New Circumstances and What They Demand
June 29 (EIRNS)—The new phase of world history which was formally inaugurated when the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held May 14-15 in Beijing with Schiller Institute chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s participation, is continuing to overturn the old imperial order, and open the way to the world’s entry into the New Paradigm for which the LaRouches have been fighting for decades. These totally new circumstances now require of each individual, a sharp upgrading of the level of overall assessment, commitment and leadership to meet the qualitatively new challenges of the coming hours and days.
Today is the day that statesman Lyndon LaRouche’s Manhattan Project has gathered, along with hundreds of others, to pay tribute to the immortal classical-music teacher Sylvia Olden Lee. But on the very same day, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the New York City transit system. Who can doubt any longer that the solutions which Lyndon LaRouche has so urgently demanded, are needed immediately—based on a massive program of Federal credit, as dictated by LaRouche’s “Four Laws?”
Although the Group of 20 summit as such—scheduled for July 7-8 in Hamburg, Germany—is apparently doomed to irrelevance because of the folly of Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, nevertheless, a great many much more important bilateral and trilateral summits have been scheduled around and in the interstices of that summit. The most important of these is probably the meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin, one which President Trump—and probably President Putin as well—had hoped to hold much earlier. Everything about this Trump-Putin meeting has become a matter of hand-to-hand combat with those who want to prevent any understanding with Russia at all costs. Given that, as of now, there will be some sort of meeting between the two Presidents in Hamburg, official statements about what sort of meeting it will be, seesawed back and forth during the course of today. Most recently, the Director of Trump’s National Economic Council Gary Cohn said that the White House expected the meeting to be a formal bilateral one, rather than an informal “pull-aside” conversation.
On another front of the same war, President Trump moved forward from his June 1 rejection of the Paris climate agreement, to tell a meeting at the Energy Department this afternoon, that, “Today, I am proudly announcing six brand-new initiatives to propel this new era of American energy dominance. First, we will begin to revive and expand our nuclear energy sector—which I’m so happy about—which produces clean, renewable and emissions-free energy. A complete review of U.S. nuclear energy policy will help us find new ways to revitalize this crucial energy resource.”
In an entirely different dimension, McKinsey & Co. consultancy has just published a pathbreaking study on the Chinese economic engagement in Africa. McKinsey estimates that about 10,000 Chinese firms are active in Africa—about 90% of them privately-owned—of which they studied about 1,000 in eight countries. They note that since the year 2000, China has catapulted from being a small investor in Africa, to becoming its biggest economic partner by far. Nearly a third of the Chinese firms in Africa are involved in manufacturing, a quarter in services, about 20% in trade, and 20% in real-estate and construction. Some 12% of African industrial production—about half a trillion dollars worth—is handled by Chinese firms. Chinese firms fill nearly half of Africa’s internationally-contracted construction market; 74% of the Chinese firms in Africa said they feel optimistic about the future there, and most have made investments that represent a long-term commitment to Africa, rather than in trading or contracting activities.
In the Chinese companies surveyed, 89% of the employees were African, adding up to nearly 300,000 jobs for African workers. Scaled up to the estimated 10,000 total Chinese firms in Africa, this suggests that Chinese-owned businesses employ several million Africans. Nearly two-thirds of Chinese employers provide some kind of skills training. In construction and manufacturing, half of the firms offer apprenticeship training.
Half of the firms had introduced a new product or service to the local market, and one-third had introduced new technology. In some cases, Chinese firms had lowered prices for existing products and services by as much as 40% through improved technology and efficiencies of scale.
Under “areas for significant improvement,” McKinsey says that by value, only 47% of the Chinese firms’ purchases were from local African firms. Another “area for improvement” is that only 44% of local managers at the Chinese companies were African, although some firms had driven their local managerial employment above 80%.
Something new under the Sun, is it not?
NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
BRICS Leaders To Meet Informally on Sidelines of the G20
June 29 (EIRNS)—There are going to be so many important meetings taking place on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg on July 7-8, it is questionable whether the delegations will have any time to discuss the agenda that conference host, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has drawn up—which is dominated by so-called climate change.
U.S. President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin are expected to hold bilateral meetings with one another, and it is now reported by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong that the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—the BRICS nations—will hold informal talks, reported Sputnik. “According to the usual practice, BRICS leaders will hold an informal meeting ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg,” Li Baodong told reporters. China, which is chairing the rotating presidency of the BRICS this year, will chair the informal meeting; the BRICS summit will be held in Xiamen on Sept 3-5.
President Xi Jinping will also hold several bilateral meetings with national leaders at the G20 in addition to President Putin and possibly President Trump. There will no doubt be other bilaterals among the other leaders attending the summit.
