EIR Daily Alert Service, Wednesday, April 24, 2019
|WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24, 2019|
Volume 6, Number 80
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
EIR Daily Alert
April 23 (EIRNS)—From April 25-27, the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will take place in Beijing, China. There will be 130 countries represented by 37 heads of state and government, 360 ministers, and 5,000 delegates from all of those countries. Even before the Forum begins, it is clear that at the gathering many countries will join the New Paradigm of respect for sovereignty, for future development, for the interest of the other, which is being built around the Belt and Road Initiative.
There are important political gaps remaining, however. First, it’s not yet clear what level delegation the U.S. will send, but it is certain that it will not be on the level it should be—namely, on the level of President Donald Trump himself. Second, India will not be participating at all, just as they did not go to the First Belt and Road Forum two years ago. However, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale just held a bilateral meeting in Beijing, in which both sides committed to continuing the so-called “Wuhan process,” a reference to an informal summit between Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi a year ago, which laid the basis for strategic cooperation between the two countries. Wang announced that a second such summit is being prepared.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche commented today that, although the spirit of the New Silk Road continues to spread rapidly, a very big job still remains. Besides the two major gaps of the U.S. and India, the British Empire views its interests as existentially threatened, and is responding accordingly. There was a truly terrible terrorist attack in Sri Lanka this week, where 310 people were killed and many more were wounded. This was bigger than the Mumbai attack 15 years ago or so, and it was clearly meant to destroy Sri Lanka, which is one of the cornerstones of the Maritime Silk Road in South Asia. Sri Lanka has also been targetted by the opponents of the Silk Road for supposedly falling into China’s “debt trap.”
The British also remain committed to toppling, or minimally paralyzing, the Trump Administration, even though the long-awaited Mueller report left them empty-handed. And they are also activating their neocon assets in and around the Trump Administration, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton, to put the U.S. on a confrontation course with China and Russia.
Both targetted countries are making it clear that they are deadly concerned by such provocations. China’s PLA Navy is holding military exercises to celebrate its 70th anniversary, noting that they are not trying to “flex muscles,” but neither will they permit the South China Sea to be turned into a new Balkans by foreign interference. And starting tomorrow, the 8th Moscow International Security Conference kicks off, with an expected 1,000 attendees from 111 countries, including 35 delegations led by defense ministers, with a key focus on the dangerous trend towards interventionist “extra-territoriality” of laws being practiced by the U.S., the U.K., the EU and others
It has also been announced that President Trump will go to London in June for the 75th commemoration of D-Day, and that he will be received there with great pomp and circumstance by the decrepit Queen herself. It would be totally appropriate for President Trump to make his visit conditional on first receiving a formal apology from the Queen, for the coup d’état that her intelligence services tried to carry out against Trump.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
April 23 (EIRNS)—The Second Belt and Road Forum will be held in Beijing from April 25-27, and although the Indian government has announced that it will not be attending, the governments of China and India went out of their way to hold high-level bilateral consultations at the foreign minister level on April 22, designed to “strengthen strategic communication, enhance political mutual trust, and maintain close coordination on international and regional affairs.”
India also did not attend the First Belt and Road Forum two years ago, and has kept the entire Belt and Road Initiative at arm’s length largely for geopolitical reasons: concerns that the BRI’s China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) infringes on Indian sovereignty, and that China keeps putting obstacles in the way of placing Masood Azhar on the global terrorist list. Azhar is the founder and leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed, which is active mainly in the Pakistani administered Azad Kashmir; the Indians view him as responsible for major terrorist attacks inside India.
Asked about India’s non-participation in the Second Belt and Road Forum at a press conference April 19, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi emphasized that last year’s Wuhan informal summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had “established mutual trust between the leadership, and they jointly planned for the future of improvement and strengthening of China-India relations.” Wang also said that a new summit between the two leaders was being prepared. He continued:
“After the Wuhan summit, we see all areas of progress between the two countries and we have bright prospects for this relationship. We are now preparing for the next summit of our leaders…. One of our differences is how to look at the BRI. The Indian side has their concerns. We understand that and that is why we have stated clearly on many occasions that the BRI, including the CPEC, is only an economic initiative and it does not target any third country and has nothing to do with the sovereign and territorial disputes left from history between any two countries.”
The April 22 China-India talks were led by Wang Yi and Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale, who had been India’s ambassador to China until his elevation to Foreign Secretary last year. After their talks, Wang told the press:
“As two major neighbors, emerging economies representatives and strategic cooperative partners, China and India should continue to strengthen strategic communication, enhance political mutual trust, and maintain close coordination on international and regional affairs.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang added: “Common interests are far greater than differences between two sides…. The two sides should strengthen unity and cooperation, maintain the positive momentum of the healthy and stable development of bilateral relations since the leaders’ summit in Wuhan, Hubei Province from both countries, and safeguard the common interests of emerging markets and developing countries.”
