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“Form a Partnership of Young People From All Over the World to Fight for A Better Future”

May 4 (EIRNS) – In the course of a wide-ranging interview with author and publicist Daniel Estulin , Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche today responded to a question about the subject of the Schiller Institute’s upcoming May 7 international dialogue on “The Role of Youth in Creating a New International Economic Architecture.” 

“Essentially it will be a continuation of the last one [on April 9, “For a Conference to Establish a New Security and Development Architecture for All Nations”], because what we have initiated is the idea that you have to have an international security architecture which includes the interest of every single nation. Which is why in the last conference we had speakers from Russia, the United States, Europe, India, South Africa, Latin America. It’s the idea that if we, as humanity, cannot come together and decide on principles which guarantee the survival of all of us, then we are no better than some wild animals – although even wild animals are not as mean as the way some people sometimes behave. So, this was a very productive conference.

“I have this idea that you have to put the international security architecture on the basis of common development, so it’s an international security and development architecture. Because once you have an agreement for the development of all nations – Africa, Latin America, Asia, the poorer parts of Europe and the United States — then that common interest can be the basis for a common security architecture.

“So, what the next conference is addressing, mainly, is young people. Because if you put yourself in the shoes of a young person, let’s say in Germany, France, Italy, the United States, etc., the future is not looking very bright. You’re looking at World War III, you’re looking at a collapsing economy, a collapsing financial system, world starvation, a pandemic which is not yet under control.

“This conference intends to form a partnership of young people from all over the world to fight for a better future, because the future belongs to the young people. They are not being asked right now: Is it really their interest that the world should go up in a thermonuclear mushroom cloud, followed by a nuclear winter? Young people should have a say in what their future is.

“There are such exciting developments taking place! For example, we are on the verge of getting thermonuclear fusion power. That is incredible, because once we have commercial thermonuclear fusion, we have energy security and raw material security on the planet. Also, space travel will be much enhanced, because you have a new fuel source for space travel. Then there’s the whole idea of cooperation in space: build moon villages, and eventually build a city on Mars.

“All of these are things which excite young people. That is where humanity can go, provided we get out of this present crisis. So that is what this conference will address, and I think we will have many young people there from all five continents.”


Dump the ‘Rules Based’ NATO World Order: Produce Food To Fight Famine, Not Weapons To Prolong War!

This article was published by The LaRouche Organization. A PDF can be printed here.

April 27—A major clash is now out in the open, between those nations and leaders backing measures to end the Ukraine conflict and produce more food to prevent famine, and those financial and political interests, centered in the Trans-Atlantic, perpetrating their “rules-based,” sanctions-based order, who want more weapons to Ukraine, and who couldn’t care less if it prevents settling the conflict or creates desperate hunger. We face the risk of nuclear war.

Who is for a food mobilization? The informal list ranges from India, to Argentina, to nations in Africa, as well as Russia and China. It includes all the farmers in Europe, the U.S. and India, who have been protesting for years, just for the right to be able to continue to produce food. And it includes the Schiller Institute, which has been leading the fight on precisely this issue.

Those opposed to the economic measures required to produce more food, include the U.S. government, the European Commission, G7, and financial networks in the IMF, World Bank, World Trade Organization (WTO) and others, especially hiding behind “free” trade rules, “green” limits, and non-food “human rights” concerns. Now, 1.7 billion people are headed to famine, warns UN Secretary General António Guterres.

India put the question on the world agenda April 22 in Washington, D.C. A joint press conference was held by two top Indian representatives, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Taranjit Singh Sandhu at the end of the annual spring summit of the IMF/World Bank. Sitharaman reported that she had told summit officials that “countries like India, which have potential for exporting agricultural production, particularly cereals, have faced difficulties with the WTO.”

The “difficulties” she politely referred to, include the WTO rules-based subversion of the sovereign right of governments to support their farmers, maintain food reserves, export, and even attempt to have food self-sufficiency. Since its founding in 1995, the WTO rationalizes suppressing nations’ food supply, by declaring that food security comes only from “access to world markets,” not from your own country developing its farm sector. According to WTO rules, India supports its farmers more than 10% of their costs, so India cannot be allowed to export wheat and rice, or they violate the rights of American, European and other farmers to sell grains!

Farm Mobilization

Stop this deadly tyranny. Support farmers everywhere in the world, and get the food to everyone in need—from Afghanistan, to Yemen, to Africa, to Haiti.

First, implement emergency measures, coordinated by leaders from the major producing nations, to get inputs of fertilizer, fuel, seeds, chemicals, machinery—now disrupted—to support farmers to the hilt in targeted locations that can produce the most exportable crop in the shortest time, like India. For wheat, for example, this means, maintaining and increasing the 200 million metric tons (mmt) exported annually. Double it as soon as possible. Make up for the loss of 19 mmt of yearly wheat exports from Ukraine, and rebuild as soon as possible. Do the same for rice, oils, beans, and all other staples.

Secondly, launch the infrastructure to support modern agriculture everywhere—water, power, transportation, crop science, agro-industrial capacity and food processing. Yes, this means replacing the monetarist system now in breakdown from speculation, financial bail-outs, and decades of no productive investment.

The goal is to double world food production as soon as possible, reaching a world output in the range of over 4 billion mmt of grains (all types), from the current 2.7 mmt. Over 800 million people were food insecure before the pandemic and hyperinflation, and now a billion people could reach starvation in the coming year, without our acting.

Allies for Production

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi told President Joe Biden earlier this month that India has grain to help fill the world wheat gap, worsened by the Ukraine crisis and sanctions, if the WTO lifts its restrictions. In Argentina, Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero made clear on April 23 that his nation will do everything possible against hunger, but will not join the sanctions against Russia. Argentina sees food security as a key topic to discuss at the June Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California. Russia is providing fertilizer to India, Brazil and other nations.

These commitments to fight the food crisis are just part of the worldwide realignment underway, essential to defeat Global NATO’s onslaught for war and starvation. The West is pouring arms into Ukraine, opposing any diplomatic negotiations for a resolution. The West is demanding we blame hunger on Russia, while preventing any increased food production drive to stop starvation. This is insane.

Join the Schiller Institute’s drive as a policy forum toward the convoking of an international conference to bring about a new security and development architecture, in the interests of all nations.


Lt. Col. Daniel Davis (ret.) Warns: Nothing in Ukraine Justifies Risking Nuclear War with Russia

May 4 (EIRNS) – Lt. Col. Daniel Davis (ret.) of Defense Priorities sharply warned against the danger of nuclear war with Russia, in an article published yesterday in {Responsible Statecraft}. Davis is a 21-year Army veteran and a well-known whistleblower on Afghanistan and other matters. Although he criticizes Russia for invading Ukraine, and even supports economic sanctions against Russia, Davis draws a bright red line at the point that nuclear war enters the discussion.

“Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s proposed AUMF is the latest salvo from D.C.’s elite pushing the U.S. in the wrong direction to do more in Ukraine,” he states. “Any war between Washington and Moscow stands a disturbingly high chance of going nuclear; an outcome that must be avoided at all costs.”

Joining the growing chorus of voices in the U.S. and internationally who have started to speak out about the danger of nuclear war, Davis is emphatic: “The United States should not fight a war—any war—unless it is absolutely needed to prevent an actual or looming attack on our people or homeland. Period. War is not a tool to compel others to do our will. It is not an appropriate means of `punishing’ an adversary for engaging in actions we don’t like—and that includes Russia…. It would be the height of irresponsibility for American policymakers to take actions that make war with a nuclear superpower likely….

“If we pushed beyond the limits of supplying Kyiv with weapons and into direct confrontation with Russia, and then an American city was subsequently scorched with a Russian nuclear blast, I can assure you that no American would believe the cost was worth trying to help Ukraine. It wouldn’t even matter if we flattened Russian cities in response, once the nuclear genie is let out, most of both countries could be turned into a nuclear wasteland.

“There is absolutely nothing related to Ukraine that could, in any way, justify the risk to American citizens and cities of a nuclear explosion resulting from a war between our two countries. It is time to stop any consideration, at all, of an intentional military action that could spawn a direct clash between Washington and Moscow. It bears repeating once more: there is nothing, at all, at stake in the Ukraine-Russia war that justifies risking actions which could eventually result in the nuclear devastation of America.”


Webcast: Ignoring Crossing of Red Lines is a Sign of Insanity

In a statement issued yesterday, in commenting on the turn-around by the German government on delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine, Schiller Institute chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche asked, “Has the Bundestag Lost Its Mind?” In discussing this and other indications that U.S.-NATO escalation against Russia is moving close to crossing the red lines which define Russian security concerns, she said that it is urgent to drop the present dangerous course, and return to diplomacy. By becoming “co-belligerents”, as defined by international law, former Reagan Assistant Attorney General Bruce Fein said Putin would have a right to strike those countries.

She used the example of German Foreign Minister Baerbock’s comments that there is “no way back” to the pre-war period as a prime example of this insanity. Can’t nations acknowledge that the present course is wrong? At a time when starvation threatens nearly one-fifth of the world’s population, why are western nations escalating their attacks on Russia and China? It’s not surprising that many former colonial nations are refusing to back the U.S. and NATO. She said that China’s emphasis on experimental projects of seed development to fight hunger resonates with the former colonial nations. Why have western nations done nothing to address this?

She concluded with a brief summary of her late husband’s commitment to creating a new financial system as the basis for peace, which underlies her call, and the Schiller Institute’s mobilization, for a new strategic and financial architecture. She urged viewers to join us, to make this happen.

Petition: Convoke an International Conference to Establish A New Security and Development Architecture for All Nations


Helga Zepp-LaRouche on CGTN Think Tank special:

The CGTN Think Tank aired a program on April 7, about the “Ripple Effect of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict—Global Food Security.” Among the panel of six was be Helga Zepp-LaRouche the founder of the Schiller Institute, and Marcia Merry-Baker, the agriculture editor for EIR.


Helga Zepp-LaRouche Discusses China-EU Meeting on CGTN ‘Dialogue’

April 1 (EIRNS)—Helga Zepp-LaRouche was interviewed on CGTN’s broadcast “The Dialogue” this morning with host Xu Qinduo and a second guest Prof. John Gong, who frequently appears on CGTN’s shows. The discussion was on the EU-China meeting by videoconference today, which included President Xi Jinping (in what Xinhua dubbed “Xiplomacy”) and EU Council President Charles Michel and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

XU: That’s a good point, John. Helga, what do you think about this Ukraine issue somehow playing a part in the relationship between China and the European Union? Is there a way they can deal with the issue that will enhance or bring the two sides together? Is that affecting their relationship?

HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Obviously. The EU had on their website beforehand that they wanted to have the Ukraine issue practically the only issue. They want China to mediate and influence Russia. But I think it is very clear that China did not want to take a side. However, given the fact that EU economy is in free fall; as a matter of fact, the accumulation of COVID, the sanctions, Europe is not in a strong position at all. And I think China has a conception which I think lends itself to a mediation role, and that is President Xi Jinping’s idea of a shared future for a joint humanity. I think that is the most important conception right now, given the fact that we are in a situation strategically which is more dangerous than during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Therefore, what we really need, and I think China would be uniquely in a position to do that, is to propose a new international security architecture which would take into account the interests of every single country on the planet. Because the reason why we have the Ukraine crisis is because NATO expansion to the East for 30 years, which the West does not want to even discuss anymore. But the question is, how do we get out of it? We need a new security architecture, and I have proposed it to be in the tradition of the Peace of Westphalia, which ended the 150 years of religious wars in Europe. The situation today in face of the danger of nuclear war is much more dangerous than even then.

I think the Europeans, they totally are ignoring the fact that a new system is emerging, based on the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BRICS, the Russia-India-China combination. India refused to be drawn into the camp of the United States, but wants to stay neutral, also. I think the only way how we will get out of this is if the Europeans—and finally also the United States—would understand that it is in their best interest to cooperate with the Belt and Road Initiative, in addressing the real issues which concern all of humanity: Which is, the pandemic is not over, we have a hunger crisis. I think one Chinese economist recently said that as a result of the sanctions against Russia, 1 billion people are in danger of dying of hunger this year. So, I think if China would play a mediating role, and say that all of these issues have to be addressed simultaneously. And then, Ukraine could become a bridge rather than being a geopolitical tool between the EU and Russia, it could become a bridge in the cooperation on the Eurasian continent.

XU: That’s a good point, Helga. China stressed very much cooperation, win-win cooperation. China also takes pride in being the source of peace and stability. When it comes to China-EU cooperation, we know the two sides are great civilizations, they are two of the largest economies. They represent the two largest markets. So, if you look at their cooperation against this background with emerging ascendity, even an emerging Cold War. How important it is, Helga, for the EU and China to further cooperate in multiple fields?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think for the EU it is much more existential than they admit, because there are two possibilities. Either the EU finds a way of cooperating with China, and that way the conflict can be solved; or, there are some people in the West—especially in Great Britain and in the United States—who want a complete decoupling of the West and the so-called authoritarian regimes. In this case, I think the West would suffer, because their values are much more based on monetarist values, as let’s say China and the countries cooperating with the BRI, because they are putting much more focus on physical economy. So, if they would go for a complete decoupling, the West would suffer. Hopefully, the European Union understands that it is not in their own interest to go this way, even if Victoria Nuland was just there and told Europe to side with the U.S. completely.

So, I think that a lot depends on the initiatives proposed by China, because China right now has the only policy which is a way out: And that is the shared community of the one future of humanity. And I think more and more people realize that.

……

XU: Helga, to further cooperation, we know there is a very important trade agreement, a comprehensive investment agreement between China and the EU. So, are we going to see any headway during the summit, or after the summit? Should we probably re-energize that kind of cooperation?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think obviously it is an agreement which would benefit both sides, so it should be pushed. But I’m not so hopeful that, given the geopolitical tension right now that that will be accomplished at this summit. However, I think the fact that the trans-Atlantic financial system is collapsing—look at the hyperinflation; this was there long before the Ukraine crisis erupted. So, the question of a new financial system, a new credit system maybe in the tradition of the New Bretton Woods system, should be put on the agenda; because there is the danger of a repetition of the 2008 crisis, but much larger. The Federal Reserve does not dare to increase the interest rate much to fight the inflation, because of the indebtedness of the whole system. So, a new credit policy should be put on the agenda, and in that context, then you can increase the EU-China trade agreement, and that will all be beneficial. But I think the problem is much more fundamental than it even can be addressed through that agreement.

XU: Well, many thanks to you, Helga.


Schiller Institute’s Helga Zepp-LaRouche on CGTN: The Threat of Nuclear World War, Urgency for New Security Architecture

Helga Zepp LaRouche was interviewed on CGTN’s The Hub broadcast this morning by host Wang Guan.

WANG GUAN: And now we’re joined also by Helga Zepp-LaRouche in Wiesbaden, Germany, founder and President of the Schiller Institute. Madame LaRouche welcome back to CGTN. I’m glad to have you with us again. First of all, I want to get your sense of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict: Do you think it could have been avoided?

HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: President Putin had made very clear that red lines had been crossed. He said at one point, there is no place for me to retreat to, and the West did not listen to that. Then, on Dec. 17, he asked from NATO and the United States legally binding security guarantees, that NATO would not expand further to the east, that no offensive weapons would be put on the Russian border, and that Ukraine would never become a member of NATO. And he did not get an answer. He didn’t get an answer to the core question, only to secondary aspects.

So, I think that the West made a big mistake by not listening to legitimate, expressed security concerns of Russia, and now we are on the verge of something which could go completely out of control.

WANG: Madame LaRouche, the U.S. and NATO announced the latest rounds of sanctions against Russia, that target President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov and others. Do you think that will deter Russia from its current plans, its operations in Ukraine?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I don’t think so, because I think President Putin has discounted this. He has said, some years ago already, that if the West would not have found Ukraine to contain, and to use to dismantle Russia, they would have found another issue. Recently, he said the real aim of all of this is to prevent the economic development of Russia. On Jan. 25 there were two unnamed White House officials who said that the sanctions have the aim to prevent Russia from diversifying from oil and gas, meaning they deny Russia the right to development! [https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/01/25/background-press-call-by-senior-administration-officials-on-russia-ukraine-economic-deterrence-measures/] This is an act of war. Sanctions are an act of war, and I think that Putin has discounted it. It will be painful for Russia, but I think the West is inflicting much more damage on themselves. And it has to be condemned completely.

WANG: And also, let’s talk about the United Nations, the role of the UN resolutions failed to pass earlier. Does that surprise you at all? That once again, we saw a divided Security Council at the United Nations, when the stakes are all too high?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, the UN Security Council has been made practically obsolete by NATO already in 2011, when they lied, in the case of Libya. They got the agreement of Russia and China for a limited action in Libya, which then turned out to be a full-fledged military attack. From that time, the role that lies play has been a big factor, and it does not surprise me at all that now the aim of all of this is to keep the unipolar world. And obviously, Russia and China cannot agree to that, so it’s not a surprise at all.

WANG: Madame LaRouche, for years and decades, you’ve been calling for a new security architecture, and now you’re calling for a new security architecture in Europe. What does that new security architecture entail?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: No, I’m calling for an international security architecture, which involves the security interests of all nations on this planet, including Russia and China. I think the historical precedent is the Peace of Westphalia, because, after 150 years of religious warfare in Europe, and the tremendous destruction, all the participating powers came to the conclusion that a continuation of the war would not be to the benefit of anybody, because nobody would live to enjoy it. And we are in a similar situation: If you really look hard at the situation, the danger is the nuclear annihilation of the entire human species. And I think it is that which has to sink into the consciousness of everybody, and then there has to be a process like the Peace of Westphalia, where the principle is that a solution has to take into account the interest of the other, the interest of every other. And that means the security interest of Russia, the security interest of China, of the United States, of the Europeans and all other nations. The second principle of the Peace of Westphalia was that, for the sake of peace, all crimes which were committed by one or the other side have to be forgotten; and thirdly, that the role of the state is important in the economic reconstruction after the war.

Now, the equivalent of that today, means that all powers have to address the real, crucial issue that the reason why we have the conflict in the first place, is the fact that the neoliberal system of the West is collapsing, and therefore, the first act of such a new architecture has to be a global Glass-Steagall banking separation, where the casino economy, which has been the reason why the West is getting so desperate, has to be put to and end. Then, we have to have a national banking system for every single country, and a new credit system in the tradition of the Bretton Woods system, which provides cheap credit for the development of the developing countries. If these measures would be agreed upon, a durable peace would be possible.

WANG: Madame LaRouche, [name 6:23] a renowned political scientist in Asia earlier today said that Russia’s end-game could be to create a “mini-Soviet Union of sorts.” Do you look at it that way, too?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: No, I don’t think so. I think the only people who are pushing geopolitical blocs right now are those behind President Biden, who tried to create this “alliance of democracies” against the so-called autocratic governments. I think that the agreement between President Xi Jinping and Putin on Feb. 4, where they made a strategic alliance between Russia and China, based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, is open to everybody. And I think any new order which is meant to lead to peace must be inclusive, must overcome geopolitics and basically go to a principle where peace is only possible through development, that has to be accessible for all.

WANG: Finally, Madame LaRouche, do you think the U.S. and the West are somehow declining, if you compare their posturing position, in for example, Yugoslavia 20 years ago, when they decisively intervened militarily, and now, with Ukraine, with their equally decisive “no boots on the ground” principle and attitude?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, we have seen in Afghanistan that NATO and the United States, which are the supposedly most powerful military machine on the planet, were not able to defeat what finally turned out to be 65,000 Taliban fighters. So the military power of the West is in question.

The problem is, that leaves only nuclear weapons, and if you look at the nuclear doctrines—the Prompt Global Strike doctrine, or the recent maneuver Global Lightning, which had this idea of a protracted nuclear war—I think that is the real danger. And therefore, the question of nuclear brinkmanship which we see right now is what has to be avoided and has to be urgently replaced. People have to be aware of the fact that if it comes to the use of one single nuclear weapon, it is the logic of nuclear warfare, as compared to conventional warfare, that all nuclear weapons would be used, and that would mean the complete annihilation of civilization. And that’s what the game is here.

