You Wouldn’t Believe What Has Just Happened in the World
Jan. 10 (EIRNS)—If you live in the United States or Europe, you wouldn’t believe what has just happened in the world!—because you don’t read or hear anything about it.
French President Emmanuel Macron, in a visit to China, has just made a commitment: France will collaborate with China’s Belt and Road Initiative of great infrastructure projects across Eurasia and Africa. He and the Chinese President will particularly focus on French-Chinese cooperation developing nuclear technologies to power the world’s economies.
That’s the same big Chinese “Marshall Plan” that you’ve heard about, how it “doesn’t play by our Western rules” for transparent projects—it’s just China trying to dominate Asian and African nations, and shine on the West.
Not only are 16 countries of Eastern and Central Europe already enthusiastic to take part in this Chinese “New Silk Road.” Now a major power of Western Europe is as well—France, a permanent UN Security Council member.
And the invitation to the United States to join the Belt and Road Initiative is wide open.
An infrastructure initiative is exactly what the United States has been waiting for, since Donald Trump focused his Presidential campaign on it. It’s there for the taking: the Belt and Road Initiative. Ask the Governor of West Virginia.
Speaking of President Trump, you wouldn’t believe that the President of South Korea just yesterday gave him the credit for making the new talks between North and South Korea possible—confirming President Trump’s own claim.
The same President Trump who, you know, childishly trades insults with North Korea’s Kim, and brings us all to the edge of nuclear war, while good people all want negotiations? It seems he got the inter-Korean peace negotiations started, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in said, “I want to show my gratitude” to Trump for that. President Trump was elected, after all, because he said he wanted to end America’s permanent involvement in wars abroad, as well as to reindustrialize America’s economy. Thus the full year of attempts to drive him out of office.
You wouldn’t believe any of this if you generally consult news media in Europe or the United States. You wouldn’t believe EIRFounding Editor Lyndon LaRouche and his wife Helga Zepp-LaRouche put out the concept of this Eurasian Land-Bridge of great infrastructure 30 years ago, and called it the “New Silk Road” 20 years ago; that LaRouche kicked off the drive to restore Glass-Steagall and break up Wall Street, back in 2007 before the crash; that these actions have been spelled out in LaRouche’s “Four New Laws To Save the Nation” from June 2014.
That’s the LaRouches whom “no one listens to.” Their original Eurasian Land-Bridge concept of 1989 is offered to the United States in the form of the Belt and Road Initiative of China. The Schiller Institute and LaRouche Political Action Committee have been mobilizing with a “Mueller Dossier” to defend President Trump from the attempted coup of “Russiagate.”
They are mobilizing now with a mass-circulation pamphlet on LaRouche’s “Four Laws: America’s Future on the New Silk Road,” which has just gone to every member of Congress. If there is going to be an “infrastructure initiative” from President Trump’s State of the Union, this is the only way it will happen.
Join that mobilization, support it. You wouldn’t believe what could happen.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Pentagon Not Interested in Strategy To Give ‘Bloody Nose’ to North Korea
Jan. 10 (EIRNS)—It turns out that there’s not much enthusiasm in the Pentagon for the “bloody nose” strategy that was reported by the Wall Street Journal on Jan. 8. Under that strategy, which the Journalreported is being debated at the White House, the U.S. would respond to the next North Korean nuclear or missile test with a limited strike, intended to “send a message” to the North Korean government.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis, however, is reported by the Washington Examiner to prefer diplomacy, not in the sense of talking to Pyongyang, but in the sense of working with other countries, such as China, to cut off the supply of raw materials to North Korea that it needs for its nuclear and missile programs. In fact, the Examiner could find nobody in the Pentagon who was aware of any serious consideration of conducting a limited strike against North Korea, although military officials acknowledged a wide range of military options are ready if the President requests them, including pre-emptive action if there is an imminent threat.
