EIR‘s Southwest Asia specialist and Arabic editor, Hussein Askary, has concluded a very successful one-week trip to Egypt to launch and promote the Arabic translation of EIR‘s Special Report The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge, and the ideas within the report. The report and the presentations made by Askary were enthusiastically welcomed by top government officials, economists, and media.
The highpoint of this intervention was the very high-level and well-attended launching of the Report under the auspices of the Egyptian Ministry of Transport in a seminar on March 17 at the headquarters of the Ministry, presided and introduced by Minister Saad El Geyoushi personally.
Egyptian Ministry of Transport Minister Saad El Geyoushi.
The other highpoint was the reception awarded Askary on March 20 by the Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, Admiral Mohab Mamish, the man who oversaw the breathtaking building of the New Suez Canal. Mamish received Askary at his office in Ismailia right on the Suez Canal, and attentively listened to a detailed briefing on the importance of this achievement not only for Egypt’s economy, but also for the region and the global economy, too, if it is utilized as a development zone and hub for the development corridors stretching from China through Southwest Asia to Africa, and also as part of the Maritime Silk Road.
Hussein Askary with Admiral Mohab Mamish, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority.
Askary’s meeting with Mamish, in which the latter received a gift copy of the report, was preceded by a presentation to the team working under Eng. Nagy Ahmed Amin, Director of Planning, and Research Studies Department at the Suez Canal Authority. Askary was later offered a private guided boat tour of the New Suez Canal.
At the launching seminar at the Transportation Ministry, Dr. Saad El Geyoushi personally presented Askary, as the Southwest Asia specialist of EIR and representative of the Schiller Institute, and in both his introductory remarks and commentary on Askary’s presentation, Dr. El Geyoushi expressed total concordance with the idea of the New Silk Road, and his government’s plans to integrate Egypt’s transportation networks into the New Silk Road dynamic. He also took the opportunity to announce that the Egyptian government intends to invest one trillion Egyptian Pounds (100 billion US$) in roads and railways, not only to develop Egypt’s transportation network, but also to connect Egypt to Asia, and, most importantly, to Africa to the south, in a 50,000 km network.
The packed hall at the Ministry hosted top experts and advisors of the Ministry and other institutions, and several Egytian TV networks and newspapers. Interestingly, the Chinese Arabic TV channel CCTV-Arabic, was present, and recorded an interview with Askary. Two other TV channels also interviewed Askary.
Two other seminars were organized: one by the Egyptian Society of Engineers (founded in 1920), which was held at the Cairo Great Library, and attended by former Egyptian Prime Minister Dr. Esam Sharaf (also a former Minister of Transport in several Egyptian governments), who was the main commentator on Askary’s presentation of the New Silk Road concept. Sharaf expressed his agreement with not only the economic and scientific aspects of the presentation and the report, of which he received a copy, but also with the political, strategic and cultural aspects, too.
Hussein Askary At Cairo Great Library.
Hussein Askary With Egypt’s former Prime Minister Esam Sharaf at the Cairo Great Library.
He stated that he had just returned from a long visit to China, and that he deeply believed that the New Silk Road is the foundation of a new and more humane World Order, unlike the current order which has degraded human existence and dignity. He also emphasized the point raised in the report, that the New Silk Road and any other such projects are not mere trade routes, but development corridors that can transform all societies where they reach, along with the nations that decide to participate in them. He highly recommended that the current Egyptian government take this project seriously, and integrate it in its developmental plans and visions. Sharaf expressed his gratitude to EIR and the LaRouches personally, whom, he said he has taken note of, with their ideas and activities for a long time.
In addition to these events, Askary was invited to three TV shows (CBC Extra, Nile Cultural TV, and Nahdha TV) to present the report and the New World Order it represents.
The events taking place this week and all the discussions and debates that followed, clearly indicate that the idea of the New Silk Road and World Land-Bridge, and the utilization of these ideas for the development of Egypt, the Arab World, and Africa, is regarded as a way to save the Egyptian economy, which has been suffering the terrible consequences of submitting to the Transatlantic system and its institutions, such as the World Bank and IMF. Egypt is still suffering economically and socially, in addition to the security aspect that has been worsened by NATO’s unleashing of the Jihadist terrorist hordes in the region. The urgent demands of the people for reform and betterment of the living conditions are pushing the President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and his Prime Minister to resort at times to crisis-management policies. At the moment this report is written, the Egyptian government is facing a new reshuffling, with eight ministers reportedly being replaced. But the clarity of vision regarding the solutions to this crisis, and the resilience and determination shown by the Egyptian people and their leadership, represent a great hope for this nation and the region.
EIR Special Report “The New Silk Road Becomes The World Land-Bridge” available here >>
Egyptian Transportation Minisitry sponsored launching of Arabic version of EIR’s World Land Bridge Report (Initial Report)
Cairo, March 17 — The Egyptian Transportation Ministry sponsored an event to launch the Arabic translation of the EIR Special Report “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land Bridge” today at the headquarters of the Ministry in Cairo. Transportation Minister Dr. Saad El Geyoushi personally headed the seminar and presented Hussein Askary, as the Southwest Asia specialist from EIR (Executive Intelligence Review) and representative of the Schiller Institute. Both in his introductory remarks and commentary on Askary’s presentation, Dr. El Geyoushi expressed total concordance with the idea of the New Silk Road, and his government’s plans to integrate Egypt’s transportation networks to the New Silk Road dynamic. He also stated that the Egyptian government is intending to invest EGP 1 trillion Egyptian pounds ($100 billion) in roads and railways, not only to develop Egypt’s transportation network, but also to connect Egypt to Asia and most importantly to Africa to the south.
