It’s the Belt and Road or Blowout
Sept. 17 (EIRNS)—The reality facing the trans-Atlantic financial system has a way of asserting itself.
On the one hand, there are thoughtful statesmen such as former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, the Macron government’s envoy to this year’s Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, who told Xinhua Sept. 16 that “Europe should join the China- proposed Belt and Road Initiative as soon as possible,” in Xinhua’s paraphrase. “Let’s grasp the opportunity and make more profits. I believe we’ll achieve win-win results through cooperating with our Asian partners,” Raffarin said. “France as well as other European countries need rapid growth. We should get involved instead of just discussing it, because we will lose a lot of time then. The initiative is very important for Europe…. China is offering a helping hand.”
Similarly, the government of Panama, which just established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China, having had relations with Taiwan instead for decades, is getting totally on board with the Belt and Road Initiative. During a visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to the country, President Juan Carlos Varela emphasized Panama’s importance as a logistical, port and air platform, and urged China to use Panama as its staging area for the Belt and Road Initiative for all of Ibero-America. Panama Canal Authority Economics Unit member Eddie Tapiero emphasized an additional crucial point in a speech on the implications of the Belt and Road Initiative for the Canal, reported today in Panama’s La Estrella: The Belt and Road “is a new business model of globalization in the world and Panama should not be alien to it. The U.S., as the main partner of all countries in Latin America, needs to be part of the initiative. With all the players working towards the same goal, the countries will achieve a balance in their strength and stability in the long term.”
Even the Rajoy government in Spain seems to have figured out which way the wind is blowing. After participating in the May Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, Rajoy’s government hosted a highly successful visit to Spain of China’s State Councillor Yang Jiechi, in which China’s further integration with the Belt and Road was discussed.
On the other hand, there are Wall Street’s supremely opportunist schemers, such as Jim Rogers, the Baliol-trained co-founder with George Soros of the Quantum Fund, who has now gone his own way as an “investor and financial commentator,” whose views, he admits, are best described as those of Austrian School monetarism. In an interview published by RT on Sept. 16, Rogers said that if the U.S. launches full-scale trade warfare against China, this would monumentally backfire and likely lead China and Russia to step in and promptly replace the current international financial system. “If they put sanctions on China in a big way, it brings the whole world economy down. And in the end, it hurts America more than it hurts China, because it just forces China and Russia and other countries closer together. Russia and China and other countries are already trying to come up with a new financial system. If America puts sanctions on them, they would have to do it that much faster.”
What these developments reflect, Lyndon LaRouche emphasized today, is that what is coming into being is the development of a new system that will work. LaRouche was the original designer of that new system, to replace the bankrupt British Empire, and many of the personalities that were involved with LaRouche in promoting that policy over the years, in every part of the planet, are coming back to play greater roles. This can be seen from Thailand, to Europe, to Panama. It is the influence of LaRouche, of his ideas, that is the driving force behind this dynamic.
Something is happening, LaRouche elaborated. The whole field is opening up; fresh water is coming back. Various people and political forces will come on board, and will get the job done. These are the people we must organize to that end, he said.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Xinhua Quotes Helga Zepp-LaRouche, EIR’s Bill Jones on Major-Country Diplomacy TV Series
Sept. 17 (EIRNS)—A Chinese-language Xinhua report today on international reactions to the recent CGTN television series on “Major-Country Diplomacy” included quotes from Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche and EIR Washington Bureau chief Bill Jones. “The idea of the major-country diplomacy of the Belt and Road represents the concept of a community of common destiny of mankind and the development of a new type of major power relations and a new mode of thinking,” Zepp-LaRouche says. “It opens up the path to resolving the many regional political crises facing the world today. This concept looks toward the future and could free mankind from the old mode of thought characterized by national chauvinism, regional confrontation and a unipolar world, and establish a new pattern of world development.”
