EIR Daily Alert Service, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2018

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2018

Volume 5, Number 196

EIR Daily Alert Service

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

EDITORIAL

China-U.S.A. Tensions Stoked, Amidst World Turmoil; Push Break-Out to a New Bretton Woods

Oct. 1 (EIRNS)—The world is in dramatic turmoil; it is not clear when it will be settled. For certain, without the international network of LaRouche collaborators on the scene, it won’t be. The mobilization for bringing about a “New Bretton Woods” of world development relations is critical; and essential to that, is the exposure and defeat of the British factor—the dying and dangerous monetarist, geopolitical system.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche, in discussions with associates in Europe today, described the situation in terms of two forces: the centrifugal force of the collapsing financial/geopolitical system in the West, near to blow-out. While, secondly, there is the unifying vector towards deliberate development and peaceful relations expressed by the initiatives of the BRICS, and the New Silk Road involving China, Russia, Africa and others, including moving into South America. If problems in the United States and Europe are not solved, it is not clear which way the world will go.

There is a massive campaign to ruin the United States-China relationship, and in any particular instance, the lines are often unclear as to who is immediately responsible. Among the latest expressions of the widening breach between the two nations is China’s cancellation of the planned trip of Defense Secretary James Mattis, to go to Beijing in mid-October for the bilateral Diplomatic and Security Dialogue session, begun in June 2017 in Washington, D.C. The Chinese authorities informed the U.S. on Sept. 27 that there will be no Chinese official available for the meeting this year. Also over the weekend, yet another U.S. military provocation occurred when the U.S. Navy destroyer, the USS Decatur sailed through the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, in a show of “freedom of navigation.”

The enemy British crowd is throwing everything into the fray, with or without precision. One worrisome turn of events involves U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad, former governor of Iowa, and a longtime personal friend of President Xi Jinping, dating from Xi’s first visit to Iowa in the 1980s. Yesterday Branstad had a guest column in the Des Moines Register criticizing China for taking retaliatory tariff actions against what Branstad called Trump’s “fair” use of tariffs against China, which are to “re-balance trade.” Branstad said China is “bullying” the U.S., and harming American workers, farmers and businesses.

Branstad also denounced the fact that China ran a paid insert, called “China Watch,” in the Sept. 23 issue of the Des Moines Register, criticizing the Trump tariff policy. President Trump, in his Sept. 26 press conference, called this “election interference by China,” implying that farm voters are being encouraged to vote for anti-Trump candidates.

Branstad went further, saying the Chinese Communist Party, which controls the media in China, took advantage of the U.S. “free press” by running propaganda in Iowa.

The kicker in this Branstad deployment, is that the front page of the very “China Watch” insert that Branstad and Trump call objectionable features a photo and review of the new book on Xi’s love for Iowa, and his friends there, namely Branstad. (The book is Old Friends: The Xi Jinping-Iowa Story, reviewed in EIR’s May 18, 2018 issue.)

An immediate antidote to these maneuvers, and to the outright coup operation aimed at the Trump Presidency and the nation, is to widely circulate the powerful briefing by Barbara Boyd on Sept. 29, to a Detroit LaRouche PAC town hall, “Search and Destroy vs. Advice and Consent: A New Low in the War on Trump, But Also a Turning Point—Organize!” It is being specially prepared for circulation internationally, for example in Europe, where there is nearly nil insight into what the election of Trump stands for, in the way of prospects for change worldwide, and the transcript will appear in EIR’s Oct. 5 issue.

Also being posted and mass-emailed today, is the new eight-minute video by Kesha Rogers, Independent candidate for Congress in Houston (CD 9), slamming her opponent, incumbent Al Greedy-Green (D), who is a leading flunky in the British impeachment drive against Trump.

U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC

China Cancels Annual Top-Level Security Meeting with U.S.

Oct. 1 (EIRNS)—China canceled a high-level annual security meeting with the United States scheduled for mid-October which U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had planned to attend, indicating what “Seeking Alpha” Editor Jason Aycock describes as “simmering tensions” between the two countries. The Chinese are reported to have said that no senior official is available to meet with Mattis.

A spokesperson for China said it was not clear if and when the meeting would be rescheduled, the South China Morning Postreported. The Chinese official said it is also not clear whether the cancellation was because of a broad range of disputes between Beijing and Washington on issues such as arms sales to Taiwan and U.S. military activity in the South China Sea, or the simmering trade conflict, with increasingly severe rounds of tariffs on each other’s imports.

The U.S. State Department declined to comment, as did officials at the White House and Defense Department; nor did China’s Foreign and Defense Ministries respond.

China’s Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi called U.S. accusations “serious strategic misjudgment,” but said on Sept. 28 that there was “no cause for panic” over friction between the two nations, still, warning that China would not be blackmailed or yield to pressure over trade.

