The New Silk Road Is Now the Central Focus of Human Progress
Nov. 27 (EIRNS)—There is no way to look at the development of human societies today, anywhere in the world, without recognizing the central role of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The dinosaurs of the British Empire are struggling frantically to retain their looting rights in the developing nations of Asia, Africa and Ibero-America, and even within their own countries, but it is increasingly clear that the Belt and Road has given nations the courage to stand up, to declare that they no longer need to accept the demands for austerity and “appropriate technology” from the imperial Lords of London and Wall Street. As Confucius said, “At thirty years of age, I stood up.” The so-called “Third World” is ready to dispense with that degrading title, to become part of a society of modern industrial nations, as China has done, with the driving force being the New Silk Road process.
This is especially true of Africa. The Schiller Institute released a 250-page report on the development of Africa at a Schiller Institute Conference, “Fulfilling the Dream of Mankind,” held in Germany over the Nov. 25-26 weekend. Speakers from Africa, Europe, the U.S. and China described the broad scope of China’s hundreds of infrastructure, industrial, and agricultural projects across Africa over the past decade, at an accelerating pace in 2017. The report presents the beautiful future, and the hope, that this process has given to the people of Africa.
In Eastern Europe today, the “16+1” forum is taking place in Hungary, between China and 16 Eastern European nations, 11 of which are members of the EU. Premier Li Keqiang addressed the opening session, saying that the New Silk Road initiative can help bring development to the former members of the Soviet bloc, and will be a “useful complement” to China’s relations with Europe. “Our aim,” he said, “is to see a prospering Europe.”
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban also addressed the opening session, noting that “if Europe shuts itself in, it loses the possibility of growth…. European resources are in themselves insufficient. For this reason we welcome the fact that as part of the new world economic order, China sees this region as one in whose progress and development it wants to be present.”
But what is the EU response to this potential for mutual progress and development? They attempted to prevent Hungary from contracting with China to build a rail connection between Budapest and Belgrade in Serbia, using Hungary’s membership in the EU to claim they must have open bidding on the project—as if any government or private company in Europe would suddenly decide to do something they have never done, while imposing austerity on their own EU members.
Typical of this EU reaction to the New Paradigm was an article posted today by the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) in Berlin, reporting on the 16+1 conference. It was headlined: “China’s Charm Offensive in Eastern Europe Challenges EU Cohesion,” stating: “European integration seems very much at stake when Eastern European governments use their relationship with China to gain leverage over Brussels.” Imagine—development is a threat to Europe!
Helga Zepp-LaRouche pointed to the ugly irony contained in such geopolitical thinking in the form of a resolution she proposed to the Schiller Conference. Considering that China has lifted 700 million people out of poverty over the past 30 years, the resolution states, and with Xi Jinping committed to lifting the remaining 42 million poor Chinese citizens out of poverty by 2020, be it resolved that Europe should also dedicate itself to lifting its own 120-plus million impoverished people to a decent living standard by 2020. That resolution passed unanimously.
Who else in Europe is even thinking about such a noble goal, as EU austerity dictates are creating newly impoverished people at a horrible pace every day?
But the British imperial forces are even more terrified that they are losing their primary “enforcer”—the United States. Donald Trump has refused to follow the path of the Bush-Obama war party, which served the Empire for the past 16 years with perpetual warfare and military encirclement of Russia and China, driving the world to the brink of nuclear war. The Empire is horrified by Trump’s historic visit to China this month, where he and Xi Jinping dedicated their two nations to resolving the world’s problems together through cooperation in diplomacy and economic development. They are equally terrified by Trump’s extensive discussions with Vladimir Putin, both personally in Vietnam and by phone after his return to Washington, to cooperate on ending terrorism in Syria and beyond. Together, the U.S. President’s cooperation with Russia and China threatens to end the Empire once and for all. The “Russiagate” fake-news effort to remove Trump from office is rapidly collapsing, due to a considerable extent to the work of EIR, especially the EIR exposé of Robert Mueller’s many crimes and traitorous intention.