“There is a big problem with the so-called ‘bloody nose’ strategy. North Korea could give Seoul and Washington a bloody nose right back,” said Harry Kazianis, a Korea expert and Director of Defense Studies with the Center for the National Interest. The big flaw in the strategy is there is no way for Chairman Kim Jong-un to know if the strike is truly limited, and not the opening salvo in a war designed to topple him from power, Kazianis said. “Kim would be very hard-pressed to not only respond, but lash out with whatever weapons he has left,” explained Kazianis. “That could mean a nuclear strike on Seoul, Tokyo or even potentially the U.S. homeland.”
South Korean President Ready for North-South Summit; Credits Trump
Jan. 10 (EIRNS)—South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed his readiness to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, provided certain conditions are met, including the necessity of resolving the North Korean nuclear issue. Moon also credited President Donald Trump with creating the political conditions for this week’s inter-Korea talks.
“I think President Trump deserves big credit for bringing about the inter-Korean talks, and I want to show my gratitude,” he told reporters at his New Year’s press conference in Seoul today. “It could be the result of U.S.-led sanctions and pressure,” Britain’s Guardian daily quoted him as saying today.
“This initial round of talks is for the improvement of relations between North and South Korea,” he said. “Our task going forward is to draw North Korea to talks aimed at the denuclearization of the North. That is our basic stance, and that will never be given up.” He continued: “We cannot say talks are the sole answer. If North Korea engages in provocations again, or does not show sincerity in resolving this issue, the international community will continue applying strong pressure and sanctions.”
Moon said he would be willing to meet the North Korean Chairman, but wouldn’t have “a meeting for the sake of a meeting,” and called for Pyongyang to move towards denuclearization. “War must not break out on the Korean Peninsula again,” Moon stressed, according to CNN. “My goal is to resolve the North Korean nuclear problem and solidify peace during my term.”
On Jan. 9 following a long day of negotiations at the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas, Moon referenced the management of international pressure on the North and the tension it could create. “We need to have a deep consideration regarding how we would appropriately manage these tensions, prevent unintentional clashes, and establish dialogue with North Korea,” the South Korean President said.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Trump and GOP Leaders Split on Infrastructure Funding
Jan. 10 (EIRNS)—Heads of transportation associations spoken to yesterday said that no serious initiative on infrastructure-building legislation appeared likely to come from either the White House or Congress, and feared cuts in existing credits instead, due to wide differences. One said he thought that the subject could be put off to February or beyond, despite President Trump’s motivating it in the Jan. 30 State of the Union address.
A split between Trump and Congressional Republicans is becoming evident. CNBC today reported, an administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “The President’s inclination is just ‘spend money,’ while the House is more talking about public-private partnerships.” And an anonymous Congressional “senior aide” is quoted in the same article, “There’s an outline of a plan that (White House economic advisor) Gary Cohn has put forward. I’m not sure if Trump is completely on board with that,” referring to National Economic Council Director Cohn’s motivation of public-private partnerships at the Camp David meeting.
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), representing millions of people in manufacturing companies, released a strong letter to Trump Jan. 9, signed by NAM CEO Jay Timmons. “The infrastructure investments of the 1950s and 1960s brought tremendous economic benefits, built strong communities, improved productivity and competitiveness, and allowed manufacturing to grow and put people to work in solid middle-class jobs. Today, however, as more and more of our infrastructure crumbles, it is not keeping up with modern demands for safety and innovation, nor is it giving American workers the tools they need to compete with the rest of the world.”
The letter lists 10 demanded actions, including: “Shore up the Highway Trust Fund with a reliable, user-based, long-term funding stream [a gas tax increase]; spend the $9 billion balance in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to deepen ports and harbors; quickly upgrade aging locks and dams.”
