In Europe, a Big Step Forward for the New Silk Road: Now the United States
Nov. 26 (EIRNS)—The new economic paradigm led by China’s Belt and Road Initiative is an open invitation to nations to cooperate in economic development and reconstruction, in building new great projects of infrastructure, in raising human productivity through investments in new energy sciences and space exploration. It has the full collaboration of Putin’s Russia, and has definitely engaged U.S. President Donald Trump, drawing the fire of spokesmen for the old geopolitical wars and the “sole superpower.”
That new paradigm took a strong step forward this weekend in Bad Soden, Germany near Frankfurt, where the Schiller Institute of Lyndon and Helga LaRouche organized its highest-impact conference yet, to bring the Belt and Road fully into Europe and to reconstruction of the Middle East and Africa. More than 200 attendees heard leading speakers from East and West Europe, China, the United States, Africa and the Middle East describe the economic and cultural potentials of the new paradigm and commit to advance it. Helga Zepp-LaRouche provided the touchstone concept from Friedrich Schiller, that patriots love their nations but love mankind more. This is especially true with so many crises of war and potential war, left boiling from the age of British geopolitics now collapsing.
The conference received a full and detailed new report from Hussein Askary and Jason Ross of the coming reconstruction of Middle East war zones, and the building of a new Egypt and Sahel region in Africa. Speakers representing Syria and Egypt backed this. Leading aide to the Syrian President Bouthaina Shaaban was diverted at the last minute to go to Beijing, where she discussed a Chinese commitment to just this rebuilding from Syria’s civil war.
Italian Member of the European Parliament Marco Zanni described, by contrast, the non-functioning of the so-called Eurozone, where propping up megabanks has destroyed nations. It has forced them to turn to China for economic revival, as epitomized by Greece and the Balkans.
Helga LaRouche then presented a resolution, adopted by the whole, that Europe should lift its 120 million officially impoverished people out of poverty by cooperating with the Belt and Road Initiative of China, which has taken 700 million out of poverty in a generation!
A resolution against the horrifying war of the Saudi “coalition” on Yemen, also adopted unanimously, called for immediate ceasefire; lifting of the Saudis’ killer blockade of Yemen, and reconciliation talks without outside interference.
But as Helga LaRouche stressed, it is the United States which must join the new paradigm in order to bring the world safely into it, and out of the threat of even thermonuclear war. President Trump’s view was presented in Bad Soden by speakers who know him, Roger Stone and George Lombardi. Trump is clearly engaged with Presidents Xi and Putin, and intends to continue that productively no matter the howls about impeachments or indictments. Ironically, without yet joining it, Trump has brought the Belt and Road Initiative right into one state, depressed West Virginia, whose economy may be completely transformed by it and show America an example.
But just as in Germany this weekend, the initiative is up to the LaRouches’ political movement, which has an economic transformation policy in the form of the “Four Laws To Save the Nation” of Lyndon LaRouche. By the start of 2018 it intends to issue a newly updated special report, “The United States Joins the New Silk Road,” laying out those actions, from a Glass-Steagall reinstatement to a crash program for fusion power and plasma technologies.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Schiller Institute Holds International Conference on ‘Fulfilling the Dream of Mankind’
Nov. 25 (EIRNS)—The Schiller Institute’s international two-day conference, attended by guests from more than 30 countries, began today near Frankfurt, Germany, with the keynote delivered by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Schiller Institute founder and president. She referenced the sentence of Gottfried Leibniz that “We are living in the best of all possible worlds,” as demonstrating the developing potential of the universe, this being a challenge to mankind to overcome great evil by an even greater good. The New Silk Road strategy offers to overcome the manifest lack of development—this is what Mrs. LaRouche’s husband Lyndon LaRouche, who was in the audience, had addressed with his proposals for the New World Order already 50 years ago. Now, with Xi Jinping’s September 2013 announcement of the New Silk Road as Chinese government policy, we see this idea becoming materialized, with the mid-May Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, and the 19th Congress of the CPC proclaiming the elimination of poverty in China as a policy target, and also a better life for the people of all countries.
The geopoliticians of the old paradigm claim this is all just Chinese propaganda, but they cannot cover up the fact that their own system is crumbling, whereas the strategy of China is making rapid progress, with development corridors, rail routes, diplomacy in Eastern Europe, Ibero-America, Africa. And the Nov. 8-9 Trump visit to China was highly important, since it connects the two leading economies of the world behind the objective of “extending peace and prosperity to all other nations” (using Trump’s own words while in China).
