Backfire against London’s Geopolitics Renews Opportunity for Win-Win International Relations
April 5 (EIRNS)—The backfire process is underway against the London operation to use the Skripal poisoning as a way of lining up nations to attack Russia, and especially to goad the United States into compliance. There are more and more EU voices speaking out against the British ploy, and President Trump has repeatedly stated that there should be “good relations” with Russia as a goal.
This boomerang against London just adds renewed focus on the task of getting positive dialogue on how to have international relations based on mutual betterment, not lies and conflict, with the danger of all-out war. Helga Zepp-LaRouche today spoke of this, in her weekly Schiller Institute webcast, after reviewing geopolitical, economic crises. She said, “The idea of a new relationship among nations, of respect for the sovereignty of the other nation, respect for the difference of the social system, the ending of internationalist wars, the idea of a win-win cooperation, this is just a new model of international relations and a New Paradigm. And the biggest problem is that because of the Western media being so much in control of this geopolitical faction, that most people don’t know enough about it.”
In particular, she discussed the current trade policy conflict between the U.S. and China, in the larger sense, of what growth policy is urgent for the U.S. She said, “There are [trade] negotiations going on, and it must not necessarily come to the execution of these tariffs, which both sides have now drawn up, up to the value of $60 billion in terms of products. One thing is that the Prime Minister Li Keqiang has pointed out that there is another way to overcome the trade imbalance: namely by increasing trade, by especially investments in joint ventures in third countries, that there are many ways how you can get rid of this trade imbalance.
“And there is a renewed discussion, something which we have brought into the discussion early on, namely, that you have the possibility of Chinese investments in the infrastructure in the United States. And that would also be a way to completely change this dynamic. If the Chinese investment in American infrastructure would create many, many productive jobs for Americans, it would create the infrastructure precondition for a real industrial revolution: for the building of new cities, science cities, connecting all American cities with fast trains systems.
“There are so many ways of changing this dynamic for the better, and I’m absolutely convinced that China has this in mind. There was a program on the Chinese TV channel CGTN, proposing exactly that, that there should be a dialogue on infrastructure. Then you have some Americans, a Trump supporter who had already made such a proposal early on, also. So I think there is a discussion. And I would imagine that President Xi Jinping, who will give a very important speech at the ‘Asian Davos’ as they call it, the Boao Forum for Asia, which will start in three days, where he is expected to make a major speech on the continuation on international reforms and opening up. So I think you can expect something important to come from there.
“And I think the Chinese are also extremely aware of the fact that we are sitting on a powder keg in terms the financial system. Xi Jinping has defined three priorities: One, to overcome the risks of the financial system; to alleviate poverty; and to get rid of air pollution. So I think the Chinese are very much aware of the dangers of this present Western financial system. And you had several articles warning that the outbreak of a new 2008 could happen at any moment. One of the many new aspects which were mentioned, is the difference between the LIBOR [London Interbank Offered Rate] rate and the Fed [U.S. Federal Reserve interest] rate; and that was exactly the beginning sign of the 2008 crisis.
“So that really requires that the discussion which we and our colleagues in the United States and in Europe have formulated, to implement the Four Laws of Lyndon LaRouche—Glass-Steagall, national bank, a credit system; and then cooperation of the Western countries, with the financial systems of the New Silk Road, the AIIB, the New Silk Road Fund; all of these things need to be urgently discussed. Because one danger which is clearly there, that if you had now a financial crash, and some people are even speculating that the same people who are making these provocations against Russia, could also trigger, deliberately, such a financial crash, to pull the rug out from underneath President Trump, to bring the neo-cons back in, and just get rid of this phenomenon of Trump.
“Anybody who thinks this is conspiracy theory, or this is totally over the top, well, look at the Skripal case, and learn the lesson from that, how things can be manipulated and orchestrated.
“I think the urgency is really to draw the lesson out from all of this, and end this system of looting, which is only for the privilege of the very few rich; it’s destroying the middle class, it’s making the poor, more poor. And we need really a return to Hamiltonian economics. This is what is the basis of the Chinese economic miracle, as I have said many times: The Chinese economic miracle, or Chinese economic model, is much, much closer to the economic policies of the young republic of the United States than people think. It’s no coincidence that the distinction which Friedrich List, for example, made between the American System and the British System, that that is exactly what is playing out today, and we need clearly a return to the American System of economy.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
North Korea Is Ready To Join Six-Party Talks, Kim Told Xi
April 5 (EIRNS)—According to Japan’s Nikkei Asian Review today, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un told Chinese President Xi Jinping that his country was willing to rejoin the “six-party talks” to discuss denuclearization, when the two met last month in China. Nikkei Asian Review cited unnamed “multiple sources in China and North Korea with knowledge of the matter.”