Jones remarks: “The Major-Power Diplomacy series sums up the most important events of the last five years in which China has played a decisive role, and puts a focus on the role that President Xi Jinping has played in extending the reach of China’s foreign policy. It also shows a leader who is very approachable and reveals the sincere warmth of his personality. In a world still plagued by poverty, wars, and devastation, the series also breathes a spirit of hope and optimism. China’s proposals for a Belt and Road, the AIIB and the New Development Bank and China’s call for a new paradigm in international relations represent a clear break with the old shop-worn political formulas characterized by zero-sum geopolitics. This new model of international relations based on win-win cooperation is in the interest of all the peoples of the world.”
Two Central American Nations Eager To Enter the Belt and Road
Sept. 17 (EIRNS)—Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi today held a ceremony opening the first-ever Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Panama. “A new era begins in which we should be closer than ever on behalf of our people’s well-being. Geographic distance will not be an obstacle to our being allies,” President Varela said.
Until last June, Panama, like most Central American nations, had diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and not with the PRC.
President Varela met with Wang on Sept. 16, and emphasized Panama’s importance as a logistical, port and air platform, inviting China to make use of it as China’s bridge and commercial arm into all of Ibero-America.
Three days earlier, Panama’s first Ambassador to China, Francisco Carlo Escobar, presented his credentials in Beijing. He emphasized in a Sept. 16 interview with Xinhua that Panama is very interested in the Belt and Road Initiative, and bringing the BRI to all Ibero-America. He told Xinhua that “Panama can be [a strategic place] … for logistical distribution and perhaps to present certain infrastructure projects which could help the Belt and Road Initiative in the region.”
Wang confirmed to President Varela that President Xi Jinping will receive him in Beijing before the end of 2017, where he expects they will sign a number of the more than 20 agreements now being negotiated between the two nations. The Panamanian Presidency reports that Varela will visit Shanghai and Guangzhou, as well, on that trip.
The Belt and Road was also central to discussions in Wang’s visit to Costa Rica on Friday, the only other Central American country which has relations with the P.R.C., established 10 years ago. Before Wang’s visit, on Sept. 1, President Luis Guillermo Solis had spoken with enthusiasm to Xinhua of the potential of Chinese-Costa Rican relations, but argued that before participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, bilateral relations should first be expanded. However, after Wang’s visit on Sept. 15, where he met with both the President and Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel Gonzalez, Gonzalez said Costa Rica is ready to actively take part in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which will promote Costa Rica’s own development. He added that Costa Rica is willing to explore trilateral cooperation with China and Panama.
Teddy Roosevelt has to be rolling over in his grave. And Lyndon LaRouche’s friend Gen. Manuel Noriega is surely smiling happily.
Transcontinental Rail Becoming Talk of Peru
Sept. 15 (EIRNS)—Conferences were held in three different cities in Peru between Sept. 9-11 to discuss the need to build a railway connecting the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of South America. EIR itself held another conference on the subject in its office, this time focused on the proposals for the southern route (Brazil-Bolivia-Peru) drafted by the military’s National Center of Higher Studies (CAEN). A conference was held at the Peruvian Amazon Research Institute (IIAP) in the northern city of Iquitos, to expand the regional coalition fighting for the northern train route which has been created by the Ucayli economists group which invited Helga Zepp-LaRouche to keynote the national conference of the Peruvian Association of Economists in Pucallpa in 2016.
And a new area of the country was drawn into this discussion by the third conference, organized by the engineers’ association in Peru’s second-largest city, Arequipa, on the benefits which would ensue from the southern route passing through Arequipa. A representative of China’s rail company, the CREEC, spoke here.
An agreement to get the transcontinental train actually under construction has yet to be made, principally because of Wall Street’s grip on the governments of Brazil and Peru, which are playing a “yes, yes, but….” strategy. Bolivia, like China, will not take no for an answer, however, and this has created the conditions for this fight for the train, whatever route, to explode in Peru. Bolivia held the first meeting of the Bioceanic Operations Group Sept. 14-15, where technical people from the six countries which would be directly effected by the southern route (Argentine, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay) were present. Representations from three European countries interested in the project—Switzerland, Germany and Spain (the most recent to join in)—participated in person or by hook-up.
