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Alicia Cerretani

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Zepp-LaRouche Interviewed by Kirk Meighoo on BRI and New Paradigm

Kirk Meighoo in Trinidad & Tobago, a former Senator and a notable academic and political figure in the country, has done a beautiful 1-hour podcast with Helga Zepp-LaRouche as his guest. The podcast centered on the issue of the Chinese role in development around the world, as part of the global New Silk Road (Belt and Road Initiative, BRI). Zepp-LaRouche reviews 45 years of initiatives from her husband, Lyndon LaRouche, and herself, for the kind of American System economics embedded in the BRI, and evaluates how the United States can be brought aboard.

 


Malaysia’s Dr. Mahathir Has Renegotiated the East-West Rail Development with China

Another prime case of the “debt trap” lie, used to demonize China, has been blown away by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad in Malaysia. From the beginning of his return to leadership in 2018 (after having retired as Prime Minister in 2003 after 22 years in office), he openly declared that the problem with the rail (and other) contracts with China negotiated by the disgraced former government under Najib Razak was not China’s fault, but was due to the corruption of Najib. This didn’t stop the China bashers from declaring Malaysia a case of China’s supposedly evil use of debt to take over nations.

On April 12th, Dr. Mahathir announced that he and his long-time economic collaborator Daim Zainuddin had renegotiated the East-West Railroad construction contract, reducing the price by about one-third, while also cutting off a 40 km stretch along the east coast. The rail line will still connect the west coast to the east coast (the east coast is less developed than the west), over a 648 km line.

Dr. Mahathir was one of the first heads of government to announce that he would attend the Second Belt and Road Forum in China at the end of this month.


Sri Lanka Opens Chinese-built & Financed Railroad

Sri Lanka, which has been used by the China-bashing mob as the primary example of China’s evil “debt trap” diplomacy, doesn’t seem to have gotten the message. Instead, they continue to look to China as a leading source of funds and technical support to develop their country.

The Sri Lankan government on April 8 opened a new railroad connecting two southern cities, Matara and Beliatta, financed by the Export-Import Bank of China and constructed by China Railway Group 5 (CR5) and Sri Lanka’s Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau (CECB). The 26.75-km long railway was proudly declared open for the public by Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga in the presence of Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera and other parliamentarians.

This is the first railroad to be built in Sri Lanka since 1948, the year of their independence from the British! It includes the longest and second longest railway bridges of 1.5 km and 1.04 km, respectively, and the longest railway tunnel and the most modern railway station buildings in the country.

Debt trap? In spite of all the talk about Sri Lanka’s Chinese “debt trap” in the Western media, which EIR showed was a complete hoax (see: Why China’s ‘Debtbook Diplomacy’ is a Hoax), Sri Lanka and China continue to cooperate around new infrastructure projects, like this railway. How could a poor country, burdened with IMF and World Bank debt, come out of this trap and end its poverty without modern infrastructure (transport, power, water management, education and healthcare)? This should be self-evident for any American, German, Swede or Frenchman who knows anything about their country’s history. Forward with the Belt and Road!


Philippines’ Former President Calls China ‘A Partner, Not a Threat’

Former President of the Philippines and now Speaker of the Philippines Assembly Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, speaking at the March 26-29 annual Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) at Hainan, said:

“China has given us the lesson that there is just not one path for development, because prior to China’s experience, it was thought that the only way to development is the Western-style model of Jeffersonian democracy and coupled with a free market,”

the Manila Bulletin reported yesterday. It was at the same conference that Arroyo said that China is a partner, not a threat to the Philippines, despite the apprehensions of some about China’s involvement in development projects in the country. Arroyo, now in her second year as a board member of the BFA, said that developing countries such as the Philippines should further boost their relationship with China, GMA News Online reported.

“But China has shown the world that you can have your own model of development using your own historical experience, especially China in the last 40 years. Since the opening of China 40 years ago, it has transformed itself, it is the world’s leading growth, unmatched in history, 400 million [sic—800 million] people lifted out from poverty. China is on the verge of becoming the largest economy in the world,” she said.

