EIR Daily Alert Service, Friday, October 27, 2017


As Trump Wishes Improved U.S. Relations with China and Russia, Schiller Institute Leader Briefs Xinhua

Oct. 26 (EIRNS)—Earlier the same day as his very significant interview with Lou Dobbs, in which U.S. President Donald Trump remarked on the importance of good American relations with China and with Russia, China’s national Xinhua News Agency ran an interview with Michael Steger, president of the San Francisco chapter of Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s Schiller Institute, on the future of these relations.

Xinhua headlined its interview “U.S. Scholar Confident in Joint Role of China, U.S. in Addressing Global Issues.” Authors Wu Xiaoling and Ye Zaiqi described the Schiller Institute as “a global political and economic think tank with headquarters in Germany and the United States.” Xinhua reported Steger said that “China’s peaceful development will bring stability to the rest of the world, which provides opportunities for China and the United States to work jointly in addressing global issues….

“Referring to the influence of China on the sustainable growth of the world economy, Steger said, ‘China’s impact is massive. Most important is the stability it provides.’ ”

Xinhua continued: “Referring to the recent remarks of Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai in New York on the so-called Thucydides trap, he said, Beijing does not intend to surpass Washington as the leading world power, nor does it believe that conflict is inevitable, rather China intends to help build a new system of collaboration with the United States.

“He said that the Chinese government … accomplished great success over the last five years, particularly with its space program such as the successful Long March Rockets and the lunar Chang’e program, which have been world success stories.”

“There is also the leading fusion experiment, the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), the world first experimental superconducting tokamak magnetic fusion energy reactor developed by China in 2006, which truly represents the energy of the future, Steger said.

“ ‘Over the next five years, with increased collaboration with the U.S. in areas of space exploration and fusion research and development, I truly believe we can achieve a new global economic standard.’

“As for broader U.S.-China collaboration, he said that the new U.S. administration under President Donald Trump has shown many positive signs in this regard.

“He believes that Trump understands that the relationship with China is a top priority.

“ ‘If President Trump is given the freedom to move in the direction he thinks best, which is based on his speeches, then we will have a new, grand potential for U.S. and China cooperation,’ he noted.

“Trump’s foreseeable trip to China represents a possible major turning point, and all true patriots of humanity should help encourage President Trump to embrace the development orientation of China, Asia, and the Belt and Road Initiative, Steger said.

“Most Americans fully embrace China’s idea of the Belt and Road Initiative, he said, citing some U.S. state governments such as California, Washington, Alaska, Michigan and Iowa, which have expressed or shown interest in and support for the initiative.

“If the United States successfully pursues a policy that achieves a real economic recovery in the country, both China and the United States would share a similar course of transcontinental development, ranging from the ambitious space programs to the implementation of commercial fusion power, which will make electricity essentially free for all mankind, he said.

“The International Schiller Institute is one of the primary organizations of the LaRouche movement, founded by American political activist Lyndon LaRouche, and becomes a political and cultural network advocating the development of major economic infrastructure projects on a global scale.

“It also calls for a reform of the world financial system to encourage investment in the physical economy and suppress financial speculation.”


Trump Thinks Good U.S.-Russia Relations Would Make North Korea Crisis Easier To Settle

Oct. 26 (EIRNS)—In an interview yesterday with Lou Dobbs of Fox News, President Donald Trump asserted the need to improve relations with Russia and China. Trump told Dobbs, “I want to say this: I think it would be great if we got along with Russia.

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with—you know they are a power, they’re a nuclear power. I think we could have a good relationship. I think that North Korean situation would be easier settled. And I just spoke to the President of China, I congratulated him on his big victory [at the CPC National Congress]. But it would be wonderful if we could speak to China and Russia. Because China is helping us and maybe Russia’s going through the other way and hurting what we’re getting.

“I mean when I say maybe, I think I know exactly what I’m talking about. If we had a relationship with Russia, that would be a good thing, not a bad thing.

Dobbs: “Relationships—you were criticized for even trying to court, if you will, President Xi of China. Everyone, the so-called intelligentsia of this country’s foreign policy establishment, said you’re wasting your time, it just can’t be done. And obviously you’ve made significant progress with him and—”

Trump: “Just spoke to him a few minutes ago, just before I walked into the room. You know, something has been given to him that’s never been—it’s really virtually never happened in China. He’s been given powers that nobody’s—

“He’s a powerful man. I happen to think he’s a very good person. Now with that being said, he represents China, I represent the U.S.A., so, you know, there’s going to always be conflict. But we have a very good relationship. People say we have the best relationship of any President-President—because he’s called President also.

“Now some people might call him the king of China. But he’s called President. But we have a very good relationship and that’s a positive thing. And it would be good to have that relationship with Russia and other countries, too….

“And we’re going to Beijing and other places, wherever he’d like to take me. And we’ll be spending two days there. And we’re going also to Japan and South Korea. And it will be, I think—hopefully it’s historic and positive; and we have to solve the North Korea problem. It’s a very big problem.

“It should have never been given to me. This should have been solved long before I came to office, when it would have been easier to solve. But it was given to me and I get it solved. I solve problems….”

Huntsman Recommends U.S. and Russia Pursue Common Interests for ‘More Normalized Future’

Oct. 26 (EIRNS)—U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman said “there is every reason in the world to think that through finding common ground we should be able to ease tensions and improve the relationship and move to a more normalized future. Namely, we need to figure out better ways of identifying common interests,” according to TASS today.

Further elaborating, Huntsman said: “Some would say, Syria might be an example of that, I would agree. Others might say that North Korea would be an example of where we should be coming together, I would agree with that, too. And, certainly Ukraine is an issue where both the United States and Russia are going to have to do some problem solving together.”