The diplomacy Trump has with Xi and with Putin, Putin’s diplomacy with Xi, the meeting in Sochi between Putin and Assad, the African development projects in particular are signs of hope. As for Africa, tribute must be paid to Lyndon LaRouche who in 1980 already wrote that the Club of Rome genocide in Africa must be stopped by a new paradigm of policy based on the ideas of Gottfried Leibniz and Alexander Hamilton, the combination of science and statecraft for the benefit of the creative individual’s contribution to the good of all. The development of population density and higher energy flux density, through an ongoing process of perfection in science, culture, beauty of the mind, technology transfer and development of labor force, will ensure that every infant born has the chance to become a creative contributor to mankind’s progress.
Europe in its present state is on the opposite side of things, but it could and should change by following Leibniz’s recommendations, that because of affinities between the philosophy and culture of Europe and China, the “ren” of the latter being the same as the “agape” of Christianity, they can both cooperate for the good of the world. Many aspects of this can be found in Xi’s policies. Europe is suffering from the brainwashing campaign staged by the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) after the death of Franklin Roosevelt, which even the Nov. 12 Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung admitted created the left-wing liberalism of political correctness that dominates Western thinking. This went along with Churchill’s 1946 “Iron Curtain” proclamation, with the McCarthyite witch-hunt, the Truman Doctrine, Kennan’s “necessary lie,” that whole cartel of fake human rights and fake news, and the destruction of Classical music and arts which the Frankfurt School wrought with its attack on beauty and idealism, unleashing its cult of ugliness.
Next was the speech of Prof. He Wenping, director of African Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), opening the first panel of the conference. Voicing her joy about the musical selections that opened the morning session, she proceeded to give an overview of the development in Chinese policy since Deng Xiaoping, with the aim of achieving moderate prosperity for all Chinese by 2020 and a decent, better life also for the rest of the world, proclaimed as an aim of Xi Jinping’s policy. President Xi’s anti-corruption strategy is one with the anti-poverty strategy, as its inclusiveness replaces the infamous “red envelope” system of paying off officials for everything from better education to medical care, with the right to education and medical treatment and improved living, ridding society of such earlier social exclusions. An important principle of this policy is that the shoe is supposed to fit the foot, and not the other way around: Economic development must serve the citizens, and not just making big GDP figures but the improving the quality of development, achieved by innovation-driven growth. It makes no make sense to do everything to collect a lot of money by the time you turn 40, only to spend it all afterward for medical care because, you have ruined your health making it in the first place.
This goes with the principle of peaceful diplomacy, saying “no” to military expansion, to new colonialism, to simple export of the Chinese Model or ideological confrontations. The Belt and Road is a no “China First” policy, but it is extending a win-win to all other countries, through policy coordination, connectivity not just among governments and businesses, but also between people—the Chinese people will open up to other peoples. As for Africa, the Chinese approach is focused on 10 main areas of projects in infrastructure and production with the aim of creating millions of new jobs for Africans, Professor He said.
The second speaker on this panel was Dr. Saad Mohamed Mahmoud Elgioshy, former Transport Minister of Egypt, who spoke on the integration of his country’s Transportation Plans 2030 with the New Silk Road project. The plans are ambitious, as Egypt’s now 100 million people need a modern railway grid that replaces the very old grid, the country’s 15 seaports need a modernization, the land-sea connectivity has to be improved, the handling of freight has to be increased by about 50%. Egypt’s own plans comply with the principles of the New Silk Road: overcoming geopolitics, taking a win-win approach and respect for sovereignty, improving cooperation to avoid duplicated efforts, and creating and working with new financial institutions.
Egypt wants cooperation with all countries, but also seeks for their plans to comply with Egypt’s national targets. There are the grand highway projects for Cairo to Dakar, Senegal (8,600 km) and Cairo-Cape Town (10,200 km); there is the Sino-African Railway Cooperation; the development of Egypt’s own desert regions will open these areas for people who have been so far confined to live along a small strip of land along the Nile; the Qattara Depression project will connect with the Transaqua Project of using the tributaries of the Congo River, the Jonglei Canal project will benefit Egypt and Sudan. Former desert areas will be transformed into breadbaskets.
The last speaker on the morning panel was Marco Zanni, Italian Member of European Parliament, speaking on a “Future for Europe after the Euro.” The European Union pretends to serve the interests of the Europeans, but its supranational structures serve only the rich elites, whereas the situation of the poor is continuously worsened—in Southern Europe as well as in Germany, where the vote results show that the citizens are growing more and more skeptical of the EU. The European Union and Europe are two different things, the EU cannot address the three main problems faced by the Europeans: 1) the economic-financial crisis; 2) the threat to internal security posed by terrorists; 3) handling the migration flows. The EU always claims “there is no alternative” (“TINA”) to its policies, but there is an alternative to the asymmetries created between the EU member countries, ass well as among the people who live in those countries.