For his part, Gokhale said that India is willing to maintain high-level exchanges with China, enhance mutual understanding, take care of each other’s concerns, and promote greater development of India-China relations, according to Geng. Gokhale also said: “It is one year since our leaders met in Wuhan and my colleague and Vice (Foreign) Minister Kong Xuanyou have been following up on efforts to see that we implement many of the understandings reached in that meeting.”
April 23 (EIRNS)—North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un’s armored train will arrive in Vladivostok, Russia on April 24 where he will be meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin, a source in Russia’s Far Eastern Railway told Sputnik. “The train arrives at Hasan station in the morning, then heads to Ussuriysk, from there to Vladivostok. The train traffic in the region coincides with a timetable today. The timetable can be adjusted while the armored train will be moving on Hasan-Ussuriysk railway line, and then on Ussuriysk-Vladivostok section of the Trans-Siberian Railway. And the same way back,” the source said.
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) of North Korea also reported that Kim Jong Un would visit Russia for a meeting with Putin, but only indicated it would occur “soon.”
Also is it reported that on April 23 two aircraft from North Korea landed in Vladivostok airport with North Korean security officials, according to South Korean media. The meeting is expected to take place at Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, according to media reports. [DEA]
April 23 (EIRNS)—Member of the European Parliament Marco Zanni, foreign policy speaker for the Lega party and candidate in the May 23-26 European elections from northwestern Italy, has publicly thanked the Italian LaRouche movement for their backing. “I thank the MoviSol friends with whom we have carried out in the last five years, in Europe and in the U.S.A., the fundamental fight against that aberration called Banking Union, for a healthy, transparent financial system serving the real economy, against speculation damaging our economies and endangering our savings. Thanks!” Zanni wrote on his electoral Facebook page, under the headline “Thanks To MoviSol for their Support!”
MoviSol had called on its members and supporters to vote for Zanni in the May European elections, reminding them that in his outgoing mandate, Zanni “fought consistently for alternative policies to austerity, financial speculation and the destruction of national and popular sovereignty. In particular, Zanni has led the fight for banking separation, succeeding in blocking the neoliberal reform, and travelling twice to Washington to coordinate his fight with members of the U.S. Congress.
“During his second visit last December, Zanni carried over 200 signatures of Italian elected representatives, collected by MoviSol, in favor of banking separation [Glass-Steagall Act]. Zanni is also for a policy of cooperation with Russia and China, for overcoming the geopolitical logic of the blocs, and for an active Italian role in the Belt and Road policy (New Silk Road) for investments in Italy and Africa. Thanks to his competence and his work in the last years, he has been promoted as foreign policy speaker of the Lega.”
During his Washington visit, on Nov. 30, 2018, Zanni told EIR: “Having this strong communication and strong cooperation with the U.S. is fundamental in proposing … at least trans-Atlantic reform of our financial markets, of our banking system. Because Glass-Steagall, bank separation in just one nation is not enough; we need international cooperation … and gathering all the developed nations in pushing for reforming our banking system to prevent another financial crisis that is going to come.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
April 23 (EIRNS)—Today was the 70th anniversary of the Chinese PLA Navy, celebrated with a naval parade with foreign participation and an address by Chinese President Xi Jinping, in which he emphasized the oceans as the common heritage of mankind. Xi, in his address to the assembled heads of foreign delegations, called for concerted efforts to safeguard maritime peace and build a maritime community with a shared future, reported Xinhua. Oceans are of great significance to the survival and development of humanity as they breed life, connect the world and promote development, Xi said. “The blue planet humans inhabit is not divided into islands by the oceans, but is connected by the oceans to form a community with a shared future, where people of all countries share weal and woe,” he said. Xi said maritime peace and tranquility concern the security and interests of all countries and need to be jointly maintained and cherished.
“The peace-loving Chinese people long for peace and will unswervingly stay on the path of peaceful development,” Xi said. China pursues a national defense policy that is defensive in nature and champions new thinking on common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security, he stated. “Holding high the banner of win-win cooperation, the Chinese military is committed to creating a security environment featuring equality, mutual trust, fairness and justice, joint participation and shared benefits,” he said.
After the address, Xi boarded the destroyer Xining to review the naval parade in the waters off Qingdao. The first stage of the parade featured 32 Chinese Navy vessels and 39 aircraft, including China’s first aircraft carrier Liaoning and nuclear-powered submarines, frigates and destroyers and military aircraft of all types. The second stage saw the participation of 18 visiting naval ships from 13 countries, including Russian Navy frigate Admiral Gorshkov and Australian Navy frigate HMAS Melbourne.