The six-party talks, involving China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, North Korea, and the U.S., began in 2003 with the goal of persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programs. The dialogue was suspended in 2008, and in 2013—about a year after Kim Jong-un took power—Pyongyang declared the 1994 Agreed Framework was no more, reported Nikkei Asian Review.
The publication further reported that the official statement from the summit between Xi and Kim made no mention of the six-party talks. Efforts to revive the talks would probably begin only after the U.S.-North Korea summit next month, one of Nikkei’s sources said.
Vienna Reiterates, Austria Will Not Expel Russian Diplomats
April 5 (EIRNS)—Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz yesterday repeated his argument made last week, on why his nation would not go along with Britain for the expulsion of Russian diplomats, over British charges against Russia in the Skripal poisoning case. Kurz said on the Puls4 television talk show yesterday, as reported by TASS, “One-third of the EU countries did not expel Russian diplomats, and we were among them. Together with the Foreign Minister, I made a decision not to do this, as we traditionally maintain good relations with Russia, and are a neutral country, and act as the headquarters for many international organizations such as of the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.” He went on, “Every day hundreds of diplomats hold talks in Vienna, on a neutral territory, and we develop our role in building bridges. We could have made another decision, there are different arguments, but I think we made the right decision.”
Others in the EU are speaking out. Exemplary of the lack of support for the British anti-Russian crusade, the Brussels correspondent for Germany’s ARD media, Karin Bensch, blasted the EU as “caricaturing its own values” in the Skripal case. “In a state of law, the presumption of innocence is assumed—including in the Skripal case. But with the expulsion of Russian diplomats, the EU has encroached on this very principle and caricatured its own values.”
Also, in an interview with ARD TV’s “Morning Magazine,” German government coordinator for Russia policy Gernot Erler called for a “break” in the diplomatic war between Britain and its sympathizers, and Russia. “I think we should now recognize the threat of an escalation and say: we need a break,” Erler said. There are “no alternatives” to talks between East and West.
Also in Germany, a group of artists, scientists and engineers in Dresden has written an open letter to Angela Merkel criticizing her behavior in the Skripal case and demanding a de-escalation in the relationship with Russia. The letter was initiated by Angela Hampel, a modernist painter, who had co-founded a circle in opposition to the East German ruling SED party in December 1989.
The letter, which was excerpted in the Sächsische Zeitung, explains that “sanctions against Russia were implemented without any concrete evidence.” Merkel, they wrote, should remember the criteria for scientific publications, from when she was a physicist: “When a physicist discovers a new elementary particle, or a chemist synthesizes a new substance, he must offer precise and irrefutable arguments so that such a discovery is accepted in the relevant competent sector. Power plays or media hype are no help. Stringent evidence is required….
“It looks like the opposite goes in politics: Whoever has power need not provide evidence. A couple of allegations, artfully formulated and presented as pseudo-evidence, are enough to convince the mass media, and thereby, a large section of the population, that sanctions are legitimate.”
Thus, it is not the crime which is the starting point for sanctions, but the intended sanctions are the starting point for the evidence. The signers demand of the government “that it emphatically act for a de-escalation in the Russia policy and for an improvement of relations.”
Russian Intelligence Finds 8,000 ISIS Fighters Fled Syria for Northern Afghanistan
April 5 (EIRNS)—Speaking at a meeting of the Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Anti-Terrorist Structure at Tashkent on April 5, the First Deputy Director of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) Sergei Smirnov, said about 8,000 terrorists from Syria have moved to northern Afghanistan, TASS reported today.
“One of today’s decisions concerned this issue. We took note of Tajikistan’s warning of the threat coming from the territory of Afghanistan for the SCO countries which border on Afghanistan, directly or indirectly,” Smirnov said. “In the territory of Afghanistan there are about 8,000 persons (militants), who, according to Tajikistan, had been forced to leave Syria.”