Hussein Askary, introduced as the Southwest Asia specialist from EIR (Executive Intelligence Review) and representaive of the Schiller Instutute, seated to the left of the Minister. source: soutalomma.com
A packed hall hosted top experts and advisers of the ministry and other institutions, and several Egyptian TV and newspapers. Interestingly, the Chinese Arabic TV channel CCTV-Arabic, was present and taped an interview with Askary. Two other TV channels also interviewed him.
There are still few media reports, as the event took place in the evening.
“Mueller’s failed effort to provide a “smoking gun” proving Trump’s “collusion” or “obstruction” in his 448-page report, and then again in his testimony, was summed up in a simple, unambiguous statement during the nearly-seven hour hearing, when he said that his prosecutorial team “did not reach a determination as to whether the President committed a crime.” However, this will not stop fanatics such as Schiff and Nadler from continuing to beat the drums for impeachment, as Russiagate has never really been about Trump or his campaign committing impeachable acts. The underlying issue, which was not addressed by those Republicans at the hearings who were defending Trump  is his commitment to break from the post-Cold War unilateralist paradigm, which under his predecessors G.W. Bush and B. Obama, escalated a geopolitical divide between the U.S., and Russia and China. Trump repeatedly stated, during the campaign and as President, that he wished to develop mutually beneficial, cooperative relations with Russia and China, as part of his effort to pull the U.S. back from its role as being the policeman of the world. We must end American involvement in endless wars, he said, wars which have been costly in both monetary terms and loss of life, and which have been pursued without serving any underlying national security interest.
“It was this commitment, to end these regime change wars, combined with his opposition to such “globalist” policies as neoliberal free trade agreements and the Paris Climate Accord, which paved the way for his election victory over Hillary Clinton, who adamantly favored a continuation of the Bush-Obama strategic direction. Unable to combat Trump on these matters, the British intervened as the actual “meddlers” in the U.S. campaign, inventing the story of Russian intervention on behalf of Trump. The British role in initiating the fraudulent narrative of Russian intervention, and the collaboration between British intelligence – including a direct role played by GCHQ, the equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency, and MI6 – with top officials of the Obama administration intelligence team, led to the convening of a “Get Trump” task force during the campaign, with former CIA Director Brennan and National Security Adviser Clapper playing leading roles.
“After his election, as Trump initiated steps to break with the unilateralist military/strategic geopolitical doctrine, in his early, successful meetings with Russian President Putin and China’s President Xi, the coup plotters went into overdrive. Shortly after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, on May 9, 2017, Mueller was appointed a special counsel to investigate the fake story, on May 17, 2017. From that point, until the release of Mueller’s report on March 22, 2019, every effort made by Trump to proceed with improving relations with Putin and Xi was characterized as evidence that he was acting under a blackmail threat from Putin, a charge stemming from the faked and now-discredited dossier compiled by “ex”-MI6 spy Christopher Steele.
“As was made clear by Mueller’s statement that he was “not familiar” with Fusion GPS, which paid Steele with funds from Perkins Coie, the law firm representing the Clinton campaign, it is this connection, between Hillary’s campaign, Obama’s intelligence team, and the highest levels of British intelligence, that those behind Mueller wish to keep out of public view. In saying this, Mueller was either lying, in which case he could be charged with lying to Congress – a tactic he used in targeting Trump friend Roger Stone – or he exposed the fact that he was a mere front man for those who ran the investigation, and wrote the report. In either case, it is further evidence of the fraud employed by the Get Trump team.
Investigating the investigators
“It is precisely the nexus behind this fraud which is now under investigation. Attorney General Barr’s appointment of respected U.S. Attorney from Connecticut, John Durham, and the expected imminent release of an investigation conducted by Justice Department Inspector General Horowitz, into the use of the Steele dossier in the filing for a warrant before the FISA court to “spy on” the Trump campaign, has truly spooked the coup plotters. What Trump has called the “greatest political scandal in U.S. history” will be exposed, and many of the key players are fearful that they now face prison for their crimes.”
Because of the disorder in international relations many new formats for discussion and dialogue are developed to figure out what to do about the dangerous world security situation. The Wanshou Dialogue for Global Security was started last year by the Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament, which is an organization founded in 1985 and is by far the largest civil society organization in China dedicated to Peace. It has a membership of 25 mass organizations in China and maintains contact with 350 international peace organization and institutes for strategic studies.
The Wanshou Dialogue is organized in coordination with the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee whose Minister Song Tao and Vice Minister Wang Yajun were the highest Chinese representatives in the Dialogue. There were 27 International guests and 23 Chinese participants in the Dialogue which had the form a closed round table discussion.
