Xi Appeals to Trump: Let Us ‘Look Far Ahead and Aim High’
Nov. 1 (EIRNS)—On the eve of Donald Trump’s trip to Asia, Chinese President Xi Jinping is taking steps to actively shape the tone and content of his upcoming Nov. 8 summit meeting with President Trump, as well as to weave Russia and India into the emerging New Paradigm. In a speech delivered to the advisory board of Tsinhua University’s School of Economics and Management, composed largely of high-powered American business and financial leaders, Xi first reiterated his commitment to forging good China-U.S. relations based on win-win economic cooperation, and then stated that “China is willing to work with the U.S. side to look far ahead and aim high” to establish a “community of shared future for mankind.”
When the Chinese President calls for looking “far ahead” and aiming “high,” these are not mere empty phrases—as we are so used to hearing from vacuous politicians in the West. Recall that Xi just led his country through the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which adopted a concrete perspective for “building a beautiful China and a beautiful world” by the year 2050, centered on extending the Belt and Road Initiative to the entire planet. Recall that China has raised 700 million of their own people out of poverty in merely three decades, and that they are now embarked on helping Africa do the same, as well as any other part of the planet smart enough to accept their offer to collaborate. And recall that Xi Jinping has put a proposal on the table to the United States to join the Belt and Road Initiative, almost from the moment he launched the policy back in 2013.
It is extremely important that Xi Jinping is speaking out ahead of the summit with Trump, Schiller Institute chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche commented today, to create an advantageous climate for that critical meeting. He has placed his thoughts and proposals out there beforehand, and that is good, she said.
Now it is time for President Donald Trump to take a lesson in statecraft from Lyndon LaRouche. One cannot defeat one’s enemy by merely countering his assaults and parrying each of his thrusts—as preposterous as these may be with the Robert Mueller affair. One has to do exactly what your enemy is trying to stop you from doing with his attacks, because he knows that it means the destruction of his own bankrupt system. Do what your enemy most fears from you, and put him on uncharted, defensive ground.
In this case, that means that Trump must act like a true statesman and use his summit with Xi Jinping a week from now, to avidly take up China’s standing offer to join the Belt and Road Initiative. And he must silence his tormenters by bankrupting their masters, swiftly reinstating Glass-Steagall banking separation. Those measures will put an end to the City of London and Wall Street’s speculative empire—quicker than you can say George Papadopoulos.
NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Xi Jinping Is ‘Optimistic about the Prospects for China-U.S. Relations’ with Win-Win Cooperation
Nov. 1 (EIRNS)—Chinese President Xi Jinping met on Oct. 30 with the advisory board of the prestigious Tsinhua University’s School of Economics and Management. The board includes a number of high-profile Americans—Henry Paulson (Chairman of the Paulson Institute), Stephen Schwarzman (Blackstone Group Chairman), Jim Breyer (Breyer Capital founder and CEO), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook CEO), etc.—and Xi used the occasion to deliver a message and set the tone for his Nov. 8-10 meeting with President Donald Trump.
According to an account in Xinhua, Xi stated: “As a beneficiary of and contributor to economic globalization, China’s development is the opportunity for the world. China’s opening up is not a zero-sum game but win-win cooperation.” Xi further stated that “We are optimistic about the prospects for China-U.S. relations.” He elaborated, in Xinhua’s paraphrase of his remarks, that “he is looking forward to receiving U.S. President Donald Trump in Beijing early next month. China is willing to work with the U.S. side to look far ahead and aim high, take each other’s interests and concerns into consideration, properly solve differences and jointly promote China-U.S. cooperation so as to realize a mutually beneficial and win-win situation. [China will] promote the establishment of a community of shared future for mankind.”