‘Russia Sanctions’ Champion Sen. Ben Cardin Has New Crusade
Jan. 10 (EIRNS)—Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released a staff report one full year in the making, detailing “Vladimir Putin’s nearly two decades-long assault on democratic institutions, universal values, and the rule of law across Europe and the United States.” This is an attempt to amplify the charges of a stolen 2016 election for Trump, titled, “Putin’s Asymmetrical Assault on Democracy in Russia and Europe: Implications for National Security,” which Cardin commissioned after the 2016 election. “Trump must mobilize our country and work with an international coalition to counter the threat and assert our values,” says Cardin.
Cardin calls for six actions by Trump:
1) Establish “a high-level inter-agency fusion cell … to coordinate all elements of U.S. policy and programming” to respond;
2) Provide assistance with allies to build democratic institutions in Europe and Eurasia;
3) “Expose and freeze Kremlin-linked dirty money … related to Putin’s personal corruption…”
4) “Designate countries that employ malign influence operations to assault democracies as State Hybrid Threat Actors…” and subject them to sanctions. The U.S. government should produce yearly public reports that detail the Russian governments malign influence operations in the U.S. and around the world.”
5) “The U.S. and NATO should lead a coalition of countries committed to mutual defense against cyberattacks … and call a special meeting of the NATO heads of state to review the extent of Russia government-sponsored cyberattacks … in the context of NATO’s Article 5 collective defense provision.”
6) The U.S. and Europe “should mandate that social media companies make public the sources of funding for political advertisements … and conduct comprehensive audits on how their platforms may have been used by Kremlin-linked entities…”
As many in the U.S. may suspect now, after the Mueller self-exposure along with Fusion GPS, perhaps the enemy is actually not Russia, but the British Empire.
All Members of U.S. Congress Receive Pamphlet on ‘LaRouche’s Four Laws’
Jan. 10 (EIRNS)—“LaRouche’s Four Laws: The Physical Economic Principles for the Recovery of the United States, America’s Future on the New Silk Road” a 40-page pamphlet published by the Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee (LaRouche PAC), has now been delivered to all Members of Congress in their Washington, D.C. offices by volunteers. All 435 U.S. Representatives and 100 U.S. Senators received the document this week.
The pamphlet features sections on American economist Lyndon LaRouche’s Four Laws: restoring Glass-Steagall; creating a new Hamiltonian national bank; increased credit for productivity; and a crash program for fusion and space. The pamphlet was received with interest by many, and enthusiasm by others. The pamphlet is available from LaRouche PAC.
NEW WORLD ECONOMIC ORDER
Chinese President Xi: French President Macron’s Visit Elevates Ties to New Starting Point
Jan. 10 (EIRNS)—Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to upgrade their comprehensive strategic partnership during French President Macron’s Jan. 8-10 visit to China.
Xi called on France and China to deepen strategic cooperation in traditional areas such as nuclear energy and aerospace; to nurture new growth points of cooperation, and cooperate in agriculture and food, health, and more, Xinhua reported today.
Xi declared, “Bilateral ties stand at a new starting point. China stands ready to promote exchanges, and enhance mutual trust and cooperation with France in order to inject new impetus into the development of the China-France comprehensive strategic partnership.”
Xinhua reported, “Xi stressed that the two countries should give full play to the political leading role of the head of state diplomacy, and promote communication between governments, legislative organs, political parties, and the military of the two countries.” Xi elaborated, “The two countries should seize new opportunities created by the Belt and Road Initiative, and carry out practical cooperation within the Belt and Road framework in order to promote the prosperity of Eurasia.”
He also highlighted a benefit of closer China-France relations for strategic stability, saying, “We two countries, as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, shoulder major responsibilities for global security.”
President Xi reiterated that China is a firm supporter of European integration, and will continue to align its strategy with the European side, and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation for further development of China-EU partnerships of peace, growth, reform and civilization. After the talks, the two heads of state witnessed the signing of documents on bilateral cooperation in nuclear energy, environmental protection, and finance.