The opportunity to participate in this very prestigious conference about Global Security came out of the blue, as a side effect of the activities of the Swedish Schiller Institute to promote BRI in Sweden. It was a great opportunity to meet and become friends with leaders of top Think Tanks in many important countries. Only a few of them had met or knew of the International Schiller Institute on other occasions.
Ulf Sandmark presents the Schiller Institute’s report, The New Silk Road Becomes the World Landbridge II to Yu Hongjun, Vice-President of the Chinese people´s Association for Peace and Disarmament and Former Vice-Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee
The Schiller Institute expertise was called upon to contribute to the Panel 3 about “Emerging and New Technologies and Global Security.” Among those technologies are ABM, ASAT, UAV, Cyberwarfare and Artificial Intelligence. Here several speakers warned against the militarization of space and the plan from President Trump to unilaterally deploy space weapons. It was an opportunity to bring those technologies that could uplift the dialogue to a level where the Common Aims of Mankind would show the way out of the disastrous global security dilemmas.
Lyndon LaRouche’s Strategic Defense Initiative and the Strategic Defense of Earth were the obvious starting points for this intervention by the Schiller Institute and then also Space Exploration and Fusion Power development that would make it possible for a policy of Global Raw Materials Security. Also, the Chinese Belt & Road Initiative was brought in from the physical economic standpoint of developing a new infrastructure platform as a new international logistics machine. This made it possible to link up the development of the economy as a stabilizer of the Global Security and to bring in the Four Laws of LaRouche as the absolute strategic necessity to be implemented through a Four Powers agreement for a New Bretton Woods.
The Russia-India-China cooperation was brought into the Dialogue by a Russian scholar as the s.c. RIC-format (as in BRICS). Also, at the G20 meeting President Trump had had meetings individually with the other three leaders who also had their special RIC meeting on their own. These developments opened up for launching the Four Power proposal at the Wanshou Dialogue, which is to ask President Trump to join the leaders of the RIC Powers to form a group strong enough to challenge the currently dominating financial power of London and Wall Street which under its leadership of the modern form of the British empire is the force behind the disastrous policy geopolitical wars bringing the world to brink of nuclear war. Finally, the necessity for the immediate global security to bring into the international strategic discussion these strategic proposals by Lyndon LaRouche, made the call for his exoneration appropriate to bring into the 2nd Wanshou Dialogue.
This ten minute presentation was well received. Another participant responded about SDI in a very positive way and asked if the SDI negotiations could move out of the US – Russian format and also bring in other powers. Ulf Sandmark got the opportunity for a very short reply saying that the first step would be to immediately start the process for implementing the SDE, as it it is civilian and can build trust. Secondly the SDI proposal should be studied and updated by all leading powers in the world. Thirdly a fully implementable counterproposal should be proposed to President Trump as an alternative to his proposal for a Space Force.
Sandmark said that SDI was developed by Lyndon LaRouche and further promoted by the Schiller Institute. If we as private institute could develop the SDI proposal, then any other institute, certainly leading national security organizations, would be able to fully develop the concepts necessary to bring forward the SDI as a solution to eliminate the danger of nuclear extinction.
Also, this intervention was received well. The Chinese chairman of the panel half jokingly introduced the need for an “SDF” – a Strategic Defense of Face. He took up the example of a recent video where the face of President Trump had been manipulated and put into a video saying that he was immediately attacking Iran. These types of videos, although false, could if they were spread, trigger a real war, the chairman said. This warning against the new technologies that could be used in this way, had the effect to further familiarize the conference with the concepts of SDI, which then became a reference point in the later discussions.
The 2nd Wanshou Dialogue brought up many other questions and concerns for evaluation among the participants and for sure will continue to be a platform for discussion about Peace and Development also in the future.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche, president of the SchillerInstitute international think tank, “urged the U.S. to join theBelt and Road Initiative during a forum that shed light on theprinciples and scope of China-proposed global developmentinitiative,” China Daily, the national English-languagenewspaper, reported Tuesday.
China Daily cited Zepp-LaRouche’s videotaped message tothe forum held by the Schiller Institute and the P.R.C. Consulatein Glendale two days ago, on the subject of “China’s Belt andRoad Initiative — A Historic Opportunity for the U.S.A.”
“`We want to cooperate with the Belt and Road Initiative,but we emphatically insist that the U.S. must be a part of it,’Zepp-LaRouche told the forum, which was attended by diplomatsfrom China, Belgium and Kenya, as well as representatives oflocal government,” the paper reported.
“Zepp-LaRouche praised China’s reform and opening-upefforts, which she said has not only transformed Chinaeconomically, but also allowed China to help other developingcountries overcome underdevelopment and poverty. ‘Now, the Westshould not be upset about it, because they could have done thesame thing. Why didn’t the U.S. and Europe develop Africa, LatinAmerica, and most of the Asian countries?’ she asked.”
Notably, China Daily reported that in his presentation onthe BRI to the forum, China’s Deputy Consul General in LosAngeles Shi Yuanqiang said that while the U.S. government did notsend any representatives to the Second Belt and Road Forum forInternational Cooperation this year, U.S. Embassy representativesdid attend, and “in fact, the U.S. had the largest group ofdelegates among all the countries at the second forum.”