I think the more people understand that, and demand a different world order, a new security architecture, which could be based on the cooperation for a world health system, for example. We still have a pandemic. We have famine, which is called by David Beasley a famine of “biblical dimensions,” threatening the lives of 300 million people who could die. And these things have to be addressed. And that is the only chance for humanity—can we unite all of these… [crosstalk]

WANG: Indeed, a lot of challenges over there. That is all the time we have, I’m afraid—sorry to interrupt. Come back to our show, please, next time. Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and President of the Schiller Institute, thank you so much for joining us in this hour.


Interview: Jan Oberg, PhD, Peace and Future Researcher — Three Lies Paving the Road to War in Ukraine

This is an edited transcript of an interview conducted January 21, 2022 by Michele Rasmussen, Vice President of the Schiller Institute in Denmark with peace and future researcher and art photographer, Jan Oberg. Prof. Oberg was born in Denmark and lives in Sweden. He has a PhD in sociology and has been a visiting professor in peace and conflict studies in Japan, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, part time over the years. Jan Oberg has written thousands of pages of published articles and several books. He is the co-founder and director of the independent TFF, the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, in Lund, Sweden since 1985, and has been nominated over several years for the Nobel Peace Prize

Michelle Rasmussen: Hello. I am Michele Rasmussen. Our interview today is with Jan Oberg, and it will have three parts:

First, the danger of war between Russia and Ukraine, which could lead to war between the United States and NATO and Russia, and how to stop it.

Second, your criticism of Denmark’s starting negotiations with the United States on a bilateral security agreement, which could mean permanent stationing of U.S. soldiers and armaments on Danish soil.

And third, your criticism of a major report which alleged that China is committing genocide in Xinjiang province.

A Russian invasion of Ukraine, which some in the West said would start last Wednesday has not occurred. But as we speak, tensions are still very high. You, Jan Oberg, wrote an Jan. 17, called “Ukraine The West has Paved the Road to War with Lies,” specifying three lies concerning the Ukraine crisis. Let’s take them one by one.

Lie Number One

You defined Lie Number One:

1. The West’s leaders never promised Mikhail Gorbachev and his Foreign Minister, Eduard Shevardnadze, not to expand NATO eastward. They also did not state that they would take serious Soviet/Russian security interests around its borders. And, therefore, each of the former Warsaw Pact countries has a right to join NATO, if they decide to freely.

Can you please explain more to our viewers about this lie?

Prof. Jan Oberg: Yes. I would just say about that point that I’m amazed that it is now a kind of repeated truth in Western media, that [Soviet leader] Gorbachev was not given such promises. And it rests, with a few words taken out, on a longer article written years ago by a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, who says that Gorbachev did not say so. That article was published by Brookings Institution. 

Now the truth is—and there’s a difference between truth and non-truths, and we have to make that more and more clear when we deal with the West at the moment. If you go to the National Security Archives in the U.S., if I remember correctly, at the George Washington University, that is well documented. Their own formulation is that there are cascades of documentation. 

However, this was not written down in a treaty, or signed by the West’s leaders, who, one after the other, came to Gorbachev’s dacha outside Moscow or visited him at the Kremlin, and therefore some people would say it’s not valid. Now it is not true in politics, if we can’t rely on what was said and what was written down by people personally in their notebooks, etc.

George Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Helmut Kohl, James Baker III—you can mention almost any important Western leader—were unanimous in saying to Gorbachev, “We understand that the Warsaw Pact has gone, the Soviet Union has gone, and therefore, we are not going to take advantage of your weakness.” James Baker’s formulation, according to all these sources, is “We’re not going to expand Eastward one inch.” And that was said in 1989, 1990. That is 30 years ago. And Gorbachev, because of those assurances—for which he’s been blamed very much ever since–accepted the reunification of Germany.

Some sources say that the deal was that if Germany should be united—which it was very quickly after—it should be a neutral country. But the interpretation in the West was it could remain a member of NATO, but would then include what was at that time the German Democratic Republic, GDR [East Germany] into one Germany.

You can go to the Gorbachev Foundation’s home page and you will find several interviews, videos, whatever, in which he says these things, and you can go to the Danish leading expert in this, Jens Jørgen Nielsen, who has also written that he personally interviewed Gorbachev, in which Gorbachev, with sadness in his eyes, said that he was cheated, or that these promises were broken, whatever the formulation is.

I fail to understand why this is one of the most important reasons behind the present crisis, namely Russia’s putting down its foot, saying, in effect,

You can’t continue this expansion with your troops and your long-range missiles up to the border of Russia. And we will not accept Ukraine [as a member of NATO]. You have gotten 10 former Warsaw Pact countries which are now members of NATO. NATO now has 30 members. We are here with a military budget, which is 8% of NATO’s, and you keep up with this expansion. We are not accepting that expansion to include Ukraine.

Now, this is so fundamental that, of course, it has to be denied by those who are hardliners or hawks, or who cannot live without enemies, or who want a new Cold War, which we already have, in my view, and have had for some years. But that’s a long story. The way the West, and the U.S. in particular—but NATO’s Secretary General [Jens Stoltenberg’s] behavior is outrageous to me, because it’s built on omission of one of the most important historical facts of modern Europe.

Rasmussen: In your article, you quote from Manfred Wörner, the Secretary General of NATO back in 1990, one year before the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In these documents released by the U.S. National Security Archive, that you just referred to, you say:

Manfred Wörner had given a well-regarded speech in Brussels in May 1990, in which he argued: “The principal task of the next decade will be to build a new European security structure, to include the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact nations. The Soviet Union will have an important role to play in the construction of such a system.’

And the next year, in the middle of 1991, according to a memorandum from the Russian delegation who met with Wörner, he responded to the Russians by saying that he personally and the North Atlantic Council [the political decision-making body of NATO], were both against expansion, “13 out of 16 NATO members share this point of view,” and “Wörner said that he would speak against Poland’s and Romania’s membership in NATO to those countries leaders, as he had already done with leaders of Hungary and Czechoslovakia. And he emphasized that we should not allow the isolation of U.S.S.R. from the European community,” and this was even while the U.S.S.R. was still alive. It must have been even more the case after the U.S.S.R. collapsed, and Russia emerged.

Prof. Oberg: Well, if I may put in a little point here. Compare the quotation of a former NATO Secretary General, with that from the present Secretary General of NATO. Wörner was a man of intellect. The leaders around him at the time in Europe were too. I mean, those were the days when you had people like Chancellor Willy Brandt in Germany and Östpolitik [Eastern policy], and you had [Prime Minister] Olof Palme in Sweden with common security thinking. We cannot be sure, feel safe and secure in the West, if it’s against Russia. Which does not mean at all to give in to everything Russia does, but it just says we cannot be safe if the others don’t feel safe from us. And that was an intellectualism. That was an empathy, not a necessarily a sympathy, but it was an empathy for those over there, that we have to take into account, when we act. Today that intellectualism is gone completely.

It is very interesting, as you point out, that 13 out of 16 NATO countries, at that time, were at that level, but in came President Bill Clinton in 1990, who basically said—well, he didn’t state it, but he acted as though he had stated it: “I don’t care about those promises,” and started expanding NATO. The first office in Kiev of NATO was set up in 1994. That was the year when he did that. And that was the year I sat in Tbilisi, Georgia, and interviewed the U.S. representative there, who, through a two-hour long conversation, basically talked about Georgia as “our country.”

You know, it’s sad to say it’s human to make mistakes, but to be so anti-intellectual, so anti-empathetic, so imbued with your own thinking and worldview, that you’re not able to take the other side into account, is much more dangerous now than it was at that time, because the leaders we have in the western world today are not up to it. They were earlier, but today’s leaders are not.

Lie Number Two

Rasmussen: Lie Number Two that you pointed out, is:

2. The Ukraine conflict started by Putin’s out-of-the-blue aggression on Ukraine and then annexation of Crimea.

What’s the rest of the story here?

Prof. Oberg: Well, it’s not the rest, it’s the beginning of the story. You see, people who write about these things—and it’s particularly those who are Western media and Western politicians and foreign ministers, etc.—say that it all started with the out-of-the-blue invasion in the Donbas, and then the taking, annexing, aggression on, or whatever the word is, Crimea. Well, they all forget, very conveniently, and very deliberately—I mean, this is not such a longer time ago than people who write about it today wouldn’t know—that there was clearly a Western assisted, if not orchestrated, coup d’état in Kiev in 2014. I won’t go into that long story. After some negotiations about an economic agreement between Ukraine and the EU, in which the president then jumped off, allegedly under pressure from Putin, or whatever, there was a series of violent events in Kiev.

It’s well known from one of those who was there, and participated, namely the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, Mrs. Victoria Nuland. She gave a speech in the U.S. saying, if I remember correctly, that the U.S. has pumped $5 billion into Ukraine over the years, to support democracy and human rights, etc.—and training courses for young NGOs, etc. It’s obvious that that operation, that the ousting of President [Viktor Yanukovich], who had to flee to Russia, and the taking over, partly by neo-Nazis and fascists who were present and who probably did the beginning of the shooting and the killing of people, that all this had to do with the promise that was given to Ukraine years before that it would be integrated into the Euro-Atlantic framework. And then it was kind of stopping and saying, “We don’t want that anyhow. We will negotiate something else, and we will look into what Putin has to offer,” etc.

But that, in Putin’s mind, in Russia’s mind, meant that NATO would be the future of Ukraine. Russia had, still has, a huge military base in Crimea, which it had a lease on for, at the time, I think it was 30-plus years, meaning that should Ukraine, which was clearly signalled out by the western NATO member’s leadership, to enter and become a full member of NATO, Putin would look at a Russian base, either being lost or having a Russian military naval base in a NATO country.

Now I’m not saying that annexing Crimea was a smart move. I’m not saying it was a legal move, but it’s very difficult for the western world to blame Russia for doing it. Look at the opinion polls and the votes for that, if you will, voting themselves back into Russia. Crimea was part of Russia until 1954, when Khrushchev gave it to Ukraine. He was from Ukraine himself. And so, this happened three weeks before. I’m amazed that it should be intellectually possible for people who witnessed this, to somehow forget it, along with the U.S. promise about NATO. There might be some young fools who don’t read history books.

What I’m talking about now is something that happened in 2014, and there’s no excuse for not mentioning that there’s a connection between that coup d’état, and the influence of the West in Ukraine in a very substantial way, and what happened in Donbas and Crimea.

