Escalate! Build on the Outcome of the G20 Summit
Dec. 2 (EIRNS)—Two significant advances emerged from the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, and the numerous meetings held on its sidelines.
1) President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping held a dinner meeting which reestablished the primacy of their personal relationship in shaping U.S.-China relations, and which both sides described as a “highly successful meeting.” This lays the basis for moving forward on the pending, decisive matters facing the planet: cooperation to forge a New Paradigm of a shared future for all mankind.
2) The leaders of Russia (Vladimir Putin), India (Narendra Modi) and China (Xi Jinping) met, with Russian President Putin issuing a call for this trilateral Russia-India-China (RIC) alliance to resume its critical role in “joint work on key issues of the economic agenda.” Recall that the RIC was the brainchild of Russia’s Yevgeny Primakov, who as Prime Minister in 1998-1999 attempted to work with then-President Bill Clinton on global economic reorganization, which Clinton had discussed in terms of creating “a new international financial architecture.” Recall as well that this earlier promising U.S.-Russia cooperation was cut short by British war provocations around Serbia, and by British intelligence’s infamous Monica Lewinsky entrapment operation, and their attempt to impeach and convict President Clinton—just as today the British deployed the Ukraine provocation and the Mueller plea-deal with lawyer Michael Cohen, to pull the plug on Trump’s scheduled meeting with Putin.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche today commented that given this coordinated, double-barreled British onslaught, the G20 summit turned out relatively well—even though it is terrible that the Trump-Putin meeting could not be held. In light of the chaos that the British have unleashed internationally, the two mentioned outcomes—the Trump-Xi meeting, and the reestablishment of the RIC—means that there was a moderately positive outcome of the G20 summit.
Now we must build on those results, and escalate with the required policies of global economic reorganization that Lyndon LaRouche has pioneered over the last 50 years, and that are beginning to take shape under the Belt and Road Initiative.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Both Sides Say Trump-Xi Meeting Was Highly Successful
Dec. 2 (EIRNS)—The official and semi-official statements coming out of both the White House and China characterize the dinner meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping as very successful.
According to the official White House statement, President Trump declared: “This was an amazing and productive meeting with unlimited possibilities for both the United States and China. It is my great honor to be working with President Xi.”
Xinhua reported that “Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump held a ‘highly successful meeting’ here Saturday, reaching important consensus and agreeing not to impose new additional tariffs.”
According to the official White House statement, “President Trump has agreed that on January 1, 2019, he will leave the tariffs on $200 billion worth of products at the 10% rate, and not raise it to 25% at this time. China will agree to purchase a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other products from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries. China has agreed to start purchasing agricultural products from our farmers immediately. President Trump and President Xi have agreed to immediately begin negotiations on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture. Both parties agree that they will endeavor to have this transaction completed within the next 90 days. If at the end of this period of time, the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the 10% tariffs will be raised to 25%.”
On his way back to the U.S. Trump said, “It’s an incredible deal. It goes down, certainly, if it happens, it goes down as one of the largest deals ever made,” according to CNBC.
In an earlier statement from the White House, President Trump said China would now buy “a tremendous amount of agricultural and other products” from the U.S. “It’ll have an incredibly positive impact on farming, meaning agriculture, industrial products, computers, every type of product,” Trump told reporters.
Trump also said, “What I’d be doing is holding back on tariffs. China will be opening up. China will be getting rid of tariffs. You know, China right now has major trade barriers they’re major tariffs—and also major non-tariff barriers, which are brutal.”
Xinhua reported, “On economic and trade issues, Xi said that it is very normal that the two countries have some disagreements in the fields of economy and trade, adding that the key is to manage their differences properly and work out a solution acceptable to both sides in the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.
“They agreed not to impose new additional tariffs, and instructed the economic teams of both sides to step up negotiations toward the removal of all additional tariffs and reach a concrete deal that is mutually beneficial and win-win.”