On people-to-people exchange, President Xi said both countries should take the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics as opportunities to deepen sports cooperation, enhance tourism, and youth exchanges.
After his meeting with President Xi, the French President met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and top lawmaker, Chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee Zhang Dejiang Tuesday afternoon. At that meeting, Premier Li said, “China will continue to deepen reform and opening-up, and further relax market access.” Macron told Li that France is ready to cooperate with China in science and technology, artificial intelligence, aviation, nuclear energy, and agriculture.
China’s President Makes Official Invitation for Zimbabwe’s President Mnangagwa To Visit
Jan. 10 (EIRNS)—Chinese President Xi Jinping has extended an official invitation Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa to visit China “to cement economic ties between the two countries,” Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Huang Ping told reporters on Jan. 9. He stated that Mnangagwa had responded to the invitation and will make visit early this year. “We are expecting our two leaders to meet to map out the blueprint of the future development of our two countries,” Huang said.
The visit, which will be Mnangagwa’s first outside of Africa since becoming President, is another confirmation of the strong ties between the two countries. China was among the first foreign countries to recognize Mnangagwa’s Presidency after the military ended Robert Mugabe’s 37-year old rule, and Deputy Foreign Secretary Chen Xiaodong congratulated Mnangagwa after his inauguration.
Ambassador Huang made comments during a courtesy call on Energy and Power Development Minister Simon Khaya Moyo concerning work on the Hwange power project of which China is involved. He said work would commence at the earliest date according to the Herald.
Progress has been made on China’s involvement in the Hwange Hydroelectric project, which is undergoing a $1.5 billion upgrade. While the contract for the expansion of Hwange Power Station was awarded in October 2014 to Chinese company, Sino Hydro, financial closure has yet to be concluded because of Zimbabwe’s failure to service previous Chinese debts.
In addition to the Hwange project, China is nearing completion of similar work on Kariba South Hydropower station, where Sino Hydro is expanding the 750MW plant’s generation capacity by a further 300MW. The project will cost an estimated $533 million on completion.
“As China’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, my job is to work more closely (with Zimbabwe) to implement the strong willingness of our two [Presidents], making sure that our cooperation goes well, so as to lay a solid foundation for this friendship to grow,” Huang Ping said. “As for Hwange, we have also made quite some positive progress. We hope to see the construction beginning at an early date. Hwange is bigger than the Kariba South expansion, and will generate up to 600MW and add to the national grid upon its completion.”
He pointed to the fact that three Chinese companies are involved in building solar power plants in Zimbabwe, after the State Procurement Board awarded three solar projects, each with capacity for 100MW, to China’s ZTE Corporation (Insukamini), Number 17 Metallurgical China (Munyati) and CHINT Electric Co, which partnered with local firm Intratrek Zimbabwe, on Gwanda. Further, he said China would also facilitate export of Zimbabwean-made products to China. China is the biggest destination for Zimbabwe’s tobacco exports, which earn the Southern African country over a half-billion dollars annually.
For his part, Minister Khaya Moyo said Zimbabwe and China’s “all-weather friendship” dated back to before Zimbabwe’s independence from the British Empire. Khaya Moyo pointed to the visit of a high-powered delegation from China to the ruling Zanu-PF’s extraordinary congress in December 2017 as the most recent example of their strong bilateral relations. “It is also important to know that China is the biggest investor, actually, in [Zimbabwe]. There are a number of projects across the country of great benefit to the entirety of our people,” he said.
Duisburg, Germany Becoming ‘Restructured’ by Eurasian Rail Freight on Silk Road
Jan. 10 (EIRNS)—Politico on Jan. 9 published an article on the transformation of a German old-industry city in the Ruhr, by its becoming the hub of hubs for the Eurasian Land-Bridge rail freight between China and Europe. Politico’s “How China Put German Rust-belt City on the Map” comments ironically that Duisburg is the only Ruhr city which has been successful in the German government’s Strukturwandel—restructuring—policy to bring these cities into “modern industries and services,” and that China’s trade has done it.