If I put it on a more general level, if we look at today’s ability to understand, describe, analyze issues as conflicts, we are heading for zero understanding. There is nobody in the press and nobody in politics who are able, intellectually, to see these things as conflicts, that is, as a problem standing between two or more parties that has to be analyzed.

Conflict resolution is about finding solutions so that the parties we have defined as parties—and there certainly are many more than two in this very complex conflict—can live with in the future. What we are down to, in banalization, is that there is no conflict. There’s only one party, Russia, that does everything bad and evil and terrible, while we, in the West, are sitting in the receiving end, being the good guys who’ve done nothing wrong in history. We, who could never rethink what we did or say, “We’re sorry,” or change our policies, because we are right.

There’s only one problem. That’s them. In the last three months, we’re down now to the level in which the accusations about Russia invading Ukraine, have nothing to do with conflict analysis. It is focusing purely on one party, and one party, by definition, is not a conflict.

We are not party to a relationship anymore, and that makes a huge difference, again, from the way of thinking and the intellectual approach of the leaders who existed 20-30 years ago. And one reason for all of this is, of course, that the West is on his way down. Second, and they feel threatened by anything that happens around the world. And third, when you have been Number One in a system for a long time, you become lazy. You don’t study. You don’t have as good an education as you should have. You bring up people to high levels who have not read books, because you can get away with everything. You are so strong militarily. And when that happens, it’s a slippery slope and you are actually on board the Titanic.

This is not a defense of everything Russia does. What I’m trying to say is that there is a partner over there. By the way, they call us in the West their partners. We call them anything else but partners. We don’t even see them. We don’t listen to their interests. We didn’t listen to Putin when he spoke at the Munich Security Conference in 2007 and said, “You have cheated us.” And of course, when Gorbachev, 90 years old, says, “You have cheated us,” he’s not even quoted in the Western world, because there’s no space anymore for views other than our own. You know, this autism that is now classical in the Western security policy elite, is damn dangerous.

Lie Number Three

Rasmussen: The third lie you, you pointed out in your cited article, was:

3. NATO always has an open door to new members. It never tries to invite or drag them in, doesn’t seek expansion. It just happens because Eastern European countries since 1989-90 have wanted to join without any pressure from NATO’s side. That also applies to Ukraine.

In this section of your article, you document that Putin actually asked for Russia to join NATO. Can you please explain your most important point about this third lie?

Prof. Oberg: Yeah, well, it’s already there since you quoted my text, but the fascinating thing is that there has not been a referendum in any of these new member states. The fascinating thing is, in 2014, when NATO membership came to its first conflictual situation, in the case of Ukraine, there was not a majority for it, according to any opinion poll in Ukraine. There was not a majority. I would say, it should not be a matter of 51%. If a country is going to join NATO, it should be at least 75 or 80% of the people saying yes to that.

Second—and it’s not something I’ve invented—[Baron George] Robertson, NATO Secretary General from 1999-2004, has told the following story. I think it was first released in The Guardian, but it’s also in a long podcast from a place I don’t remember, which The Guardian quotes. He says that he was asked by Putin whether, or at what time, or whatever the formulation was, NATO would accept Russia as a member.

This probably goes back to what you had already quoted Wörner, NATO Secretary General [from 1988-1994] for having said, namely that a new security structure in Europe would, by necessity, have some kind of involvement, in a direct sense, of Russia, because Russia is also Europe.

And that was what Gorbachev had as an idea: a new [common] European home, something like a security structure where we could deal with our conflicts or differences or misunderstandings, and could still be friends in the larger Europe.

That was why I argued at the time, 30 years ago, that with the demise of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, the only reasonable thing to do was close down NATO. Instead, as I said, with Clinton and onwards, the whole interpretation was “We have won. The Western system, the neoliberal democratic NATO system has won. We have nothing to learn from that. There’s nothing to change now. We just expand even more.”

And the first thing NATO did, as you know, was a completely illegal. Also, according to its own charter, the invasion, involvement and bombing in Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia was not a member, had never been a member of NATO, and NATO’s only mission is Article 5, which states, in essence, “We are one for all, and all for one. We are going to support some member, if the member is attacked. Now, Article 5 had nothing to do with Yugoslavia. That happened in 1991 and onwards, all through the ’90s. Remember the 72 days of bombings in Kosovo and Serbia. There was no UN mandate for it. But it was a triumphalist interpretation: “We can now get away with everything, anything we want.” We could do it because there was no Russia to take into account. Russia could not do anything about it. China could not do anything about it at the time.

And so, you get into hubris and an inability to see your own limitations, and that is what we are coming up to now. We are seeing the boomerang coming back to NATO, to the Western world for these things.

Of course, some idiots will sit somewhere and say, “Jan Oberg is pro-Russia.” No, I’m trying to stick to what I happen to remember happening at the time. I’m old enough to remember what was said to Gorbachev in those days when the [Berlin] Wall came down and all these things changed fundamentally.

I was not optimistic then that NATO would adapt to that situation; there was hope at that time. There’s no hope today for this, because if you could change, you would have changed long ago. The prediction I make is the United States empire, NATO, will fall apart at some point. The question is how, how dangerous, and how violent that process will be, because it’s not able to conduct reforms or change itself fundamentally into something else, such as a common security organization for Europe.

Solutions

Rasmussen: I want to ask you now about the solutions. You’ve been a peace researcher for many decades. What would it take to peacefully resolve the immediate crisis? And second, how can we create the basis for peaceful world in the future?

You mentioned the idea you had 30 years ago for dismembering NATO. Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the founder and President of the Schiller Institute, has now called for establishing a new security architecture, which would take the interests of all countries, including Russia, into account. So, how could we solve the immediate crisis? If there were the political will, what would have to change among the parties? And secondly, what needs to be done in terms of long-term peaceful cooperation?

Prof. Oberg: The question you are raising is a little bit like the patient who is bleeding to death, who is being operated on by the seventh doctor, and then saying, “What should we do now?” What I have suggested over 30 years is something that should have been done to avoid the situation today, and nobody listened, as is clear, because you don’t listen to researchers anymore who say something else that state-financed researchers do.

It’s not an easy question you are raising, of course. I would say, in the immediate situation, the Minsk Agreements, which have not been upheld, particularly by Ukraine, to establish some kind of autonomy for the Donbas area. That is something we could work with: autonomy solutions. We could work with confederations, we could work with cantonization, if you will. Lots of what happened, and happens, is in the eastern republics of Ukraine.

It reminds me of a country I know very well, and was partly educated in and worked in during its dissolution, namely Yugoslavia. So much so that it resembles Granica. Ukraine and Granica in Croatia, both mean border areas. Granica means border. There’s so much knowledge, wisdom, and lessons learned that could have been a transferred had we had a United Nations mission in that area: A peacekeeping mission, a monitoring mission. UN police and UN civil affairs in the Donbas region.

If I remember correctly, Putin is the only one who suggested that at some point. I don’t think he presented it as a big proposal to the world, but in an interview, he said that was something he could think of. I wrote in 2014, why on Earth has nobody even suggested that the United Nations, the world’s most competent organization in handling conflicts—and, if you will, which put a lid on the military affairs, for instance, by disarming the parties on all sides, which they did in eastern and western Slavonia, in Croatia—not been suggested? Because the western world has driven the United Nations out to the periphery of international politics.

I’ve said Minsk. I’ve said the UN. I’ve said some kind of internal reforms in Ukraine. I have said, and I would insist: NATO must stop its expansion. NATO cannot take the risk, on behalf of Europe, and the world, to say “We insist on continuing with giving weapons to, and finally making Ukraine a NATO member.” You can ask Kissinger, you can ask Brzezinski, you can take the most, if you will, right-wing hawkish politicians in the West. They’ve all said neutrality like Finland or Switzerland, or something like that, is the only viable option.

And is that to be pro-Russian? No, that is what is needed to be pro-Western. I am just looking, like so many others fortunately have done, at the Cuban Missile Crisis. How would the U.S. have reacted, if Russia had a huge military alliance and tried to get Canada or Mexico to become members with long-range weapons standing a few kilometers from the U.S. border?

Do you think the U.S. would have said, “Oh, they were all freely deciding to, so we think it’s OK”? Look at what they did during the Cuban Missile Crisis. They could not accept weapon stations in Cuba.

One of the things you have to ask yourself about, is there one rule and one set of interests for the Western world that does not apply to other actors? If you want to avoid Russia invading Ukraine, which all this nonsense is about, repeatedly now, for two or three months, look into a new status where the East and the West and Ukraine, all of it, can sit down and discuss security guarantees for Ukraine.

President Zelenskyy has said it quite nicely, I must say: “If you don’t want us to become members of NATO,” — and he says that to the West, because he feels that it has taken a long time for the West to act, and he last said that at the Munich Security Conference on Feb. 19. Interesting that a man whose country is going to be invaded any moment, leaves the country and goes to a conference to speak which he could have done on Zoom.

The whole thing doesn’t make sense, like it didn’t make sense on Feb. 16, when all the West said that Russia was going to invade Ukraine, and the Russian Defense Minister was sitting in Damascus and Putin was receiving [Brazilian President Jair] Bolsonaro. I mean, don’t they have intelligence anymore in NATO and Washington?

So, long story short: sit down and give Ukraine the guarantees and sign a non-aggression pact with both sides or all sides, clearly limiting non-nuclear defensive defense measures along the borders, or whatever, and integrate eastern and Western economic organizations.

I would be happy to see Ukraine as part of the Belt and Road Initiative with economic opportunities. There is so much Ukraine could do if it could get out of the role of being a victim, squeezed between the two sides all the time. But that can be done only if the issue is elevated to a higher level, in which Ukraine’s different peoples and different parts and parties are allowed to speak up about what future they want to have in their very specific situation. Ukraine is not just any country in in Europe. It’s a poor country. It’s a country that has a specific history. It’s a country which is very complex, ethnically, language wise, historically, etc.

And that’s why I started out saying confederation. I said something like a Switzerland model, something like Cantonization, or whatever, but for Christ’s sake, give that country and its people a security, a good feeling that nobody’s going to encroach upon them.

And that is to me, the schwerpunkt [main emphasis], the absolutely essential; that is, to give the Ukraine people a feeling of security and safety and stability and peace so that they can develop. I find it very interesting that President Zelenskyy, in this very long interview to the international press a couple of weeks ago, said, and I’m paraphrasing, “I’m tired of all these people who say that we are going to be invaded because it destroys our economy. People are leaving. No business is coming in, right?”