Portugal Presses Forward on Participation in the New Silk Road
June 29 (EIRNS)—Portugal’s role in the Belt and Road Initiative was the subject of two important meetings in Lisbon this week. On June 26, Portugal’s Association of Friends of the New Silk Road held a conference at the Lisbon School of Economics and Management to discuss the “21st Century New Silk Road and the Prospects for Geopolitical Changes,” and on June 28 the Portugal-China Forum convened at the Parliament, co-sponsored by the Portugal-China Friendship Parliamentary Group and the Chinese Embassy.
The latter included a delegation of parliamentarians and businessmen from Guangdong province and Portuguese business representatives, along with the parliamentarians. In his remarks to the forum, Antonio Silva, head of the Portuguese Investment and Foreign Trade Agency (AICEP), emphasized the importance of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Haitong Bank, China Development Bank, and the AICEP, on identifying potential Chinese groups interested in establishing an industrial and logistics zone at Portugal’s Sines port, on the Atlantic.
“Portugal and China have an exceptional relationship at all levels. We are perhaps at the best moment in our relationship,” Silva said, pointing to Portugal’s potential to play a strategic role in both the land, connecting by rail to the European continent, and through the Atlantic to the maritime routes of the New Silk Road.
The Association of Friends of the New Silk Road has been working on the trans-Atlantic potential for some time, coordinating organizing for the New Silk Road, through China’s Macau, with Brazil and the Portuguese-speaking nations on the Atlantic coast of Africa. They are eager for the United States to join the project, and the Portugal-U.S. Friendship Association was in attendance at their Monday forum.
A source at Parliament told Portuguese media yesterday that the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Zhang Dejiang, will visit Portugal from July 10-12, at the invitation of its Parliament. He will bring “an important delegation” with him, and meet with President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Prime Minister Antonio Costa, as well as MPs.
Eurasian ‘Connectivity’ Projects Melding into One New Silk Road Mega-Project
June 29 (EIRNS)—Western media are rife with stories of competition and tensions between India and China over China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), but New Silk Road enthusiast and Forbes columnist Wade Shepard had a better idea, when he wrote in his June 28 column, “Watch Out China: India Is Building a ‘New Silk Road’ of Its Own,” that all the Eurasian infrastructure projects, whether Indian, Chinese, Russian or Japanese, all make up one, gigantic New Silk Road.
Shepard focused on India’s 7,200 km North-South Transit Corridor (NSTC) endeavor, the multi-modal trade corridor linking the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea, connecting India to Russia, with Iran, the Caucasus and Central Asia in between.
“Much has been written about how the NSTC will challenge China’s BRI, but this position really only has relevance in the enclosed walls of think tanks and in the comment sections of webpages,” Shepard wrote. “On the ground, the two initiatives overlap seamlessly and feed into each other. For all intents and purposes, it is extremely difficult to separate one from the other.”
He sees China’s Belt and Road Initiative as “just one part of a broader endeavor to better integrate the economies of Eurasia—which is ultimately the exact same goal as similar large-scale initiatives spearheaded by Russia, Japan, and India. Think of all these variously labeled and branded initiatives as mere tributaries flowing into a single multinational mega-project known as the New Silk Road.”
Japan and China Consult on Maritime Security ahead of Abe-Xi Meeting at G20
June 29 (EIRNS)—Japan and China began a two-day senior official consultation on maritime affairs in Fukuoka today. The meeting is aimed at avoiding unintended clashes in the East China Sea, and moving towards a “Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism,” a hotline between defense officials, to prevent accidental clashes in contested areas. Progress has been stalled in this regard since right-wing networks in Japan maneuvered the government to take possession of the contested Senkaku/Diaoyu islands (which were previously privately owned), which China strongly protested.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping plan to meet on the sidelines of the G20 in Germany next week, and want to ease tensions ahead of that event, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said, according to Kyodo news agency.
Also, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the Japanese Ministry of Economy are holding an annual meeting in Tokyo. China introduced the Belt and Road Initiative, while Japan introduced its “Partnership for High-Quality Infrastructure”—its counter to the Belt and Road Initiative. The discussion this year is aimed at better coordination, rather than fierce competition, in their often-competing bids on major infrastructure projects in Asia. The Chinese Ministry reported that “both sides held constructive discussions on connectivity of Asian infrastructure construction.”
The two nations have competed recently for major rail projects in Indonesia, India, Laos and Malaysia, with China getting the contract to build Indonesia’s first high-speed railway linking Jakarta and Bandung in Indonesia in October 2015, while Japan won the deal to construct India’s first shinkansen (bullet) train network linking Mumbai and Ahmedabad in December 2015.