Arroyo said she had a “valuable” meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, along with other officers of the Boao Forum for Asia. She said that their discussion with Li centered on the direction China is taking in its 40th year of reforms and its ties with the rest of the world. The Bulletin reported that Li’s meeting with the BFA officers was one of the highlights of the BFA Annual Conference 2019.


Italy and China Sign Groundbreaking MOU on Belt and Road Initiative

Italy and China have signed the famous Memorandum of Understanding on Belt and Road cooperation Friday, together with 10 economic agreements and 18 institutional agreements (19 with the BRI MOU). The MOU is a milestone and is said to already be being studied by other countries that want to follow Italy.

The MOU says at the outset that

“The Parties will work together within the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to translate mutual complementary strengths into advantages for practical cooperation and sustainable growth, supporting synergies between the Belt and Road Initiative and priorities identified in the Investment Plan for Europe and the Trans-European Networks, bearing in mind discussions in the EU China Connectivity Platform.”

With the MOU, Italy is the first large industrial economy to join the Belt and Road, as Chinese media proudly stress. The signature of the MOU occurred in spite of trans-Atlantic pressures and open hostility by Italy’s “partners” in the EU. Italian Minister for Economic Development Luigi Di Maio, who signed the MOU together with his counterpart He Lifeng, chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, stated that

“today is for us a very important day, in which the Made in Italy is winning, Italian firms are winning. We made a step to help our economy to grow. Italy came first with China.”

The economic agreements include: a strategic partnership between the Italian Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and the Bank of China to finance Italian firms in China; a MOU between the Italian oil company ENI and the Bank of China for explorations in China; Ansaldo Energia signed two agreements, one to develop gas turbines with UGTC and another one for the supply of a turbine to Shanghai Electric and Benxi Steel; the Port Authorities of Trieste and Genoa signed an agreement with the construction giant CCCC. Cassa Depositi and the natural gas utility Snam signed a deal with the Silk Road Fund for investments along the Silk Road; the Institute for Foreign Trade signed a deal with Suning to create a platform to promote Italian lifestyle in China; and the Danieli group signed a contract with China Camc Engineering for the construction of a steel plant in Azerbaijan.

The institutional agreements, besides the MOU on the BRI cooperation, include cooperation on innovative startups and electronic trade, as well as cooperation between the two space agencies, agriculture and culture, health and media.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella told the business leaders that, once again, there is a “culture of growth.” He said, “we can have confidence in both countries” that there will be development. The Memorandum of Understanding has been worked on since last September, and the cooperation between Italy and China will not only facilitate our own development, but will “enable global growth.” He said that ‘the globalized world needs more consultations” between nations, in all areas, especially trade, space and culture.

In an interview with Chinese journalists, Italian President Mattarella spoke at length about the ancient bonds between Italy and China and the future perspective for cooperation. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries, and this partnership is “built on solid foundations, inspired by natural convergences between two very ancient civilizations,” Mattarella was quoted by Xinhua.

Mattarella underscored the “growing and fruitful interaction between our peoples, who are so similar in terms of industriousness and creativity.”

Xi’s visit is an expression of the “solidity of the bond and the mutual respect” between Italy and China, he said.

After some lip service to transparency and openness, Mattarella said that on the cultural front, the heritage of both Italy and China “arouses admiration everywhere in the world,” and this heritage could be a great development driver. He referred to the mechanism of forging twinning relationships between the two countries’ World Heritage Sites.

Speaking of how the Italy-China partnership contributes to a better and more stable world, the President said that Italy is committed to safeguarding peace and rules-based multilateralism, and is pleased to see the two sides have consensus on that.

The Italian press agency ANSA reported that Mattarella expressed the wish that, with the visit of President Xi, “agreements, ideas, projects can come out, in which the Italian-Chinese partnership could develop further, including for a larger benefit of the collaboration between Europe and Asia, which needs an ever bigger volume of sustainable investments in infrastructure, to ensure a future of well-being and peace for all peoples of the two continents.”


Italian PM Conte Outflanks EU in Parliament Speech on China Policy

In the foreign policy debate in the Chamber of Deputies Tuesday morning, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte judoed all critics of the upcoming agreement between Italy and China on the Belt and Road by describing the upcoming MOU as so pro-European that it complies with EU guidelines and principles and values as “nobody has so far done in Europe.”