The crisis is far from over, and the financial bubble across the Western banking system could explode at any moment. But the path to a solution is now clearly advancing, as the New Silk Road touches every part of the world, including the U.S. This path is available, as long as the citizens of the world respond to this historic moment by acting, as Abraham Lincoln said, according to “the better angels of our nature.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Putin and Erdogan To Continue Intense Diplomatic Activity on Syria after Sochi Summit
Nov. 27 (EIRNS)—Both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have indicated that they will continue to be deeply involved in Syria-related diplomacy after last week’s summit in Sochi, Russia, that also included Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, said in a TV interview yesterday, that “President Putin had organized a busy diplomatic marathon. It, of course, will continue anyway,” he said, and that “there will be much work to do.” Peskov, reports TASS, said that the meeting Putin had with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the beginning of last week “made a very big input in the rather successful result of the recent meeting in Sochi.”
For his part, Erdogan said on Nov. 25 that meetings between Turkey and Russia on Syria will occur much more frequently now. “Perhaps every 15 days or once a month we will continue our gatherings,” he told gathering of his AKP party in western Turkey, reports the daily Yeni Safak. “We have taken critical decisions to end the humanitarian drama in Syria,” Erdogan said, referring to the Sochi summit. “Hopefully soon we will see the positive effects of these decisions more clearly.”
Erdogan has also been involved in intense diplomacy since the Sochi meeting. According to a report in Hurriyet, Erdogan has spoken to French President Emmanuel Macron and to Saudi King Salman to brief them both on the summit, as well as to discuss other matters, in addition to his phone discussion with President Trump on Nov. 24. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also spoke to Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Abadi. Yildirim is in London today, for meetings with British Prime Minister Theresa May.
UN Envoy De Mistura Tells Syria Opposition HNC, They Didn’t Win the War
Nov. 27 (EIRNS)—On Nov. 28, the next round of Syrian peace talks opens in Geneva. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura is reported to be optimistic, coming out of the Riyadh meeting of the opposition, last week, that this will be the first “real” negotiation. De Mistura, typically a cautious diplomat, has bluntly told the main opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) that its demand for Assad’s ouster may no longer be tenable, reports AFP. In September, he said the HNC needed to be “realistic” and realize “they didn’t win the war.” Those comments infuriated the opposition, but, AFP notes, de Mistura’s position is supported by facts on the ground.
Korean Diplomatic Activity At Highest Level
Nov. 27 (EIRNS)—There is an extremely high density of diplomatic activity regarding the North Korea crisis taking place around the world, which gives reason to be hopeful that there are moves towards starting negotiations with all parties in the near term.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov, who handles much of Russia’s relations with North Korea, is currently in South Korea, where he addressed the urgency that the U.S. act to bring about negotiations with the North, and noting that the North has not tested a missile or a nuclear weapon in over two months. The “dual freeze” proposal put forward by Russia and China, he said, is being met by the North.
Two of South Korea’s envoys regarding relations with North Korea are now visiting Washington and New York this week—the Vice Minister for Unification Chun Hae-sung, and special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lee Do-hoon. Both will meet with U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun and others officials, and members of Congress.
Two top Korea experts from Russia, Georgy Toloraya and Artyom Lukin, are speaking at the Wilson Center in Washington on Nov. 30, and are certainly holding other meetings with the relevant officials.
Also, delegations from both Russia and China visited North Korea over the past month.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
British Punk Rock ‘Musician’ Declares, ‘I’d Kill Trump’
Nov 27 (EIRNS)—Aging British punk-rock star “Morrissey” has declared that, given the chance, he would kill U.S. President Donald Trump.
In an interview dated Nov. 18 in issue #47 of Der Spiegelmagazine, the singer was presented with a “hypothetical” question, that if he could push a button and instantly kill Trump, would he do it? “I would [push it],” Morrissey confirmed, and claiming that this would be “for the safety of humanity…. It has nothing to do with my personal opinion of his face or his family, but in the interest of humanity I would push.”