“Chinese clothes and toys, German car parts, French wines and Italian textiles have at least one thing in common—they pass through the enormous cargo terminal in this German city that makes for a crucial hub on China’s new rail Silk Road,” Politico wrote. “The city of half a million, near the confluence of the Rhine and the Ruhr Rivers and close to airports, autobahns, railway connections, and sea ports has been a trade entrepôt for hundreds of years, and now it’s key to China’s efforts to tie its sprawling factory cities with European consumers.”
Duisburg has become by far the most important hub in Europe for freight trains from China, whether they turn around there or continue on to London or Madrid. “Every week, around 25 Chinese trains pass through the rail terminal, dubbed Duisport…. The German city’s 2.1 million-square-meter warehouse complex provides room for logistics companies to stockpile goods for onward distribution.”
The article points out that employment in Duisport—the city’s port, rail and logistics center—has nearly tripled from 19,000 to 50,000 under the impact of the Land-Bridge freight boom.
Three Chinese Freight Trains Arriving in Iran This Week
Jan. 10 (EIRNS)—The third, fourth and fifth cargo trains from China to Iran are due to arrive in Tehran by the end of this week, the deputy head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways, Mostafa Davoudi, told the Financial Tribune, an Iranian English-language daily.
“The first of the three, carrying 50 containers measuring 40 feet each, left China’s island province Hainan on December 28. The second and third set off on December 30 from Incheon Port (Korea) and Shiyan in northwestern China, each loaded with 41 forty-foot containers. It will take between 14 to 15 days, approximately. for these cargo trains to arrive in Tehran,” Davoudi explained.
He said that the trains are mainly loaded with automotive accessories and spare parts, household appliance, and textiles. The route taken by the trains for the first time passes Turkmenistan, which provides the shortest distance between China and Iran.
SCIENCE & INFRASTRUCTURE
France and China Agree on Nuclear Power Cooperation for Belt and Road
Jan. 10 (EIRNS)—Japan’s Nikkei Asian Review emphasized today, in “France To Take Part in China’s Belt and Road Initiative,” that Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Xi Jinping “also discussed greater cooperation on nuclear energy,” in which France, which gets some 75% of its power from nuclear, has long been a leader. France is proposing to build both a European Power Reactor (EPR) and a nuclear fuel reprocessing unit in China.
Nikkei wrote, “French President Emmanuel Macron promised to work together with China on the Belt and Road Initiative, Beijing’s massive undertaking to create an economic and trade corridor linking Asia and Europe, in a meeting here Tuesday with Chinese President Xi Jinping…. He and Xi also agreed to pursue a comprehensive and strategic partnership.”
It further reported, “The leaders agreed to cooperate on fighting global warming, as well as on a variety of other fields like aerospace, nuclear power, finance, education and commerce…. On nuclear power, an agreement was reached to step up cooperation on cutting-edge technology and nuclear fuel recycling.”
Xi Jinping’s ‘New Political Elite’ Are Leaders from China’s Space Program
Jan. 10 (EIRNS)—China’s leadership is continuing to place top aerospace professionals and executives from the space program into high-level political positions, forming what is described as President Xi Jinping’s “new political elite.”
Andrew Jones reported yesterday on three recent appointments on BGTimes website. Tang Dengie, immediate past administrator of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), has been appointed acting governor of Fujian Province. His predecessor, Xu Dazhe, is now Governor of Hunan Province. And Ma Xingui, who was a very public figure as General Manager of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, is now Governor of Guangdong Province.
It would seem clear that the Chinese leadership wants to bring the executive talent that has been developed through its aerospace industry into regional and local policy and programmatic leadership. Jones does not mention the fact that a number of Chinese astronauts are appointed members of the National People’s Congress, which in addition to any input they may have to national policy, gives them a platform from which to address and educate the public on space and related issues.