freedom of navigation operation,” the first since President Trump has been in office. Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Ren Guoqiang, during a press briefing on May 25, confirmed the incident and reported that two Chinese PLA Navy missile frigates identified the U.S. ship and warned it away.
“We urge the U.S. side to take concrete measures to correct its mistake and put more positive energy into the development of state-to-state and mil-to-mil relationship,” Ren said. “The misconduct of the U.S. military will only motivate the Chinese military to strengthen its capabilities and to defend its national sovereignty and security in a more resolute manner.”
Then on May 26, a U.S. Navy P-3 maritime reconnaissance aircraft was intercepted over the South China Sea by two Chinese J-10 fighters. The Pentagon complained that the Chinese intercept was carried out in an unsafe manner, and would be conveying its concerns to the Chinese government “through appropriate channels.” Senior Col. Wu Qian, deputy director of the Information Office of China’s Ministry Of National Defense, responded to the incident in a short statement on May 28, stressing that “the U.S. account of the interception did not accord with the facts.” Wu Qian said that an American surveillance aircraft was conducting surveillance activity in the southeast airspace of China’s Hong Kong on May 25 and the Chinese military planes identified and verified the aircraft in accordance with laws and regulations.
“The relevant actions were professional and safe,” Wu said, according to a statement posted on the Chinese military website. Wu also said that the U.S. military has been conducting close-in reconnaissance activities frequently in the recent period and that these are not only an infringement on China’s sovereignty but also are the root cause of military security problems between China and the United States at sea and in the air. “We urge the U.S. again to take effective measures to correct its mistake and prevent similar incidents happening again,” Wu said.
New Congressional Bills Would Bar U.S. Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia
May 29 (EIRNS)—On May 25, two companion bills (both bipartisan) were introduced simultaneously in both chambers of the U.S. Congress, to bar the sale of U.S. arms to the Saudis. This is a direct result of the July 2016 declassification of the 28 pages of the 2002 Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11, and reflects, as well, the mobilization against genocide in Yemen.
The Senate resolution, S.J.Res.42, introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), has Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Al Franken (D-MN) as co-sponsors. The House resolution, H.J.Res.102, was introduced by Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), with five original co-sponsors: Mark Pocan (D-WI), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Walter Jones (R-NC), and Jim McGovern (D-MA).
Also on May 25, a previous, more general resolution, S.J.40, introduced by Sen. Murphy on April 6, was introduced to the House as H.J.Res.102, by Ted Lieu (D-CA), with additional co-sponsors Ro Khanna, (D-CA), James McGovern, (D-MA), Norma J. Torres, (D-CA), John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Mark Pocan, (D-WI). The Senate version also has additional co-sponsors, including Richard Durbin (D-IL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jeff Merkeley (D-OR) and Todd Young (R-IN), meaning that a total of 17 legislators have signed on to at least one bill seeking to ban arms sales to the Saudis.
Murphy, in his press release, states that his resolution would “force the U.S. Senate to vote on a resolution blocking a portion of new weapons sales to Saudi Arabia in support of their military campaign in Yemen. The senators’ resolution comes after the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee received official notice of pending sales of offensive weapons, including precision-guided munitions, last Friday.”
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Trump Brands Fake News as the Enemy, Amidst Hysteria over Jared Kushner
May 29 (EIRNS)—On the eve of President Trump’s return to the United States after his nine-day foreign tour—which even Britain’s Guardian had to admit was “relatively successful”—establishment media such as the Washington Post had attempted to concoct a new “crisis” for his administration, related to the alleged role of the President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner in establishing a back-channel of communication with the Russians before Trump’s inauguration.
Amid headlines about how Kushner is now “Laying Low,” “Losing Clout,” with his “Charmed Life About To Come to a Screeching Halt,” Trump moved quickly to squelch this latest assault against his administration.
“It is my opinion that many of the leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNews media,” he tweeted May 28, not more than 15 minutes after getting back in the country. “Whenever you see the words, ‘sources say’ in the fake news media, and they don’t mention names, it is very possible that those sources don’t exist but are made up by fake news writers. #FakeNews is the enemy!”
Earlier, at a press conference on May 27 in Italy, National Security Advisor Gen. H.R. McMaster had responded to the Washington Post’s tendentious story about Kushner, calmly telling the news-fakers, “I’m not concerned.” Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told NBC he didn’t “see any big issue here relative to Jared,” then told ABC that “back-channel [communications] are both normal, in my opinion, and acceptable. Any way that you can communicate with people, particularly organizations that are maybe not particularly friendly to us, is a good thing.”