Conte said that the EU “will be strengthened by the Italian approach.” The MOU is not a treaty but a “programmatic agreement outlining targets in the framework of the BRI, which is a large project of international connectivity that Italy has expressed interest for, already back in 2016.” Italy’s interest “is legitimate” and responds to its “national interests.” Italy wants to increase its export in a “market of giant dimensions,” increase investments in infrastructures and “enjoy the natural economic advantages of the New Silk Road.”

The negotiations for the MOU have lasted many months and the text is “fully in line with the EU strategy.” Furthermore: “Nobody in the EU has done as much as we have” to advance EU policy vis-à-vis China. The MOU promotes European principles of mutual advantages, reciprocity, intellectual property, level playing field, etc. “Our approach to the BRI is the most far-sighted and effective ever adopted in the EU.”

In his reply, after a debate in which the opposition distinguished itself in hysteria, infantilism and incompetence, Conte reiterated the “finalities” of the MOU with China:  “First, balance trade relations. Our exports to China are far behind exports of our partners in the EU. Second, the BRI is a big project of infrastructure connectivity which offers opportunities to our companies. We have leading companies in know-how and technology which will be able to participate. Third, the BRI is of such a significance as to redefine major trade routes and we don’t want to miss any chance to be part of them. Fourth, protecting our strategic infrastructure is a primary, non-negotiable objective.”


Feasibility Study for Panama High-Speed Railway Released

President Juan Carlos Varela presided over a ceremony Friday for the release of China Railway Design Corporation’s feasibility study on the Panama City-David high-speed railway line agreed upon as part of Panama’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative. The study found that building the proposed 391.3 km railway from the capital to David, a city near the Costa Rican border, is economically and, as the President emphasized, socially viable—and that it is feasible to extend it into Central America.

hsr-panama

The railroad will provide “unprecedented integration of the country, and will empower the country’s logistical platform,” Varela said at the ceremony. The study took into consideration its future extension into Costa Rica, which would “facilitate trade of products between our [Central American] countries, which face great challenges in the area of logistics,” he stressed.

“Such a railway has been the dream of Panamanian leaders for 100 years, and therefore I hope that future leaders will take it up and make it a reality, always thinking of Panama first,” Varela added.

Panama will elect a new President on May 5, and Varela had previously announced that it will be up to his successor to undertake the project. By ensuring the feasibility study was released with proper promotion now, Varela is placing Panama’s participation in the Belt and Road, with the great potential it represents for transforming the country’s poorer regions, at the center of that campaign. (He cannot run again because of term limits.)

The CRDC, assisted by Panamanian government agencies, universities and private consulting companies, estimates that it will take six years to complete the railway, at a cost of $4.1 billion, involving 6,000 employees, direct and indirect, to build it, and 2,900 to operate and maintain it once built.


Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Jacques Cheminade Interviewed on China’s CCTV-13

Interviews with Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Jacques Cheminade appeared on a newscast by CCTV-13 reporting on U.S. reactions to the just-concluded National People’s Congress. CCTV journalist Wang Guang reported on the reaction of U.S. think tanks to the ideas presented during the Two Sessions with regard to U.S.-China trade and the Belt and Road Initiative.

The broadcast then shifted to an interview done with Helga at the Morristown Schiller Institute conference. Zepp-LaRouche said:

“I personally think it is the most important strategic initiative, because it is a concept with which you can overcome geopolitics. Geopolitics has been the cause of two wars in the 20th Century, and the idea that you can not have blocs of countries or nations against nations, but that you have what Xi Jinping always calls the ‘community of the shared future of humanity,’ that you put the one humanity first, is a strategic concept which allows you to overcome the divisions which existed in previous centuries.”

This was followed by Cheminade, who said,

“The Chinese way is to a world integration through common development, what President Xi Jinping calls a ‘win-win’ system. So that is a future. The Chinese want a world development. They don’t want to impose their model, but they don’t want the other models to impose upon them.”

Helga’s clip was also aired on CCTV Plus, an English-language CCTV site, on a program entitled “Foreign Experts Applaud Development Concepts.”