Unlike the Brazilian government, the Peruvian government of Wall Street banker Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (“PPK”) has verbally committed to building the project (southern route), but has yet to release its proposal for the Pacific coast post where it will begin. That has been promised for the end of September.
Building the transcontinental railroad is urgent. The Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) narcoterrorists which Alberto Fujimori’s government (1990-2000) had crushed, are rebuilding, fed by their dominance of the expansion of coca production in the country, and the release from jail this year of many of their leaders, for whom George Soros’s “human rights” army organized sentence reductions. Sendero just succeeded in leveraging a national teachers’ strike fighting for just interests, to win back control over the national teachers union. Unless the train project introduces a new paradigm of full-scale development, Peru’s most vulnerable—its children—will be left at the mercy of London’s narcoterrorist army.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Russia, China Urge U.S. To Resume Diplomacy with North Korea; LaRouche Says U.S. Holds the Key
Sept. 16 (EIRNS)—The United Nations Security Council issued a statement on Sept. 15 of condemnation of the latest missile firing by North Korea. Since then, a number of spokesmen for China and Russia, calling for a response of calm, have specifically spoken out that the United States should stop threatening North Korea, and resume diplomacy. In fact, Russia’s Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya, underscoring the need for negotiations, proposed yesterday the possibility for UN Secretary General António Guterres playing a mediating role with North Korea and other nations. This should be considered, Nebenzya said.
Lyndon LaRouche, briefed on these statements, concurred that, the U.S. holds the key to the North Korean situation. He said that this view is on the mark, and reiterated that the problem can be solved only through dialogue and political means. The proposal about Guterres is sound, he said.
Ambassador Nebenzya stated that there is no way out of the North Korean crisis other than the political and diplomatic one. He made reference to the fact that the U.S. has called on Russia and China to comply with the new sanctions against North Korea under Resolution 2375, while likewise, Nebenzya called on the U.S. to implement the other part of the resolution, mandating political measures to resolve the crisis. “This resolution also stipulates the political measures that also should be fulfilled,” Nebenzya said according to TASS. “That’s why we urged the Americans and other partners to fulfill the political and diplomatic decisions the resolution spelled out.” He added that “We will consider their non-fulfillment as non-compliance or insufficient compliance with the resolution.”
Likewise, China’s Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai told reporters in Washington, on Sept. 15 that the U.S. should “should refrain from issuing more threats. They should do more to find effective ways to resume dialogue and negotiation. …Honestly, I think the United States should be doing much more than now, so that there’s real effective international cooperation on this issue.”
U.S. National Security Advisor Gen. H.R. McMaster, however, said: “We have been kicking the can down the road and we’re out of road. For those who have been commenting about the lack of a military option, there is a military option. Now, it’s not what we prefer to do, so what we have to do is call on all nations to do everything we can to address this global problem, short of war.”
North Korean state news agency KCNA reported on Sept. 16, the statement of D.P.R.K. leader Kim Jong-un that “our final goal is to establish the equilibrium of real force with the U.S., and make the U.S. rulers dare not talk about military options.”
Agreement in Astana on New De-Escalation Zone in Syria’s Idlib Province
Sept. 17 (EIRNS)—The sixth Astana meeting on the Syrian ceasefire closed on Sept. 15, with an agreement to set up a new de-escalation zone, in Idlib province, and to deploy observers around the zone “to prevent incidents and clashes between the conflicting parties.” A joint Iran-Russia-Turkey coordinating center is being established to coordinate actions of this observer force, also referred to as de-escalation control forces.
The statement released stressed that the de-escalation zones are a temporary measure, renewable after six months, and that the zones will not, under any circumstances, “undermine the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.” It also calls for international humanitarian aid, and for impetus to such initiatives as the intra-Syrian dialogue, backed by the UN-led Geneva process.