Who are we to do this damage to Ukraine and then want it to become a member of NATO? You know, the whole thing is recklessly irresponsible, in my view, particularly with a view of Ukraine and its peoples and their needs. I would put that in focus, and then put in a huge UN peacekeeping mission and continue and expand the excellent OSCE [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] mission. Put the international community—good hearted, neutral people—down there and diffuse those who have only one eyesight, only one view of all this. They are the dangerous people.

A New Security Architecture

Rasmussen: And what about the more long-term idea of a new security architecture in general?

Prof. Oberg: Oh, I would build a kind of, I wouldn’t say copy of, but I would build something inspired by the United Nations Security Council: All Europe, representatives from all countries, including NGOs, and not just government representatives. I would have an early warning mechanism where the moment there is something like a conflict coming up, we would have reporters and we would have investigations we would look into it, not conflict prevention.

My goodness, people don’t read books. There’s nothing about conflict prevention. We should prevent violence. We should prevent violent conflict, but preventing conflicts is nonsense, life is getting richer. There’s not a family, there’s not a school, there’s not a workplace, there’s not a political party, there’s not a parliament in which there are no conflicts. Conflict is what life is made of. Conflict is terribly important because it makes us change and reflect. I’m all for conflicts, but I’m 110% against violence. People will say, “Conflict prevention is something we should work, on and educate people in.” Nonsense, from people who never read books, as I said.

I would look for something like common security. The good old Palme Commission from the ’80s, which built on defensive defense. The idea that according to Article 51, in the UN Charter, every nation has a right to self-defense.

But nations do not have a right to missiles that can go 4,000 km or 8,000 km and kill millions of people far away. Get rid of nuclear weapons and all these things. They have nothing to do with defensiveness and common security. Wherever I go and whoever I speak to, I say, “Get rid of nuclear weapons and offensive long-range weapons.”

The only legitimate weapons there are in this world are defensive ones, and they are defined by two things. Short distance, that is, the ability to go only over a short distance, such as helicopters instead of fighter airplanes or missiles.

And second, limited destructive capacity because they’re going to be used on one’s own territory in case somebody encroaches or invades you. Nobody wants to have nuclear weapons or totally super destructive weapons on their own territory because they don’t want them to be used to there. So just ask yourself, what would you like in Country X, Y and Z to be defended with? And that’s a definition of a defensive weapons. If we all had only defensive military structures, there would be very few wars, but they would also not be a military-industrial-media-academic complex that earns its money on this.

The big elephant in the room we are talking about is, well, there are two of them: one is NATO expansion, which we should never have done this way. And second, the interest of the military-industrial-media-academic complex, as I call it, that earns a hell of a lot of money on people’s suffering. Millions of people at this moment while we speak, are living in fear and despair because of what they see in the media is going to happen. None of what we see at this moment was necessary. It’s all made up by elites who have an interest in these kinds of things happening or the threat of the Cold War. And even if we avoid a big war now, and I hope, I don’t pray to anything, but I hope very much that we do, thanks to some people’s wisdom, and it’s going to be very cold in Europe in the future after this.

Look at the demonization that the West has done again against Russia, and to a certain extent, of Ukraine. This is not psychologically something that will be repaired in two weeks.

Rasmussen: And also, as you mentioned at the beginning, it has also something to do with the unwillingness in part of certain of the Western elites to accept that we do not have an Anglo-American unipolar world, but that there are other countries that need to be listened to and respected.

Prof. Oberg:  You might add, what the West gets out of this is that Russia and China will get closer and closer. You are already seeing that in the Joint Statement of Feb. 4: “We will have friendship eternally.” And that’s between two countries who up to the ’60s at some point were very strong enemies. And the same will go with Iran, and there will be other countries like Serbia which are turning away from the West. We’re going to sit and be isolating ourselves because, one, we in the West cannot bully the world anymore, as we could before. And second, nobody wants to be bullied anymore. We have to live in a world in which there are different systems. The Christian missionary idea that everybody must become like us, where we opened up to China because we hoped they would become liberal democracies with many parties, and a parliament, is awfully naïve. Time is over for that kind of thinking.

The U.S.-Denmark Defense Cooperation Agreement

Rasmussen: I want to go into the other two subjects. First, the negotiations between Denmark and the United States in the context of the political, military and media statements of recent years, alleging that Russia has aggressive intentions against Europe and the U.S. The Danish Social Democratic government announced Feb. 10 that a year ago the U.S. requested negotiations on a Defense Cooperation Agreement, and that Denmark was now ready to start these negotiations. The government announced that it could mean permanent stationing of U.S. troops and armaments on Danish soil. This would be against the decades-long policy of the Danish government not to allow foreign troops or armaments to be permanently stationed in Denmark. You wrote an article two days later criticizing these negotiations. Why are you against this?

Prof. Oberg: I’m against it because it’s a break of 70 years of sensible policies. We do not accept foreign weapons and we do not accept foreign troops, and we do not accept nuclear weapons stationed on Danish soil. I sat, for ten years, all throughout the 1980s, in the Danish Governments Commission for Security and Disarmament as an expert. Nobody in the ’80s would have mentioned anything like this.

I guess the whole thing is something that had begun to go mad around 20 years ago, when Denmark engaged and became a bomber nation for the first time, in Yugoslavia. And then Afghanistan and Iraq. It means that you cannot say “No.” This is an offer you can’t refuse. You can’t refuse it, among other things—it’s my interpretation—because—you remember the story where President Trump suggested that he or the U.S. could buy Greenland, and the Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said, “Well, that is not something to be discussed. The question is absurd,” after which he got very angry. He got personally very angry, and he said, ‘It’s not a matter of speaking to me. You’re speaking to the United States of America.”

I think this offer to begin negotiations must have come relatively shortly after that, as “This offer is not something you should call absurd once again.” I’ve no evidence for that. But if these negotiations started more than a year ago, we are back in the Trump administration.

Second, what kind of democracy is that? We do not know when that letter was written, or its contents, in which the Americans asked to have negotiations about this. But what we do hear, is that a little more than a year ago, we began some negotiations about this whole thing behind the back of Parliament, and behind the back of the people, and then it is presented more or less as a fait accompli. There will be an agreement. The question is only nitty-gritty as to what will be in it.

In terms of substance, there is no doubt that any place where there would be an American facilities, or whenever you’d call them, weapons stored, which will be the first targets in a war, seen as such in a war, under the best circumstances, seen by Russia. Russia’s first targets will be to eliminate the Americans everywhere they can in Europe, because those are the strongest and most dangerous forces.

Second, it is not true that there is a “no to nuclear weapons” in other senses than Denmark will keep up the principle that we will not have them stationed, permanently. But with such an agreement, where the Air Force, Navy and soldiers, military, shall more frequently work with, come in to visit, etc., there’s no doubt that there will be more nuclear weapons coming in, for instance, on American vessels than before, because the cooperation would get closer and closer.

The only thing the Danish government will be able to do is, since they know that under the “neither confirm nor deny policy” of the U.S., they would not even ask the question, if they asked by journalists, they would say, “Well, we take for granted that the Americans honor or understand and respect that we do not have nuclear weapons on Danish territory, sea territory,” or whatever. Now the Americans are violating that in Japan even. So, this is nonsense. There would be more nuclear weapons. I’m not saying they would go off or anything like that. I’m just saying there would be more undermining of Danish principles.

The whole thing, of course, has to do with the fact that Denmark is placing—and that was something the present government under Mette Frederiksen’s leadership did before this was made public—110% of its eggs in the U.S. basket. This is the most foolish thing you can do, given how the world is changing. The best thing a small country can do is to uphold international law and the UN. Denmark doesn’t. It speaks like the U.S. for an international rules-based order, which is the opposite of, or very far away from the international law.

Third, in a world where you are going to want multipolarity, a stronger Asia, a stronger Africa, another Russia from the one we have known the last 30 years, etc., and a United States that is, on all indicators except the military, declining and will fall as the world leader. This is, in my view — be careful with my words — the most foolish thing you can do at the moment, if you are a leader of Denmark, or if you are leading the Danish security policies.

You should be open—I wrote an article about that in a small Danish book some six or seven years ago, and said “Walk on two legs.” Remain friendly with the United States and NATO, and all that, but develop your other leg, so you can walk on two legs in the next 20, 30, 40 years. But there’s nobody that thinks so long-term in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and there’s nobody who thinks independently anymore in research institutes or ministries. It’s basically adapting to everything we think, or are told by Washington we should do. That’s not foreign policy to me. There’s nothing to do with it.

A good foreign policy is one where you have a good capacity to analyze the world, do scenarios, discuss which way to go, pros and contras, and different types of futures, and then make a decision in your parliament based on a public discussion. That was what we did early, ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. When you become a bomber nation, when you become a militaristic nation, when active foreign policy means nothing but militarily active, then, of course, you are getting closer and closer and closer down into the into the darkness of the hole, where suddenly you fall so deeply you cannot see the daylight.

I think it’s very sad. I find it tragic. I find it very dangerous. I find that Denmark will be a much less free country in the future by doing these kinds of things. I don’t look at this agreement as an isolated thing. It comes with all the things we’ve done, all the wars Denmark has participated in. Sorry, I said we, I don’t feel Danish anymore, so I should say Denmark or the Danes. And finally, I have a problem with democratically elected leaders who seem to be more loyal to a foreign government, than with their own people’s needs.

China and Xinjiang

Rasmussen: You just mentioned the lack of independence of analysis. There’s not only an enemy image being painted against Russia, but also against China, with allegations of central government genocide against the Muslim Uyghur minority in Xinjiang Province as a major point of contention.

On March 8, 2021, the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy in Washington published a The Uyghur Genocide: An Examination of China’s Breaches of the 1948 Genocide Convention, in cooperation with the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights in Montreal. The following month, on April 27, you and two others issued a report criticizing the Newlines Institute report. What is the basis of your criticism, and what do you think should be done to lessen tension with China?

And also, as a wrap-up question, if you wanted to say anything else about what has to be done to make a change from looking at Russia and China as the autocratic enemies of the West, and instead shift to a world in which there is cooperation between the major powers, which would give us the possibility of concentrating on such great task as economic development of the poorer parts of the world?