The cancellation of the military meeting caps a wave of recent irritants to Beijing, including U.S. sales of $330 million in military equipment to Taiwan; continuing military flyovers in the East China Sea; and sanctions on a Chinese state military company for buying weapons from Russia. At the UN Security Council meeting on Sept. 26, President Trump accused Beijing of seeking to meddle in the Nov. 6 U.S. Congressional elections to stop him and his Republican Party from doing well because of his China trade policies. Wang rejected the charge.

Trump Says Trade Negotiations, Agreements Are Picking Up Steam

Oct. 1 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump managed to hold a nearly hour-long press conference on trade agreements at the White House today, before allowing reporters to switch to questions on his Supreme Court nominee. The pace of U.S. negotiations of new trade agreements, replacing the unfortunate NAFTA and the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership of previous administrations, is clearly accelerating.

The President’s immediate announcement was of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which he called “a new deal to terminate and replace the NAFTA agreement,” and “the biggest trade deal in American history,” affecting $2.4 trillion in trade and 1.4 million American jobs. Actually Canada is agreeing to join the previously negotiated U.S.-Mexico agreement, which promises—if approved by Congress and the other legislatures—to increase auto and industrial employment in the United States, and improve wages and labor conditions in the Mexican auto sector. The new U.S.-Canada agreements as such are of minor significance—including a possible sunsetting after six years of the Investor-State Dispute Resolution Mechanism attacked by labor and fair-trade advocates, and a small (3.5%) additional “opening” of the Canadian dairy products markets.

The primary benefit, is that the inclusion of Canada in the agreement wins the Republican Party votes in Congress for the much more substantive Mexico-U.S. side of the agreement. As to Democrats, both they and labor leaders like AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka were extremely cautious today about even appearing to welcome the deal: “Too many details still need to be worked out before working people make a final judgment on a deal.”  Richard Neal (D-MA) slyly called it “a new NAFTA,” a derogatory branding.

The South Korea-U.S. (KORUS) trade agreement signed six days ago appears to have one clear result: To lower Korean steel exports to the United States. The level agreed to is 70% of what those exports were in 2016, which was 2.9 million tons or $2.2 billion; that level was steady in 2017, and has declined in 2018 due to new U.S. tariffs; but not by 30%.

Trump also told the conference that new trade negotiations are underway with Japan, having been initiated three weeks ago, he said, by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He said that Abe had told him at that time, that more Japanese automotive production will be moving to America. Negotiations are initiated at a low level with India, and may progress quickly.

On China, the President claimed its economy was in difficulty—which “I don’t want”—and said, “They want to talk; I don’t think it’s time to talk yet. We want them to keep helping us with North Korea.” His usual strong praises of Chinese President Xi Jinping were not in evidence, although he said that Xi is aware of the policy changes he, Trump, is trying to push, “because he’s a pro, and I’m a pro.”

China on Sept. 29 actually cut its tariffs on more than 1,500 products, facilitating machinery imports. This was said to bring China’s “average tariff” on all imports down to 7.8% from 9.8%; the U.S. “average tariff” during Trump’s Presidency has risen from 2% to 8.2%, according to Bloomberg Global Data.

North Korean Foreign Minister Asserts, We Must Have U.S. Security Guarantees Before Denuclearization

Oct. 1 (EIRNS)—Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 29, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho said his country would not denuclearize unless given security guarantees by the United States. “Without any trust in the U.S., there will be no confidence in our national security and under such circumstances there is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first,” he said. “The D.P.R.K. government’s commitment to the denuclearization is solid and firm. However, it is only possible if the U.S. secures our sufficient trust towards the U.S.” he continued. “If both countries harbor mistrust towards each other, being obsessed with the past, then the recent D.P.R.K.-U.S. Joint Statement cannot escape the same fate of failure as all the previous agreements between the two countries,” TASS quoted him as saying.

Ri urged Washington to comply with the agreements and that “will, in the end, be in the best national interest of the U.S. and should maintain new method for solving the D.P.R.K.-U.S. relations.”

Taking a similar line as Russia that Russophobia is an attack on President Trump, Ri stressed that accusations against North Korea are employed by some U.S. politicians “with the sole purpose of attacking their political opponent.”

“The key to consolidating the peace and security in the Korean Peninsula is to thoroughly implement the D.P.R.K.-U.S. Joint Statement adopted in June at the historic D.P.R.K.-U.S. summit in Singapore…. Instead of addressing our concern for the absence of peace regime in the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. insists on the ‘denuclearization-first’ and increases the level of pressure by sanctions to achieve their purpose in a coercive manner,” Ri Yong-ho said. “The implementation of the D.P.R.K.-U.S. Joint Statement is a shared responsibility of the D.P.R.K. and the U.S.; at the same time the UN also has a role to play in it,” he said.