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, who had attended as an observer, expressed his hope that “the momentum of Astana” can ensure “that this [Geneva] round will be serious, hopefully as close as possible to direct discussions.”
The next Astana meeting is planned for October, and may have participation by new observers. Russia’s Special Envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentyev said that, “If they apply through diplomatic channels, China, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon will also be invited to next meetings as observers.”
Lavrentyev also stressed the importance of getting the armed opposition groups to join with the Syrian army against both ISIS and Al Nusra (which some of these groups were once allied with against Assad). “The Syrians’ unity against terrorism will lay the groundwork for enhancing trust between them,” he said.
Syria’s UN Ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari, who heads the Syrian delegation in Astana, praised the agreement was “positive and the outcome of joint international efforts.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov then briefed U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by phone Sept. 16 on the outcome of the Astana meeting. U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. James Dunford met in Tirana, Albania with his Turkish counterpart, Gen. Hulusi Akar, and received a report from him, including on the new de-escalation zone agreement reached.
In a rather transparent effort to derail ongoing U.S.-Russian cooperation around Syria, reports surfaced over the weekend of an alleged air strike by Russia against the U.S.-backed Syrian Defense Forces near Deir Ezzor, which reportedly injured six members of the SDF. The Pentagon issued an official statement to that effect on Sept. 16, which the Russian Defense Ministry denied in the strongest terms: “It is impossible. Why on earth should we bomb them?” said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Igor Konashenkov.
Enemy of the New Silk Road Paradigm: Saudi Genocide in Yemen
Sept. 16 (EIRNS)—LaRouche PAC today issued an updated statement on Yemen, specifying a set of immediate actions needed, along with the creation of an international investigative commission into Saudi Arabia’s actions against Yemen:
- Stop the Saudi bombing and all other attacks on Yemen.
- Stop the Saudi blockade of Yemen’s ports.
- Stop all outside interference in Yemen, to allow a return to the process of negotiation which existed before the start of the [Saudi] bombing, to proceed to resolution of domestic differences.
- Provide immediate food, water, sanitation, medical, power, public health, and all other social relief in full.
- Provide any and all other humanitarian and economic aid urgently required, especially for transportation, shelter and logistics.
- Initiate stand-by preparations for international collaboration to re-build Yemen, and welcome its participation in the development drive of the “Maritime Silk Road” of Eurasia-Africa.
On Sept. 13, at a Geneva meeting of the UN Human Rights Council, China and several other nations indicated their willingness to back an international inquiry into the atrocities in Yemen. The Chinese delegate said of the idea, that, “We agree with the moves, including the COI [Commission of Inquiry], to promote the political solving of the Yemen crisis.” Canada and The Netherlands provided a draft text for the Council to establish a COI. But Britain and the U.S. opposed it; Saudi Arabia and cohort nations boycotted the discussion altogether.
The full statement is available here: https://larouchepac.com/20170916/enemy-new-silk-road-paradigm-saudi-genocide-yemen
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Unemployment in the EU: Fake and Real Data
Sept. 16 (EIRNS) – In his Sept. 13 speech on the “state of the union” to the European Parliament, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker boasted there are “almost 8 million jobs” which “have been created during this mandate so far. With 235 million people at work, more people are in employment in the EU than ever before.”
In reality, Eurostat figures show that actual unemployment in the EU is over 20% on average, with some countries at 35%, as economist Alberto Bagnai has earlier reported.
How can then Juncker claim growth in employment? Simple: it is enough to work one hour a week to count as being “employed.”
New official figures published in Italy are an example: According to the government, employment has grown by 1,096 million units compared to 2008. But economist Nino Galloni points to the fact that at the same time, total man-hours have dropped by 1.1 billion, about 5%. If both figures are real, this means that part-time jobs have replaced full-time jobs.