U.S. POLITICAL & ECONOMIC
Governor Cuomo Declares State of Emergency for New York City Transit System
June 29 (EIRNS)—After yesterday’s subway derailment, the latest in a series of dangerous catastrophes on the 100-year-old system, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), and announced that he has given MTA Chairman Joe Lhota 30 days to come up with a reorganization plan and an equipment review in 60 days, while also ordering a 90-day review of transit power failures. “Putting its money where its mouth is,” Cuomo said the state will commit another $1 billion in funds for the MTA capital plan, “so the MTA has the resources to get this done.”
The subway’s “state of decline is wholly unacceptable,” Cuomo said, and the idea of his state of emergency is to cut through red tape so action can be taken.
The New York Daily News reported that Cuomo told Lhota: “Starting with a blank sheet of paper … design an organization that performs the function rather than the organization that exists today…. It will no longer be a tortured exercise to do business with the MTA.”
Some Republicans Want New Infrastructure Publicly Funded
June 29 (EIRNS)—A Capitol Hill briefing sponsored by the American Opportunity Foundation and American Public Transit Association (APTA) on June 28 drew together outlier Republicans who strongly support major public funding of transportation infrastructure, as a Constitutional obligation. Two of the speakers at the event, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore and former Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Emil Frankel, referenced the “American System of Henry Clay.”
The lead speaker, Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma said that he had been in meetings with President Donald Trump where the question of infrastructure funding plans had come up, and responded to a question from EIR regarding a national infrastructure bank, “If anyone tells you he knows what the White House will propose, don’t believe anything else that fellow might say; he doesn’t know, and they [the White House] don’t know.” Inhofe’s view was that there would be more flailing on healthcare, and then tax reform, before infrastructure funding plans emerged “in the fall,” as he said, primarily because there are, as of now, no infrastructure funding plans.
Inhofe stressed that defense and public infrastructure were the two most strictly-defined government imperatives in the Constitution (“Post Offices and Post Roads,” Commerce Clause, 1789 Lighthouse Act), and that he supports more public funds and an increase in the Federal gas tax to supply them. Gilmore, Richard White of the APTA, and Frankel all echoed those points, and opposed passing responsibility for new infrastructure on to the states. White said, “There is an incredible pipeline of public transportation projects fully ready for Federal funding,” with $54 billion of such projects currently “at risk” and many others very near the “end of the pipeline.” Frankel identified the Gateway Project tunnels under the Hudson River as the “most important project in the country,” as has the National Governors’ Association.
U.S. President To Attend Bastille Day in Paris, Commemorate 1917 U.S. Entry into World War I
June 29 (EIRNS)—U.S. President Donald Trump has accepted an invitation from French President Emmanuel Macron to attend the centennial of America’s entry into the First World War which will be celebrated in Paris on Bastille Day, July 14. According to a statement by the French Presidential office, the Elysée, Trump will attend the traditional Paris military parade on the Champs Elysées, in what also marks Trump’s first official visit to a European country.
Despite disagreements over climate change, Presidents Macron and Trump have spoken by phone about offering a common response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria as well as to work together to counter terrorism. It was during their discussion on June 27 that Macron extended his invitation to Trump. “To mark the occasion, American soldiers will take part in the parade alongside their French brothers in arms,” the Elysée statement said.
A statement from the White House Press Secretary yesterday said the visit would reaffirm the powerful links between the two nations: “President Trump looks forward to reaffirming America’s strong ties of friendship with France, to celebrating this important day with the French people, and to commemorating the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I. The two leaders will further build on the strong counter-terrorism cooperation and economic partnership between the two countries, and they will discuss many other issues of mutual concern.”
And Now, A New York Times Retraction
June 29 (EIRNS)—The mainstream sewer media are getting nervous about President Donald Trump’s credibility and the simultaneous collapse of their own. After CNN felt it expedient to fire journalists for blatant Russia-gate lying and to remove the relevant narrative from its website, as EIR Daily Alert reported June 28, today the New York Times posted a “correction” to a June 25 story which ridiculed President Trump for refusing “to acknowledge a basic fact agreed upon by 17 American intelligence agencies that he now oversees: Russia orchestrated the attacks” on Democratic National Committee emails. The Times correction, four days later, stated that said “assessment” was made by four intelligence agencies, and “was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community.”
ConsortiumNews editor and career investigative journalist Robert Parry pointed out in his coverage of this retraction of an oft-repeated lie that Barack Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had already admitted as much in his May 8 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, testifying that the Russia hacking claim was, in fact, “a ‘special Intelligence Community Assessment’ (or ICA) produced by selected analysts from the CIA, NSA and FBI,” and those analysts were “hand-picked” to produce the report desired.
That didn’t stop the “all 17 agencies agree” lie from being repeated, until today.
