EIR Daily Alert Service, Wed. November 29, 2017

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2017

Volume 4, Number 237

EIR Daily Alert Service

P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390

EDITORIAL

The World Center of Gravity Is Shifting—From the Atlantic to the Pacific

Nov. 28 (EIRNS)—That concept, of the emerging Eurasian New Paradigm for all mankind, was first presented on the world strategic stage back in 1996—over two decades ago—by American statesman and economist Lyndon LaRouche, when there was virtually no visible “evidence” to that effect. And yet LaRouche was right. That idea was repeated, in almost identical terms, last month by the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban, who this week hosted the “16+1” heads of government meeting among the Central and Eastern Europe countries (CEE) and China.

“The world economy’s center of gravity is shifting from west to east,” Orban stated. “While there is still some denial of this in the Western world, that denial does not seem to be reasonable. We see the world economy’s center of gravity shifting from the Atlantic region to the Pacific region.”

There is today plenty of visible evidence to show that Orban is correct. In fact, there is a sea-change underway in world economic and political affairs, most immediately as the result of the fact that China and Russia are escalating their coordinated efforts, and asserting reality on the ground across Eurasia. In much the same way as the entire situation across the Middle East (and beyond) has been transformed by the reality on the ground of the Russian-led military victory over ISIS in Syria, the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative is creating economic faits accomplis which are enveloping the entire Eurasian region.

The British Empire and their Wall Street sidekicks have been caught flatfooted, and they are growing increasingly hysterical about both developments, and the fact that they are being flanked. And they haven’t really figured out what they can do about it—other than try to launch wars, and stage an attempted coup d’état against President Trump.

That is because the global strategic shifts initiated by China and Russia, will become unstoppable if President Trump brings the United States fully on board. Trump’s good working relationship with his fellow Presidents, Xi Jinping of China and Vladimir Putin of Russia, both of which were solidified during his Asia tour earlier this month, is the City of London’s and Wall Street’s worst nightmare.

Re-enter Barack Obama, the disgraced ex-President of the United States, who has just announced that he will shortly be traveling to Asia on a trip that will follow in the footsteps of President Trump’s tour and try to destroy everything that Trump achieved, on behalf of Obama’s British masters. Obama will meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Dec. 1, and then travel to China to meet with Xi Jinping, before traveling on to France.

But such ham-fisted deployments, which in the past might have worked, will fail under today’s circumstances. The world center of gravity has in fact shifted from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and that reality is asserting itself in such a fashion that nation after nation is getting on the bandwagon.

In her keynote address to the Nov. 25-26 Schiller Institute International Conference in Frankfurt, Germany, Helga Zepp-LaRouche expressed this idea most thoughtfully:

“It was the absolute manifest lack of development of the old world order which caused the impulse of China and the spirit of the New Silk Road having caught on, [such] that now many nations of the world are absolutely determined to have development giving a better life to all of their people.

“Now, I think that the New Silk Road is a typical example of an idea whose time had come; and once an idea is in that way becoming a material reality, it becomes a physical force in the universe. I personally have had the chance to see the evolution of this idea, which in many senses really started with this great gentleman—my husband, Lyndon LaRouche—who many decades ago, almost half a century ago, had the idea of a Just New World Economic Order. This then became more manifest in the ’70s, in the ’80s, but especially in ‘91 when the Soviet Union disintegrated, this idea of creating a Just New World Economic Order became very prominent. I personally had the chance to see how this spread after Xi Jinping in 2013 in Kazakhstan announced the New Silk Road…. This has generated a completely optimistic perspective.”

THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER

China Ambassador to EU for ‘16+1’: Cooperation Means All Nations Will Be ‘Better Off Together’

Nov. 28 (EIRNS)—Zhang Ming, China’s Ambassador to the EU, published an op-ed today, immediately after the “16+1” meeting of Central and Eastern European countries plus China yesterday, in which he directly addressed misconceptions about China’s role.

Writing in the Brussels-based daily EU Observer, and a similar op-ed in the Hong Kong edition of China Daily, Zhang described that “Some have called it ‘divide and rule’ tactics by China against the EU,” but such concerns are “totally unfounded,” because “China is always a supporter of European integration…. To divide the EU is not in China’s interests.” Rather, he explained, 16+1 cooperation “injects new vigor into China-EU cooperation.”