Furthermore, the same official figures say that 80% of the new jobs created are on short-term contracts.
In reality, Italian GDP has not yet recovered to 2008 levels, while the population has increased by 0.5% yearly. This means that per-capita income and productivity have dropped. The fact that, according to statistics, 20 million resident people have improved their condition, it means that the gap with the other 40 million has dramatically increased.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Democratic Congressional Leaders Reiterate Working with Trump
Sept. 17 (EIRNS)—Senior Democratic Senators Dick Durbin (IL) and Dianne Feinstein (CA) reiterated an openness to working with President Trump, in interviews on the Sunday talk shows today, as the Democratic Party’s policy of obstructionism-only collapses.
Durbin, number two in the Senate Democratic Caucus (whip), acceded to the possibility of a “working alliance” with President Trump, and spoke of “trust.”
Fox TV asked Durbin if he thinks “that there is the potential for a real—not permanent, but working alliance between President Trump and Congressional Democrats? And what do you say to those members—folks on the left who don’t trust this President and don’t trust making deals with him?” To which Durbin answered:
“…There will be people on the right and left who will be critical … [but] two weeks ago, [Minority leaders] Schumer and Pelosi sat down with the President and the other leaders and said, we can help you move immediately for Hurricane Harvey assistance, to have a short-term spending bill so the government doesn’t shut down and to extend the debt ceiling of the United States; we’ll do it on a bipartisan basis, Mr. President. That’s what America wants. And the President said, I’ll take it. We did it. And we can do more like that, as long as we trust one another, respect the differences that we obviously do have, but try to work toward a goal….”
For her part, Feinstein on CNN called the Schumer-Pelosi deal with Trump “a start…. I’ve learned that over 24 years and people have to work together. In a two-party system, the President becomes a point of reconciliation between the two and that’s been the history of leaders going up, sitting down with the President, working something out. So, this to me was a bit of regular order that might be able to produce something.”
Florida Agriculture Reeling from Irma’s Effects; Citrus Losses May Exceed $1 Billion
Sept. 16 (EIRNS)—While assessments of damage to Florida’s agriculture industry are still taking place, University of Florida Extension Agent Gene McAvoy told Agri-Pulse that statewide losses in the citrus sector alone are expected to exceed $1 billion. Damage is “unprecedented,” he said, with at least 50-60% of the citrus crop statewide on the ground. In Southwest Florida, which includes the largest growing areas in the state, estimates are as high as 70-80% of citrus fruits on the ground.
After California, Florida is the second leading producer state for fruits and vegetables.
The toll on the state’s rural communities that depend on agriculture is great; some are still waiting for power to be restored. State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam reported that Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will tour Florida on Monday to survey the damage.
Aside from the citrus industry, sugar cane, tree nurseries, and vegetables were also hard hit. Many vegetable growers had just planted, or were getting stakes in the ground, and will have to start over. Putnam describes the vegetable industry as “in tatters.” The dairy industry was also affected. Putnam reported that a minimum of 40 tanker loads of milk had to be dumped, because processing plants shut down milk lines and started producing bottled water right before the storm hit.
Even before Irma, the citrus industry was struggling, the News Service of Florida reported Sept. 14. The 2016-17 orange harvest was down 16% from the previous year, and grapefruit harvest fell by 28% for the same time period. Putnam warned that such crop losses present an “existential threat” to the industry and the state’s processing capacity. Citrus trees can’t tolerate wet roots, so losses are expected to grow over time.
Compounding the situation, many of the fields are water-logged, making them breeding grounds for many types of disease. Because of the water left behind by Irma, many rural communities will soon be inundated by mosquitoes.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
After Irma and Other Disasters, Rebuilding Means Rethinking, Facing the Physical Geography
Sept. 16 (EIRNS)—Even as the damage toll in Texas, Florida, and other U.S. states, and Caribbean nations continues to mount, voices are beginning to be heard on the need to start to plan infrastructure for maximum protection of people, instead of fast-buck real estate deals. Several features of the challenge stand out.