The two sides also agreed to take measures to deal with the crisis around the deadly opioid fentanyl which has caused a major health crisis in the U.S. The White House statement reads, “Very importantly, President Xi, in a wonderful humanitarian gesture, has agreed to designate Fentanyl as a Controlled Substance, meaning that people selling Fentanyl to the United States will be subject to China’s maximum penalty under the law.”
Xinhua also stated that President Xi raised the issue of Taiwan and President Trump reiterated the U.S. commitment to the One-China policy.
Putin and Xi Exchange Invitations to Major Events of 2019; Putin, Xi, Modi Also Hold ‘RIC’ Meeting
Dec. 1 (EIRNS)—In the course of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited Chinese President Xi Jinping to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in 2019. “We are preparing for your visit next year. I know that you already received our invitation to time your visit with the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. I ask you to look at your schedule. If this works, we will be glad to see you as the main guest,” Putin said reported TASS.
Accepting the invitation Xi Jinping replied: “I will gladly visit your country next year and take part in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum” and proceeded to invite Putin to China to participate in the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. The first Belt and Road Forum took place in May 14-15, 2017, in which the think tank workshop was also addressed by Helga Zepp-LaRouche. “I invite you to take part in the second summit ‘One Belt, One Road’ at the end of April next year. We will have many meetings next year. I am confident that close contacts will take Chinese-Russian relations to a new level,” Xi said.
Also during the summit, Putin and Xi held a trilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at the request of the Russian President. Putin suggested that a Russia-India-China (RIC) meeting should be held on a regular basis.
“I’d like to note that Russia, India and China are linked by old, century-long friendly relations which we are building based on the principles of good-neighborly relations, equality of rights and mutual confidence,” TASS quoted Putin said as saying. While the last such meeting was 12 years ago, Putin reminded his listeners: “They were really productive. One of the results was the creation of the BRICS.”
“We believe that the RIC format has large prospects and that cooperation in this trilateral format may become effective supplementation to cooperation which our countries carry out bilaterally and in the BRICS,” Putin said.
“It is important to establish joint work on key issues of the economic agenda, including in the Group of Twenty, jointly protect the principles of just and fair competition in the world trade and finance and support the establishment of a system of international economic relations that would be as open as possible and free of protectionism and politically motivated restrictions,” Putin said.
“I expect our today’s conversation to be useful and that we will be able to make these meetings regular further on. In particular, they could be held on the sidelines of large summits and international events. Of course, it is important to continue trilateral coordination at other levels as well and create additional mechanisms of cooperation if need be.”
Italy Leaders in Washington, D.C. Seek Alliance for Economic Progress and Sovereignty
Nov. 30 (EIRNS)—Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Marco Zanni and Italy’s Undersecretary for Economic Development Michele Geraci were both organizing in Washington, D.C. this week for U.S.-Italy economic cooperation in both national and international economic development, and rejection of European Union austerity dictates.
Zanni was there as ambassador of the 217 elected representatives and prominent figures from Italy and elsewhere in Europe, who undersigned a petition for adoption of Glass-Steagall bank regulation in Italy and the United States; whereas Geraci was meeting with U.S. government officials, Italian community leaders, financial community representatives as well as members of Congress.
The two Italian friends met Wednesday evening Nov. 28 to compare notes, and were interviewed for LaRouche PAC’s Nov. 30 weekly Friday webcast.
Among the 20 meetings Zanni had with members of Congress and staff, several were very fruitful for collaboration between the United States and Italy in supporting productive investment and basic economic infrastructure. Zanni himself has designed an infrastructure bank plan for the Lega party in Italy, which he described. Some U.S. Representatives were mostly interested in the EU-Italy conflict. However, some immediately saw a potential alliance in pursuing large-scale credit for new infrastructure investments and even restoring the Glass-Steagall Act, although saying “this will not happen right now.”