The latest hit “song” from this font of wisdom is “Spent the Day in Bed,” because the news of the world is so depressing.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Financial Daily Obsesses Over CEC/LaRouche Role in Australia’s Anti-Bank Revolt
Nov. 27 (EIRNS)—The editors of the shamelessly pro-bank Australian Financial Review today took another feeble swipe at the Citizens Electoral Council, the LaRouche movement’s Australian associates, over the CEC’s role in driving a public revolt against the newest bankers’ dictatorship measures for bailing-in troubled too-big-to-fail banks in the future. The issue is suddenly dominating Australian politics. The public rage at the banks that has simmered for a long time has erupted over the last 18 months or so into calls for an official inquiry, called a Royal Commission, into their crimes. The sitting conservative Liberal Party-National Party coalition government is desperate to shield the banks from such an inquiry. However, not only do all of the opposition parties and independents strongly support an inquiry, but the ruling coalition is split, with most of the Nationals also in favor. The banks and their political stooges have not been under such a political siege since the 1930s, when the last Royal Commission into banking was conducted in the wake of the Great Depression.
Headlined “A Distraction From Tech Disruption,” the AFR’s major editorial stated: “Political scrutiny of banks, as we reported this week, now involves Senate committees giving time to cranks like the Citizens Electoral Council, affiliated with American conspiracy theorist Lyndon LaRouche.” In terms of the headline, the editors are clutching at straws, hoping to dignify their opposition to an inquiry by casting banking as a sector that is going through extreme technological “disruption” globally (by which they mean that the banks technological innovations make them better), and therefore should not be distracted by a useless inquiry. The CEC is in their sights, because in August it detected and exposed a bill to discreetly legislate sweeping “bail-in” powers of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), the bank regulator which functions as the agent for the Bank for International Settlements and Financial Stability Board. The CEC succeeded in bringing it to the attention of most Members of Parliament, who were unaware of it, which led the largest of the minor parties, the Greens, to refer the bill to a Senate committee for scrutiny. It also prompted an AFR reporter, in a Nov. 21 article, to publicize the bill and credit the CEC for getting the Senate to examine it. His editors though, who are extreme neo-liberals, know that whereas the rage at the banks is diffuse and therefore often possible to deflect—until now at least—the CEC has shown it is capable of focusing the public on the key solutions of Glass-Steagall and national banking, which are what the multinational banks and their BIS-FSB accomplices fear the most. They seem to hope that by linking the much-slandered CEC and LaRouche to the politicians who are leading the charge against the banks, they will be able to discredit them, but all they are succeeding in doing is giving the CEC’s mobilization more publicity.
MERICS Laments that China Is Weakening Brussels Dictatorship
Nov. 27 (EIRNS)—Germany’s infamous China-bashing Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) posted today an article published on Nov. 24 in The Diplomat, with the lovely title, “China’s Charm Offensive in Eastern Europe Challenges EU Cohesion,” written by one of its Research Associates, Lucrezia Poggetti.
Poggetti is about over the 16+1 summit in Hungary, between the 16 Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) and China. “The economic reality lags far behind the announcements” of 16+1 cooperation, she claims, and she is arrogantly overconfident that “the Belgrade-Budapest railway—a landmark [Belt and Road] BRI project—is still blocked by an EU investigation into whether it violated EU laws on public tender processes.”
Nonetheless, there is growing “eagerness” for Chinese investment in Poland, Latvia, Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, and the rest of the Eastern and Central European nations participating in the summit with China.
“In light of these countries’ high expectations for economic gains, next week’s summit is a stress test for EU cohesion,” she wrote. “The EU has viewed the 16+1 format with concerns since 2015. A 2015 European Parliament resolution called on EU member states to speak with one voice to the Chinese government, particularly in view of Beijing’s present diplomatic dynamism.”
Most dangerous to this old paradigm geopolitical outlet is that China’s investments are empowering European nations to stand up against Brussels’ destruction and dictatorship:
“European integration seems very much at stake when Eastern European governments use their relationship with China to gain leverage over Brussels. This became clear when Macedonian President [Gjorge] Ivanov claimed that the EU’s neglect of the Balkans was forcing these EU accession candidates states to turn to China for investment,” this MERICS scribbler wrote.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
New Zealand Belt and Road Supporters Hold ‘Summit’ To Gear Up Participation
Nov. 27 (EIRNS)—Four hundred academics and business representatives from China, New Zealand and other nations met in Auckland, New Zealand to discuss, in Xinhua’s words, “international cooperation under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative … [with the aim] to promote international resource mobilization and capacity building through innovative cooperation among countries and regions, deepen international trade cooperation, and promote sustainable development.”