China and Russia Should Together Create a ‘Silk Road on the Ice,’ Xi Told Visiting Dmitry Medvedev
Nov. 1 (EIRNS)—Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is in Beijing for regularly scheduled meetings with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, and he also met with President Xi Jinping. Xi told Medvedev that China and Russia should create a “Silk Road on the Ice,” and fully “integrate the Belt and Road Initiative with the Eurasian Economic Union.” According to a Xinhua wire, “Xi called on both sides to increase the content of technological innovation in their cooperation and integrate the Belt and Road Initiative with the Eurasian Economic Union. China and Russia should cooperate in the development and utilization of the Arctic navigation channels to create a ‘Silk Road on the Ice,’ Xi said.”
Xinhua writes: “Xi said China is ready to work with Russia to expand cooperation in various fields, maintain close coordination in international affairs and promote the building of a community of shared future…. Xi pointed out China and Russia should give full play to the prime ministers’ regular meetings and enhance cooperation on energy, equipment manufacturing, agriculture and aerospace.” The EAEU is an international organization for regional economic integration, comprised of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia.
Medvedev, for his part, transmitted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s greetings to Xi, and his congratulations on the recently concluded CPC Congress and Xi’s re-election as the general secretary of the CPC Central Committee. The Congress, Medvedev said, “carries great significance to both China and the world.”
In Medvedev’s discussion with China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Li said that “Medvedev is the first foreign leader to visit China after the 19th National Congress of the CPC,” Xinhua reported. “This has shown the closeness and high level of China-Russia ties,” Li stated. He also underscored that, as affirmed in the 19th CPC Congress, China will “share development opportunities with countries around the world,” Xinhua reported.
Prior to Medvedev’s departure for China, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko had told the press that, “At present, financial regulators of the two countries are working on extending the bilateral currency-swap agreement for the next three years.” He said that some Russian banks have joined the China International Payments System (CIPS), and that the Russian National Card Payment System (NSPK) and China’s UnionPay have agreed to process domestic Russian transactions using UnionPay cards in NSPK, Sputnik reported.
Medvedev himself told the press in Beijing that, “At the present moment it is being discussed whether Karta Mir [Russia’s own payment system under development] should be linked to Chinese payment systems.” He also said that the world financial system would be more stable if it weren’t dominated by the single, dollar-payment system.
Presidents of Russia, Iran, and Azerbaijan Hold Summit in Iran
Nov. 1 (EIRNS)—The summit among Russia, Azerbaijan, and Iran took place in Tehran on Nov. 1. The leaders met in both bilateral and trilateral formats, and discussed issues, including Syria, joint efforts in the fight against terrorism, and economic cooperation. On the latter, they especially discussed infrastructure projects, including the construction of a main railway line—the western branch of the North-South Transport Corridor—as well as cooperation in the energy sector. They also exchanged opinions on current international problems.
The talks demonstrate how far relations among the three countries, which have been tense at many times in the past, have progressed, especially concerning economic cooperation. Russian President Vladimir Putin met in bilateral sessions with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. “We are very pleased that, apart from our bilateral relations, our two countries play an important role in securing peace and stability in the region,” Iranian President Rouhani told Putin in his welcome remarks. In subsequent discussion, Rouhani noted Russian-Iranian cooperation in fighting terrorism, especially in Syria.
Ahead of the talks, Putin thanked Rouhani for organizing the meetings. The Iranian Presidency reports that Putin referenced attempts to dismantle the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal with Iran. Associated Press quoted him as saying that, “unilateral dismantling of the nuclear deal under any excuse is not acceptable. The lack of acceptance of international commitments by some countries is not acceptable.”
On the same day of the visit, Russia’s state-controlled oil company, Rosneft, signed an agreement with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) to build joint oil and gas projects worth $30 billion. Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak said that the two countries would sign a Memorandum of Understanding to support the new pipeline project, which will bring Iranian gas to India. The day before the visit, a Russian company broke ground on two new power plants due to be built at the Bushehr nuclear facility in Iran.