A number of Republican lawmakers told Zanni that they expected bipartisan infrastructure legislation to be passed soon; however, a leading business official with whom he met, said these White House and Congressional plans remain vague even after two years, and wanted to discuss credit policy with him.
Italy’s Geraci Gives a Lesson on Renaissance Education and Production to Peterson Institute
Nov. 30 (EIRNS)—Michele Geraci, Italy’s Undersecretary of State for Economic Development spoke Nov. 29 at the free-trade think tank, the Peterson Institute for International Economics, presenting a delightful lesson on the value of classical education and culture. Geraci explained the “universal basic income” plan which his government is implementing, noting that it was not just “free money” for the lazy, but a debit card that had conditional usage—for food, housing and job training only. There are two purposes for the program, he explained—first, to alleviate poverty, but the second is more complex. He explained:
“Italy and China have a very high degree of overlap in terms of goods produced. China makes the same things that Italy makes, more so than any of the other 28 European countries. However, China has the scale against which we find it hard to compete. So the only way we can compete with a country that makes one half of what is produced in the world, and 20 or 30 times more than we make, with the obvious lower per average cost, is to focus on the soft part of production.
“In Italy we do high quality manufacturing, not only because there are good engineers, but because the engineers wake up in the morning and they see art. They get inspiration from the culture, from the history which surrounds the Italian system, which helps people, even in doing industrial design, even people that do machine work… But we want to continue what I call the true Renaissance of Italy. We’ve been living off things we did 500 years ago. It’s time to upgrade the system. We want to redo a new Renaissance, mixing the hardware, the manufacturing, with the software.
“So the government needs to—just like the Popes and the Kings used to finance artists, who could make paintings that were not immediately monetizable, but they did help the whole Renaissance of Italy’s engineering, which I hope we can do something similar.
“So let people say they want to be a painter—then be a painter. Do not worry, because your contribution to society goes beyond your painting.”
The Peterson moderator said: “That is hard to implement.”
Geraci responded: No, it is easy to implement, because we have the money.”
President López Obrador Takes Office, Promising To Bring About the Rebirth of Mexico
Dec. 1 (EIRNS)—Sworn in this morning in the midst of great national excitement, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador spoke for over an hour before the Mexican Congress and international guests, laying out his plans to end 30 years of neo-liberal looting of the country, so as to bring about “the rebirth of Mexico.” A great moment of opportunity has opened for Mexico and all the Americas, which requires the global transformation of a New Bretton Woods and the Belt and Road Land-Bridge, to succeed.
AMLO, as he is called, frames his program of government as “the fourth political transformation of Mexico,” ending corruption as the number-one task in a radical change as dramatic as Independence, Benito Juárez’s reforms, and the Mexican Revolution. The corruption he named, was the transformation of the state after 1983, away from the role it had had of ensuring an economy which served the people, into a neo-liberal system of robbing the national patrimony on behalf of a minority elite, national and foreign. Privatizations were synonymous with corruption, and totally inefficient, he charged; the energy “reform” privatizing the state oil and electrical companies resulted in a collapse of oil production such that Mexico became not only the greatest importer of gasoline of any oil producing country in the world, but it now imports crude oil.
Neo-liberal economics is why Mexico has become one of the leading sources of migrants in the world, he said. Under it, the purchasing power of the minimum wage dropped by 70%, to one of the lowest in the planet.
AMLO called for building projects from the south to the north of the country to make “migration optional, not obligatory.” Most important are the projects he specified for southern Mexico, including building a new oil refinery in Tabasco and a railroad across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The first, along with the repair of Mexico’s five existing refineries and investment in oil production, can make Mexico self-sufficient in oil and gasoline again, he said. The second, connecting the port of Salinas Cruz on the Pacific, to the Coatzacoalcos port on the Gulf of Mexico, will allow cargo to be transported from Asia to the East Coast of the U.S., he said.