Webcast—Neocons Move to Box Trump In, While Italy Points Toward the New Paradigm

The ongoing battle between two paradigms was center stage in Italy this week, as the conference cosponsored by Movisol and the Lombard Region, demonstrated the potential for the Belt-and-Road Initiative (BRI) to break the power of the London-run geopoliticians in Europe. Helga Zepp LaRouche’s report on the conference, at which she spoke, and was joined by Michele Geracci, an Undersecretary of the Italian Finance Ministry and head of the government’s China Task Force, highlighted the significance of the upcoming trip of Xi Jinping to Italy, and the signing on an MOU for Italy to join the BRI. If Italy and fifteen other EU member nations can participate, for mutual benefit, with the BRI, what of France and Germany? Why are the EU bureaucrats and the London neo-liberals so distressed by this development?

Contrast this potential to the hysteria coming from EU bureaucrats, from NATO officials such as Gen. Scaparroti, and from U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo, which is part of a neocon contingent trying to rein Trump in. Helga presents a clear picture of how the neocons are moving, aiming at sabotaging the trade talks with China, denuclearization of North Korea, and pushing for regime change in Venezuela, to force Trump to move away from his campaign promises.

She appealed to viewers to use the mobilization to exonerate Lyndon LaRouche as a means of bringing down the war party, which is continuing its efforts to destroy the potential of the Trump presidency.


[VIDEO & TRANSCRIPT] Movisol Conference on BRI in Milan

The conference “Italy on the New Silk Road” organized by Movisol (LaRouche’s movement in Italy) and the Lombardy Region (state legislature) in Milan Wednesday, was a success, with Undersecretary Michele Geraci (of the Task Force China in the Italian government) opening it and emphasizing the importance of the MOU which Italy will sign with President Xi Jinping on March 22 in Rome, of the benefits for Italy of this cooperation with China, including for the development of the Italian Mezzogiorno.

Undersecretary of the Task Force China in the Italian government, Michele Geraci and EIR's Claudio Celani.

Undersecretary of the Task Force China in the Italian government, Michele Geraci and EIR’s Claudio Celani.

Geraci was followed by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, who explained the more profound meaning of this important development for the rest of the world, the realization of the New Paradigm for which Lyndon LaRouche and the Schiller Institute have been working for the last 30 years. See a full text of Helga’s remarks below.

There was a short message from Sen. Tony Iwobi, the first Nigerian parliamentarian elected for the Lega, about the historical significance on the Transaqua project, which was then described in detail by Engineer Bocchetto of Bonifica, which is working on the feasibility study with China.

Geraci, Celani, Zepp-LaRouche and Movisol leader, Liliana Gorini.

Geraci, Celani, Zepp-LaRouche and Movisol leader, Liliana Gorini.

Liliana Gorini, chairwoman of Movisol, concluded the conference by thanking the Lombardy Region, which had helped to organize it, and dedicating it to Lyndon LaRouche, who is known in Italy not only as the “visionary” of the New Silk Road, as former Economics Minister Giulio Tremonti defined him Tuesday in Corriere della Sera, but also as the main promoter of Glass-Steagall and LaRouche’s Four Laws, and reminding people how many parliamentarians who had heard him speak at the Italian Finance Committee at the Parliament in Rome in 1998, admitted years later that he was completely right.


TRANSCRIPT OF HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE’S REMARKS

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: It is in one sense quite amusing to see what high waves the possibility of Italy signing the MOU with China is causing right now.  Because, when Xi Jinping announced the New Silk Road in 2013 and then proceeded to make treaties in the meantime, I think it’s with 112 countries, an enormous growth developed, six major industrial corridors, the Belt and Road Initiative became very quickly the largest infrastructure project in history, ever.  And the strange thing was that for about four years, in the mainstream media in the United States and Europe, there was practically no reporting about this.

And then, all of a sudden, in an obviously coordinated way, the major think tanks of Europe and the United States started a series of attacks, studies, that China is causing countries to fall into a debt trap, that it’s just an effort to replace the United States as the dominant force in the world, to become Chinese imperialists, that the Belt and Road projects are not viable, that China is an authoritarian system and Xi Jinping is a dictator.  So all of a sudden, you had a barrage of attacks on this concept.