There had been earlier reports of the ISIS presence developing in northern Afghanistan. “According to our data, the ISIS presence in northern and eastern Afghanistan is rather serious. There are already thousands of gunmen,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Feb. 20. “We are alarmed as, unfortunately, the U.S. and NATO military in Afghanistan make every effort to silence and deny” the ISIS presence there.
On March 26, Military Times reported U.S. airstrikes had killed two leaders of ISIS during a meeting of the group in the northern Afghan province of Sari Pul.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Russian and Chinese Foreign Ministers Confer on President Putin’s June Visit to China
April 5 (EIRNS)—Negotiations between Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi took place today in Moscow regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin’s June visit to China. The official visit will take place in conjunction with the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Heads of State Council in Qingdao on June 9-10.
“The key focus [at talks] will be made on the major political event in bilateral relations this year—the state visit of the Russian President to China,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. The situation on the Korean Peninsula will be among the issues of discussions between the two ministers.
Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping Will Meet at Least Four Times This Year
April 5 (EIRNS)—Following his meeting with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Moscow today, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he is scheduled to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping several times this year, TASS reports. “This year we are planning a number of meetings with the President of the People’s Republic of China. In June we will have an SCO (summit) in China and my visit to the People’s Republic of China will be timed to it, then there will be a number of meetings on the sidelines of different major events—BRICS, G20 and APEC,” Putin said.
Congratulating Xi Jinping for the success of the National People’s Conference last month, Putin said: “I want to express hope that after the presidential election of the Russian Federation and after major domestic political events in the People’s Republic of China, we will continue our policy towards strengthening bilateral ties and friendly relations.”
Xi Jinping To Present New Era in ‘Opening Up’ at Boao Forum
April 5 (EIRNS)—President Xi Jinping will deliver the keynote at the Boao Forum for Asia, this year. This annual event, which has been hosted by China in Boao, Hainan for the last 17 years, since the aftermath of the Asia financial crisis, is only occasionally addressed by the top Chinese leader. This year, following the groundbreaking 19th Party Congress in October 2017, and the last month’s National People’s Congress, where the issue of “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” was put forward, will be the first occasion for President Xi to elaborate what this means for Asia and the world. Boao, whose theme this year is “An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity,” will host 2,000 business and government leaders from Asia, and will include seminars in its four-day duration.
In announcing President Xi’s attendance on April 3, Foreign Minister Wang Yi laid out the format for the keynote. “What has China achieved in reform and opening up? What are the experiences and enlightenment, and what do these mean to the world? In this new historical period, how will China expand its opening up and restart the deepening reform?” Wang said.
“All these have aroused attention from all parties. President Xi will give the most authoritative answers to these questions. Participants will hear a series of new measures for reform and opening up. At the forum, President Xi will make China’s voice and stand heard in unequivocal terms on how to go with the tide of the times and the general situation of the world, how to face up to the difficulties of development of human society, how to take further steps in building a community of shared destiny for Asia and humankind, and how to create a brighter future for Asia and the world as a whole.”
This year is the 40th anniversary of the inauguration of Deng Xiaoping’s “Reform and Opening Up” policy in 1978.
AIIB To Make Investment in Emerging Markets More Attractive for Private Investors
April 5 (EIRNS)—In its Feb. 9, 2018 report, “Strategy on Mobilizing Private Capital for Infrastructure,” the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral development bank set up in 2016 by China and its 57 founding member-states, has committed itself to making investment in emerging markets more attractive for private investors, the bank reported on its website today.
“We need institutional investors and private sector funders to come to the table and partner with us if we are going to fill the current infrastructure gap in Asia,” said AIIB Vice President for Policy and Strategy Joachim von Amsberg. The “AIIB aims to be the champion and leading institution to catalyze private capital for infrastructure investment in the region, and our new strategy will guide us in achieving this objective in a sequenced and prioritized manner.”
The AIIB’s objective is to bring in more money for the vast investment in Asia’s infrastructure. Reports indicate Asia needs $1.7 trillion of investment. Such a huge capital requirement needs the participation of both governments and the private sector.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
President Trump Will Fulfill Campaign Pledge To Withdraw U.S. from Obama’s Syria War
April 5 (EIRNS)—After telling a March 29 rally in Richfield, Ohio that “we’ll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon,” President Trump directed an April 3 National Security Council meeting to begin military planning for that withdrawal—against the angry opposition of many or most of his so-called advisors, according to numerous media accounts. Reuters reports that the President left the impression that he would like that withdrawal to happen within a year or less. “He’s not going to tolerate several years to a half-decade,” an unnamed official was quoted as saying.