He also emphasized the role of the Belt and Road Initiative in China’s policy: “As China and Europe work together to synergize the Belt and Road Initiative, [the 16] CEE countries will play a more prominent role as a hub that connects Asia and Europe… Faster development in CEE countries contributes to more balanced development across Europe and European integration.”

Russian Lawmaker Observes, ‘Astute Europeans’ Want Better Relations with Russia

Nov. 28 (EIRNS)—Sergey Zheleznyak, a member of the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s bicameral Federal Assembly, told TASS today that “Europe increasingly understands that it cannot solve the most serious problems and challenges without Russia, and is aware that the sanctions policy is senseless and futile, and anti-Russian hysteria is pointless.” He said that it is becoming more evident for “astute Europeans” that there is no link between the sanctions against Russia and the Ukrainian crisis, TASS reported. Furthermore, the anti-Russian sanctions deal a heavy blow to national economies in Europe, and arouse great discontent among citizens of European countries, Zheleznyak said. “These tendencies were clearly demonstrated at the most recent parliamentary elections in some European countries where the voters supported patriotically oriented parties.”

This weekend, Belgrade, Serbia hosted consultations of representatives of the European Parliament with the Russian delegation of parliamentarians, which confirmed that a realization is growing that there is no alternative to dialogue with Russia, TASS wrote. Serbia is a candidate to join the European Union.

China, Russia, and Eurasian Union To Cooperate in Developing the Arctic ‘Ice Silk Road’

Nov. 28 (EIRNS)—China and Russia have an ongoing collaboration to develop the Arctic shipping infrastructure that will be vital to the Ice Silk Road. In an interview with Xinhua yesterday, Vladimir Remyga, chairman of the Coordination Council for Cooperation with Business Associations of Asia, under the International Congress of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, discussed progress on the “Silk Road on Ice,” with a focus on integrating five countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), led by Russia at President Putin’s initiative, to be “conjugated” with the Belt and Road Initiative. This, he proposed will “change the existing world order radically.” The EAEU members are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia.

In July, President Xi Jinping urged China and Russia to carry out a cooperative effort to develop the Northern Sea Route, to realize an “Ice Silk Road.” The goal is to develop a shortcut route between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans through the Arctic, which route is described as the “third arch of the BRI.” It is estimated that when the Northern Sea Route is fully opened, it will cut the cost of maritime trade by between $53-127 billion, by 2020.

Under the bilateral agreement, Russia and China are conducting negotiations on setting up a joint venture company to upgrade ports and overall navigation infrastructure along the shipping route that runs along Russia’s Arctic coast.

The broadening of the Ice Silk Road project, says Remyga, is advancing to practical implementation. A joint feasibility study of the Eurasian Economic Partnership Agreement with the BRI is expected by the end of this year. Earlier this month, he reports, joint construction of the Ice Silk Road was discussed, and has been given significant impetus by Russia’s adoption of a new program of development of the Arctic zone to 2025. A budget of approximately $274 million has been allocated for the project.

Remyga reports that one of the problems in using the North Sea Route is a shortage of ice-class cargo ships. “Construction of the new powerful nuclear icebreakers has begun in Russia,” he said. “The first of three ships, the Arktika, will be launched soon, to be followed by Siberia in 2019, and Ural in 2020. But the construction of ice-class cargo ships has not yet begun.” This will be one of the potential projects under a joint company.

U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC

Obama Shadows Trump, Will Meet Xi and Modi; Recruit to His Foundation

Nov. 28 (EIRNS)—Barack Obama, instead of retiring to the golf course and other of his reportedly less salutary pursuits, has announced through the Obama Foundation that he will meet with China’s President Xi Jinping, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and then travel to France.

In India, Obama will hold a mass “Obama Foundation event” on Friday, Dec. 1, which will be live-streamed.

Obama’s trajectory repeats the meetings of President Trump with Indian Prime Minister Modi at the White House, President Trump’s Nov. 8-9 extraordinary days with President Xi in China, and President Trump’s mid-July trip to France to meet President Emmanuel Macron.

A spokesman for Obama said that the Town Hall Meeting on Friday in New Delhi will “expand the conversation about what it means to be an active citizen and make an impact,” the Washington Examiner reported.