Prof. Oberg: Well, of course, that’s something we could speak another hour about. Our tiny think tank, the Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research (TFF), by the way, is totally independent and people-financed and all volunteer. That’s why we can say and do what we think should be said and done. Not politically in anybody’s hands or pockets, we can say that the Newlines Institute’s report and other similar reports do not hold water, would not pass as a paper for a master’s degree in social science or political science.

We say that if you look into not only that report, but several other reports and researchers who contribute to this genocide discussion, if you look into their work, they are very often related to the military-industrial-media-academic complex. And they are paid for, have formerly had positions somewhere else in that system, or are known for having hawkish views on China, Russia and everybody else outside the western sphere.

When we began to look into this, we also began to see a trend. And that’s why we published shortly after a 150-page Behind the Smokescreen: An Analysis of the West’s Destructive China Cold War Agenda and Why it Must Stop, about the new Cold War on China, and Xinjiang is part of a much larger orchestrated—and I’m not a conspiracy theorist, it’s all documented, in contrast to media and other research reports. It’s documented. You can see where we get our knowledge from, and on which basis we draw conclusions.

Disappearance of Scholarship

Whereas now, significantly, for Western scholarship and media, they don’t deal with, are not interested in sources. I’ll come back to that. It’s part of a much larger, only-tell-negative-stories about China; don’t be interested in China’s new social model. Don’t be interested in how in 30-40 years they did what nobody else in humankind has ever done: Uplifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and created a society that I can see the difference from when I visited China in 1983. I know what it looked like back then when they had just opened up, so to speak.

What we are saying is not that we know what happened and happens in Xinjiang, because we’ve not been there and we are not a human rights organization. We are a conflict resolution and peace proposal making policy think tank. But what we do say is, if you cannot come up with better arguments and more decent documentation, then probably you are not honest. If there’s nothing more you can show us to prove that there’s a genocide going on at Xinjiang, you should perhaps do your homework before you make these assertions and accusations.

That’s what we are saying, and we are also saying that it is peculiar that the last thing Mike Pompeo, Trump’s Secretary of State, did in his office, on Jan. 19, 2021 was to say “I hereby declare that Xinjiang is a genocide.” The State Department has still not published as much as one A4 [world standard for letter paper, slightly longer than the U.S. 8-1/2 x 11] page with the documentation.

I feel sad on a completely different level, and that is, Western scholarship is disappearing in this field. And those who may really have different views and analyses, and question what we hear or uphold—a plurality of viewpoints and interpretations of the world—we’re not listened to. I mean, I’m listened to elsewhere, but I’m not listened to in Western media, although I have 45 years of experience in these things and I’ve traveled quite a lot and worked in quite a lot of conflict and war zones. I can live with that, but I think it’s a pity for the Western world that we are now so far down the drain, that good scholarship is not what politics is built on anymore. If it ever was, I think it was at a distant point in time.

Also striking to me is the uniformity of the press. The day that the Newlines report that you referred to, was published, it was all over the place, including front pages of the leading Western newspapers, including the Danish Broadcasting’s website, etc.—all saying the same thing, quoting the same bits of parts.

The uniformity of this is just mind boggling. How come nobody said, “Hey, what is this Newlines Institute, by the way, that nobody had heard about before? Who are these people behind it? Who are the authors?” Anybody can sit in their chair and do quite a lot of research, which was impossible to do 20 years ago. If you are curious, if you are asked to be curious, if you are permitted to be curious, and do research in the media, in the editorial office where you are sitting, then you would find out lots of this here is B.S. Sorry to say so, intellectually, it’s B.S.

And so, I made a little pastime. I wrote a very diplomatic letter to people at CNN, BBC, Reuters, etc. Danish and Norwegian, and Swedish media, those who write this opinion journalism about Xinjiang, and a couple of other things, and I sent them all our report, which is online, so it’s just a click away, and I said “Kindly read this one, and I look forward to hearing from you.” I’ve done this in about 50 or 60 cases, individually dug up their email addresses, etc. Not one has responded. The strategy when you lie, or when you deceive, or when you have a political man, is don’t go into any dialogue with somebody who knows more or it’s critical of what you do.

That’s very sad. Our TFF Pressinfo goes to 20 people at the BBC. They know everything we write about Ukraine, about China, about Xinjiang, etc. Not one has ever called.

These are the kinds of things that make me scared as an intellectual. One thing is what happens out in the world. That’s bad enough. But when I begin to find out how this is going on, how it is manipulated internally in editorial offices, close to foreign ministries, etc. or defense ministries, then I say, we are approaching the Pravda moment. The Pravda moment is not the present Pravda [newspaper], but the Pravda that went down with the Soviet Union. When I visited Russia (the Soviet Union at the time) for conferences, etc., I found out that very few people believed anything they saw in the media. Now, to me, it’s a question of whether the Western media, so-called free media, want to save themselves, or do they want to become totally irrelevant, because at some point, as someone once said, “You cannot lie all the time to all of the people, you may get away with lying to some, to some people, for some of the time.”

Rasmussen: President Lincoln.

Prof. Oberg: Yeah. The long story short, is that this is not good. This deceives people. And of course, some people, at some point, will be very upset about that. They have been lied to. And also, don’t make reference anymore to the so-called difference between free and state media.

Viewers may like to hear it, may not like it, but should know this: the U.S. has just passed a law—they have three laws against China—intervening in all kinds of Chinese things, such as, for instance, trying to influence who will become the successor to Dalai Lama, and things like that. They are not finished at all about how to influence Taiwan, and all that—things they have nothing to do with, and which were decided between President Richard Nixon and Premier Zhou Enlai, that America accepted the One-China policy and would not mix themselves into Taiwanese issues. But that is another broken promise. These so-called free media are actually state media in the U.S.

Take Radio Free Europe and Radio Free Asia. they both, particularly the latter, have disseminated most of these Xinjiang genocide stories, which then bounce back to BBC, etc. These are state media. As an agency for that in in Washington, it’s financed by millions of dollars, of course, and it has the mandate to make American foreign policy more understood, and promote U.S. foreign policy goals and views. Anybody can go to a website and see this. Again, I’m back to this, everybody can do what I’ve done. 

That law that has just been passed says the U.S. sets aside $1.5 billion in the next 5 years, to support education, training courses, whatever, for media people to write negative stories about China, particularly the Belt and Road Initiative. I look forward to Politiken [Danish newspaper] or Dagens Nyheter [Swedish newspaper] or whatever newspapers in the allied countries who would say, “This comes from a U.S. state media,” when it actually does.

And so, my view is that there is a reason for calling it the military-industrial-media-academic complex, because it’s one cluster of elites who are now running the deception, but also the wars that are built on deception. And that is very sad where, instead, we should cooperate. I would not even say we should morally cooperate. I would say we have no choice on this Earth but to cooperate, because if we have a new Cold War between China and the West, we cannot solve humanity’s problems, whether it’s the climate issue, environmental issues, poverty, justice, income differences or cleavages, or modern technological problems, whatever. All these things are, by definition, global. We have one former empire, a soon to be former empire, that does nothing but disseminate negative energy, criticize, demonize, running cold wars, basically isolating itself and going down.

The U.S. Is Needed to Contribute to a Better World

We lack America doing good things. I’ve never been anti-American. I want to say that very clearly. I’ve never, ever been anti-American. I’m anti-empire and anti-militarism. We need the United States, with its creativity, with its possibilities, with what it already has given the world, to contribute constructively to a better world, together with the Russians, together with Europe, together with Africa, together with everybody else, and China, and stop this idea that we can only work with those who are like us, because if that’s what you want to do, you will have fewer and fewer to work with.

The world is going toward diversity. Other cultures are coming up who have other ways of doing things. We may like it or not. The beauty of conflict resolution and peace is to do it with those who are different from you. It is not to make peace with those who already love you, or are already completely identical with you. Conflict and peace illiteracy, unfortunately, has now completely overtaken the western world. Whereas, I see people thinking about peace, and I hear people mentioning the word peace, I do not hear Western politicians or media anymore mention the word peace. And when that word is not there, and the discussion and the discourse has disappeared about peace, we are very far out.

Combine that with lack of intellectualism and an analytical capacity, and you will end up in militarism and war. You cannot forget these things and avoid a war. In my view, there are reasons other than Russia, if you will, why we’re in a dangerous situation, and that danger has to do with the way the West itself is operating at the moment. Nobody in the world is threatening the United States or the West. If it goes down, it’s all of its own making. I think that’s an important thing to say in these days when we always blame somebody else for our problems. That is not the truth.

Rasmussen: Thank you so much, Jan Oberg.


Dr. Li Xing The China Russia Feb 4 Joint Statement A Declaration of a New Era and New World Order

Michelle Rasmussen: Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin held a summit meeting on the sidelines of the Beijing Olympics and issued a statement on Feb. 4 called Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development. Schiller Institute founder and international President Helga Zepp-LaRouche said that this signals a new era in international relations. To discuss the content and implications of the development, I am pleased to interview Dr. Li Xing, Professor of Development and International Relations in the Department of Politics and Society, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences from Aalborg University in Denmark. Dr. Li also gave the Schiller Institute an interview on Jan. 26 of this year, entitled “Cooperate with China. It Is not the Enemy.” [add EIR link]

Before we go into details, can you please give us your assessment of the overall importance of the summit and statement, including what it means for relations between China and Russia, and China-Russian relations with the rest of the world. And at the end of the interview, we will also discuss what it means in the current, very tense situation between Russia and NATO.

Li Xing: Thank you Michelle for your invitation. It’s my pleasure to be invited again by the Schiller Institute.

First of all let me emphasize that it is a landmark document. Why? Because the document emphasizes what I call a “new era,” declaring a shift in the world order, a multipolar world order, in which the U.S. and the West are not the only rule-makers, and Russia and China take the lead, and lay out a set of principles and a shared worldview. This is my first general summary.

Second, unlike the U.S./NATO alliance, the China-Russia relationship is described by the joint document as a “close comprehensive strategic partnership.” In Putin’s early words, he said, “The China-Russia relationship is a relationship that probably cannot be compared with anything in the world. The relationship is not aimed against any other countries. It is superior to the political and military alliances of the Cold War era,” referring to the U.S.-NATO alliance. It also echoes Xi Jinping’s recent statement, that “the relationship even exceeds an alliance in its closeness and effectiveness.” So the document tries to demonstrate that the China-Russia relationship is a good example of interstate relationships.