The event is being held from April 22-25, and many in the West view the parade as “a muscle show,” Global Times wrote in an editorial on April 22, especially since it occurs in the days right before the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. “But China’s rise is an important reality. It is all parties’ shared benefit to manage such reality. Other parties should not hold back China’s development, especially not label such containment as morality and justice.” The editorial said that China does not have imperial ambitions, and a “powerful PLA Navy will not imitate those maritime empires. But no country should show off their strength in China’s offshore area. East Asia will not become the Balkans. Nor will the Western Pacific Ocean resort to war to resolve disputes. Major countries’ navies grew powerful in history because of the need to expand. But the PLA Navy has become powerful because it does not want to be bullied. The world should understand China’s military and diplomatic philosophy to really understand China.”
April 23 (EIRNS)—The 8th Moscow International Security Conference kicks off on April 24, following activities and exhibits that were held today at Patriot Park outside of Moscow. The conference will be opened with a keynote address delivered by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, which will be followed by an address from Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. This year’s edition, which runs through April 26, will be mainly devoted to improvement of arms control systems, reports Sputnik. Other matters on the agenda include the settlement of the crisis in Syria, ballistic missile defense and arms control, terrorism, illegal migration from Africa to Europe, as well as reconstruction and return of refugees in Syria and Iraq.
OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger, Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami and Indian Defense Secretary Sanjay Mitra are expected to attend the conference, as is International Committee of the Red Cross Vice-President Gilles Carbonnier and UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix.
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin, who will deliver the closing address, told RT in an interview that over 1,000 attendees from 111 countries are expected, including 35 delegations led by defense ministers and another 19 led by defense or deputy defense chiefs.
While terrorism and regional conflicts that have been rampant over the past decade remain concerning, Fomin said, increasingly more independent states are wary of interference from major powers—particularly the U.S.—and the prospects of a potential sovereignty loss. “They realize that concepts like peace, independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty tend to be increasingly fragile today. They need to be protected. The last 20 years have taught them that a state can only be secure if its military is well-equipped and armed with the most advanced air and missile defense systems,” Fomin told RT.
Fomin cited the U.S. threat to Venezuela as the latest external threat to sovereignty. Venezuela has faced extensive meddling from the U.S., ranging from backing the opposition to threats of a direct military invasion, he said. “The U.S. does not sit idly and is employing other tactics including a broad range of techniques developed for hybrid wars and color revolutions. The Americans have been training leaders and members of extremist groups,” Fomin continued. “They have been ramping up pressure including bribery, bullying, and sectoral sanctions. Operation Blackout is underway, a man-made shutdown of energy facilities deepening the economic crisis.”
April 23 (EIRNS)—When one asks the question cui bono?—who stands to gain?—from the horrific Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, the only answer could be the British enemies of the Belt and Road Initiative. The attack involved seven suicide bombers targeting three hotels and three churches, taking the lives of at least 321 people and wounding some 500 others. The attack was twice as deadly as the horrific Mumbai attacks in November 2008, when 10 members of the Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba Islamic terror group killed 174 and wounded 300 others. The Sri Lanka attack is the second major terror attack on South Asia this year, in addition to the Feb. 14 attack in Pulwama, Kashmir, when Pakistani car-bombers killed 40 Indian security personnel. Both are of obvious and serious concern to the Chinese. A Chinese article drawing the parallel to the May 2014 Xinjiang attack clearly demonstrates this concern.
Sri Lanka is one of China’s major partners in the Maritime Silk Road component of the Belt and Road Initiative. There are several major Chinese-backed infrastructure projects ongoing, including two ports, a major highway and an industrial zone. Sri Lanka cooperation with China has earned it the hatred of the British-led anti-Chinese forces. It has been a top target of the British “debt trap” propaganda. Now this terror attack all but kills the country’s tourist business, which is its third largest foreign exchange earner, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration (ITA) Export.gov website. The expected loss of revenues could create serious problems in making these debt payments.
Police said 87 bomb detonators were found at the city’s main bus station and 40 people have been arrested; most are said to be members of the National Thowfeek Jama’ath, an Islamic group. ISIS is reportedly now claiming responsibility for the attack, but there is no confirmation that this is true. Muslims account for less than 10% of Sri Lanka’s population.
Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne has said the attacks had been carried out with the help of a vast international network. “We do not believe these attacks were carried out by a group of people who were confined to this country. There was an international network without which these attacks could not have succeeded,” Senaratne stated.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
April 23 (EIRNS)—As the high waters continue in the Missouri and Mississippi Basins, governors of Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri will meet April 26 with leaders of the Omaha District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to receive the Corps’ options for building flood-defense infrastructure, which the governors requested April 3, at their last meeting. On April 17, the U.S. Senate Environment Committee had a meeting on the disaster in Glenwood, Iowa, which tended to fixate on castigating the Corps for following a green mandate—approved by Congress in the 2000s—to serve the interests of endangered species and fishing, instead of protecting life and property. The Corps witnesses countered that they acted to protect life and property in the current flood disaster, but they lacked the means in both infrastructure and funding.