Meanwhile, troops from North Korea and South Korea have started removing landmines from the demilitarized zone that separates the two countries, as part of an agreement to search for the remains of soldiers killed in the 1950-1953 Korean War, the South Korean Defense Ministry told Sputnik.

Within the next 20 days all landmines from the Joint Security Area (JSA) will have been removed. They will also demine the Cheorwon County in South Korea’s Gangwon Province, where the remains of some 500 troops, including about 300 UN soldiers, are estimated to be buried, according to media reports.

STRATEGIC WAR DANGER

Iran Sends Missiles into Syria, in Revenge for Terrorist Attack on Ahvaz Parade

Oct. 1 (EIRNS)—In the early hours of this morning, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched a missile strike on terrorists in eastern Syria that it said were responsible for the Sept. 22 terrorist attack on a military parade in Ahvaz, killing 25, and wounding 60.  During Iran’s counter-operation today, dubbed “Muharram Strike,” six medium-range ballistic missiles were fired from a missile base in the western province of Kermanshah belonging to the IRGC Aerospace Force, and the “mercenary and criminal” terrorists were hit from a distance of 570 km, the IRGC said in a statement, reports Tasnim news agency. Following the missile strike, the IRGC flew seven combat drones and bombed the positions and strongholds used for accommodating and supporting the terrorists that are mercenaries of the global arrogance, the statement said. The IRGC also stated that accurate reports show that a number of leaders of terrorists and leading elements behind the recent crime in Ahvaz have been killed or injured, while their logistical infrastructure and ammunition depots were annihilated. According to news reports, the targets hit were in the Au Kamal area of the Euphrates River valley in eastern Syria.

So far, the only U.S. military response has been to confirm that Iran carried out a no-notice missile strike in eastern Syria. “At this time, the coalition is still assessing if any damage occurred and no coalition forces were in danger,” U.S. military spokesman Col. Sean Ryan said.

This is the second time that Iran has launched a missile strike against terrorist groups in Syria. The first one occurred after last year’s terrorist attacks on the Iranian Parliament and the Khomeini Mausoleum.

Russian Ambassador To Israel Stresses Russia’s Commitment To National Sovereignty

Oct. 1 (EIRNS)—Anatoly Viktorov, a career Russian diplomat who recently took up residence as the Russian ambassador to Israel, gave an interview to the Jerusalem Post in which he stressed throughout, Russia’s adherence to the principle of national sovereignty. First off, he explained the reasons behind the Russian military intervention in Syria, to prevent a nation-state collapse of the sort that happened in Iraq and Libya after the U.S. military interventions in those two countries, and to fight terrorist groups that could take their terrorism back to Russia.

With respect to Iran’s presence in Syria, Viktorov said that the Iranians did indeed agree to move their forces 80-100 km back from Israeli border; but “we have expressed on many occasions at the highest levels that it is unrealistic to expect that Iranian troops will be forcibly expelled from Syria, because it is a matter of agreement between the Syrian government and Iran.” When the interviewer told Viktorov that the assumption in Israel is that Russia could tell the Iranians to leave and they would, the diplomat replied: “We consider all our counterparts as legitimate members of the UN, with their interests in the region…. We cannot just make an order to the sovereign state of Iran and they will follow it.”

But he also acknowledged that Russia understands Israel’s concerns. “We are being honest with our Iranian colleagues and telling them directly that we cannot accept a position which puts into question the existence of Israel. That is unacceptable to us.” With regard to the Israeli air strikes in Syria, Viktorov said, “As a matter of principle, we are against any interventions or violations of Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity, and of course we reacted when necessary [through Foreign Ministry statements] on some strikes made by the Israeli military.”

Viktorov further explained: “President Putin’s attitude is a reflection of our policy that foreign policy is not politicized, and does not have an ideological color. We are ready to connect and communicate with all countries around the world and why should Israel be excluded from this approach?”

THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER

Belt and Road Executive Group for Sweden Launched

Oct. 1 (EIRNS)—On Sept. 28, the newly-founded Belt & Road Initiative Executive Group for Sweden (BRIX) was launched during the prominent China-Sweden Business Forum, held in Stockholm. This year’s Business Forum was focussed on the Belt and Road Initiative.

Moderator Hussein Askary opened the event by invoking the Chinese saying “If you want to get rich, build a road first.” As chairman of the BRIX, Ulf Sandmark welcomed the hundred participants, explaining the objectives of the BRIX.  Ambassador to Sweden of the People’s Republic of China Gui Congyou gave an enthusiastic opening address, praising the creation of the BRIX.