How exactly his proposal to provide employment in the north by creating the world’s largest free-trade zone along the U.S.-Mexican border will work, remains to be seen. (Discussion has focused on investment in more low-wage assembly plants.)
His government intends to act to reverse poverty, so that “those who are born poor, are not condemned to die poor.” He spoke, for example, of ensuring salaries so that 2 million youths can be hired as apprentices and providing millions of university scholarships and new public universities, to eliminate the “neither-nors,” youths who neither study nor have jobs.
AMLO insisted in his inaugural speech that everything he wishes to accomplish can be paid for out of the money saved by ending corruption, cutting salaries of top bureaucrats, selling off the Presidential plane, etc. He promised to not take on any new debt, and to spend only what the government has in its coffers. That won’t work, but a national credit system and cooperation with China, the United States, and others would.
The new Mexican President also made clear that he is open to working with the U.S. President, emphasizing that since his election in June, he has been treated with nothing but respect by President Donald Trump.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Trump and Putin in Brief Exchange at G20; Putin Says ‘Full-Format Meeting’ Much Needed for Strategic Stability
Dec. 2 (EIRNS)—“It is unfortunate that we can’t hold a full-format meeting,” Russian President Vladimir Putin told a press conference at the end of the G20 summit, referring to the cancelled meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and himself. “I hope that the meeting takes place eventually when the U.S. side is ready for it.”
“We do not set any preconditions because the issues we need to discuss are very important for us and for the rest of the world,” Putin continued. “Issues of strategic stability are on top of the agenda, meaning that they are followed by questions of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It is unfortunate that we can’t hold a full-format meeting. I think it is very much needed, in connection with issues of strategic stability, especially after the [U.S.] President announced that the United States plans to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces [INF] Treaty.”
Mentioning Syria, Afghanistan, North Korea, and other issues, he declared, “Dialogue on all these topics is needed. We are not the only ones interested in this. It is important for other countries as well, including for the United States.”
Putin also said that he did have a brief exchange with President Trump on the sidelines of the G20 meeting, on the subject of Ukraine and the incident in the Kerch Strait. “We talked with President Trump, so to speak, ‘on the go’ since everybody talks with each other there [at the summit]. I briefly answered his questions about the incident in the Black Sea. Trump has his own position on these issues, problems. I have my own. We did not change each other’s opinions but at least I informed him about our vision of this incident…. We informed [foreign leaders] about how the situation unfolded. It is hard to counter that,” Putin told journalists. He said that one of the arguments impossible to counter is the mark in a logbook of one of the detained Ukrainian Navy ships that states the task of covertly entering Russia’s territorial waters and passing through the Kerch Strait.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov likewise told the “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin” broadcast on Rossiya 1 TV channel today that Russia is prepared to resume dialogue with the U.S., on the terms proposed by U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton. “The U.S. President’s National Security Adviser John Bolton contacted Russian Presidential Aide on Foreign Policy Yury Ushakov and confirmed that they would like to resume and normalize dialogue,” Lavrov said. “We are ready for this as soon as our colleagues are ready for this.”
Russian Press Secretary Peskov Confirms Michael Cohen’s E-mail Request
Dec. 1 (EIRNS)—Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen contacted him at the Kremlin through his publicly listed e-mail in 2016, about a possible Trump International Hotel in Moscow. Many other individuals made similar communications about business investments of many kinds, Peskov said. Coup-players against President Trump are trying to claim this is evidence of collusion between Trump and Putin.
Peskov showed media that he suggested, in response to Cohen, that he attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) that year, with his question about help in his skyscraper project, like other businessmen.
“This is really so, and I will explain why: My e-mail address is listed publicly,” Peskov said, as TASS reported. “We receive dozens of e-mails every week from those who want to build something, want to improve relations, and also from ordinary citizens, which is the most important.”