Not a career diplomat, Huntsman was earlier an Ambassador to Beijing and Singapore, and held several Federal government posts. He has political experience as the Governor of Utah, and earlier, he served as the CEO of the family-owned petrochemical company, Huntsman Corporation, which has interests in Russia.


Caterpillar’s Sales Soar as a Result of Higher Demand from China and North America

Oct. 26 (EIRNS)—Caterpillar Inc.’s sales soared during the third quarter of 2017 due to a higher demand from China and North America, Reuters reported today. “Sales rose more than $2 billion compared with the same period in 2016, from $9.2 billion to $11.4 billion, and management said it expects to reach a full year revenue of about $44 billion, which would be $6 billion higher than 2016 revenues,” Global Construction Review reported on Oct. 25.

“The result confirms the direction of the company’s performance following a strong second quarter, which reported a $1 billion increase in sales. The third-quarter result was driven by sales of construction equipment, which rose nearly 37% to $4.9 billion, thanks in part to price rises supported by stronger demand. In terms of regions, year-on-year revenue rose 27% in North America and 16% in China and 15% in the rest of the Asia Pacific,” GCR reported.

The company reported on Oct. 24: “Caterpillar continues to see strength in a number of industries and regions, including construction in China, on-shore oil and gas in North America, and increased capital investments by mining customers. We are working with our supply chain to increase production levels to satisfy customer demand for those markets that have improved.”

European Investment Bank Signs €600 Million Loan to Spain for ‘Y Vasca’ High-Speed Rail

Oct. 26 (EIRNS)—The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to a €600 million loan for Spain to build a 160km high-speed railway connecting the three Basque Country capitals of Vitoria, Bilbao, and San Sebastián, called the “Y Vasca.”  This loan is the first tranche of €1.03 billion in financing approved by the EIB on Sept. 19, Global Construction Review (GCR) reported on Oct. 24.

What has been described by GCR as an “engineering challenge,” the project entails building 160 km of new high-speed rail line among Vitoria, Bilbao and San Sebastián, and to convert the conventional line between San Sebastián and the French border (around 17 km) for mixed use (conventional and high-speed).

In addition, “the project includes remodelling, adaptations and the provision of new access routes for high-speed rail at the Vitoria, Bilbao and San Sebastián train stations. The path of these new high-speed connections is complex, with 80 km of tunnels and 25 km of viaducts,” European Investment Bank website wrote.

“The new line has been designed for a speed of 250 km/h, cutting the travel time from Madrid to San Sebastián or Bilbao from the current five hours to around three and a half hours. When the Valladolid-Burgos-Vitoria section is completed, this will fall to two and a half hours,” the EIB stated.

China Wants To Continue Positive Work with U.S. Military, Says Beijing Defense Ministry

Oct. 26 (EIRNS)—Speaking at a monthly news briefing at Beijing, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said China is happy to see positive developments in military relations with the United States that both countries’ leaders attached importance to.

“Looking to the future, we are willing to work with the U.S. side to respect each other, deepen mutual trust, focus on practical exchanges and cooperation and appropriately manage and control disputes, to continue injecting positive energy in the development of ties,” Ren said, reported Reuters.

Ren’s statement is particularly significant in light of the U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Asia next month. Trump will embark on a 12-day (Nov. 3-14) trip, during which he will visit Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

Ren also said that the military relations between China and the United States are a positive force in ties, and China wants to deepen mutual trust and cooperation.


Moscow and Riyadh Talk about Saudi Investments in Russia

Oct. 26 (EIRNS)—Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al-Saud met with Director of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev on the sidelines of the Oct. 24-26 Future Investment Initiative summit in Riyadh, reported TASS. The major topic of this event was the presentation of the proposed NEOM megacity on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast which was presented by Salman.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which runs the Future Investment Initiative, is chaired by Crown Prince Salman. In 2015, the RDIF and the PIF announced their plans to invest $10 billion in Russia and have set up two funds of $1 billion each to invest in technology and energy projects.

It was decided at the meeting that the RDIF will take part in the NEOM project. “The RDIF plans to act as a co-investor with other international funds and also attract Russia’s leading companies in creating the NEOM city, thus encouraging their high-tech expansion to the promising markets of Saudi Arabia and the entire Middle East,” Dmitriev said. “The RDIF together with partners is ready to invest several billion dollars in this project.”

Such projects as solar energy, healthcare and education, high-speed transport, in particular Hyperloop, port infrastructure, infrastructure for transshipment of agricultural products, and artificial intelligence are under discussion.

In another development, Russia and Qatar signed an agreement on military and technical cooperation.  It was endorsed by Russian Defense Minister General of the Army Sergey Shoigu and Qatari Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah and signed by Rosoboronexport and the Qatari Defense Ministry.


German President Steinmeier Meets with President Putin in Moscow

Oct. 26 (EIRNS)—The Moscow meeting between German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Russian President Vladimir Putin lasted for three hours, with Putin making a strong emphasis on economic cooperation: At the joint press conference afterward, the Russian President said there can be no doubt that German industry want to invest more in Russia, and that already during the first half of 2017, direct investments have gone up. During the first three months of 2017, Germans invested €312 million, more than during the entirety of 2016 when investments were only €225 million. Total trade, however, is still far below the level of 2014, when the sanctions against Russia were launched, although in 2017 so far, trade has showed an increase by 25%.

Putin referred to his very positive impression from a recent meeting with German industry CEOs in Sochi, including Siemens, Knauf, Nord Stream, and Linde.

Steinmeier did not address economics at the press conference, but instead said that “both sides agree that we cannot be content with the present situation and must not be content. We are still far from normal relations. There are still open wounds or aggravations, resulting in particular from the annexation of Crimea and from the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which were also a burden on our bilateral relations and still are.”

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