To Defeat the Culture of Death: Create a Renaissance and Bring U.S. into the Belt and Road
Feb. 27 (EIRNS)—Schiller Institute founder and chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche today addressed the global strategic situation, and the national debate which the Feb. 14 Florida school shooting has unleashed in the United States, in the following terms:
“There are two developments which are making the oligarchy unhappy. One is that Chinese President Xi Jinping is going to stay beyond 2020, to make sure that the Belt and Road transformation of the world, and the development goals for China and the world in 2020, 2035 and 2050, move forward in the best possible way. And the second one is that Donald Trump announced that he will run for President in 2020. And I’m absolutely sure that both events will make certain people extremely unhappy—which is a good thing.”
Zepp-LaRouche identified the two trajectories that the world is facing. “One is a very optimistic one, regarding the potential of the Belt and Road Initiative to transform the world. The second one is that parts of the West are still suffering from what the Governor of Kentucky Matt Bevin has called a ‘culture of death.’ As VIPS whistleblower Coleen Rowley stated Feb. 21, this is the result, at least in large part, of the policy of perpetual wars. Actually, you can say that both the violent video games and the mass school shootings have been indirectly or directly the result of these perpetual wars—which makes it very clear that we absolutely have to have a New Paradigm.
“On the optimistic side, the Belt and Road is moving ahead very quickly, and this is uplifting to everybody who knows about it. It’s also important that there is a very significant President-to-President diplomacy going on. The latest development is that Chinese Politburo member Liu He is coming to the U.S. for five days, for in-depth discussions with the Trump administration on economic and trade issues. This comes just two weeks after State Councillor Yang Jiechi was in the U.S. So, this personal dialogue between Trump and Xi is extremely important.”
Zepp-LaRouche recalled the point made by one Chinese commentator, that the Belt and Road is an irreversible trend, and those countries that don’t want to join the bandwagon, will end up looking at the tail lights of the caboose as it leaves the station. “That is a very optimistic dynamic; and I think the fact that both Trump and Xi Jinping will stay on, is extremely good news.”
Zepp-LaRouche then addressed the aftermath of the Florida school shooting inside the U.S. “There are definite signs of a shakeup going on. As Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin stated, this has nothing to do with guns; it has everything to do with the absolutely morbid culture of death which you see in today’s song lyrics, movies, and so forth, and that is what has to be changed. Naturally, Governor Bevin did not talk about the solution, namely to have an uplifting classical culture which would inoculate children against this. But at least it’s a beginning, and he called for a national debate on the problem.”
Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche called for the LaRouche movement to play a central role in this discussion. “The increase in suicides, the decrease in longevity, all of this is the result of a lack of a vision and the horrible paradigm change which occurred in the U.S., especially in the last 50 years after the death of JFK.
“As VIPS whistleblower Rowley said, there have been some 1,800 movies produced with the help of the Pentagon and the CIA, in which you have deranged veterans of foreign wars who have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and then go on shooting sprees. This is what Lyndon LaRouche addressed in his statement after the Littleton shooting in 1999. And after that, there were 31 fatal school shootings in the U.S. And now, after the Florida shooting, there have been 50 reported incidents [of threats] per day,” she said, referring to the Feb. 22 report from the Educators School Safety Network which tracks threats to schools nationally.
This is producing a shock effect in the population, she reported, which requires that a solution to the crisis be presented. That discussion and that solution, she advised, “cannot be limited to one issue only. Why is the coup against Trump happening? Why is the British Empire behind it? Why is this now being targeted by the Congressional investigations? And why is Trump playing a potentially extremely important strategic role? This is all part of the same picture, and it has to be gotten across as a totality.
“We have to tell people that the only way to defeat the culture of death is to elevate the population, reconnect with the best traditions of the U.S., and move into a New Paradigm of win-win cooperation with the Chinese offer to join the Belt and Road Initiative. This naturally means implementing the Four Laws of Lyndon LaRouche, and that means that people have to study in depth the scientific economic method developed by LaRouche.
“It’s a big thing, but it can be done!” Zepp-LaRouche concluded.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Chinese Politburo Member Liu He To Spend Five Days in U.S. for Economic Dialogues
Feb. 27 (EIRNS)—Politburo member Liu He, who is considered the most influential economic advisor to President Xi Jinping and who recently represented China at the Davos Forum, arrived in Washington, D.C. today for five days of in-depth discussions with the Trump administration on economic and trade issues. The official Foreign Ministry announcement was brief, stating only that Liu was visiting “at the invitation of the U.S. government,” and that “the two sides will exchange views on China-U.S. relations and bilateral cooperation in the field of trade and economy.”