Europe has to be freed from the EU supra-structures in order to become a real bridge between Asia and America, to end provocations against Russia and to cooperate with Africa, Zanni said.
From the audience, LaRouche movement leader in Italy Liliana Gorini then reported on the campaign by Movisol to change the policies of the bail-in, which have robbed average citizens of the small earnings from their pensions: two victims of the bail-in have committed suicide in Italy, creating an outcry in the country. In a spirit of optimism though, this campaign seeks to end the bail-in with bank separation, and its fight for such a Glass-Steagall type law has been debated in Italy for many years as the only alternative. They have now launched a petition signed by 130 Italian officials from all political parties to be presented to U.S. Congress and to President Trump in January, calling for Glass-Steagall to be reinstituted. Gorini called on conference participants to sign the petition as well, to get the message to the United States that Europe wants the bank separation.
Schiller Institute Conference Panel III: An Optimistic Vision for the Future of Europe
Nov. 26 (EIRNS)—Jacques Cheminade, former French Presidential candidate, decades-long friend of Lyndon and Helga LaRouche, and head of the Solidarité et Progrès party, delivered the keynote this morning on “What Europe Should Contribute to the New World Paradigm.” With multiple references to European history, Cheminade polemicized for shrugging off the “self-destructive eurocentricism, to bring to the world the gift of a true internationalism, freed both from a narcissist nationalism, and a cosmopolitanism of financial slave herders,” by awakening the true treasures of our own nations within universal history.
Ukrainian economist and stateswoman Dr. Natalia Vitrenko then spoke on “China’s Initiative: From the Doom of Self-Destruction, to Prosperity and Progress. A View from Ukraine.” She is a former parliament faction head and candidate for President, whose Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine (PSPU) is now persecuted in Ukraine as “pro-Russian.”
“The existing world order is past its time,” Dr. Vitrenko said. “As long as it continues, mankind will be threatened by a spread of conflicts in the Middle East, Ukraine, and North Korea into a nuclear Third World War, and by a crash of the worldwide speculative financial system, which will be just as destructive.”
She then provided a shocking first-hand report of the fight against fascism, demonstrating the thorough collapse of living standards, production, and social parameters in Ukraine since the Obama-backed, Nazi coup of 2013-2014—in a Ukraine, which had been already been devastated by neo-liberal “shock therapy” after 1991.
The Kiev regime, completely failing to meet social obligations, instead is pursuing a policy of genocide, with millions having fled the war-torn region of Donbas; as of May 2017 more than 10,000 people having been killed according to UN figures. The ideology of Hitler-Nazism and destruction can be freely spread, financed by Ukrainian oligarchs and sponsors in the West. Vitrenko thanked all her friends from the LaRouche movement and the Schiller Institute, who in various forms have supported their party’s fight “for the progressive transformation of the world, and for turning Ukraine into a democratic and prosperous nation.”
Dr. Vitrenko was thanked by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, who emphasized how she and her associate, Vladimir Marchenko, were personally putting their lives on the line in their fight against the Ukraine’s Nazi putschists, and Mrs. LaRouche called for them to be supported in this fight. In addition to a dossier on the background of the putsch, participants also had the opportunity to receive a compilation of material on the illegal witchhunt against Vitrenko, Marchenko and the PSPU.
Dr. Jasminka Simic, author, editor, and journalist from Serbian RTV, in Belgrade, addressed the audience on “One Belt, One Road—An Opportunity for Development in the Western Balkans,” followed by Prof. Mariana Tian, Institute for Historical Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences from Sofia, on “Bulgaria’s Contribution to the Belt and Road Initiative in the Context of the Geopolitical State of the Balkans.” Dr. Simic went through the Serbian-Chinese projects in Serbia which have already been achieved, and expressed great appreciation for this cooperation, despite the EU pressures she detailed. She said that Serbia and the Western Balkan countries now have a chance to capitalize on their position along the Silk Road in order to develop their economies. Cooperation with China’s win-win cooperation policy could mean relief from certain political tensions and artificial dilemmas about “which side” a country like Serbia should be on—European or Russian.
Professor Tian, who is also an expert on Chinese culture, elaborated in detail many of the long-overdue infrastructure projects for the whole Balkans region, including Corridor VIII and the great potential to develop the area from the Black Sea to the Adriatic, and the contribution by the Chinese Belt and Road project to this effect.
