Trump’s Challenge in Asia Is His Economy at Home; China’s Belt and Road Offers Path to a Solution
FLASH: Nov. 5 (EIRNS)—An attempt to derail President Donald Trump’s upcoming meetings with China’s President Xi, Russia’s President Putin and other leaders was launched in German and British media Sunday. These media are reporting Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, accompanying the President to Asia, as being under Russian influence, based on an indirect investment in a Marshall Islands shipping firm. The underlying report has obviously been prepared in anticipation of the trip, and comes out from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Nov. 5 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump was pressed hard by Fox News interviewer Laura Ingraham Nov. 4 about demanding strategic access to China’s financial markets, major trade concessions, confessions of “stealing intellectual property,” and so on and so forth, when he meets with China’s President Xi Jinping. Notably, Trump replied that he was not going to Asia to make those demands, because his great interest is in solving the nuclear crisis around North Korea, and because of his extremely good working relationship with President Xi.
Overnight Nov. 4, flying from Hawaii to Japan, President Trump confirmed he will have a third meeting with Russian President Putin, at the APEC summit in Da Nang, Vietnam.
As he has done since before his election, Trump is again defying the policy of London and Wall Street regarding China and Russia, and this is the reason those forces continue to deploy legal assassin Robert Mueller, and British intelligence, to try to force the President out of office.
Former Goldman Sachs chief and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson represented Wall Street and the City of London in a Sunday Washington Post op-ed, demanding that with Xi, “Trump should be strategic and forceful in defense of America’s industries of the future, particularly in the financial services,” and should insist that China’s financial markets open up to the investment bank/hedge fund model. On the same day the London Times unleashed a long attack on Putin and Trump, claiming that it “is finally becoming clear” that both Brexit and Trump’s election were interlinked products of the same, evil influence of “friends of Putin.” (No doubt this is the source of the trans-Atlantic economies’ 10 years of stagnation as well!)
Trump’s crucial opposition to these imperial Rumpelstiltskins means that there is tremendous potential for “win-win” cooperation coming from his Asia trip.
His real challenge is understanding how great is the need of the United States economy—let alone those of Europe—for the benefits of joining in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and pursuing a new paradigm of mutually beneficial new infrastructure projects and scientific breakthroughs.
Trump went to Asia boasting about the U.S. stock markets and “2 million new jobs”; but American workers’ real wages continue falling, 90% of those jobs are unproductive, and the American labor force is kept shrinking in an exploding epidemic of drug and alcohol addition born of deindustrialization.
And in the wake of multiple hurricane and fire disasters, demands are coming forward for the immediate building of new protective infrastructure, mounting into the hundreds of billions of dollars in investments needed now. This, aside from being necessary to save lives and preserve economic productivity, is uniquely where productive, well-paid new employment will come from.
This was Trump’s election signature, so far unattempted. The only actual new infrastructure launched in the hurricane-hit areas of the United States so far, is a new Texas coastal pipeline being financed by PowerChina. The lines of economic innovation which Wall Street claims Trump has to force down China’s throat, are all being pursued fastest in China already, thanks to President Xi.
The single path to what Trump campaigned for, is through Glass-Steagall reinstatement and a “Hamiltonian” national credit bank as outlined by EIR founding editor Lyndon LaRouche, and through joining the “Belt and Road” policy.
This is worth fighting for; it includes shutting down Mueller’s witchhunt, as members of Congress have begun to demand.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
An Open Letter to German President Steinmeier from Helga Zepp-LaRouche
Nov. 4 (EIRNS)—Helga Zepp-LaRouche wrote an open letter to German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Nov. 4 (entitled “The Number of Refugees Worldwide Has Reached 66 million: Our Planet’s Next 50 Years”) prompted by the speech that he had given two days earlier at the Singapore Management University. On that occasion, he mentioned a lecture series that six universities in Singapore are co-organizing called “Imagining the Next 50 Years,” and then remarked: “I think that’s a bold approach—and it’s something that we in Germany should do more often. We should look through a telescope into the future, rather than just looking at the very next day, the next annual balance sheet, or the next election.” Her letter is posted to the website of the political party she heads in Germany, the Civil Rights Solidarity Movement (Bürgerrechtsbewegung Solidarität, BüSo).
Helga Zepp-LaRouche welcomed that part of his statement: “To hear that from you is a breath of fresh air, and one can only hope that it is strong enough to blow over to the negotiations for a government coalition in Berlin.”
“Given your Singapore speech, I would like to send you the book my husband wrote in 2004, Earth’s Next Fifty Years. In this book, he anticipated the entire, currently visible shift of the strategic dynamic to Eurasia and defined the higher level of thinking, on which the peaceful cooperation of mankind can take place. This book is moreover very popular in many Asian countries.”