Florida, as a peninsula, is geologically relatively young, only recently rising above the sea. Much of its central highlands is barely over 250 feet up, and the highest point in the state is only 345 feet. The southern third of the state is the Everglades swamp, Lake Okeechobee (8th largest natural freshwater lake in the U.S.,) and very low-lying land and floodplain.
The challenge is tough enough to plan to protect against sea surge, with Florida’s extensive, vulnerable coastline. But the often high rainfall is an additional problem everywhere, given how low the land level is. Where can the water go?
Experienced Dutch hydraulic engineers reiterate the point: water passages. Floodways, diversions, catchments—surface and/or underground—to cope with sudden water volume; plus pumps, dikes, dams and channels.
No important residential or economic activity should take place within such floodway structures, only pasture or annual crops, so when activated, nothing major is lost. On a limited scale, the floodways of the Mississippi River are examples, e.g. the Morganza and West Atchafalaya Floodways. In a place like Florida, this means a lot of relocation, on a scale similar to the way new cities are being created in China.
Making it even tougher, is the rate of subsidence in Florida, and other places on the Gulf and Atlantic coastlines. As underground water has been drawn down from well-use over the centuries, the ground level lowers significantly. (Salt water intrusion is also a problem for water supply.)
Piet Dircke, from the Dutch water management firm Arcadis, which specializes in sea surge and flood protection in places around the world, was interviewed by Time on Sept. 11. Among several points, he touched on the importance of having one overall protection plan. “In New Orleans, we had one client, the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and they spent $15 billion building the Hurricane Risk Reduction System” after the 2005 Hurricane Katrina. In contrast, after Hurricane Sandy in New York City, many swamped hospitals, utilities, banks, etc. had to cast about on their own to deal with flooding and follow-up.
Zepp-LaRouche Urges Germans: Don’t Waste Your Vote on Parties without Humanity’s Interest at Heart
Sept. 16 (EIRNS)—Although tectonic political changes are occurring in the world today, you would never know it from the themes raised by the major parties in Germany in the run-up to the legislative elections of Sept. 24. A striking exception to that denial of reality is the campaign of the Civil Rights Movement Solidarity (Bürgerrechtsbewegung Solidarität, BüSo) chaired by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, under the slogan “Germany Must Join the New Silk Road.”
In an appeal to voters issued on Sept. 15, Zepp-LaRouche clearly identifies the options. They can “throw their vote away” by choosing a party which has supported the current world order with its interventionist wars—and the refugee crisis they spawned—and the growing gap between rich and poor, she writes, and which has failed to correct the mistakes that led to the 2008 financial crisis, leading to another even more dramatic financial crash today.
But they will also give their vote away, Zepp-LaRouche warns, if they choose a party which criticizes the established parties, but offers no solution.
Alternatively, “you can vote for a party that not only has a vision for a better future for mankind, but has also organized forces worldwide and established relations to make that vision become reality—the Civil Rights Movement Solidarity (BüSo).”
Helga Zepp-LaRouche references in her appeal, the BüSo’s decades-long fight for a just world economic order, which was later put on the world’s agenda by China’s New Silk Road. “The BüSo is committed to bringing Germany to cooperate fully with this initiative, and to develop economically, together with China, Russia and other countries, the countries destroyed by the useless wars in the Middle East and Africa.” Cooperation in the New Silk Road would not only help to solve the refugee crisis, Helga Zepp-LaRouche wrote, but is also in the interests of the German Mittelstand, since it would create many productive jobs and reduce unemployment, in particular for young people.
The way the mainstream media have treated the BüSo in this campaign—and beyond that anyone who challenges the EU bureaucracy or the interests of Wall Street and the City of London—raises many doubts, Zepp-LaRouche notes, as to just how much freedom of the press, democracy and human rights are “allowed in our country.”