The funny thing is, if you would ask and listen to the leaders of the countries cooperating with the Belt and Road, like the Africans, the Asian countries, the Latin American countries, they would be full of praise and say that with the Chinese cooperation, they have for the first time, the opportunity to overcome the underdevelopment and poverty they had suffered as a result of Western colonialism, and 70 years of IMF conditionalities, which prevented them from having exactly that kind of development.  And they were full of praise, calling China a friend — so you get a completely opposite view.

I have come to the conclusion that everything in the Western mainstream media are saying about China is fake news, and just a lie.  And it comes from the fact that many people in the West simply have lost the ability to imagine that any country, let alone China, could promote something which is, indeed, for the common good of all of humanity. When Xi Jinping talks about the “shared community of the common future of mankind,” or the “community of destiny,” he means it!  And isn’t it obvious that in the time of thermonuclear weapons, in international space travel, of conquering all the problems of the world, that we have to think about the one humanity first, before we talk about national interests? As a matter of fact, the concept of a win-win cooperation for the Belt and Road Initiative, it has all the economic aspects which are beneficial to all the countries that have participated.

But it is much more than that:  Because from the standpoint of the evolution of mankind, if you take a step back, and don’t take a look at the conflict between Marseille and Trieste, which I understand is obviously very important for the Italians, but if you look at the larger point of view, isn’t it natural that infrastructure development would eventually open up all continents and connect them?

So now, all of a sudden, you have this eruption of anti-China propaganda, but it comes from the fact that we are now at a  point where something is happening, which has already happened 16 times in history, namely, that the up-to-now dominant power is being surpassed by the up-to-now second largest power. And in history this has led 12 times to war, between those two competing power, and 4 times it was just that the second power surpassed the dominant power without war.  China has emphasized many times, they don’t want, obviously, to follow the 12 examples where this conflict would lead to war, but they also don’t want to simply replace the United States in the role of the leader of an unipolar world, but that they want to build a completely new system of international relations based on sovereignty, on respect for the different social system, on non-interference, and actually proposing a completely new system of international relations.

So, the big question strategically is you have the conflict between the United States and Russia, which is obvious, because of the cancellation of the ABM Treaty, then the Russian reaction to that, and now the cancellation of the INF Treaty — so there are many who think that we are actually close, in worse strategic crisis than during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, because of the relations between the United States and Russia. But if you talk to some strategic insiders on both sides of the Atlantic, they easily admit that the much more dangerous conflict is actually the one between the United States and China:  Will the United States accept the rise of Asia, and the Belt and Road Initiative is just the obvious expression of that?  Or, is what was said by the RAND Corporation a couple of months ago, that it’s better to have the war with China now, than in 10 years, because the casualties will be less?

Well, obviously, this is something we have to change, and I think that the best way to change it is, indeed, to bring in this reality of a new paradigm of thinking altogether:  We have to leave geopolitics.  We have to leave the idea that there can be a legitimate interest of one country, or a group of country, against another bloc of countries, because this was what led twice to world war in the 20th century.  As a matter of fact, I think the potential to overcome this conflict is absolutely there.  I know in Europe, many people are fainting when you mention the name of President Donald Trump, but President Trump is not seeking confrontation with Russia — as a matter of fact, he wants to have an improved relation with Russia, which he proved in the summit with Putin in Helsinki.  And despite the present trade tension, President Trump always talks about President Xi Jinping as his very good friend, and China being a great country and that he wants to actually have a good relationship between the United States and China.

So the attacks on Italy, coming from the White House — the [i]Financial Times[/i] mentioned this Garrett Marquis — is not representing the same view as Trump.  It comes from a faction of the neo-con which are unfortunately also in the Trump Administration, but the factional situation in the United States is very divided.  You have the Democrats and the neo-cons trying to get Trump out of office with Russiagate, but on the other side, I think President Trump has proven a tremendous sustainability against the efforts to drive him out of office, and his supporters are absolutely backing him, and the chances that there will be a second Trump Administration are actually very, very high.

Now one of the accusations against China and the Belt and Road Initiative is that it would divide Europe.  I think everybody knows Europe is divided already, without China:  You have the North-South conflict because of the EU austerity policy, which impoverished, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, gave no development to the East European countries, so they are now happy to cooperate with the Belt and Road initiative, because the EU did not provide these things.  Now, the second area of division is obviously the migrant issue, where you have the division between East and West — the East European countries do not want to have any part of the proposed quota system of the EU.