As another indication of the great support for the Silk Road New Paradigm in Europe, this from Portugal, Dr. Fernanda Ilheu sent a greeting to the conference, read by Jacques Cheminade. As President of the New Silk Road Friends Association in Lisbon, she referred to the Portuguese Maritime Silk Road in the 15th and 16th centuries. Now, with new technologies, a new global dimension for the future can be created, provided we create a new mindset, she said.
Morocco Ready To ‘Team Up’ with China, on Belt and Road
Nov. 24 (EIRNS)—In an article published Nov. 23 in Global Times, Toumert Al of Morocco, Education Director of the International Bachelor Program of the China Foreign Affairs University, writes enthusiastically about his nation’s ties with China—going back centuries—and the potential the Belt and Road Initiative holds for the future.
Al points to the Nov. 17 Memorandum of Understanding his government signed with China which he predicts will bring the “shared future of both countries into a new era.” Morocco, he reports, has been a partner of China since 1345 when ibn Battuta made his famous voyage, and after three years, brought back “a wealth of knowledge related to trade, governance, finance and culture.”
Thus, Morocco “has fully understood the importance of China since ancient times.” It has benefitted from the Silk Road, “as it was a hub for Chinese goods bound for Europe, the Americas and of course the Sahel region of Africa.” Today, given China’s prominent international role, Al points out, Morocco “sees the potential of teaming up with China to realize its dream.” As Morocco was “a stepping stage centuries ago for Chinese goods and culture to reach different parts of the world, today we can play an even more crucial role within the aspirations of 21st century China and the B&R Initiative.”
Assad Aide Shaaban in China, Bringing the Silk Road to Syria
Nov. 25 (EIRNS)—Bouthaina Shaaban, a senior aide to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who was able to engage in a very moving address with the Schiller Institute International Conference in Berlin via videoconference on June 26, 2016, and was scheduled to speak personally at the Nov. 25-26 Schiller conference outside Frankfurt this weekend, could not attend due to a high-level visit to China.
Meeting with Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Nov. 24, Ms. Shaaban welcomed the fact that China is playing a greater role in Syria’s political resolution process, according to Reuters.
Wang Yi said that China hopes Syria can show flexibility in promoting peace talks, and promote dialogue and negotiation to achieve substantive results, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry. “The international community should emphasize and actively support Syria’s reconstruction. China will put forth its own effort for this,” Wang said.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
China’s ‘20-Year Plan To Develop West Virginia Petrochemical Industry’
Nov. 26 (EIRNS)—West Virginia Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher says that China Energy Investment Corp.’s $83 billion planned investment into the state is likely to have two new gas-fired electric power plants under construction by next Fall. But in a Nov. 12 interview with the Clarksburg State Journal, Thrasher spoke of long-term intended developments from the investment which are likely to have a greater impact on productivity and economic progress in this economically depressed state.
The result, according to Thrasher, may be as many as 100,000 new jobs—the state’s workforce is currently 775,000. Alaska expects 12,000 new jobs to be created by its new LNG deal with Sinopec and China Investment Corp. (CIC); although also a large investment ($43 billion), its aim is export rather than industrial development.
Thrasher said that the agreement he signed in Beijing with China Energy President Ling Wen, actually under discussion for nearly two years, “is a methodical, 20-year plan to develop the gas and petrochemical industry in West Virginia…. It’s a sequential plan, with one step and a second step and so on.”
West Virginia University (WVU) entered into a memorandum of understanding with China Energy in 2016, on taking advantage of the state’s Marcellus Shale gas reserves, for which it has not had the infrastructure. WVU Energy Institute Director Brian Anderson told the paper that China Energy’s idea of a regional ethane hub is not just extraction and export, but spin-off industries in the state, centering on petrochemicals production. “This is all downstream,” meaning beyond extraction and in industrial processing.
As for follow-through on the memorandum, state Gov. Jim Justice, was quoted today by associated daily Exponent Telegram, said “Donald (Trump) is not going to let West Virginia get shafted…. Do I know its going to be $83 billion? No. But I know it’s going to be a lot of money that’s invested here.”