China Daily of Feb. 27 had a bit more to say, in an article headlined “Liu’s U.S. Visit Designed To Ease Tensions.” The article remarks that “Liu’s U.S. trip comes roughly two weeks after State Councillor Yang Jiechi visited Washington, where his trip showcased successful high-level exchanges between the two nations, experts said.” They elaborated this point by quoting Wu Xinbo, director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, who said that “Beijing and Washington have found a way to boost trust—chiefly by letting key government officials meet more often.” In other words, Presidents Xi and Trump are maintaining their direct channel of communication to continue to build on their “excellent” personal relationship established in April 2017 in Mar-a-Lago, and then during Trump’s visit to China in November 2017.
No information is yet available as to whom Liu will be meeting in Washington—but a lot can be done in five days.
Belt and Road Researcher Prof. Wang Yiwei Again Encourages the U.S. To Join
Feb. 27 (EIRNS)—In an op-ed in China Daily on Feb. 27, Prof. Wang Yiwei, the director of the Institute of International Affairs at Renmin University of China, and author of a book called The Belt and Road: What Will China Offer the World in Its Rise (2016), criticized the fear-mongering in Europe and the United States about the Belt and Road Initiative, for being myopic and self-destructive. In promoting the BRI, he wrote, “China is not repeating the old geopolitical games, but instead offering a new win-win cooperation model.” Professor Wang continued:
“Due to the lack of self-confidence in their own development model, Western countries have shown great anxiety over the competition from China’s development model in recent years, and this has been extended to the Belt and Road Initiative…. Given that China enjoys huge advantages in infrastructure construction, the advancement of the Belt and Road Initiative will surely boost connectivity between China and the rest of the world. China is not opposed to but welcomes the U.S. working with allies to launch their own infrastructure construction programs in other countries. As the Belt and Road Initiative irreversibly advances, the West risks losing not only China but the world if it misses the opportunities being created by the initiative.”
China’s Leadership Exudes Thoughtful Optimism for the Future
Feb. 27 (EIRNS)—On the eve of the March 5 opening of the 13th National People’s Congress in China, Chinese media are painting a picture of thoughtful optimism coming from the country’s top leadership. This stands in stark contrast to most Western media which, like Britain’s Guardian, have been reduced to gnashing their teeth over “Dictator Xi Jinping’s” supposed power grab, as reflected in the decision to end term limits. “An increasingly powerful, forceful man is telling the world that he plans to run his increasingly powerful, forceful country for the foreseeable future,” the Guardian editorialized on Feb. 26.
Xinhua painted a very different picture:
“Su Quanke, a national political advisor, said he is confident about realizing the goal [of a moderately prosperous society by 2020], considering the remarkable progress made so far.”
And who is this Mr. Su, cited by Xinhua?
“Su is the chief engineer of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB), the world’s longest sea bridge. The 55-km-long bridge took six years of preparation and eight years to build. Su said that 10 years ago, China had only one 2,000-ton floating crane for building the Hangzhou Bay sea bridge. The number of large floating cranes was five for the HZMB project, including one of 12,000 tons. All the five cranes were domestically built. He said the achievement has shown the advantages of socialism, which pools national resources to solve major problems. ‘We have achieved a lot in technological innovation, which will further drive the economy in the future,’ he said.” (See “The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge—For China and the World,” EIR, Feb. 16, 2018, for more discussion of the cultural implications of the bridge.)
A second expert cited by Xinhua was Ye Hailin, an international relations researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, who said that “building a great modern socialist country is not just a goal, but a process which will bring opportunities to the rest of the world. China’s economic development contributes more than 30% of global economic growth, which will generate a spillover effect. Through international cooperation mechanisms such as the Belt and Road Initiative, China will share its economic benefits with other countries and regions. ‘A successful China will set an example for a large number of developing countries and help upgrade the industrial chains of its neighbors,’ Ye said.”
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
‘Culture of Death’ in School Shootings Raised at Trump’s Meeting with U.S. Governors
Feb. 27 (EIRNS)—Securing American schools against mass killings was the primary issue discussed when President Donald Trump met with some 35 state governors on Monday at the White House. While the discussion was largely focused on proposals for law enforcement and mental health measures (the President usefully suggested that the closure, for cost reasons, of mental health hospitals nationwide be revisited), Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin raised the central question that the “culture of death is becoming pervasive” in the nation.
Bevin urged the President, his fellow governors, and himself, to use their offices as “bully pulpits to talk about the culture in this society.”
Our nation was founded on principles such as respect for human life, “where you treat people the way you’d want to be treated,” Bevin said. The failure “to acknowledge the value and dignity of every human life,” coupled with the number of psychiatric drugs used which carry severe warnings of depression and suicidal thoughts, has created a mess, “and no one among us is bold enough or willing to step up and challenge the fact that this is a problem? This is why it goes unchecked.”