Now, what Italy is actually doing in this context is really a role model, because the kind of cooperation between Italian firms and Chinese firms in the development of Africa is actually the only human way to address the refugee question.

So you have right now 13 countries which have already signed the MOU with China; you have, now with Italy, the first G7 country (which is really overrated, because the G7 is no longer that important as compared to the G20, for example).  And you have many ports — Mr. Geraci said, if actually all the ports of Europe which are already wanting to be a hub between not only the New Silk Road over the land route, but also hubs to the Maritime Silk Road, Portugal and Spain becoming the hub for all the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries around the world.  So there is a completely changed attitude developing very quickly.

Now, also even in Germany and France, the two countries which are now trying to put the brakes on the most, apart from the EU Commission, there are many cities which are absolutely recognizing their self-interest to cooperate with the Belt and Road Initiative.  You have three states in Germany — Schleswig-Holstein, Bavaria, and Brandenburg — which all the time have huge delegations back and forth; you have many cities whose mayors are complete fans of cooperation with China, and it is an increasing dynamic, which is growing more rapidly than you would think.

So, if you would ask my prognosis, I think the perspective of unifying Europe, not necessarily under the EU bureaucracy, but in the conception of de Gaulle, more like a “Europe of the Fatherlands” uniting with China, with Russia, with the Belt and Road Initiative, the Eurasian Economic Union [EAEU], and European countries, to cooperate fully in this new paradigm is absolutely there.

Well, I think that that is also the only way how Europe can impact the strategic situation:  Because if you had a united Europe of the Fatherlands cooperating with the Belt and Road Initiative, including Germany and France, that would be the best way to get the United States to also give up their opposition — which I said, is not Trump himself, but these other forces — and get the United States to join the new paradigm.  And I think this is the [i]only[/i] hope we have to avoid a catastrophe where we would end in World War III with nuclear weapons, meaning the extinction of civilization. So in that sense, what Italy is doing right now, is of the greatest historical importance, because Italy, with what you are doing, with the MOU but also with the joint ventures with China in Africa, can become the role model for all the other European countries.

But the New Silk Road is not just an economic concept. Obviously, infrastructure, investment, all of this is extremely important, as the backbone, but it has a much more, and not so well-known cultural/moral dimension, which I think is best expressed in the fact that the Chinese thinking is actually based on the Confucian theory, namely, that you absolutely must have harmony among all the nations, developing all in a harmonious way.  And when some think tanks say that there is now a competition of systems between the Western liberal model and the state-guided model of the Chinese state economy, well, what they really mean is, China has developed its whole policy based on a Confucian orientation, which means that the state is also in charge of the moral improvement of its population through the aesthetical education.  As a matter of fact, Xi Jinping has said repeatedly, that he puts the highest emphasis on the aesthetical education, because the result of this is the “beauty of the mind” and the “beauty of the soul.”

So the problem is, the reason why some people in the West regard that as a competition, is because Western neo-liberal and liberal philosophy has moved away from that conception:  We are no longer humanists.  We are no longer thinking as during the Italian Renaissance or the German Classical period, but we have replaced that with a liberal thinking of “everything is allowed,” every degenerate form of culture is allowed, everything goes — I don’t want to elaborate that, but if you look at the violence, the pornography in the entertainment, we don’t have to worry.  We will lose that competition of the systems, simply because we are not taking care of our future generations, but allowing them to completely morally decay.

And that is why I think that we have to understand that the only way how Europe can persist in the coming future is not through military power — what Mr. Macron is proposing is ridiculous — but we will preserve our European culture [i]only[/i] if we return to the greatest tradition of our own history, meaning reviving the spirit and the ideas and principles of the Italian Renaissance, of the Ecole Polytechnique of France, of the German Classical music, literature, and poetry.  Only if we rise again to our best traditions can we persist in the coming world.

So I think that the cultural dimension of the New Silk Road is as important, if not more important, than the question of economics.

I would be happy to take any questions.  Thank you.


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