American coverage of this extraordinary agreement gained by President Trump in China continues to be sparse. Other recent items include only an article in OilPrice.com and a column in West Virginia’s Weirton Daily Times—not household names.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Warnings Continue: Crash Coming of Central Bank-Fueled Debt
Nov. 26 (EIRNS)—It has become widely recognized—though not among government or central bank officials in the United States or Europe—that the central banks of America, Europe and Japan have blown up an immense global corporate debt bubble which is soon going to crash.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), for example, announced a forthcoming report that finds that “Household and corporate debt in many advanced and emerging market economies is too high. While higher indebtedness does not necessarily imply that problems are just around the corner, it does increase vulnerability to shocks.” On corporate borrowing, the OECD warned risk had been shifted from banks to the credit markets themselves while there has been a “substantial decrease in credit quality.” Their full report is due out this week.
More blunt is a European fund manager, Francesco Filia, whose company has developed metrics for measuring overpricing or underpricing of financial assets. Filia reported “There are a number of different metrics. They all convene that this is a market bubble that has not been seen before in history.” That is for the stock markets bubble. But the bond markets bubble—the corporate debt bubble—is worse. “What makes modern markets so uniquely precarious is the fact that investors are struggling with twin bubbles in bonds and equities…. NIRP and ZIRP [the policies of the U.S. Federal Reserve, ECB and Bank of Japan] have created distortions in bond valuations that have left them extremely overvalued compared with history, meaning that the inevitable regression to the mean will likely take the form of a vicious selloff…. We are in totally uncharted territory.”
The Wall Street Journal, in a Nov. 16 article on Europe’s unpayable corporate debts, wrote “10% of the companies in six Eurozone countries including France, Germany, Italy and Spain are zombies, according to the [European] Central Bank’s latest data”—that is, they are incapable of paying even the interest on their debts.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
$5 Billion Needed Just for Transport Reconstruction in Syria
Nov. 25 (EIRNS)—Syrian Minister of Transport Ali Hamud, speaking to Sputnik, estimated that the destruction to his country’s transport network will cost $4.765 billion in repairs. Among the damage: 50 automobile bridges; 17 railway bridges; 50% of intercity roads (4,095 km); 75% of the existing 2,400 km of rail.
Hamud said that “repair brigades” move in with the army as soon as an area is liberated to begin restoration. “We have developed a plan of action, on how to restore the destroyed areas as soon as possible. By the end of the liberation of any district, we already have the necessary materials, tools and specialists. For example, when the military liberated the eastern Aleppo from the terrorists, we needed to bring the 18 km railway into operation. During the work on the railway canvas, 130 bombs were found and rendered harmless,” the minister said.
The minister said that the priority for the future is fixing the transport network within the country. Because of the sanctions from the West, he said repairing the destroyed aircraft is impossible, since they can not obtain spare parts.
Erdogan Reports, Trump Said He Will Stop Arming Kurds in Syria
Nov. 25 (EIRNS)—On Friday, just days after the meeting in Sochi of the Presidents of Russia, Iran and Turkey—guarantors of the Astana Process for peace in Syria—U.S. President Trump held a fruitful phone discussion with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who was in on the call, told the press that Trump “clearly stated that weapons will not be given to [Syrian Kurdish] YPG anymore, and said that essentially this nonsense should have been ended before,” according to the Turkey’s Anadolu Agency. Cavusoglu said one of the topics that negatively affected U.S.-Turkey ties the most were the weapons that Washington supplied to the PYD/YPG, which Turkey considers a terrorist organization. “Lately, we have seen that some armored vehicles were also given,” he said. “Our President once again conveyed our discomfort to Mr. Trump.”
The White House statement on the call did not confirm the Turkish report, but did not refute it, saying: “Consistent with our previous policy, President Trump also informed President Erdogan of pending adjustments to the military support provided to our partners on the ground in Syria, now that the battle of Raqqa is complete and we are progressing into a stabilization phase to ensure that ISIS cannot return.”
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Electricity, Night Light Rise in Asia and Africa
Nov. 26 (EIRNS)—Asia has made large gains in the economically critical area of electrification since 2000, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), with Sub-Saharan Africa also making progress. In a report called “Energy Access Outlook 2017,” IEA says the number of people without access to electricity fell to below 1.1 billion people for the first time in 2016, with nearly 1.2 billion people having gained access since 2000.
Of the 1.2 billion now with electricity access, some 870 million or 73% are in Asia; 500 million in India alone. “There is also for the first time a positive trend in Sub-Saharan Africa, where electrification efforts have been outpacing population growth since 2014. However, progress is uneven, and there are still more people without electricity today than there were in 2000.”
There are still more than 1 billion people with no access to electricity.
Notably, the report finds that nearly all of the 1.2 billion people have gained access via connection to the main (national or regional) electricity grid. Coal is the dominant energy source being converted into new electrical power, with nuclear power—so far—accounting for just 5%. That is scheduled to increase.