The President reportedly said that incoming National Security Advisor John Bolton “has his back” on Syria—that is, that Bolton will support him. This should be no surprise. The reports that Bolton considers his new job to be to support the policies of the man the American people elected, are true. This was the import of the interview he gave to Fox News immediately after his appointment was announced.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
India’s Central Bank Bans Crypto-Currencies
April 5 (EIRNS)—India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has banned financial institutions from dealing with crypto-currency exchanges—ostensibly the first step towards imposing an outright ban on the virtual coins that have recently exploded in popularity in the country, Indian media reported today. “In view of the associated risks, it has been decided that, with immediate effect, entities regulated by RBI shall not deal with or provide services to any individual or business entities dealing with or settling VCs (virtual currencies). Regulated entities which already provide such services shall exit the relationship within a specified time. A circular in this regard is being issued separately,” the RBI said in a statement.
Sputnik quoted RBI Deputy Governor Bibhu Prasad Kanungo as saying: “We have decided to ring-fence the RBI-regulated entities from the risk of dealing with entities associated with virtual currencies. They are required to stop having a business relationship with the entities dealing with virtual currencies forthwith and unwind the existing relationship within a period of three months.”
One government committee has recommended that India’s authorities take immediate steps to shut down the country’s crypto-currency exchanges, saying that the use of bitcoin and the like could result in a breach of anti-money laundering provisions, Finance Magnates website reported today.
Willy Wimmer: ‘We Would Call Britain a Mafia State’ and ‘Danger to Peace’
April 5 (EIRNS)—Former Vice President of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Willy Wimmer, a major German political figure, spoke with RT yesterday about Britain’s lies about the poisoning in Salisbury of the former Russian GRU Col. Sergei Skripal and his daughter, saying Britain “is a major danger to international peace.” “I think we would call this state a mafia state, because it is against all European and international rules and regulations how the British government has behaved in a criminal case with regard to another country,” Wimmer said.
“We, as Europeans, have an experience with the British. We only have to look back to Tony Blair. They lie from one war into the next one. And that is why I think as long as the British don’t behave in a proper, legal, international way, I think we all should believe that this is another British lie, at least to go for war against Russia,” Wimmer said.
Wimmer also pointed out that the EU’s position of standing in solidarity with the U.K. was standard allied behavior, but warned that the bloc might think twice before doing so again in the future, RT wrote.
Wimmer was banned from visiting Ukraine for five years following his visit to Crimea in March 2017 along with a delegation from the European Parliament, as well as politicians from several countries in the EU, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and Ibero-America. Crimea voted to rejoin Russia in 2014 in a referendum held after the Anglo-American-backed coup d’état in Ukraine.
Nigerian President Buhari Declines To Sign Economic Partnership Agreement with EU
April 5 (EIRNS)—Following the receipt of a Letter of Credence from the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria Ketil Iversen Karlsen, urging Nigeria to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said his country will not sign the agreement between the EU and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Buhari said his decision was made in order to protect the economy, especially the industries and small businesses that currently provide jobs for a majority of Nigerians, Sahara Reporters website reported today.
Stating that signing the agreement would expose the industries and small businesses to external pressures and competition, which could lead to closures and job losses, Buhari said: “We are not enthusiastic about signing the EPA because of our largely youthful population. We are still struggling to provide jobs for them, and we want our youths to be kept busy. Presently, our industries cannot compete with the more efficient and highly technologically driven industries in Europe. We have to protect our industries and our youth.”
ECOWAS is a regional economic union of 16 countries, which has a regular political dialogue with the EU. The Economic Partnership Agreement offers ECOWAS immediate tariff-free access to the EU in return for gradual liberalization of 75% of the African bloc of 300 million persons. The EPA is a bilateral trade deal between the 28 EU members and ECOWAS, alongside Mauritania, which left ECOWAS in 2002. Of the 16 ECOWAS members, Nigeria and Gambia have not signed the EPA.