Shi emphasized that countless opportunities are availablefor American corporations through BRI projects, China Dailyreported.
CGTN anchor Yang Rui interviewed Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Bill Jones during their recent China trip, which was aired on June 13 for the “Yang Rui Dialogue” program, headlined “BRI Incentives and Risk Assessment.” A transcript is provided below.
YANG RUI: The Belt and Road Initiative has been thrust intothe media limelight for several years. With more and morecountries onboard now, China will not be the party that dictateswhere the cooperation is heading. For all parties’ commoninterests, China will inevitably undergo a range of policyadjustments along the way, to ensure the Initiative deliverswin-win results that are long-lasting and sustainable. But, whatis behind some of the criticisms against the Initiative, and whatcan the BRI us? Unilateralism undermines world economicpatterns. To discuss this issue and more, I’m happy to be joinedin the studio by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and President ofthe Schiller Institute, and Bill Jones, Washington bureau chiefof Executive Intelligence Review.
That’s our topic. This is “Dialogue.” I’m Wang Rui.
Welcome to our show. Do you think the rest of the world hasdeveloped a better understanding about the Belt and RoadInitiative after so many years of debates, discussions and mediafanfare since 2013?
HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, I would think that the people ofAsia, for sure. I just attended the Conference on Dialogue ofAsian Civilizations, and the reaction to Xi Jinping’s speech wasreally extraordinary, because people realized that they areparticipating in the evolution of a completely new system ofinternational relations, which is overcoming geopolitics. Ithink people are sick and tired of confrontation and war as a wayof solving problems, and they appreciate very much that everyconflict on the planet can be solved through dialogue. So, Ithink this is very well understood in Asia, in Africa, even someof the Europeans are becoming very enthusiastic. As matter offact 22 of 28 EU nations are already cooperating. So I think therest will be a question of time.
YANG : But it seems the top concern of the EU about the BRIhas been the issue of transparency. Bill, what do you make oftheir concerns?
WILLIAM JONES: I think a lot of it is a tempest in ateapot. The Belt and Road Initiative has been transparent to thepeople who are receiving the investment, who are benefitting fromit. There is also an issue that people can see what’s happeningon the ground, with the improvement of the general conditions oflife of the people who are recipients of the Belt and RoadInitiative. The reason that there’s this objective is, however,that people are concerned, on the one hand, that it has been aChinese initiative, not an initiative taken by the EuropeanUnion. It is also breaking with the policies of the EU and ofthe West generally, of demanding conditionalities for anyinvestment that’s made in places like Africa, India, and Asia.China has been intent on building infrastructure: They don’tdemand certain conditions which are not necessary, and they’renot concerned about the different political systems that exist inthose countries: The goal is to improve the lives of the people,and people can see that on the ground. And the objections thatare raised to the so-called “transparency” issues, I think arejust an attempt to stop the momentum that has been created.
YANG : Helga, it seems, some of the member states of theEuropean Union are starting to break the silence, by standing upto the BRI memorandum, such as Italy, which indeed surprisedtheir American friends. Do you think what Italy has done, islikely to trigger a similar domino reactions that the Britishauthorities had done before the rest of the European Union hadfollowed suit, regarding the AIIB?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think the Italian memorandum ofunderstanding with China can be the model for the relations ofall European countries with China, not only in the bilateralagreement, but to have a joint mission, for example, to developthe continent of Africa. Africa will have 2.5 billion by theyear 2050, and either the Europeans join hands with China andother nations to industrialize the African continent, or you willhave the biggest refugee crisis ever in history. And the Italiangovernment, especially Prime Minister [Giuseppe] Conte hasalready advocated that Italy intends to take the lead to bringthe Europeans into cooperation with the Belt and Road Initiative.And the good thing is that, contrary to what some people think,Conte also has a good relationship with President Trump.
So I think the strategic question, number one, is how do weget development among many nations in the world, but finally, theUnited States must be brought into the Belt and Road Initiative,because if you don’t do that, there is the danger of theThucydides Trap. But I think the Italian government is play avery constructive role in all of these questions.
YANG : Secretary Pompeo has been selling the idea, whereverhe goes, that China will be a threat. Why are we so bad?
Now, when we look at, say, our investment in theinfrastructure building in Africa, it seems to amount to aproject, a mega one, of industrialization, a massive project ofindustrialization. What about the consequences arising from, forexample, the trade war that is just started between the UnitedStates and China? What do you think of the impact of this tradedispute between Washington and Beijing upon Africa, and ourbusiness presence there?
JONES: It’ll be absolutely disastrous, because it willhinder, it will place an obstacle in the free development of theBelt and Road Initiative; it’ll raise suspicions that really haveno basis whatsoever. And it’s disastrous for the United States,itself: President Trump is not going to be able to create astrong economy in the United States through trade embargoes ortrade tariffs. He has to invest in infrastructure, he has toinvest in science and technology. And there are certain attemptsto do that now, over the last couple of weeks, in terms of thespace program in the United States and the attempt to have adiscussion with the Democrats over infrastructure. But if hedoesn’t bring down these tariffs, if he doesn’t create a goodrelationship with China, this is not going to work.