Zepp-LaRouche reported in her letter the alarming figures given by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on Nov. 2. From 2009 to today, the number of displaced persons has grown from 42 million to nearly 66 million.
The crucial question, Zepp-LaRouche writes, is how to find a “humanist solution to the refugee problem and establish peace.” Addressing Steinmeier directly, she situates that this is a personal challenge for him, “as former Foreign Minister and current President of a major country.”
On the same occasion in Singapore, Steinmeier recognized that “many people look at the European Union or the United States and say: ‘Well, this doesn’t look very harmonious.’ And many people look at China and see stability and economic growth—without a movement towards greater political freedom. So China poses a challenge to the West—not only an economic and geopolitical challenge, but also an ideological challenge.”
The part on the challenge is true, Zepp-LaRouche commented, but not for the reasons generally believed in the West. In fact, China’s model of development has produced amazing results worldwide, and the Chinese just might be “politically more free than most people in the West are,” while the EU has so far refused to examine why it has created such a lack of harmony.
The President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani stated in remarks before the Tunisian Parliament on Oct. 30 that Europe should invest €40 billion in Africa instead of the €3.7 billion now allotted in the EU budget, in order to launch an effective Marshall Plan. Zepp-LaRouche welcomed such an initiative, but cautioned that if such a plan were only designed to counter China’s influence in Africa, it is doomed to fail, “Because ‘New Silk Road spirit’ is contagious, while insisting on bureaucratic rules that only cover up for the geopolitical intentions behind them, is not.”
The ideological challenge posed by China, Zepp-LaRouche went on, involves “recognizing that the emphasis on the general welfare perhaps represents just as high a value as individual freedom,” and that “must not pose a contradiction if one thinks like Friedrich Schiller, that freedom lies in necessity.”
She concludes with a recommendation to Frank-Walter Steinmeier, that he accept and welcome China’s offer of cooperation on the New Silk Road.
President Xi Jinping Will Keynote APEC Summit in Vietnam
Nov. 4 (EIRNS)—It was confirmed yesterday by the Chinese Foreign Ministry that President Xi Jinping will keynote the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Da Nang on Nov. 10. After the APEC meeting, Xi will make official state visits to Vietnam and Laos.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was in Vietnam over Nov. 2-3, meeting with leaders on projects and commitments. “Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong said at a press briefing that President Xi’s attendance at the APEC meeting in Da Nang shows China’s high regard for Asia-Pacific cooperation,” reported Global Times.
Wang Yi spoke of developing China-Vietnam relations to a higher level through building of a community of shared future. He said that there are ways to carry out pragmatic cooperation within the many opportunities created by the Belt and Road. Meeting with Wang on Nov. 2, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said that Xi’s forthcoming visit to Vietnam will be a new milestone in the relations between the two countries.
China Prepares a ‘State Visit-Plus’ for U.S. President Trump
Nov. 4 (EIRNS)—“State Visit-Plus” was the characterization given by the Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai, when briefing the media this week on President Trump’s trip to China. What he meant was that, in addition to the normal accoutrements of a state visit, i.e. talks, a military guard of honor, a state banquet and the like, the Chinese leader will reciprocate President Trump’s special treatment of inviting the Chinese President to his home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida in a show of hospitality which few visiting dignitaries receive.
Cui also underlined the important symbolism that Trump’s visit will be the first state visit following the historic 19th Party Congress of the CPC. At that Congress, China affirmed its clear emergence as a world power, and made a commitment to therefore enhancing its relationship with other major powers.
Cui also said he thought there would be a significant outcome from the visit in terms of trade. He indicated that a good deal of preparatory work had already been done to pave the way for “deliverables” on the trade front from the summit. (It is also highly likely that President Xi will also broach the issue of U.S. participation in the Belt and Road. Among the numerous executives with President Trump on the trip are representatives from Honeywell and General Electric, both of which are heavily engaged in the Belt and Road.)
German Exports Up, Because of ‘China, China, China’
Nov. 3 (EIRNS)—Reporting on an impressive rise in German machine exports by 12% in September, Ralph Wiechers, chief economist of the national Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA) said: “The main driver is China, China, China.” He explained that whereas exports are doing fine, investments domestically are too low, and that the situation inside Germany is no incentive for entrepreneurs to invest in new machines.
Going into no further detail, Wiechers also pointed to the United States, as a market undergoing increased machine imports from Germany, this year—this is an indication that at least some, though limited, new investments have been made in the States, since Trump took office.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Calls for Mueller To Step Down, Amid Speculation He May Issue New Indictment While Trump Is in Asia
Nov. 5 (EIRNS)—On Friday, Nov. 3, three GOP members on the House Judiciary Committee, which has oversight over the FBI and Department of Justice, called for Robert Mueller’s resignation in a resolution introduced in the House. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and co-sponsors Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) and Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) introduced the resolution, citing Mueller’s ties as FBI director and the FBI’s role in an Obama-era decision having to do with Russia.