Of course, none of this deterred mad dog Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA,) House Intelligence Committee ranking member, from hyperventilating to ABC on Sunday, that Congress needed to “get to the bottom” of the Kushner case, because if the allegations are true, “there’s no way” he should be allowed to keep his security clearance.
White House Releases Infrastructure Initiative ‘Fact Sheet’; Proposed $200 Billion U.S. Outlay
May 29 (EIRNS)—The White House on May 23 released a document, “Fact Sheet—2018 Budget: Infrastructure Initiative,” the same day as the Trump Administration’s budget proposal was released, containing a $200 billion outlay for infrastructure. Administration spokesmen have previously stated that they will issue a full infrastructure proposal later this year.
The six-page fact sheet begins with a short, “Importance of Infrastructure” introduction, restating that, “The President has consistently emphasized that the Nation’s infrastructure needs to be rebuilt…. [The] underperformance is evident from our congested highways, which costs the country $160 billion annually in lost productivity, to our deteriorating water systems, which experience 240,000 water main breaks annually.”
On the money side, the Fact Sheet explains that the $200 billion Federal funding, should be leveraged in ways to activate private funding of infrastructure, “such that the end result is at least $1 trillion in total infrastructure spending.” We “will structure that [Federal $200 billion] to incentivize additional non-Federal funding.”
(Such an approach that leans on “private” investment is doomed to failure, as Helga Zepp-LaRouche explains in her article “An Only Bystander?—Once the United States Joins the Belt and Road Initiative, A New Paradigm for Mankind Can Begin” published in English and Chinese in the May 2017 issue of China Investment magazine.)
The “Key Principles” section presents four points: 1) Federal funds use must be targetted for the most “transformative” projects; 2) “Self-help” is to be encouraged, the way some “states, localities and tribes” have shown; 3) certain government assets will be divested, that can be better run by private entities; 4) the government will use “public-private partnerships” when possible.
The remainder of the document lists indicative proposals in the realm of financial, mechanistic responses to the crisis which, if implemented, will also fail. Many examples are given. E.g. “corporatizing” (privatizing) functions such as the national air traffic control; selling off government assets, for example, the real estate, unused by the Veterans Administration hospital system; selling off electric transmission assets of the Power Marketing Administration.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Federal Reserve: 44% of U.S. Adults Cannot Meet a $400 Emergency, Deems It ‘Improvement’
May 28 (EIRNS)—This month the Federal Reserve Board released its fourth annual “Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2016.” Based on surveys conducted in October 2016, the report found:
- Just under one-fourth of adults are not able to pay all of their current month’s bills in full.
- Forty-four percent of adults said they either could not cover an emergency expense costing $400, or could cover it by only selling something or borrowing money. The Fed declared this an improvement, since 50% of adults questioned in 2013 said they were ill-prepared for an expense of that magnitude.
- Twenty-five percent reported that they had to forgo one or more types of health care in the previous year because they could not afford them.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Voice of America: ‘Foreign Firms Seek a Fair Shot at China’s New Silk Road Projects’
May 29 (EIRNS)—Under that headline, the VOA reports that while Chinese companies are getting the lion’s share of contracts for Belt and Road projects, such firms as GE, Honeywell, and Caterpillar already do a lot of business in China and see opportunities in the New Silk Road projects.
Caterpillar’s revenues have been boosted by improving sales in China, and the firm says it has been “deeply involved” in the New Silk Road or Belt and Road Initiative, which it sees as a “long-term opportunity.”
Caterpillar officials said the company uses global resources to focus on solving problems for customers in China and 20 other nations along the New Silk Road. In the 40 years it has been in China, Caterpillar has evolved from importing machines to China, to sharing technology with local partners, to now operating factories and other facilities within China.
Honeywell employs 13,000 people in China and earned billions of dollars in revenue there in 2016. Company spokesmen say their workforce includes a couple of thousand Chinese scientists and engineers, who are helping establish Honeywell as a local Chinese company that can address the needs of local business and consumers. The company offers a wide range of China-made products that support oil and gas operations, airports, healthcare, and other activities
General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt said in a recent speech that his firm competes successfully in China and elsewhere with “local capability inside a global context.” He says GE has 20,000 employees in China with “multiple factories and research centers.” He said his company partners with Chinese construction companies, and that his firm leads in power, healthcare, aviation, and petroleum.