China, in fact, can help in building infrastructure: Theycould invest in an infrastructure bank in the United States withmuch of the money that is now held in Treasury bills, in order tobuild high-speed rail in the United States. The U.S. economy isgoing down, not because of trade, and not because of China, butbecause of a failure of governments over decades, in investing inindustry and technology.
YANG: The idea of a China threat covers many things, such asideology. Well, many say that the Cold War is making a comeback.So, does it mean, Helga, that many African countries have to takesides?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: The Chinese model is very attractive to theAfrica countries, because it shows a way of how to overcomepoverty, the miracle which China has undergone in the last 40years is admired by many Africans, and they are now demanding tobe treated more equally by the Europeans. They don’t want tohear Sunday sermons and words about human rights and goodgovernance, and no investment. They demand from the Europeans,direct investment and not development aid which disappears intothe pockets of the NGOs.
So, I think we are in a period of transformation, whereeither the West finds its way back to better traditions, like thehumanist periods of the Classical period of 200 years ago, wherethere was actually a much larger affinity between the moralvalues of the European classics and China. For example, if youlook at the similarity between Confucius and Friedrich Schiller,after whom the Schiller institute is named, they have the sameidea of the moral improvement of the population. Confucius talksabout the aesthetical education of man; Xi Jinping has put a lotof emphasis recently on the aesthetic education of the students,because the goal of this is the beauty of the mind, and this isthe ideal which used to be the case for Europe, and for the earlyAmerican republic! The problem with the West is that, as you cansee in the United States, they have turned away to a very largedegree, from the ideas of their early historical period. Butthey’re going down: The West is in a moral collapse, the economyis far from being in such a great shape as they say, and thestatistics would say. So it’s really a question for the West tochange.
And I think there are many countries, you mentioned some inEurope already, which absolutely are willing to find a new model.I think it’s not so much a question of choosing; I think we arewitnessing the creation of new paradigm of internationalrelations, where the best of all countries and traditions mustcome into it.
YANG: Increasingly, there’s no question that much of thestrength that China can project into a continent like Africawould largely depend on the construction of “soft power.” What doyou know about Confucius schools in Africa? Why do you think theUnited States considered things we teach Confucius schools in theUnited States a threat, whilst it seems these schools are verypopular in the African continent?
JONES: Well, you see in the United States, there is a groupof people, some of whom are in the Trump Administration of aneoconservative bent, who have never come to terms with the factthat China will become a major industrial power. And they haveinitiated a major campaign similar to what was done during theMcCarthy era, to blacken China’s name on all levels — in thearea of economy, in the area of culture, in the area of socialgovernance. And so you have this situation where major scholars,who are most knowledgeable about the United States are now beingrestricted from coming to the United States! And this is a veryserious thing, because, it’s not only that we agree to disagree,but we must also find the common interests: We’re all on thesame globe, we have major problems that we have to resolve, notleast of which is population alleviation not only in China, butpopulation alleviation in the world. And we need populationalleviation in the United States: We haven’t talked about thatfor 40 years. That should be on the agenda. And China’sinitiative, to try to educate Americans about the ideas ofConfucius and to learn the Chinese language, which is a basicelement in learning another culture is learning their language,the Confucius Institutes have been very important in providing ameans of learning the Chinese language. Chinese right now,still, is one of the most important second languages in whichschoolchildren are trying to learn, because they realize this isgoing to become the most important language.
YANG: Language learning is fast becoming an instrument inbuilding interconnectivity, a very critical idea for ourunderstanding of the BRI. During the Cold War, the former SovietUnion was accused of spreading its ideology of communism. Today,one major factor that has prevented United States fromundertaking an all-out Cold War against China, the rising power,is that China is not as aggressive as the Soviet ideology: Wewant to build a community of shared future.
So, do you think what the United States is concerned with,holds any water? Where do you stand about the issue of ideology,of course, in the context of how to build a soft power, and theestablishment of Confucius Institutes?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, I think that what China is doing is amoral model of improving the livelihood for people, but alsodemanding that the people improve. Xi Jinping has talked aboutthe role of the artists, that they have to uphold the morality ofthe population. I think that one of the reasons why certaingeopolitical factions in the West are so negative, is because theliberal system has reached a point of degeneration, whereeverything is allowed, every perversion, every new pornography,every new violence, the entertainment “industry” in the West hasreally become terrible! And I think that the people who aremaking their profit with these kinds of things, they don’t likethe idea that somebody says, you should be morally a betterperson.
But I think we have reached a point in history, where, youknow, we are at the end of an epoch. I don’t think that thechanges we are experiencing are just the Chinese model versus theliberal model. But I think that we are experiencing a change asbig, or bigger than the difference between the Middle Ages inEurope and modern times, which will mean completely differentaxioms. And I think what Xi Jinping discusses in terms of the“shared community for the one future of humanity” it is reallythe idea of how you can put the interest of the one mankind aheadof any national interest. So, I think the way to look at thepresent situation is, where do we want to be in a 100 years fromnow? We will have fusion power. We will have the ability tohave limitless energy; we can create new raw materials out ofwaste by separation of the isotopes. We will have space travel.We will have villages on the Moon.