A June 26 Gallup Poll found that Americans’ trust in newspapers is running at 27%. The next day, veteran Washington Post columnist Bob Woodward again warned that the media are losing credibility by making their bias so flagrant.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Germans Welcome Putin-Trump Meeting
June 29 (EIRNS)—Speaking at a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Krasnodar, yesterday, where both attended the 14th Conference of Russian and German Partner Cities, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Germany would welcome a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the July 7-8 G20 summit in Hamburg, and that he hoped the two leaders would also discuss the war in Syria. He said it was important to prevent the “new” use of chemical weapons there.
Gabriel, however, stuck to the propaganda that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is to blame for the alleged chemical weapons incident in Khan Sheikhoun in early April: “We have no doubt that the Syrian regime carried out this chemical strike, and not for the first time…. We see him [Assad] as a war criminal…. All parties with influence in the region simply have to exert that influence on the warring parties and ensure that chemical weapons aren’t deployed again.” Confirming that Berlin supports the Syrian peace process, Gabriel stated, “As for Syria, it must be said that the Astana process has helped reduce military activities in Syria and we are grateful to those who initiated it. We are also grateful to Russia for its constructive position on this issue.”
In terms of the Russo-German bilateral relationship, Gabriel stressed, “Our relations are special and we should value them. We have a treasure in our hands and we are responsible for taking care of it and not losing it. We would like to open new positive chapters in our relations.” Highlighting the “importance of regional ties,” Gabriel said, “Yes, we have differences on Ukraine and Syria but regional ties are very important. In the current circumstances, we should not reject civil relations, as it is only through dialogue that confidence may be built. If we have mutual understanding and openness, then we can move forward….”
Chinese Military Aids Philippines in Battle against ISIS
June 29 (EIRNS)—Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua joined Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte at Clark Air Base to turn over a first shipment of small arms and ammunition to aid in the war on ISIS-connected terrorists in Mindanao. Zhao said: “Mr. President I would like to take the opportunity to announce the Chinese government and the Chinese military forces will continue to fully support your fight against terrorism and we’re looking forward to enhancement of cooperation in the areas of fighting terrorism bilaterally.” China has also donated funds to help the families of those killed.
Manila’s Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said China would like to explore the possibility of joint training, intelligence sharing and joint military exercises in the area of fighting terrorism.
Duterte said at the event: “To Ambassador Zhao, please relate our sincerest thanks to President Xi Jinping and the government of the Peoples Republic of China for its military aid. This is not only to strengthen our countries’ commitment to support each other during times of need, but also highlights the dawn of a new era in Philippine-Chinese relations.”
New York Mayor De Blasio Proclaims June 29 ‘Sylvia Olden Lee Day’
June 29 (EIRNS)—The following official proclamation was issued by the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York:
Whereas: The creative energy that defines the five boroughs has long inspired people from across the world, and generations of diverse artists and musicians have flocked to our city and shaped our cultural landscape. As a trailblazing African American vocalist, pianist, and music educator, the late Sylvia Olden Lee is among this group of influential performers who advanced the music scene in the five boroughs and beyond. Tonight, on what would have been Lee’s 100th birthday, New Yorkers and performing artists of all backgrounds will celebrate her life and legacy during a concert at Carnegie Hall, hosted by the Foundation for the Revival of Classical Culture, the Schiller Institute, and Harlem Opera Theater.
“Whereas: Born in 1917, Sylvia Olden Lee was raised in Mississippi by parents who were gifted musicians, and she began learning piano at age five. Equipped with immense natural talent, she went on to study piano at Howard University and at age 16 she was invited to perform at the White House for Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s inauguration. Lee also excelled as a vocalist and she possessed a deep knowledge of African American spirituals. In 1954, Lee became the first African American professional hired by New York’s Metropolitan Opera, where she worked for many years as a vocal coach and played a key role in coordinating the groundbreaking debut of Marian Anderson at the Met. During her long and successful professional career, Lee accompanied and coached singers throughout the United States and Europe, and she worked with many internationally-acclaimed artists, among them Paul Robeson, Jessye Norman, Kathleen Battle and Robert McFerrin.
“Whereas: As a dedicated vocal coach and a passionate music educator, Lee was a mentor to generations of young artists, and her legacy continues to inspire emerging and established musicians in the five boroughs and beyond. Through her hard work, enthusiasm, phenomenal talent and encyclopedic knowledge of spirituals and classical music, Lee made tremendous contributions to the world of music, and as a pioneering African American artist, she fostered diversity in the cultural sector, paving the way for others. As you gather tonight to enjoy an evening of performances in Sylvia Olden Lee’s honor, Chirlane and I are pleased to join in paying tribute to an outstanding artist who shaped the history of music in New York and around the world.
“Now therefore, I, Bill De Blasio, Mayor of the City of New York, do hereby proclaim Thursday, June 29th, 2017 in the City of New York as: Sylvia Olden Lee Day.”