The co-sponsors of the “Next Summit,” as it was called, were the Oceania Silk Road Network, with backing by the New Zealand Green Industry Association and the New Zealand Chinese Scientists Association. The Oceania Network was set up last March by New Zealand prominents, including the president of the ruling National Party, when China’s Premier Li Keqiang visited the country for signing a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation with the New Zealand government in the Belt and Road Initiative.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres sent a message to the conference referencing the “clear synergies” between the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Belt and Road Initiative; both frameworks strive to “stitch countries together in networks of trade and mutual gain,” and both aim to “deepen global connectivity,” he wrote, according to Xinhua’s report.
The Vice Minister of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council Xu Yousheng participated in the event, as did, interestingly, former Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, now president of the Sharaf Sustainable Development Foundation.
In March 2016, Dr. Sharaf (who had also served as Minister of Transport in several Egyptian governments), was the main commentator at the meeting organized by the Egyptian Society of Engineers at the Cairo Great Library for EIR’s Hussein Askary to present the Arabic translation of EIR’s Special Report, “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge.” Sharaf expressed his agreement with not only the economic and scientific aspects of the presentation and the report, Askary presented him a copy, but also with the political, strategic and cultural aspects. Dr. Sharaf stated on that occasion that he deeply believed that the New Silk Road is the foundation of a new and more humane world order, unlike the current order which has degraded human existence and dignity. In recommending that the current Egyptian government take this project seriously, Sharaf expressed his gratitude to EIR and the Lyndon and Helga LaRouche personally, whom, he said he has taken note of, with their ideas and activities for a long time.
China and Central and Eastern European Countries Summit Maps Out Belt and Road Cooperation
Nov. 27 (EIRNS)—Joint cooperation through the global Belt and Road Initiative was the leading topic at the Sixth Summit of the China-Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC), also known as the “16+1 Cooperation,” which opened today in Budapest.
The Hungarian and Chinese Prime Ministers, Viktor Orban and Li Keqiang, kicked off this discussion in their addresses to over 1,000 entrepreneurs from China and the CEEC member countries attending the opening of the Economic and Trade Forum connected to the summit, according to a Xinhua report. The meeting of all 17 heads of government followed.
“If Europe shuts itself in, it loses the possibility of growth. We 16 have always been open and would always like to remain so. We always saw cooperation with China as a great opportunity,” Orban stated at the outset. “European resources are in themselves insufficient. For this reason we welcome the fact that as part of the new economic world order, China sees this region as one in whose progress and development it wants to be present.”
He referred to the Chinese role in the planned reconstruction of the railway line between Budapest and Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, as the “flagship project” of China’s increased presence in the region, asserting that the rail line could become the fastest transport route to Western Europe for China’s New Silk Road. Hungary announced today the public procurement tenders for the reconstruction of that railway line, which is being financed mainly by China.
“We see the Chinese President’s One Belt, One Road initiative as the new form of globalization which does not divide the world into teachers and students, but is based on common respect and common advantages,” Orban said.
Chinese Premier Li laid out an aggressive program for increased China-CEEC cooperation by “docking” the Belt and Road Initiative with the development strategies of the CEEC, in the words of Xinhua. “Our aim is to see a prospering Europe,” he said, adding that the closer ties with the 16 countries, which includes 11 European Union members, will “usefully complement” EU-China relations.
Li pressed for the building of connectivity projects such as the Hungary-Serbia high-speed railway to be accelerated; proposed production capacity building be expanded, through the joint building of “economic and trade cooperation zones and creating an industrial chain, value chain and logistics chain featuring closer integration, stronger drive and wider benefit”; and called for cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises to be promoted, reported Xinhua.