The case involved U.S. approval for Russia to buy a Canadian company, Uranium One, which controls American uranium reserves. A witness with knowledge of alleged bribery in the deal was investigated by the FBI for four years, and then forced to sign a nondisclosure agreement. Gaetz said these events were “deeply troubling,” and that Mueller’s “impartiality is hopelessly compromised.” Gaetz said Nov. 3 that Mueller “must step down immediately.”
Will Mueller issue another indictment during Trump’s Asia trip? NBC News reports that Mueller “has enough evidence to indict Michael Flynn,” former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and Trump’s first National Security Advisor, and implies that Mueller is about indict Flynn, according to what NBC claims are “three sources familiar with the investigation.” It says “The investigators are speaking to multiple witnesses in coming days to gain more information surrounding Flynn’s lobbying work, including whether he laundered money or lied to federal agents about his overseas contacts.” Also leaked, is the possibility that Mueller will indict Flynn’s son, to pressure Flynn to more “cooperate” against Trump.
Rushing to Mueller’s defense, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan appeared on CNN today and opposed any interference with legal assassin Mueller. “Let Mueller do his job, let the professionals do their work. We’re not going to interfere with his investigation. The investigation will take its course, and we will let it take its course,” Ryan insisted.
Trump Trip Now Targeted by ‘Russia’ Attack on Wilbur Ross
Nov. 5 (EIRNS)—British and German media filled late Sunday with a new “Russian influence” attack on the Trump Administration, just as the President had confirmed he would meet with Russian President Putin as well as Chinese President Xi during his Asia trip. The publications claimed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, leading a large business delegation to China as part of the trip, is under Russian influence, based on an indirect investment in a Marshall Islands shipping firm. The breaking of the Ross-Russia story today, as Trump’s meetings are underway, was clearly planned for at least some days if not weeks in advance.
Like the “Panama Papers” five years ago, the “Paradise Papers” are a trove hacked from the Bermuda-based law firm Appleby and some of its subsidiaries, and delivered—like the Panama Papers—to the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung. The paper gave them—again, like the Panama Papers—to the International Committee of Investigative Journalists. ICIJ announced it would be reporting on these documents in general, revealing offshore holdings of rich and famous figures. But on Nov. 5 it issued a separate, featured release, “Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Benefits from Business Ties to Putin’s Inner Circle.” BBC and Süddeutsche Zeitung itself led in breaking this “story” Sunday afternoon.
These papers supposedly reveal that Ross participates with other investors in an offshore holding, which in turn invests in Navigator Holdings, Ltd. based in the Marshall Islands. Sometime before that investment, Navigator was engaged in shipping petrochemicals for the Russian company Sibur, two of whose owners are said to be “close to Putin” and under U.S. sanctions.
The ICIJ release, rather than sticking to these supposed “new facts,” reveals its bias by a long rehearsal of other Obama, Congressional-hearing, and Mueller allegations of the past year about Russian influence, and quotes Daniel Fried of the Atlantic Council saying, “Why would any officer of the U.S. government have any relationship with a Putin crony?” Fried was an Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs under George W. Bush.
ICIJ also quotes another George W. Bush official, Richard Painter, its “chief ethics lawyer”—an oxymoron. “I’d be very concerned that someone in the U.S. government was making money from dealing with the Russians, and I’d want to know the facts,” Painter said.
Commerce Department spokesman James Rockas said Sunday, “Secretary Ross recuses himself from any matters focused on transoceanic shipping vessels, but has been generally supportive of the administration’s sanctions of Russian and Venezuelan entities.” Navigator has also shipped for Venezuela’s PDVSA.
Gabbard Denounces Election-Rigging by Hillary Clinton Campaign
Nov. 4 (EIRNS)—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) issued a statement and a video yesterday denouncing the rigging of the 2016 election by the Hillary Clinton campaign. Her statement opens, “Today we heard from Donna Brazile that what many suspected for a long time, is actually true: the DNC secretly chose their nominee over a year before the primary elections even occurred, turning over DNC control to the Clinton campaign. The deep financial debt, closed door decision-making, complete lack of transparency, and unethical practices are now front and center.”
The five-paragraph statement calls for reform of campaign finance laws, ending the “undemocratic system of superdelegates, who have the power to swing an election,” use of same-day registration for Democratic Party primaries.
She said that the current system, “essentially allowed the Clinton campaign to bypass individual campaign contribution limits by funneling millions of dollars through the DNC and state parties, taking control of the DNC in the process.”