The Obama Foundation Fellowship program is “seeking to support 20 outstanding innovators from around the world to amplify the impact of their work and to inspire a wave of civic innovation.” This, the Foundation announced, “will be a diverse set of community-minded rising stars—organizers, inventors, artists, entrepreneurs, journalists, and more—who are altering the civic engagement landscape … and model how any individual can become an active citizen in their community.” The inaugural group will be 20 Fellows for a two-year, non-residential Fellowship to offer “hands-on training” and participate in four multi-day gatherings where they will “collaborate with each other, connect with potential partners, and push their work forward.” It sounds like a vehicle for continuing the work of George Soros.

India will be the fourth international event sponsored by Obama’s Foundation, and comes a month after a “summit” was held in Chicago, which followed events in Berlin, Germany; Jakarta, Indonesia; and São Paulo, Brazil.

COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM

British Howl That China Is Stealing Their March in Europe

Nov. 28 (EIRNS)—The “16+1” meeting of Central and East European countries plus China, in Budapest yesterday is driving the British Empire and their Brussels errand boys frantic; they clearly perceive it as the latest development in China’s policy of providing the nations of Europe with an economic alternative to sinking with the trans-Atlantic Titanic.

Even before the “16+1” meeting began, the Financial Times ran an extensive article headlined “Brussels Rattled as China Reaches Out to Eastern Europe.” The article was fairly blunt:

“In Hungary it is hailed as the ‘Eastward Opening.’ Serbian authorities see it as the glue in a ‘reliable friendship,’ while the Polish government describes it as a ‘tremendous opportunity.’ Yet the 16+1, a grouping of 16 Central and Eastern European countries led by China, receives more caustic reviews in leading EU capitals, with diplomats fearing it could be exploited by Beijing to undermine union rules and take advantage of growing east-west tensions in the pact itself. The catalyst for the group is China’s ability to finance and build the roads, railways, power stations and other infrastructure that some poorer Central and Eastern European countries need.” Of the 16 CEE countries, 11 are EU members—almost half of the 27 EU member states—and at least several of the remaining 5 are candidates for membership.

The article continues: “It is clear that Beijing’s star is rising in Central and Eastern European nations. ‘The world economy’s center of gravity is shifting from west to east; while there is still some denial of this in the Western world, that denial does not seem to be reasonable,’ Viktor Orban, the Hungarian Prime Minister, said in October. ‘We see the world economy’s center of gravity shifting from the Atlantic region to the Pacific region. This is not my opinion—this is a fact.’ ”

The Financial Times was unable to muster much of an argument against China’s win-win approach to Europe. The best they could come up with were comments by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers from earlier this year, which might best be described as whistling past the graveyard: “Right now I would describe the modus vivendi that the world has found as being parallel play. The West does its thing; China does its thing. Countries get a bunch of money from China and they do it China’s way. Countries get a bunch of money from us and they do it our way.”

That is, of course, an entirely misleading and dishonest characterization of what is going on. The money—or rather, credit—coming from China is overwhelmingly productive, and dedicated to actual infrastructure projects. The money—or rather, debt—coming from Wall Street and the City of London, when it even exists, is overwhelmingly speculative, and used only to further expand the unpayable global financial bubble.

Federal Reserve Chair Nominee Jerome Powell Talks, but Doesn’t Say Much

Nov. 28 (EIRNS)—There are “Big Questions” for the Federal Reserve System, the central bank which sets monetary policy in the U.S., but they did not get raised in the Senate confirmation hearings of nominee Jerome Powell to take over as Fed Chairman from Janet Yellen.

Jerome Powell was “careful not to say anything very interesting,” Bloomberg’s Daniel Moss wrote today, and did his best, “to avoid taking a hard position on much, as is the time-honored practice of Senate confirmation hearings.”

However, under questioning from Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) Powell did say that the case is coming together for an interest-rate increase next month. As a Fed Governor, Powell did not dissent from the Federal Reserve’s published projections in September which signaled that. There were some questions on tax cuts, which Powell parried.

Even Bloomberg noted, “The weak questions were a wasted opportunity and a disservice to the voters.”

A December rate hike was probably already a done deal, Bloomberg and others say.