The governor pointed to the attacks by the media against leaders who advocate higher mores, raising some fault or other against them in order “to mock and ridicule” them as unfit to speak with moral authority. “Think twice,” he warned those media, because your children and grandchildren may suffer, as well.
President Trump thanked Governor Bevin, and called for the nation, as both he and Governor Bevin had done separately in previous days, to consider some action against today’s “vicious” video games and movies. “I don’t know what this does to a young kid’s mind. Somebody growing up and forming and looking at videos where people are just being blown away left and right,” the President said. “I see, just by a commercial, the level of craziness and viciousness in the movies. I think we have to look at that, too.”
Trump Nails ‘Witchhunt!’ and Announces 2020 Re-election Campaign
Feb. 27 (EIRNS)—President Trump issued three tweets this morning, quoting various people going after the coup drive against him, followed by a one-word summary of them all: “Witchhunt!”
First quoted was Fox News’ Judge Napolitano: “Somebody in the Justice Department has a treasure trove of evidence of Mrs. Clinton’s criminality at her own hands, or through others, that ought to be investigated. I fully agree with the President on that.”
Next, Georgetown University’s respected constitutional legal expert Jonathan Turley: “I’ve been skeptical about the collusion and obstruction claims for the last year. I just don’t see the evidence … in terms of the collusion, it’s all a bit implausible based on the evidence we have.”
Last, from former Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr: “We’ve seen no evidence of collusion…. I have seen nothing, the firing of James Comey and all of the aftermath, that suggests that the President has obstructed justice because he’s exercising his power as the President of the U.S. I just don’t see it.”
In the same combative spirit, later in the day it was reported that President Trump had appointed a manager for his 2020 re-election campaign.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
British Empire’s War Party Making Provocations against Iran and Syria
Feb. 27 (EIRNS)—U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson are singing the same off-tune when it comes to threatening military action to blow up the Middle East. In Haley’s case, the provocation was directed against Iran, while Johnson made his threat against Syria. Raising Haley’s ire was the Russian veto of a British-drafted resolution in the UN Security Council that would have named Iran as the chief violator of the arms embargo on Yemen. “If Russia is going to continue to cover for Iran then the U.S. and our partners need to take action on our own,” Haley threatened in a statement made to reporters traveling with her in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Reuters reported. “If we’re not going to get action on the council then we have to take our own actions.” The UNSC resolution passed unanimously after the language regarding Iran was removed.
In London, meanwhile, Boris Johnson told the House of Commons that, while there was “no military solution that we can impose” to bring peace to war-torn Syria, there is a case for “limited strikes” if there were “incontrovertible evidence of further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime or their supporters,” reports the Independent. Johnson later told BBC that the U.K. would be ready to join the U.S. in such strikes. “If we know that it has happened, and we can demonstrate it, and if there is a proposal for action where the U.K. could be useful, then I think we should seriously consider it,” he said. Sputnik reports that Johnson’s statements came after new allegations of chlorine gas attacks emerged from the Eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus the night before. Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said later, however, that “We don’t have any evidence right now that chemical weapons are being used.”
Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, charged that the chemical weapons hype, along with that around the crisis in Eastern Ghouta, is designed to undermine efforts to settle the conflict. “Unfortunately, we all see the attempts to undermine progress towards peaceful and political settlement by hyping up various ‘issues.’ First of all, these are chemical issues, which are used by Western countries to accuse the Syrian authorities and the army of using chemical weapons and also Russia, indirectly,” he said. He stated that France had convened a meeting some weeks ago on the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria but hadn’t invited either Russia or China to participate, and the reason why was clear. “[T]he key idea was to accuse Damascus of using chemical weapons and condemn the Syrian authorities and also Russia,” he said.