So, I think that at that time, humanity has to be one, orelse we will not exist! Take the recent imaging of the blackhole: This was only possible — first of all, it proved thegeneral relativity theory of Einstein, which is a wonderful thingall by itself, because it will mean new breakthroughs in science,at all levels. But, this was only possible, because you hadeight radio telescopes at different points in the world, inSpain, in Chile, in the United States, in the Antarctic, whichtogether could make this image! You could not have done such aproof of a physical principle of the universe by only one countryalone. And I think that that particular incident of imaging theblack hole, gives you a taste of the kind of cooperation mankindwill have in the future. And the key question is, do we getenough people to understand that in time, to make this jump?
YANG: Thank you so much. You’re watching “Dialogue,” withMme. Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and President of the SchillerInstitute, and Bill Jones, Washington bureau chief of ExecutiveIntelligence Review.
Welcome back: The BRI would not only cover the Sub-Sahararegion. Most countries in the South — I’m talking aboutSouth-South cooperation — would benefit from infrastructurebuilding. Let’s do a case study: Hambatota Port in Sri Lankahas caused many debates as to whether China has developed aconspiracy theory, whether the Western media concerns about the“debt trap” would hold any water? I would like to have yourthoughts very quickly.
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think this is turning the truth upsidedown. Because if you look, why is Africa underdeveloped? Fivehundred years of colonialism, and then about 70 years of IMFconditionalities. If you look at the 17 poorest countries inAfrica, which are in danger of defaulting, only in 3 of them isChina involved, but all the rest are indebted to the Paris Club.So the debt trap was created by the IMF before, and China isactually giving many grants and —
YANG: Do you agree, Bill?
JONES: I do agree with that. I think we’ve seen the debtsituation spin out of control, long before the BRI. We haveneeded international financial reform that we have been talkingabout, that Helga’s husband, Lyndon LaRouche has pointed out fordecades, prior to his recent death, of trying to change thefinancial system, in order to create credits for infrastructure,instead of credit for repayment of old debt. These countries inAfrica have been saddled with debt by the IMF, not by China. Asa matter of fact, most of the countries that are in the biggestdanger of their debt being a problem, are those which are notinvolved in the BRI — countries in Africa. And therefore, whathas to be done, is really a reform of the international financialsystem, in order to perhaps even write off some of this debt, andto insist, as we go forward, that any debt that’s given out willgo to increase the physical production capabilities of thesecountries, because if it does that, then it’s debt that’s goingto be repaid. But if it goes to repay old debt, or if it’s thecasino society that we’ve known over the last 20 years, it’sgoing to become a bubble, and we’ve got to change the way we dobusiness in that respect.
YANG: What about financing vehicles, Bill? Is that a majorissue for the beneficiary countries?
JONES: What we actually need is the creation of somethinglike an infrastructure bank in the United States, which wouldallow China to help invest in infrastructure there. Foreigndirect investment by China now becomes something of a problem,because of the atmosphere that has been created by the neo-cons;but otherwise, China could help with this. China has a differentorientation toward finance. Chinese finances to the Belt and Roadgo to transportation infrastructure. It brings the countriestogether, it creates a greater production capacities, and it hasbecome, I think, a template for how a functioning, how a healthyfinancial system has to operate. We’ve got to get away from whatused to be called the “bankers’ arithmetic,” in which moneychased after more money. The money has got to be used to financephysical economy, and then it becomes a means of growth for thepopulation, and is no problem in terms of repayment, because thepopulation becomes richer.
YANG: I wonder if you have followed very closely thedevelopment between Malaysia and China, on the construction ofthe east coast railway link, that has a lot to do with how we dorisk assessment, political and legal; and this helps us go backto one of the earlier questions on the issue of transparency. Sodo you think this poses a serious challenge to the prospects ofthe BRI in developing countries, some of which are youngdemocracies, according to Western standards?
JONES: Well, I think a lot of this is a matter of alearning curve that the BRI has been through over the last fiveyears. The Malaysia situation was unfortunate, but it haslargely been resolved, and it’s been resolved because China hasbeen very flexible in dealing with the countries on the BRI, andI think they have a clear indication, a clear orientation forimproving the situation in the countries in which they areinvolved. And if problems arise, or if discrepancies occur, Ithink they have shown a willingness to diplomatically resolve theproblem to the benefit of the countries that are involved. Andthey have to do that.
Look, a lot of mistakes were made by the Western countriesin terms of initial attempts to industrialize Africa, and as aresult of that, they left. They left Africa in the dust. Chinais there, there may be some mistakes in individual cases, butChina learns the lessons and does not leave, and this is theimportant thing: Because the fortitude of continuing with theproject, which is the most important project for mankind today isabsolutely necessary, and I think the Chinese government hasshown the fortitude necessary to move forward on this.
So, yes, problems may occur. They have occurred in thepast. They have been resolved, and I think they will be resolvedin the future, if they would occur again.