Water is still running high at many places. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has issued an executive order continuing a state of emergency through May 15, which he first declared on March 12. It deploys state resources to help livestock, clear debris and other relief functions. Ricketts declared April 7 a “Day of Prayer” for those suffering from the flooding, stating, “Nebraska has experienced the most widespread natural disaster in state history.”
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson this week will officially call for Federal emergency relief, now that a preliminary damage tally has been made, which is huge. As much as one-third of the state is technically in a flood plain. In Iowa, some towns are still under water; residents in the small town of Pacific Junction have been under mandatory evacuation for nearly a month.
On the Mississippi River itself, water is 20 feet higher than normal in some stretches, which among other hazards, has disrupted barge traffic shipping bulk fertilizer for spring planting.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
April 23 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump tweeted twice early this morning about how great the U.S. economy is:
“The radical left Democrats, together with their masters in the Fake News Media, have gone totally insane! I guess that means the Republican agenda is working. Stay tuned for more!”
“In the ‘old days’ if you were President and you had a good economy, you were basically immune from criticism. Remember, ‘It’s the economy stupid.’ [famous saying of Bill Clinton pollster James Carville—ed.] Today I have, as President, perhaps the greatest economy in history…and to the Mainstream Media, it means NOTHING. But it will!”
April 23 (EIRNS)—U.S. President Donald Trump announced today that he and First Lady Melania Trump will make a state visit to the U.K. on June 3-5, at “the invitation of Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.” The White House announcement continued, “This state visit will reaffirm the steadfast and special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.”
The press offered the condescending tweet that the Queen should have been referred to “Her Majesty” rather than “Her Royal Majesty” in proper British etiquette.
A more correct form of address should have been: “Queen of Great Britain, whose ‘ex’ MI6 agent Christopher Steele provided the unverified, fake dossier that anti-Trump, ex-CIA head John Brennan has cited as ‘proof’ to keep allegations of Trump Russian collusion going for the past two years in the U.S., all for the purpose of staging a coup d’état against the elected government of the United States.”
For starters, President Trump should make his visit conditional on receiving a formal apology from the Queen for her attempted coup d’état.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
April 23 (EIRNS)—Greece is taking its space program very seriously. After being founded in March 2018, the Hellenic Space Agency (HSA) is moving aggressively to make space science a major concern of the country and especially mobilize the participation of young people in this effort, despite its limited resources. It has signed bilateral agreements with several national space agencies, the most important being with NASA. As reported last week, NASA and the HSA will be going to the Moon with an agreement that Greece will provide by 2020 a lander and lunar rover which will be placed on the Moon by the U.S. Moon-Mars program.
Now the HSA has announced it will hold the first Hellenic Space Academy Camp “Loukianos” in Athens on July 7-14, 2019. Loukianos is the Greek name of Lucian of Samosata a 2nd century Hellenic-Assyrian author and satirist who wrote the first detailed account of a trip to the Moon in the Western tradition. The camp, which is taking place at an Athens hotel, will have a full program with top speakers from several national space agencies including NASA. It is open to students, graduate students and space enthusiasts.
According to the HSA announcement, the camp “aims at providing opportunities to discuss issues and share views related to the contribution of the international space community to the citizens, students, economy, development and science.”
“For the first time Heads and Executives of the most outstanding Space Agencies, Prime Space Companies, astronauts and other Space Scientists will share their experience and their vision to young students in such intensive academic program while the audience will actively participate and interact with them.”
This week the U.S. Embassy released the full remarks U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt made at the “Hellas to the Moon” Forum last week in Athens, which discussed Greece’s participation in the U.S. Moon-Mars program and reported in the briefing. Among his comments, Pyatt said: “It takes the whole international community to put human beings today into space and to take advantage of the opportunities and to overcome the challenges that deep space presents. This effort to develop a permanent presence on the Moon will open a treasure trove of scientific research and fuel new innovations and create new markets….
“The news of the renewed relationship in space cooperation between the United States and Greece coincides with the 50th anniversary this July of the Apollo 11 mission, which first put a man on the Moon…. But it’s worth remembering that in the famous speech he gave at Rice University to persuade Americans to support the challenge of the Apollo program, President John F. Kennedy made the point that ‘We choose to go to the Moon. We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and to do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that challenge is one that we’re willing to accept, one that we are unwilling to postpone, and one that we intend to win.’
“Of course, the space program that realized Kennedy’s vision took its name from the Greek god of truth, prophesy, and light.
“The Greek people, who have thousands of years’ experience as explorers and seafarers, who have curiosity and ingenuity in their history and in their blood, have accepted this new challenge of our age, and I have no doubt that you will succeed in this endeavor and make both of our countries very proud.”
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