Rasmussen: You have characterized the introduction as “a conceptual understanding and analysis of global changes and transformations taking place in the current era.” It especially refers to the transformation from a unipolar to a multipolar world. Can you please explain how the statement addresses this, and what it means?

Li: In the beginning of this statement, it puts forward both countries’ conception of the understanding of the world order, which is characterized as “multipolarity, economic globalization, the advent of information society, cultural diversity, transformation of the global governance architecture and world order; there is increasing interrelation and interdependence between the States; a trend has emerged towards redistribution of power in the world.” [emphasis added by Li] “Redistribution of power in the world.” This is what the part emphasizes.

Second, this part also clearly sets up a series of analyses, arguments and discourses to demonstrate both countries’ understanding, and to emphasize the fact that the world order has entered a new era. Again, “new era” are the key words for this document.

Lastly, in this beginning part of the joint statement, it shows both Russia and China’s grand worldview that pave the foundation for the two countries’ broad consensus on almost all issues of the world, which we will deal with one by one later on.

Rasmussen: Part 1 is about the question of democracy, and it starts by saying: “The sides” —that is, China and Russia—”share the understanding that democracy is a universal human value, rather than a privilege of a limited number of States, and that its promotion and protection is a common responsibility of the entire world community.”

But the charge is that China and Russia are not democratic, but rather autocratic. This is one of the leading accusations by those in the West who are trying to maintain a unipolar world, and they portray the world as a battle between the democrats and the autocrats. How does the document respond to this, and treat the idea of democracy?

Li: Actually, this document utilizes a large amount of space to discuss this point. First, the joint statement points out that “democracy”—including human rights—”is a universal human value, rather than a privilege of a limited number of States.” So here it implies that the concept of democracy must not be defined by the West alone. The West cannot single-handedly define which country is autocratic and which country is democratic.

Second, the joint document emphasizes that the essential? point is that there is no universal one-form document, or human rights standard. Different countries have different cultures, histories, different social-political systems in a multipolar world. We have to respect the way each country chooses their own social-political system, and also the tradition of other states.

Third, it signals a strong critique of the West, and in this part, there are a lot of criticisms toward the West. That is, that the West has a tendency to weaponize the issue of democracy and human rights, and very often uses it as a tool to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs. It is completely wrong for the U.S. and the West to impose their own “democratic standards” on other countries, and to monopolize the right to assess the level of compliance with democratic criteria, and to draw a dividing line on the basis of ideology, including by establishing inclusive blocs and lines of convenience, and this is very bad, according to these two countries, that the West tends to use democracy and human rights to interfere into other countries’ internal affairs, and China really suffers a lot from this point.

Rasmussen: How would you say democracy works in China?

Li: I would argue that if we use Western standards to define democracy, then definitely, China is not a democracy, in a Western version of democracy. China does not have a multi-party system, China does not have elections. But the point is, how the West will respond to the fact that according to major Western sources, survey data sources, throughout many years, that the Chinese people’s confidence in their government is the highest in the whole world. And the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese state receive the highest approval from the Chinese population according to those data. And also China has reached very high, rapid economic development, under the so-called “non-democratic government.” Now, how can the West explain these issues? Many democratic countries suffer from economic backwardness and underdevelopment.

So, as to the form of governance in China, I think it is the Chinese people, themselves, who should make the judgment.

Rasmussen: Let’s move on to part 2, which is about coordinating economic development initiatives, including harmonizing the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, and also the Russian Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), even more, and taking initiatives to create economic development, where they emphasize the role of scientific research in generating economic growth, something that Lyndon LaRouche and our movement have had as a priority concept. And also increasing healthcare and pandemic response in poor countries. What do you see as the significance of this call for increasing economic development cooperation?

Li: Yes. I also read this part of the document very carefully. This part shows a clear difference in approach between the West and the U.S. on the one side, and China-Russia on the other side. While the West is emphasizing, or holding the flag of democracy and human rights, China-Russia actually emphasize that peace, development and cooperation lies at the core of the modern international system. So, according to the understanding of Russia and China, development is the key driver in ensuring the prosperity of other nations, even though democracy and human rights are important, but development must be the core. So it implies that good development will lead the country in the direction of democracy, but not defined solely by the West, the counter-democracy.

Second, that following this line of understanding, then China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union are good examples of interregional cooperation. So they actually use the Belt and Road, and also Russia’s Eurasia Economic Union, as good examples. One interesting point I want to emphasize is that both countries emphasize scientific and technological development, and “open, equal, and fair conditions.” I think here, there is a kind of implicit criticism toward the United States, which has been conducting sanctions against Chinese tech companies, for example, Huawei, or other high-tech companies.

Finally, I’ll remark here that both countries show their commitment to the Paris Agreement and to combat COVID-19, and these two issues are the most vital issues for the international community today. So it is a core for every country to emphasize these two vital issues: climate change, Paris Agreement, on the one side, and COVID-19 on the other side.

Rasmussen: Yes, I can add that Helga Zepp-LaRouche has initiated a proposal which she calls Operation Ibn Sina, which deals with the terrible humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan, leading off with creating a modern health system in every country. And if we could get much more international cooperation for building a modern health system, having the economic development which gives the basis for the population to have the immunology to resist disease, this would be a very important field for economic development, which means life and death at this moment.

Li: I fully agree with Helga’s understanding and call.

Rasmussen: As to part 3, this is about the increasing, dangerous international security situation, with a sharp critique of Western attitudes and actions. And the statement reads: “No State can or should ensure its own security separately from the security of the rest of the world and at the expense of the security of other States.” And here, China addresses Russia’s concerns and criticizes NATO’s expansion eastward after the Fall of the Berlin Wall. And Russia addresses China’s concerns by reaffirming the One-China principle and concerns about building different regional alliances against China —the Quad and AUKUS. It also praises the recent P5 statement against nuclear war.

Can you say more about China’s and Russia’s concerns? And do you think this is a call for a new international security architecture?

Li: Yes. If you read the document carefully, and this part on international security architecture, or their understanding of international security, occupied quite a large space. So it is a very important part for China and Russia.

In this part, the statement is actually bluntly clear about their mutual support for each other’s national security concerns. For Russia, it is connected with the Ukraine crisis, but the document does not mention Ukraine specifically, but it is connected. For China, it is the Taiwan issue, definitely. So they show their mutual support for each other.

On Russia’s concern for its national security, both countries oppose “further enlargement of NATO,” and “respect the sovereignty, security and interests of other countries.” And it clearly pronounced, there will be no peace if states “seek to obtain, directly or indirectly, unilateral military advantages to the detriment of the security of others.” The document claims that the NATO plan to enlarge its membership to encircle Russia will mean security for the Western side, but it is a danger for Russia. It is a national security concern.

On the Taiwan issue, Russia reconfirms that Taiwan is part of China—the One-China policy—and it is against any form of Taiwan independence.

Third, the joint statement also openly criticized the formation of closed blocs, as what you mentioned about the Quad. The document does not mention the Quad, but it does mention AUKUS. The document shows that both countries oppose U.S.-led military camps, or security camps in the Asia-Pacific region, definitely implying the Quad and AUKUS, and it points out the negative impact of the United States Indo-Pacific strategy.

Finally, the two countries call for a new international security architecture, with “equitable, open and inclusive security system … that is not directed against third countries and that promotes peace, stability and prosperity.” So this part is very important for China and Russia to challenge the traditional international security architecture, and call for a new international security architecture, which I will touch on a bit later.

Rasmussen: Many political spokesmen in the West have criticized Russia and China for not adhering to the “rules-based order” and here, in part 4, China and Russia write that they “strongly advocate the international system with the central coordinating role of the United Nations in international affairs, defend the world order based on international law, including the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, advance multipolarity and promote the democratization of international relations, together create an even more prospering, stable, and just world, jointly build international relations of a new type.”

And it continues: “The Russian side notes the significance of [Xi Jinping’s] concept of constructing a ‘community of common destiny for mankind…’”

Can you say more about the significance of this section, about global governance and the difference between the question of the “rules-based order” and an order based on international law, as laid out by the United Nations Charter?

Li: Yes. This part is extremely interesting, because it touches upon the mental clashes between China-Russia on the one side, and the U.S. and West on the other side, about the “rules-based order.” China, in particular, has been criticized a lot, as you also mentioned, that China has been accused by the U.S. of not following the “rules-based order.” If you remember the dialogue between a Chinese delegation and a U.S. delegation in Alaska in December two years ago, then we still remember the clash, that the Chinese claim that the U.S. rules-based order does not represent the global rules-based order, rather the United Nations—China emphasizes that the United Nations should play the central coordination role in international affairs. But the United States does not really like the UN-based structure, which is based on one-country/one-vote. So if we trace UN voting, we could easily find that the United States very often suffers from many setbacks when it comes to UN voting on many issues. So that’s why China emphasizes the United Nations rules-based order, whereas United States prefers a U.S. rules-based order.

And this joint statement also calls for advancing multipolarity and promoting democratization of international relations. In my interpretation, democratization of international relations implies that the power structure embedded in the Bretton Woods system, which was created by the United States after the Second World War, does not really reflect the new era, as I pointed out earlier. China and Russia think reforms are needed to reflect the new era. This definitely, again, from my interpretation, refers to international financial institutions like the World Bank, and the IMF, where Chinese voting power is proportionally weaker than it should have been, according to its economic size.

And also the joint statement mentions the China foreign policy, as you mentioned in your question, “community of common destiny for mankind,” which was raised by President Xi Jinping. And in this nexus China’s Belt and Road Initiative is a good example, seen from China’s point of view, a good example of community of common destiny for mankind, in which the Belt and Road intends to promote, through worldwide infrastructure investment, the formation of a new global economic order, through creating a community of shared interest, and the community of shared responsibilities.

Unfortunately, the West does not really like both a “community of common destiny for mankind,” and the Belt and Road Initiative, because, as I interpret it, the Chinese agenda is to transform global governance and the rules-based order.