In his meeting with Azerbaijan’s Aliyev, Putin noted that the two “talk frequently … because there is a special relationship between our countries. Our relations are at strategic partnership level.” For his part, Aliyev emphasized that, “we give a new impetus to the development of relations, we are very glad that in the economic sphere the trade turnover is growing…. Our relations with Russia are of a strategic nature. We cooperate in all areas: in the humanitarian, economic, energy, transport, and military-technical areas. Therefore, these are comprehensive relations of friends, neighbors and close partners.”
Following the meeting of the three leaders, the Iranian President said at their joint press conference that President Putin had proposed holding the next summit in Russia, and that this was accepted.
Portugal and China Sign Action Plan on Maritime Silk Road
Nov. 1 (EIRNS)—Portugal’s Minister of the Sea Ana Paula Vitorino, accompanied by representatives of 39 Portuguese port and related companies and industries, is in China for a busy, eight-day visit (Oct. 28-Nov. 4) to concretize Portugal’s participation in the Maritime Silk Road component of the Belt and Road. That includes hopes for some $2.5 billion in Chinese investments in expanding container and other facilities in the Portuguese ports of Sines (towards the south), Lisbon (in the center), and Leixoes (towards the north), as well as in areas of “blue biotechnology,” oceanic aquaculture, and marine industry.
The first of two planned high-level seminars took place in Beijing on Oct. 30, with representatives of 86 Chinese companies present. Vitorino’s Chinese counterpart, State Oceanic Administration Director Wang Hong, there spoke of maritime cooperation as an “essential part” of Chinese-Portuguese cooperation, and discussed China’s overall view of the “ocean as an important doorway for China to embrace the whole world.”
Vitorino, for her part, said that “Portugal wants to declare itself a global logistical hub in the Atlantic area,” and “double the value of the blue economy,” to the level of becoming one of the five most sea-related economies in the world. She described Portugal as “a necessary stop on north-south Atlantic routes … [and] a required crossing point in east-west routes.”
That statement echoes Portuguese State Internationalization Secretary Jorge Costa Oliveira’s declarations at the May Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, that Portugal desires that “a maritime route to [the port of] Sines be included, and in addition, that the land rail Silk Road, which already goes from Chongqing to Madrid, also comes to Portugal.”
So far, Vitorino has signed an Action Plan with Wang Hong, outlining collaboration on research and commercial projects as China and Portugal establish an expanded “blue economy” partnership. She met today with the president of the Development Bank of China.
Vitorino also reported that agreements had been reached between Portuguese and Chinese companies to form consortiums which would compete for various of the planned investment projects. No specific details were given, but the Portuguese businesses represented are leading port operators, construction companies, logistics operators, naval boatyard repair works, engineering, energy, aquaculture, and fish transformation companies, Macauhub reported.
U.S. POLITICAL & ECONOMIC
Call for Appointing a Special Prosecutor To Investigate British Meddling in the U.S. Elections
Nov. 1 (EIRNS)—Another special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate British meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, writes Matthew Walter in The Week, a London-based weekly publication with a U.S. edition. After ridiculing the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Walter says:
“If it’s not going away, the least we could do is broaden the investigation’s scope. Why not appoint another special prosecutor to investigate British meddling in our sacrosanct democratic process? The facts are there in plain sight. A former member of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service collaborated with a presidential campaign in an attempt to alter the outcome of the 2016 election. So did a former member of the British Parliament, who peddled disgusting conspiracy theories on Twitter and even attempted to collude with the Clinton campaign on advertising strategy. The speaker of the British House of Commons attempted to discredit Clinton’s opponent. Should we see whether the Right Hon. John Bercow has ever emailed anyone who has ever in any capacity ever been in contact with anyone in the Obama White House? Hillary Clinton thinks we are in the midst of a ‘new Cold War.’ Are we also in the throes of a rebooted War of 1812?” Walter asks.