The authorities and media in Sweden have been oblivious to the Belt and Road so far, for which the China-Sweden Business Forum provided the insights necessary to change. BRIX will promote an open dialogue and greater awareness of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its benefits for Sweden. A most important point about the BRI is that it is not only about links to China, but that it is an initiative to promote global connectivity. All nations of the world are invited to participate on their own terms in the BRI. As the first speaker, BRIX Vice Chairman Stephen Brawer pointed to a world map, showing how all continents will be connected in the future, even with links reaching out to Australia. He described to the Sept. 3-4 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing, where high level representatives of 53 African nations linked up with the BRI to fulfill the African Union’s Agenda 2063 for a continent-wide modern infrastructure network ending poverty in the continent.

The Belt and Road should not be seen as only a “practical” transport system for trade, Kitty Smyth underlined in her presentation. Ms. Smyth, a U.K. strategy and PR senior advisor for Sino-European business relations, said that the BRI, since President Xi Jinping was launched it in 2013, also has a philosophical dimension of promoting harmony, which she depicted as, “to foster a new type of international relations” and “forge partnerships of dialogue with no confrontation, and of friendship rather than alliance.” She advised Sweden to establish permanent offices capable of developing long-term Belt and Road cooperation with China, just as the U.K. had done, with an office for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a regional cooperation called Northern Powerhouse, the all-parliamentary group and the government’s Permanent Envoy to the BRI.

Working together with China is challenging to the Old World, Ying Wu, former student of engineering in Stockholm, who is now CEO of SinceUs Capital, explained in the final presentation. Turning many Swedish business habits upside down, she brought insightful and humorous examples of problems she has encountered in assisting Swedish clients to enter and expand in the Chinese market of 437 million e-commerce shoppers. She presented the case study of a Swedish brand Airnum, which she had helped to develop from an unknown to a best-selling brand, in only one year. These opportunities for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) are important to make well known as best practices; to further the understanding in Sweden of the importance of the BRI, and the opportunities for innovative businesses it opens up in so many countries worldwide.

The new association, the BRIX, emerged from the success of a May 30th seminar organized by the Schiller Institute on the Belt and Road, together with China Sweden Business Council, and diplomats from Asia and Africa. After the success of that seminar, the organizers and some participants, including Swedish entrepreneurs, decided to form an action group to promote the Belt and Road in Sweden.

Austrian Foreign Minister at UNGA: Stop Talking and Start Acting To End Southwest Asia Wars

Oct. 1 (EIRNS)—In her address to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 29, Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl declared that her colleagues in the international community should talk less and act more to resolve critical situations, such as the wars in Syria and Yemen.

Surprising her colleagues by speaking variably in Arabic, French, Spanish and English, TASS reported, Kneissl said: “Unfortunately, we diplomats are often unable to ensure that the voices of those who live in darkness and misery are heard. Our diplomacy all too often gives priority to fine statements over genuine action. I would even venture to say that we accept a ‘dialogue of the deaf,’ when we limit ourselves to a ritual of simply reading out prepared statements. This way of thinking shows that we have lost contact with reality, we no longer understand the meaning of the genuine exchange of views.”

In criticizing the international community’s statements on Syria and Yemen, that are “full of litanies and mantras,” and “hackneyed arguments” she said: “We are carried away by words such as reconstruction, stabilization, constitution and so on. Meanwhile, populations, children are just trying to survive. They need food, drinking water, few hours of electricity and a basic level of security…. That is why, beyond these lofty statements, Austria wants to contribute, as other countries already are doing, to financing the mine clearance system in Syria,” she proffered. “And as concerns the greatest tragedy of our time—and here I’m referring to Yemen—Austria is ready to increase its humanitarian commitment.”

Karin Kneissl, who grew up in Amman, Jordan where her father worked as an airline pilot, received international media attention when Russian President Vladimir Putin attended her wedding in Austria earlier this year.

SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE

China Launches Nuclear Power Station Built with Russia’s Help

Oct. 1 (EIRNS)—China successfully launched the new power unit of the Tianwan nuclear power plant (NPP), built with Russian participation. “On 30 September 2018 … the reactor plant of Tianwan NPP unit No 4 that is under construction in China with the technical assistance of Rosatom Engineering Division, has been brought to a minimum controllable level of power,” Russia’s Rosatom state nuclear corporation said in a statement, reported Sputnik.

Earlier this year, Rosatom CEO Alexey Likhachev, and Nur Bekri, the head of the Chinese National Energy Administration, signed four accords on the construction of new units of nuclear power plants in China. In particular, the sides signed framework agreements on construction of the Xudapu NPP units, as well as Units 7 and 8 of the Tianwan NPP.

In November 2016, Moscow and Beijing issued a joint statement on developing strategic cooperation in peaceful use of nuclear energy, as a result of which China and Russia have eventually undertaken a range of initiatives, including construction of a pilot CFR-600 fast-neutron nuclear reactor in China and development of the Tianwan NPP.

 

 

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