Beijing, Moscow, and Trump Respond to Seoul Appeal for U.S.-North Korea Dialogue
Feb. 27 (EIRNS)—Within hours of the South Korean presidential administration’s reporting that North Korea is open to dialogue with the U.S., President Donald Trump and the Chinese and Russian Foreign Ministries responded with statements that all indicate forward motion on diplomacy coming out of the just-concluded Winter Olympics. President Trump, during a public meeting with state governors yesterday, remarked that North Korea wants to talk. “And we want to talk also, only under the right conditions,” he said. He continued: “I think that [China’s] President Xi is unique. He’s helping us with North Korea. And Russia is behaving badly because Russia is sending in what China is taking out. So China is doing pretty good numbers, but Russia now sending a lot of stuff. But I think they want to see it come to an end also, I think everybody does.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang, during his regular briefing today, remarked that there has been some “amelioration” of the situation on the Korean Peninsula in the recent period, an amelioration that China hopes will be continued. “As we said before, we hope that the D.P.R.K.-R.O.K. dialogue could be expanded to a direct one between the U.S. and the D.P.R.K.,” Lu said. “After all, the core of the Korean Peninsula issue is about security, and the U.S. and the D.P.R.K. hold the key to that. We have been closely following the recent interactions between the U.S. and the D.P.R.K. over possible talks. Such talks are not only what China hopes to see, but also the shared aspiration of the international community. We hope such talks can be held at an early date and the two sides will make joint effort to enable effective dialogues that produce beneficial results.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement yesterday noting the appeal of South Korean President Moon Jae-in for U.S.-North Korean dialogue and for lowering the threshold at which a dialogue could take place. “We support this appeal, which dovetails with the international community’s efforts to launch a direct North Korea-U.S. dialogue as the key component of a comprehensive settlement of problems on the Korean Peninsula,” the ministry said.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Chinese Giga Container Vessel Docks at Piraeus Port
Feb. 27 (EIRNS)—As reported prominently by Xinhua, Piraeus, the largest port in Greece, entered a new era of handling 20,000 plus twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) vessels on Feb. 26 when China’s COSCO Shipping Taurus giga container vessel, one of the biggest worldwide, docked there. The 400 m Taurus is the largest vessel to berth at Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT), opening a new chapter in the history of the port. Several officials and shipping industry representatives attended a ceremony to welcome the maiden call of the ship—which set sail from China with a final destination of Rotterdam—and the inauguration of the third berth for 20,000-plus TEU vessels at PCT.
Piraeus port, where the modern Maritime Silk Road connects with Silk Road Economic Belt land route, has changed impressively since the COSCO Shipping Corporation subsidiary PCT took over the management of the site eight years ago for a span of 35 years. The terminal has been expanded and upgraded with new infrastructure projects. It has been linked to the Greek railways since 2013, and new gigantic cranes have been installed, while efforts are underway to transform the wider area into a major logistics center as well.
“It is evidence that the Silk Road, which links the two countries and consequently China to Europe, is progressing and marks the dynamic development of cooperation between the two nations in many sectors,” Greek Shipping Minister Panagiotis Kouroumplis said addressing the event.
“Today is a big day for PCT Piraeus port and the Greek shipping industry. It is a very clear signal to prove that Piraeus is a port for world trade,” Zhang Anming, PCT managing director, told Xinhua.
Built in China and delivered to COSCO in January, Taurus boasts a length of 400 meters—as long as about five Airbus A380’s—and a maximum speed of 22.5 knots (41 kph). The Greek port welcomed her at the newly constructed third berth of PCT which is about 800 meters long. Sea depth here reaches up to 19.5 meters, allowing the docking of giga carriers. Currently, PCT can service in parallel three such gigantic vessels at berths 2 and 3. The works are part of the €230 million ($283 million) investment project PCT undertook. Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) has committed to invest another €300 million in the port by 2021.
Piraeus Port Authority CEO Fu Chengqiu intends to make Piraeus the major port in the Mediterranean in the next two to three years and one of the 30 largest worldwide. Currently, Piraeus is the sixth largest port in Europe. In 2010 when PCT took over from the Greeks the management of Piers II and III at the container terminal, roughly 900,000 containers passed through it. In 2016, the number had risen to 3.7 million containers, and last year over to 4.1 million TEUs. An additional 1 million containers pass through Pier I, which is managed by the Port Authority. COSCO Shipping wants to boost the port’s overall container traffic to more than 6 million TEUs by 2019. “With the container business booming … the dream of becoming one of the biggest ports in the Mediterranean with 10 million TEU annual capacity will soon come true,” Fu said.
Analyst Urges Costa Rica To Help Build ‘Panama-China-Costa Triangle’
Feb. 27 (EIRNS)—In a Jan. 26 article published on the International Affairs Observatory website, Costa Rican analyst Ivan Diaz Campos urges his government to take advantage of the opportunity created by Panama’s establishing relations with China and to work with both nations to further regional integration in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
While blaming an array of internal problems for Costa Rica’s lagging behind Panama, chief among which is a “lack of long-term vision,” Diaz Campos argues that an opportunity still exists to make up for lost time. “We can have a second chance. We can see Panama either as a regional competitor, or as a neighbor with whom we have the best relationship and trust … the solid friendship between Costa Rica and Panama will facilitate any project. The Costa Rica-Panama-China triangulation is possible and will bring benefits to all parties.”
Diaz specifically urges Costa Rica to participate in the proposed high-speed rail line between Panama City and the province of Chiriquí on the border with Costa Rica, to be built by Chinese companies. Costa Rica has much to offer: “ports on both coasts, which, well-managed, represent a geopolitical advantage; a young and well-trained labor force; and social and political stability.” Diaz regrets that during the recent election period, foreign policy wasn’t mentioned in debates. Now, he said, “we should reflect and decide whether we’re going to hop on the train of opportunities, or continue complaining about the lack of development, while we watch others take advantage of it.”