The Hill’s John Solomon Reveals Sting Operation Against Trump
Dec. 2 (EIRNS)—Writing in the Nov. 30 issue of The Hill, investigative reporter John Solomon lays out the case that the Russia probe against Trump was the result of sting conducted by Britain, Australia and the FBI. “Early in my reporting that unraveled the origins of the Trump-Russia collusion probe, tying it to Hillary Clintons campaign and possible Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses, I started to see patterns just as in the old mob meetings: FBI or intelligence-connected figures kept showing up in Trump Town U.S.A. during the 2016 campaign with a common calling card,” Solomon writes.
Solomon then lists the incidents that appear to be sting operations against Trump, including six people with ties to U.S. or British intelligence making contact with Trump campaign figures; Russian figures whose presence in the U.S. was only because of approval from U.S. officials meeting with Trump campaign; British and Australian intelligence officials gathering intelligence on Trump; U.S. intelligence monitoring of some of these conversations; Nearly all the conversations were opened with a promise of providing dirt on Hillary Clinton; and several of the contacts occurred before the FBI formally launched its probe into the Trump campaign.
Solomon says that some of the instigators, such as Stefan Halper, Christopher Steele, Felix Sater are public. There are others he has identified but U.S. officials have asked him to shield their identities to “avoid compromising their identities or nexus to intelligence and law enforcement work.”
Solomon writes, “The chances that so many would converge into then-candidate Donald Trump’s circle, in such a short period around an election, are about as rare as winning the Mega Millions lottery. In other words, most were not coincidences. A few, maybe, but not all.”
Congress has demanded briefings on FBI or other intelligence agency payments to these “undercovers,” but have not disclosed anything about those briefings except “to say that the public would be alarmed if they knew what was divulged.”
Solomon writess that this goes way beyond just the Steele dossier and the Clinton campaign payments to GPS Fusion, but to the FBI’s “insurance policy” against Trump. He again calls on Trump to declassify all the documents so the American people will finally know the truth.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
U.S. Life Expectancy Drops with Rise in Drug Overdoses and Suicides
Nov. 30 (EIRNS)—The 2017 statistical studies by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on falling life expectancy in the U.S. released Nov. 29, shows a decline for the second time in three years, an indication of how far the U.S. has declined from its Leibnizian principle of “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The detailed report documents increasing rates of death from drug overdoses and suicides, sometimes termed “deaths from despair.” An AP wire on the findings notes that “the nation is in the longest period of a generally declining life expectancy since the late 1910s.”
CDC Director Robert Redfield warned: “Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the nation’s overall health, and these sobering statistics are a wake-up call that we are losing too many Americans, too early, too often, to conditions that are preventable.” Redfield tied the decrease of 0.1% in life expectancy to the rise in deaths from drug overdoses and suicide, sometimes called “deaths of despair.” Dr. Bob Anderson, CDC’s chief of mortality statistics, added that cancer deaths, the nation’s #2 killer, are continuing a steady decline: “That’s kind of our saving grace. Without those declines, we’d see a much bigger drop in life expectancy.”
CDC statistics report that more than 70,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2017 alone, a number which marks a nearly 10% rise from 2016, and the highest ever in the United States for a single year (in 1999, only about 17,000 people died of drug overdoses, the earliest statistics gathered by the CDC.)
The CDC’s latest reports show suicide rates have also steadily increased, vaulting suicide to the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.—and second most common cause of death for those aged 10 to 34, showing younger adults in the prime of life hit hardest by drug use and suicide, and lack of a human purpose.