Leading Establishment Figure Encourages U.S. To ‘Cooperate’ with Beijing Belt and Road
Nov. 1 (EIRNS)—Xinhua interviewed Joseph Nye, currently a professor at Harvard University, on the eve of President Trump’s Nov. 8-10 visit to China. Nye has been a prominent establishment figure for decades, serving in various capacities at the State Department, and is currently in the leadership of groups such as the Trilateral Commission, the Aspen Institute, and the Council on Foreign Relations. He is often touted as the author of the idea of “soft power.”
“I don’t see any reason why the United States can’t have cooperation with China on many of the types of projects which will go into One Belt, One Road,” Nye told Xinhua. He added a caveat that, whereas “OBOR should be able to produce global public goods at this stage, it still has to be worked out in detail.” Nye otherwise called for the two countries to improve ties and gain greater knowledge of each other, because some people “exaggerate the question of other people’s intentions” and see others as enemies, “when they don’t have to be enemies.” He continued, “I’ve often said that with soft power, which is the ability to attract, this can be win-win. If China becomes more attractive in the eyes of Americans and America becomes more attractive in the eyes of the Chinese, then we’re both better off.”
U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer Tries To Help Saudis Continue Genocidal Bombing in Yemen
Nov. 1 (EIRNS)—U.S. House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) is blocking a bipartisan effort in the U.S. House of Representatives to end U.S. support for the Saudi bombing of Yemen.
Hoyer is trying to defeat H.Con.Res.81, a resolution sponsored by Reps. Ro Khanna (D-CA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Thomas Massie (R-KY) and 34 other Congress members to end U.S. military assistance to the Saudi-led genocide against Yemen. The resolution calls on President Trump to remove U.S. military forces from the fighting in Yemen within 30 days. The resolution would not impede U.S. military action against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen.
The Intercept reports that Hoyer and Republican caucus leaders are pressuring Congress members not to sponsor the legislation.
Saudi bombing of Yemen’s civilian infrastructure and blockade of Yemen’s main port has resulted in one of the worst humanitarian crises of the century. Nearly 25% of the country’s 28 million residents are starving, and thousands, mostly children, are dying of cholera, as shipments of food and medicine are blocked.
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (ret.), who opposes the war in Yemen, told The Intercept, “I’ve been making the rounds on the Hill, and I’ve heard from Hill offices that behind the scenes, House Democrats are being urged by Congressman Hoyer’s office not to sign on to H.Con.Res.81.” Wilkerson was chief of staff to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Hoyer is also trying to avoid a special Rules Committee decision by the House Republicans that would effectively kill the legislation before it receives a vote. Currently, the resolution has privileged status under the War Powers Act of 1973, which means it will make it to the floor for a vote regardless of what happens at the committee. Those opposed to the Yemen war are afraid that the Republican leadership will strip the legislation of its privileged status, which means the resolution will have no chance.
On Oct. 30, the 75-member Congressional Progressive Caucus endorsed the Yemen resolution, calling for a swift end to “the senseless suffering of Yemeni victims of the U.S. Saudi military campaign, millions of whom are on the brink of starvation.”
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Storm Infrastructure Issue Sharpens in United States; Texas Asks for $61 Billion
Nov. 1 (EIRNS)—On Tuesday a report of the Governor’s Commission To Rebuild Texas confronted Congress with a request for $61 billion in new funds for storm protection reconstruction in the state, including at least $35 billion for major storm-protection infrastructure on Texas’s Gulf Coast. The report was taken to Washington by Gov. Greg Abbott, who discussed it with the Texas Congressional delegation and then with the House and Senate Republican leaders, according to the Texas Tribune Nov. 1.
About a third of the funds requested are for housing restoration, but at least $35 billion is for Army Corps of Engineers work on the “Ike Dike” coastal barrier, other critical coastal infrastructure, “hardening” of the Houston Ship Channel against hurricanes, and other projects, the Dallas News reported today.