Gabbard concluded with the theme, “Take back our party.” She said, “We must act now to take back our party—a party that belongs to the people—and fight for a new path forward that is open, transparent, accountable, inclusive, and that actually strengthens our democracy.”
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Major Disaster Infrastructure Requests Are Multiplying
Nov. 5 (EIRNS)—Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul told the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Nov. 2, “I am recommending the building of a major new dam and reservoir at Cypress Creek” just northwest of Houston. “We cannot afford to wait 10 years for the Army Corps to build this reservoir. We should meet the infrastructure needs now.” This dam and reservoir, among a number of new ones needed along the rivers running into the Texas Gulf Coast to prevent repeated flooding disasters, was apparently not part of the $61 billion requested from Congress Nov. 1 by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, of which about $35 billion was for new water management infrastructure.
Congressional sources told EIR that Florida is now preparing a similarly major request for infrastructure-building funding from the Federal government, with a particular emphasis on flood control around Jacksonville but covering many needed projects in the state.
And the Trump Administration made a major announcement Nov. 3 about Puerto Rico, which effectively commits the Federal government to build new, modern economic infrastructure on the island. President Trump signed an executive order, based on an agreement with Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, authorizing FEMA to pay for 90% of the costs of building new power and other infrastructure, and beginning a process of lending Puerto Rico the remaining 10%. A White House official was quoted by Reuters Nov. 4, “Obviously it’s going to be a big dollar figure. I know there won’t be any balking at the amount of money needed from the administration.” Reuters reported the order uses the Stafford Act (national emergency and disaster funds) in an unprecedented way, and “The procedures will allow Puerto Rico to estimate the costs of big projects up front—with help from third-party advisers—and draw down from approved grants…. The agreement will also allow Puerto Rico to access hazard mitigation grants” so that the structures are resilient to future storms.
The White House will request another emergency supplemental from Congress this month or in early December. But there is really only one way to fund this national infrastructure response quickly, and that is through a national credit institution like FDR’s Reconstruction Finance Corporation or, better, a “Hamiltonian” national bank.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
South Africa Energy Minister Focuses on Nuclear Energy for Future Generations
Nov. 5 (EIRNS)—Undaunted by vocal and political opposition to its ambitious plan to build 9,600 MW of new nuclear generation, South Africa’s leadership is pushing ahead, trying to make up for lost time, by accelerating its timetable.
Energy Minister David Mahlobo, who has been on the job for only a few weeks, has decided to finalize the country’s integrated energy resource plan this weekend, and have it finished in the next two weeks, City Press reported today. Originally, the report, which lays out South Africa’s projected energy needs and mix of energy resources for the future, was to be done in February. Two days ago, Mahlobo told the press that “People who say we should not invest [in nuclear] do not understand that, each and every day, more companies are closing down and more young people are getting out of employment and even more out of the educational system. We are creating soldiers of unemployment.
“Any responsible government will plan well because it is becoming a national security issue. One day these people would have nothing to lose and they will take this government out. The ANC must never be deterred in the face of political parties who want to stop us from implementing our program.”
The Minister stressed that South Africa wants to “ensure energy security…. That is, you do not want to have disturbances that one day you wake up you do not have sufficient energy.” For those who complain that nuclear is more expensive, Mahlobo said, there are things that are more important than the finances, such as a secure source of energy. We have to be able guarantee energy for future generations, he said. The resource requirement projections in the integrated plan assume economic growth and the need for more energy.
President Jacob Zuma, who has had to fight within his own cabinet for the nuclear program, and has replaced some of the worst opposers, assured Members of Parliament on Nov. 2 that despite opposition from Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, the nuclear program will go forward. President Jacob Zuma said while his Energy and Finance Ministers appear to disagree on the nuclear program, “they were not saying we [will] change policy. They were talking about how do we implement this particular decision.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Pentagon Admits Ground Invasion Is Only Way To Neutralize D.P.R.K. Nuclear Weapons
Nov. 5 (EIRNS)—The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff have admitted that the only way that North Korea’s nuclear weapon arsenal can be neutralized with certainty is by a ground invasion. According to Newsweek, the admission was made to Democrats Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), both veterans of the U.S. military. They had highlighted their concerns about possibility of war with North Korea in a letter to the Pentagon, which also requested a detailed report on the potential consequences of that conflict.
After receiving the Pentagon response, the two Congress members, and over a dozen other Democratic members of Congress, issued a joint statement: “As Veterans, we have defended this nation in war and we remain committed to this country’s security. We also understand that entering into a protracted and massive ground war with North Korea would be disastrous for U.S. troops and our allies. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, it appears, agree. Their assessment underscores what we’ve known all along: There are no good military options for [dealing with] North Korea.”