Dr. William Dietz, a disease prevention specialist at George Washington University suggested the CDC data suggest a sense of hopelessness said AP “I really do believe that people are increasingly hopeless, and that that leads to drug use, it leads potentially to suicide,” Dietz was quoted as saying.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Russia’s Ambassador Antonov Says That Canceling Treaties Has Consequences
Nov. 30 (EIRNS)—Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov pointed out yesterday that U.S. unilateral withdrawal from arms control treaties has consequences. “Today one can hear opinions that nothing will happen if the U.S. abandons the INF [Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces] Treaty. The argument is, that over 15 years ago, Washington withdrew from the ABM [Anti-Ballistic Missile] Treaty and there were no catastrophic consequences,” Antonov said. “I don’t think it would be accurate to paint such a rosy picture. Denunciation of treaties or conventions has never led to strengthening of international security, be it the ABM Treaty or the JCPOA [2015 nuclear plan with Iran]. As for a response to the U.S. withdrawal from the ABM Treaty, on March 1, 2018, our President Vladimir Putin announced a new weapons system, which Russia had been forced to develop in order to maintain strategic balance. We warned our American colleagues about this back in 2004.”
Antonov was speaking at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Studies where he devoted the bulk of his remarks to the INF Treaty. “It is high time for President Putin and President Trump to discuss strategic stability and the future of nuclear arms control, primarily the INF Treaty and the New START,” Antonov said. Russia still stands for continuing consultations with a view to preserve the INF Treaty as one of the cornerstones of international security, he stressed. Antonov continued that reestablishing dialogue between the Russian and U.S. defense ministries is also necessary to better bilateral ties and avoid possible conflict in the future.
“Perhaps, it would be no exaggeration to say that today politicians and political scientists, legislators and arms control experts are worried about U.S. plans to withdraw from the INF Treaty, concluded in 1987,” he said, reported TASS. “It was the first international agreement in history on real nuclear disarmament. Now it is on the brink of collapse.”
“Russia and the U.S. have mutual complaints over the implementation of the INF Treaty,” Antonov continued. “We have always expressed our readiness to maintain a professional dialogue with the U.S. colleagues to address mutual concerns. However, the U.S. administration sticks to finger-pointing, blaming Russia for destroying the treaty. The Americans prefer to remain silent on their own violations. We are confident that should there be political will, a compromise can be reached.”
“There are many problems with strengthening arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament. The Russian side is ready for serious substantial discussions on all matters. But the conversation has to be candid, respectful, transparent and professional, with no ‘megaphone diplomacy,’ ” Antonov said. “Creating a crisis is always easier than finding a solution to it. Mending Russia-U.S. relations will take long-term and persistent efforts. A lot of ground, and above all—trust, will have to be rebuilt from scratch. But the complexity and scale of the task is no excuse for doing nothing.”
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
China and Europe Plan for Moon Exploration Together
Dec. 1 (EIRNS)—The China National Space Administration (CNSA) and European Space Agency (ESA) are planning their lunar research programs together. On Nov. 29 they put out a joint request for information to both nations’ scientific communities for collaborative lunar research proposals, which are due Dec. 20th. The purpose of the effort is to identify “opportunities for cooperation between European and Chinese scientific teams to support missions of both agencies, enhance the overall scientific return and to prepare for an international lunar research station.”
The Request for Information states that a “step-wise approach is envisioned.” Capabilities will be developed to prospect lunar resouces, with supporting infrastructure, landing, and robotic surface exploration. “These will allow the assembly of platforms and facilities” for the demonstration of advanced technologies, such as utilizing lunar resourcess.
ESA and CNSA have held two workshops to discuss potential areas of cooperation in lunar science, after which they decided to cooperate in setting up an International Lunar Science Team, establish a CNSA/ESA Virtual Laboratory for Lunar Samples and Materials (which indicates cooperation on a lunar sample return mission, which is in China’s lunar program plan), and opportunities for science payloads from Europe to fly on Chinese lunar missions, and vice versa.
The objectives outlined in the request include science on the Moon on “platforms for scientific research in multiple disciplines,” and science from the Moon, for astronomical observations. There is also proposed “exploration enabling research,” to prepare for human missions to the Moon.
Europe is already planning cooperation in manned space flight, as ESA astronauts learn Chinese to work on the future Chinese space station.