YANG: The last two remaining questions will be about, firstof all, the alleged westward expansion of the BRI through theEurasian continent. The other, of course, is the Maritime SilkRoad: Do you think this idea of a Maritime Silk Road, Helga, willhelp ease tensions further between China and other countries thathave competing claims on the maritime stakes in southeast Asia?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think the combined concept of the BRI andthe Maritime Silk Road is really a program for the reconstructionof the world economy. And in the beginning, people said, “thisthis railway from east or west or north or south, more beneficialfor China or for Russia?” And I kept saying, “don’t worry aboutit, take it a couple of years from now and all of these networkswill grow into one.” This is why we published this report “TheNew Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge.” Because, if youlook at it from the standpoint of the evolution of mankind, it isvery natural that eventually the infrastructure will reach allcontinents, will open up all interiors, will connect the maritimeconnections. And for example, Portugal and Spain and Greece andItaly, these are countries that want to be not only the hub forthe Eurasian Land-Bridge on the land line, but they also want tobe hubs for the maritime connection, connecting to all thePortuguese-speaking, Spanish-speaking countries. So, I thinkthis will also grow into a World Land-Bridge connection.
YANG: Bill, what do you think of the connection, betweenChina’s BRI and President Putin’s vision for the EurasianEconomic Union?
JONES: I think they will tend to converge, not on allpoints, but in the basic orientation, because what PresidentPutin wants to do, is to take those countries which have beentraditionally associated with Russia and create some kind ofcommon economic entity. But, the Belt and Road is providing theinvestment for all of these countries, including Russia, whichbenefits tremendously from it. And therefore, there is a meansof really bringing together the two most important countries inEurasia around a common goal of developing infrastructure,transportation infrastructure, and improving the conditions oflife in all these countries. So I think there is thisconvergence going on that will become greater with time.
[Transcript included] Helga Zepp-LaRouche gave an excellent 42-minute video interviewto GBTimes’ Senior Editor Asa Butcher on May 10. GBTimes is aChinese multimedia site based in Finland, and established toenhance a dialogue between China and Europe.
GBTimes: We’ll begin. I’m going to focus on the Belt andRoad Initiative today, following on from the Forum in Beijinglast week. If you could describe your feelings on the outcome ofthe Forum that concluded last week in Beijing.
HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Oh, I think it was very a reallyimportant progress as compared to the first Belt and Road Forum.The first Belt and Road Forum was filled with optimism and theknowledge of all the participants that we were experiencing thebirth of a new system of international relations — that wasalready extremely important. But I think the Second Belt andRoad Forum saw a consolidation of that, so you have actually anew system of international relations which is overcominggeopolitics, and I think this is one of the most importantoutcomes, apart from, naturally, the enormous economicdevelopment which was presented. But I think the idea that youhave a system which has a win-win possibility for everybody tocooperate, is the way to overcome geopolitics, and that is theremaining danger, which after all, caused two world wars in thelast century. So this is a real breakthrough for humanity.
GBTimes: There’s been a growing criticism and backlashagainst the BRI. Do you think this is misunderstanding,suspicion toward this new system? What are your thoughts onthat?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: It’s actually a temporary phenomenon,because the funny thing was, here you had the largestinfrastructure program in history, ever, with enormous changesfor Africa, for Latin America, for Asia, even for Europeancountries, and the Western media and think-tanks pretended it didnot exist for almost four years! And then, all of a sudden, theyrealized, “Oh, this is really growing so rapidly; it is includingmore than 100 countries.” So they started what I think was acoordinated attack, slandering the Belt and Road Initiative, witharguments which I think can all individually can be proven to bea lie. It comes from the old geopolitical effort to control theworld by manipulating countries against each other, and with theBelt and Road Initiative, I think that possibility is vanishing,and that’s why they’re so angry and hysterical.
GBTimes: What could China do to reduce this demonization ofthe BRI?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think China is already doing a lot. Forexample, even Handelsblatt, which was very negative towards theBelt and Road Initiative in the past, they had to bring anarticle which brought out the fact that the whole argument thatChina is putting the countries of the third world into a “debttrap” is not holding. For example, the IMF just released figuresthat there are 17 African countries which may not be able to paytheir debt, but China is only engaged in 3 of them, and all ofthe others have huge debts to the Paris Club and to other bigWestern banks — so, who’s putting whom into a debt trap?
All of these arguments will be very easy to counter-argue,and the more China makes known its beautiful culture, people willbe won over. Because the beauty of Chinese painting, ofClassical music, it will win over the hearts. And the mostpeople understand what China is actually doing, the less theseattacks will be possible to maintain.
GBTimes: The attacks are more on China than on the Belt andRoad Initiative, you say?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, yes. They’re on China because Chinais the major motor behind it. And some of the attacks were thatChina is supposedly an autocratical dictatorship, andsurveillance state and all of these things. But first of all,concerning surveillance, I think the NSA and the GCHQ haveoutdone anybody already. And naturally China has a system whichuplifts the morality of the people: This is based on theConfucian tradition, and for some of the very liberal people inthe West, that is already too much, because it disturbs theiridea that everything goes, everything is allowed, and from thatstandpoint, any kind of emphasis on morality is too much forthese people.