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), a former chairman of the Banking Committee, suggested to Powell that the Fed doesn’t know why inflation isn’t higher. “No, we don’t. If it stays low, the Fed could raise rates more slowly,” said Powell, calling to mind a Goya drawing.

Moss writes, “The big questions went unasked. There’s no mystery why: Powell’s trying to play it safe and get confirmed, and most senators want sound bites.” Janet Yellen, having been passed over for another term as Fed chair, could decide she has little to lose. She testifies to Congress’s Joint Economic Committee on Nov. 29. “I’m rooting for some greater candor,” said Moss.

But “candor” would necessitate pointing to the imminent collapse, and an actual solution, which Lyndon LaRouche’s “Four Laws” provide for rebuilding the U.S. economy.

SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE

More Freight on Train Routes between China and Europe

Nov. 28 (EIRNS)—Just in time for yesterday’s 16+1 meeting in Budapest, a new rail freight connection was opened, with a container train leaving Budapest for Changsha, China yesterday. In France, too, yesterday, the GEFCO Group welcomed its first full container-loaded train to France from China on the new Silk Road. The train took 40-foot containers from Wuhan, China, to Dourges in the north of France for customer Groupe PSA (from the merger of Citroën and Peugeot) in less than three weeks.

Duisburg Mayor Soeren Link told Xinhua in an interview published today that since Chinese President Xi Jinping’s historic visit in 2014, his city has become a leading hub for freight train services between Europe and China; Duisburg has become known as “China City,” he said, with more than 100 Chinese companies having settled here. Around 50,000 import and export containers were transported by China Rail Express trains in 2016 alone, almost four times as many as in 2014. “These numbers show the Belt and Road Initiative has brought many economic development opportunities to Duisburg,” Link confirmed. “I’m very glad to see that Duisburg is marked on the strategic map of the Belt and Road Initiative. The city will be a model for German-Sino cooperation.”

STRATEGIC WAR DANGER

Pressure Mounts on Syrian Opposition Delegation to Geneva To Face Reality and Negotiate

Nov. 28 (EIRNS)—The Syrian government delegation reportedly arrived in Geneva today, a day later than anticipated because of reservations about the position paper issued by the opposition after their meeting in Riyadh last weekend, which still calls for the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power as a precondition for entering into any political transition. A source in the Syrian Foreign Ministry told the Syrian Arab News Agency, SANA, that the government decided to participate following “intensive contacts, held during the past two days between the Syrian and Russian sides.”

Alexei Boradovkin, Russia’s representative to the UN in Geneva, told TASS that, in effect, the opposition delegation needs to face reality, because their position won’t lead to a constructive dialogue. During the meeting of representatives of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, “Russia turned to its partners at the UN and Western delegations, which have influence on the opposition, so that they try to bring the opposition down to Earth, as their position is not in line with the real situation,” he said. He found the document adopted by the opposition meeting in Riyadh itself to be contradictory. “On the one hand, the document says that the opposition is not setting any preconditions, but on the other hand, there is a demand for Bashar al-Assad’s resignation in the very beginning of the transition period. What is that if not a precondition?” he demanded to know. Further, it’s not even clear how they expect to negotiate with a government they view “almost as criminals with whom it is impossible to talk.”

However, Boradovkin also praised the Syrian government’s decision to participate in the talks after all. “That’s the right decision,” he said. “It’s very good that the Syrian government delegation will come to Geneva, because this will make it possible for Damascus representatives to express their point of view and come up with the relevant assessments.”

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, also made clear in an update to the UN Security Council yesterday, that the opposition delegation has to get their position in line with the reality on the ground. During his brief remarks, he stressed not once, but three times that there can be no preconditions by either side. De Mistura expressed the hope that the meetings that took place in the run-up to Geneva, including the Trump-Putin statement issued in Da Nang, Vietnam during the October APEC summit, the Putin-Assad meeting in Sochi last week, followed by the three-way Putin-Rouhani-Erdogan summit, and the opposition meeting in Riyadh that followed, “might help us, I believe, to begin a genuine negotiation process in Geneva.” He noted that both Assad and the opposition said they were willing to discuss the issues of a political settlement within the context of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. De Mistura said that he and his team will not accept any preconditions from either party. And, just to make clear what that means, he said a precondition is “when one party says: ‘I will not begin to negotiate with the other side unless they do or say the following.’ ”

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