However, I really think that the West should rethink their opposition, and they must face the fact that the Belt and Road memorandum has been signed by 148 countries and by 32 international organizations. So, according to my judgment, the Belt and Road, and also a community for common destiny for mankind, have already become an indispensable part of global governance and global order.

Rasmussen: Yes, this is also to underscore what you said before, about how important economic development is for the wellbeing of the countries. And here you have China, which was the first country to eliminate poverty in their country, over the last 40 years, and is offering this as a model for other countries to get economic development. The slogan of the Schiller Institute is “Peace through Economic Development,”—

Li: Exactly.

Rasmussen: The way that you can get countries that have perceived each other as enemies to rise to a new level, to seek common interest, is through arranging economic development programs, not only for a single country, but for a whole region, which encourages them to work together. You spoke before about the Chinese criticism of the Bretton Woods institutions. What the Schiller Institute and Lyndon LaRouche have been saying, is that the initial idea of the Bretton Woods institutions as proposed by Franklin Roosevelt was to try to get the economic development of the poorer countries. But it degenerated into, for example, where you had the World Bank and International Monetary Fund imposing austerity conditions on countries as a precondition for loans, where nothing was done to actually increase the productivity of the countries, in the way that the Belt and Road is actually —with the infrastructure development, creating the basis for the countries to becoming prosperous. And what we’re saying is that the total change in the international financial institutions is absolutely necessary now, at a point where financial speculation is blowing out, hyperinflation, and we need to have a new economic architecture, you could say, based on the physical development of the countries.

Li: I fully agree with your remarks and comments.

Rasmussen: Then another important statement in part 4, is that Chinese-Russian relations have reached a new level, as you said at the beginning, “a new era.”

“The sides [China and Russia] call for the establishment of a new kind of relationship between world powers on the basis of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and mutually beneficial cooperation. They reaffirm that the new inter-State relations between Russia and China are superior to political and military alliances of the Cold War era. Friendship between the two States has no limits, there are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation, strengthening of bilateral strategic cooperation is neither aimed against third countries nor affected by the changing international environment and circumstantial changes in third countries.”

And yet, this is a plea to end the geopolitical blocs, where the two countries also call for strengthening multilateral fora, like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BRICS.

Li Xing, what will this much strengthened alliance mean for China and Russia, and also for the rest of the world? Should the West be worried, or is this a plea for a new type of international relations? What are the implications for shaping the new world order? What is your conclusion from the joint statement?

Li: I think one of the purposes of the joint statement is to demonstrate the good example of the China-Russia relationship, characterized as mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and mutually beneficial cooperation. It is not targetted at any other country. It is not like the U.S.-led coalitions which are Cold War minded, according to Russia and China’s understanding.

And if we look at the BRICS, and if you look at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, they are not purely juridical and geopolitical organizations or alliances. They are non-binding, open and non-binding.

After I read the document several times, I reached the conclusion that the unipolar world order is over. The West and the United States might have a hard time to accept it.

So the joint statement shows a strong unity between Russia and China. So my question is where is the West’s unity after the Cold War, and when the unipolar world order is over? How strong is the trans-Atlantic relationship today? I don’t know: I’m asking the questions to the West, the U.S. The West must rethink its Cold War strategy of reviving unity through creating enemies, and I think this is a completely wrong strategy, in a multipolar world order, where countries are much more interdependent. So it is necessary for the U.S. to rethink its own version of the rules-based order, in which the U.S. is the rule-maker and others are rule-followers. And this does not work in a new era any more. That is my conclusion after reading the joint statement.

Rasmussen: Now, as to the current situation, today is Feb. 22, and yesterday, Russia recognized the two breakaway republics in Ukraine as independent republics, which is now going to lead to very heavy sanctions by the West. Putin’s point was that these sanctions would have come anyway, but in any case, without going into the details of the Ukraine-Russia-U.S./NATO crisis, the fact is that Russia will be most probably faced with enormously hard sanctions.

In our last interview, you were asked, for example, if Russia were thrown out of the SWIFT system, how would China react? Now it’s a question of the not only of the SWIFT system, but also of other major financial penalties. How do you see China reacting, in light of the joint statement, to the new sanctions against Russia, that will most probably come?

Li: Let me first of all put it in this way: That sanctions are never one-sided punishments. That both sides will suffer. It’s like President Trump’s trade war, that President Trump thought the trade war would hurt China. Yes, it hurt China, but it had a backlash, a backfire to the U.S. economy. And today, if you look at the U.S. economy, the inflation actually is, one way or another, connected with the trade war, as well. It was one of the outcomes.

Now, sanctions against Russia will also cause mutually suffering by both sides. Because if you look at the European dependence on Russia’s oil and gas, it’s about 30-35%; some countries more, some less. If Russia is thrown out of the SWIFT system, which means that Russia cannot have international trade, then Europe cannot pay Russia as well, then the oil or gas pipelines will be blocked, which is in the interest of the United States, but not in the interest of Europe. This is the first point.

Second, that China and Russia have already agreed that they are not going to use dollars for their bilateral trade. So that doesn’t really matter seen from the Russian and Chinese perspective, and in light of the spirit of this joint statement. So definitely China will continue to do business with Russia, and if the U.S. is saying that any country that is doing business Russia will be sanctioned as well, then the U.S. is creating even a larger, a bigger enemy. And China is a different story. And Russia, because Russia’s economy, Russia’s economic-financial status is relatively limited, compared with China. China is the second largest economy in the world.

By the way, China is the largest trading nation in the world. And you can see that last year, the China and EU trade reached more than 850 billion! That’s a lot! And look at the China-U.S. trade as well. If you punish China, in what way? I cannot imagine it. Take China out of the SWIFT system as well? No, you can’t do that! Then the whole world is blocked! Then no trade, no economic development at all.

So these are grave consequences of sanctions. I cannot predict the future situations. Until now I haven’t read any concrete reaction from the Chinese government, but I guess, following the spirit of this document, which was signed three weeks ago, definitely, China is going to act. China will also act in accordance with the spirit of solidarity between both countries.

Rasmussen: Our analysts were saying that it may be the case that China would buy more oil and gas and other products from Russia. Actually, one thing is that today, February 21 , is the 50th anniversary of Nixon’s trip to China, [February 21 to 28, 1972] and the opening up of relations, and the United States commitment to the One-China policy. And at that time, many people were saying that Kissinger’s strategy was to open up the relations to China, as a way of isolating Russia, of putting Russia aside. But the fact is that these sanctions and this type of policy over the recent period, has done more to bring Russia and China together, as signified by this document. What is your reaction to that? But also the prospects of how we get out of this?

Lyndon LaRouche, for many years, called for a “Four Power” agreement between the United States, Russia, China, and India. How can we break through, looking at the world as Russia and China on one side, andthe U.S. and Europe on the other side, how can we get a cooperation among the great powers for the necessity of dealing with these other very serious crises the world is facing?

Li: Extremely interesting that you mentioned Nixon’s trip, of playing the “China card,” during the Cold War, in the beginning of the 1970s. You are completely right that the U.S. has historically enjoyed a very favorable position, in which the U.S. has been able to keep relatively stable relations with China, relatively stable relations with Soviet Union, at that time—but making the Soviet Union and China fight each other all the time. And especially after the Cold War, the U.S. still had this favorable position—relatively stable relations with both countries, but China and Russia still had difficult relations with each other.

But today, the situation is reversed. It’s totally shocking that the U.S. is fighting both world powers simultaneously. If you remember that the former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, he wrote, before he died, he wrote clearly, that the worst situation for the United States, for the West is when Iran, Russia, and China become a bloc, become an alliance, with China as the economic driver, with the economic power. I was very surprised that his words are becoming true today!

So, the only way we can come to the second part of your question, about how we can manage major power relations, is in line with the spirit of the Schiller Institute conference that took place last week and its call for establishing a new international security architecture. There is no other way. The Western dominance, the U.S. singlehanded dominance, the unipolar world is over. We need what Helga proposed, to establish a new international security architecture. We don’t know exactly what the form of this architecture, but that needs discussion from both sides! Unless the international community forms a kind of great, new international security architecture, conflict will continue.

Rasmussen: And then, as we spoke, it goes hand in hand with the increasing economic cooperation and the determination of the great powers to really do something for the economic development of the poor parts of the world.

Li: Yes, definitely. I agree with you. Thank you.

Rasmussen: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Li: No, I just want to add the last point, that I am very amazed by this joint statement, because I have come across many joint statements by two countries, or by multiple countries. But this one is the most comprehensive political document I have ever come across, because it covers every aspect of the world order, international relations, governance, security, values, norms, technology, climate change, health—you name it. So it is an extremely comprehensive document, which shows what Russia and China envision as a just world order.

So I would argue that this document implies a kind of new world order which Russia and China are going to, not only propose, but also push forward.

Unfortunately, this document has been demonized by many Western media—I have read many media talking about — to me it’s a kind of Cold War syndrome, because those media describe the document as creating a “bipolar world,” they say bipolar world, with the Russia and China autocracies on the one side, and the U.S. and the West democracies on the other side. So to me again, it’s a dividing line, when they allege that this document divides the world into two camps again. So to me, this is a typical Cold War syndrome.

Again, I come back to my last point: That we need a new international security architecture, as the Schiller Institute also proposed during the conference last week. Otherwise, there will be no peace and development. Thank you.

Rasmussen: Thank you so much, Li Xing. This has been a very important discussion.

Li: Thank you very much.


What Is the Truth About the War Danger Between the U.S./NATO and Russia?

This interview with Alexander Rahr was done on February 17, at a time of continuing escalation of tensions between the U.S.-NATO forces and Russia, ostensibly over Ukraine. Rahr is an historian, a business consultant and an active proponent of German-Russian friendship, who writes frequently on this subject and is often featured in interviews. In this interview, he presents what is generally censored in the western media, answering: What is really behind the crisis in Ukraine? What are Putin’s goals? Can war be avoided? In the second section, he takes up the question of diplomacy, emphasizing the importance of a French-German role in countering the insistence of the proponents of 19th and 20th century British geopolitics, who argue that east and west cannot work together. He discusses the potential for collaboration in energy and technology, including space exploration, and how this can form the basis of a security architecture stretching from the Atlantic to Vladivostok, which could include the United States. The interview was conducted by Harley Schlanger of the {Executive Intelligence Review}.


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