That would only begin to address the needed investments. The Texas Water Development Commission’s comprehensive, 1960s plan for additional dams and reservoirs on the rivers flowing into Galveston Bay and the Gulf, and a coastal canal linking them, is not reported to be in the Commission’s 300-page request as of now. Other plans, for stormwater capture and storage in aquifers—still in the feasibility study stage—have been passed by the Texas Legislature but vetoed by the Governor.
The Trump Administration and Congress have so far quickly provided $36.7 billion in hurricane recovery emergency funds for Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the other states and territories that were hit. But with Texas making the first proposal for large-scale funds including investment in new economic infrastructure, action will become problematic. Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands will make critical infrastructure requests. The Congressional GOP “tax reform” obsession will delay the requests, and actually compete with them for new “budget deficit room” of which tax reform demands $150 billion/year.
These needs clearly demand a national credit institution whose major mission is to fund such large-scale new infrastructure needs, which require trillions nationally. LaRouche representatives have discussed a “Hamiltonian” national bank with many Members of Congress; but the most immediate opportunity for progress on it, lies actually in President Trump’s upcoming meetings with President Xi Jinping of China and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. Cooperative investment in infrastructure in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative of China, will open up the potentials.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
China and India Efforts To Improve Bilateral Relations Pay Off
Nov. 1 (EIRNS)—The 73-day-long “Mexican stand-off” between Indian and Chinese troops in the Bhutan-Tibet-India border junction point, or Doklam, which ended before the Sept. 4 BRICS summit in China, raised concerns in both New Delhi and Beijing. Since then, both nations have made efforts not to allow small border incidents to develop into larger conflicts that undermine their bilateral relations.
After months of behind-the-scenes communication, a significant development occurred with the public announcement that China and India have decided to hold a “Track Two” two-day meeting in Chengdu, China Nov. 3-4. According to an Oct. 31 report from Indian news network, World Is One News, the Indian delegation, led by former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, will be in China on Nov. 2. “The Indian delegation led by former foreign secretary Shyam Saran would land in China on November 2nd. The invitation for the ‘Track Two’ was extended by China two weeks after the Doklam crisis.
“Sources confirmed to WION that the task for this meeting is to understand both China and India in context of Xi and Modi, two powerful leaders of Asia who hold sway over their respective countries. The job of the participants would be to understand each other’s concern.”
On Oct. 31, the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, in which India is a founding member, also announced its approval of a $2 billion loan (Rs.130 billion) for five projects in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, indicating a return of business-as-usual between India and China. Months ago, the Andhra Pradesh government had sent proposals to the Modi government seeking aid for those five projects. New Delhi recommended those proposals to the AIIB, and now the loan has come through.
SCIENCE & INFRASTRUCTURE
Breakthrough in North Africa’s Longest Rail Tunnel
Nov. 1 (EIRNS)—Algeria’s ambitious 56 km Al-Affroun-Khemis Miliana Railroad, under construction since 2011 saw a major breakthrough on Oct. 30, when the China Railway Construction Corp., Ltd. finished cutting through the Gantas Railway Tunnel. The tunnel is located 100 km west of Algeria’s capital, Algiers, and is composed of two separate tubes: 7,346 meters long in one lane and 7,335 meters long in the other, each for just one track. With a total length of 14.68 km, Gantas is the longest tunnel in North Africa, China News Service reported on Oct. 31.
The construction of the tunnel posed serious challenges because of the geological composition of the mountains in Algeria, which delayed the construction of the tunnel for more than a year. According to a report from the cultural and business exchange group China Plus, French engineers who supervised the construction design called it “a disaster for geological engineers.”
The five-station line is designed for 160kmh operation, and will be equipped with ETCS Level 2 and 25kV 50Hz electrification. The railway tunnel will shorten the travel time between the second major city, Oran, on the coast, and Algiers from four to two hours over the 430 km distance. The line is expected to open at the end of next year, the International Railway Journal reported yesterday.