Li estimated China’s imports over the next five years should total $8 trillion, as it has moved from a phase of high-speed growth to high-quality growth, which “will surely create opportunities for all countries in the world…. We hope the Central and Eastern European countries find their place in this volume and expand their presence on the huge Chinese market.”
Financial resources for all this, were also addressed. Li announced that the China Development Bank will provide $2.4 billion (€2 billion) for the China-CEEC Inter-Bank Association being inaugurated on Dec. 4, and that China will provide another $1 billion for the second phase of capitalization of the China-Central and Eastern Europe Investment Cooperation Fund, most of which will be channeled to CEE countries.
Google Protects Child Pornography and Promoting Dope—But News from Russia? Not Allowed!
Nov. 27 (EIRNS)—The Deputy Minister of Russian Telecom and Mass Communication Alexey Volin told Sputnik today that when Russia “asked Google, alongside with other search systems, to remove piracy content, to prevent showing child pornography and things related to drugs, they [Google] told us that they observed the principle of technological neutrality. And this [principle] did not allow them even to impact the content somehow.”
Yet last week, Google Executive Secretary Eric Schmidt announced that Google is engineering algorithms to “detect and de-rank” Russian news agency websites such as RT and Sputnik, so as to limit “Russian propaganda,” Volin pointed out. If they proceed to do so, Russia will raise the issues of drugs, porn and piracy again, he warned (among other unnamed possible retaliatory measures).
Sputnik reports that Google VP Nicklas Lundblad, in response to a request from the Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor, denied that Google intended to change its algorithms, providing this convoluted obfuscation: “We’d like to inform you that by speaking about the ranking of web-sources, including the websites of Russia Today [RT] and Sputnik, Dr. Eric Schmidt was referring to Google’s ongoing efforts to improve search quality. We don’t change our algorithm to re-rank individual websites. We remain committed to our mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible.”
Roskomnadzor’s head Vadim Subbotin reported today that that institution will be monitoring for any changes in search results.
Myanmar Crisis—China and the Pope Engage
Nov. 27 (EIRNS)—Pope Francis today landed in Myanmar for a four-day visit, where he will meet political and military leaders to discuss the estimated 600,000 Rohingya who have fled to Bangladesh after terrorist attacks on Myanmar police in October led to an intense conflict in Rakhine State.
China has negotiated with the Myanmar and Bangladesh governments to arrange for the repatriation of some or all of those who fled. More important, China is proposing the development of a two-pronged development corridor from China’s southwest Yunnan Province, through Mandalay, then splitting in two directions—one south to Yangon, another southwest to the Kyaukpyu Special Economic Zone on the southwest coast, which has been developed by China as the terminal for a pipeline which is now carrying oil through Myanmar to China
China’s Global Times yesterday wrote that the development corridor would be of great benefit to both China and Myanmar, especially as a “peace through development” approach to the Rohingya crisis: “Consider Kyaukpyu in Rakhine State, which is the second most undeveloped state in Myanmar. Social problems such as the Rohingya crisis have arisen because economic development lags behind here. As Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi put it, poverty is the root of conflicts. In short, Rohingya Muslims and Buddhists have to compete for limited job and educational opportunities, economic resources and social welfare. This competition aggravates the conflict. China would like to spur economic development in the western part of Myanmar by way of the economic corridor, which would alleviate local religious and social conflicts and promote stability and development.”
Myanmar’s effective leader Aung San Suu Kyi announced today that she will visit China soon. The head of the military Min Aung Hlaing visited China last week.
The Birds and the Bees, and the Butterflies Become the German Greens’ New Electorate
Nov. 27 (EIRNS)—Having been kicked out of government ambitions after the collapse of the four-party talks for a new German government coalition, the Greens, whose voter base has been shrinking substantially in the recent period, are apparently focussing on extra-parliamentary obstruction of policies: At their national party convention in Berlin, Katrin Göring-Eckardt, chairwoman of the Green Party group in the Bundestag, said on Nov. 25: “We want every bee, butterfly and bird to know that in the next year, we will fight for them!” What the birds and the bees thought about her passionate statement is not reported.