GBTimes: Isn’t sometimes criticism of new ideas andinitiatives healthy? It’s what we understand here in the West, wedon’t openly unquestionably accept new things. We do question,and we are a little bit cynical sometimes.
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: It’s superfluous. It’s a waste of energyand it distracts people from accomplishing what needs to beaccomplished: Namely, to overcome poverty in Africa, in LatinAmerica, even in Europe. You know, Europe has 90 million poorpeople, and I have not seen a plan by the European Union toovercome poverty by 2010, which China intends to do with its ownpoor people.
So I think it’s a waste of energy, and it comes from what Icall, when people put on geopolitical spectacles and haveneocolonial headphones, then they see and hear the world quitedifferently from what it is, namely, they only project their ownviews.
GBTimes: Having been writing about China for the last 5-7years, it has made a dramatic entrance onto the world stage, whenI started writing about it many years ago. And the speed of itsarrival, the size of the investments, it can scare a lot ofcountries — just family and friends who don’t know much aboutChina, they want to know about my job where I’m introducing Chinato the West, as this bridge. There’s a lot of amisunderstandings. Do you think some of it comes from thisignorance? And how could that be changed?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I have the feeling that everybody who was inChina, either as a tourist or as a business person, investing ortrading, they all come back and they have a very, very positiveview. People are impressed about what they see, the reallyincredible fast train system. Then, if you go in the region ofShenzhen, Zhuhai, Guangdong, Macao, Hong Kong, this is thepowerhouse of the world economy, not just the Belt and RoadInitiative.
Compare that with the decrepit infrastructure in the UnitedStates or many parts of Western Europe, for example. Less thantwo years ago, I was in Zhuhai at a conference, and we visitedthis bridge between Hong Kong and Zhuhai and Macao, linking thisentire triangular: And this bridge was built, I think, in sixyears or eight years, including planning! Now, in Germany, wehave a famous bridge between Mainz and Wiesbaden, which has beenin repair for almost six to eight years, and it’s still notready!
So, I think if people go to China, they come back and theyare completely impressed, because they see that in China, peoplehave now virtues, like industriousness, ingenuity, creativity —these are all values we used to have in the West, like when theGermany economic miracle was made in the postwar reconstruction,these values and virtues were German. But now, no longer. Now,we have all kinds of other crazy ideas, and therefore China istaking the lead.
So the people who go to China come back with a positiveimage, and those who have not been, naturally, they’re scared bythe negative reports in the media. So the more people canactually go and form their own image, the better.
GBTimes: I have myself, I’ve seen a disconnect betweenChina and Chinese society, and then the role of the Chinesegovernment, the more negative side that gets covered about in theWestern media. Do you think, for instance, with the BRI is justa way to legitimize the Chinese leadership in the world, and toraise it up to the same level that is given to the othercountries? Do you think that’s acceptable?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, it is a challenge. Some of the Westerninstitutions talked about that there is now a competition of thesystems, meaning the Chinese state model and the Western freemarket model. And in one sense, it is true; the only problem isthat if you have the neo-liberal system, especially after thecrisis of 2008, only favoring monetarist interests — the banks,the speculators — and the gap between the rich and the poorbecomes ever wider, naturally, then, if you have a country wherethat is not the case, namely, China having a policy which isoriented toward the common good, an increasing well-to-do middleclass of 300 million people, which in 5-10 years will be 600million people, and obviously the vector of development isupward, naturally that is regarded as a threat by the neo-liberalestablishment, which only takes care of its own privileges.
So in a certain sense, the challenge does exist, but I thinkthere is the possibility of a learning process, so one can behopeful that even some elements of the Western elites willrecognize that China is doing something right.
GBTimes: What do you think China could learn from theWestern mode? And vice versa, what do you think the two couldlearn from one another?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think China can learn a lot from the West,but I’m afraid to say, not from the present, contemporaries, or,there is very little to learn. Naturally, ESA cooperating withthe Chinese space agency, there is a lot of exchange possible.But in terms of general, cultural outlook, I think China has togo back about 200 years to find positive things in Europe, or theUnited States, for that matter. You know, European Classicalculture can be an enormous enrichment for China, but these arecomposers who are Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, orgreat poets. But these are all things which, unfortunately arenot dominating the cultural outlook of most Europeans andAmericans today. So there has to be a dialogue across thecenturies, and then both sides can profit from each other.
GBTimes: In a sense, you’re very pessimistic about theWestern stands at the moment. Do you think China is the onlyoption available to the West at the moment?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: No, I’m not pessimistic, I’m just sayingthat you see that some of the elites, or so-called elites, arehardened in their view. You have others who are absolutelyrecognizing that the whole mankind needs to cooperate together innew ways, for example, Switzerland. You know the President ofSwitzerland, who participated in the Belt and Road Forum justsigned a memorandum of understanding, not only for Switzerland,but for a whole group of Central and Eastern European countries,which Switzerland is representing in the internationalorganizations.
So there is a big motion. You have Italy signing amemorandum of understanding with China, on the development ofAfrica. Greece wants to be the gateway between trade from Asia,through the Suez Canal all the way into Europe. Portugal andSpain want to be the hub for the Portuguese- and Spanish-speakingpeople around the world.
So there is a lot of dynamics and motions, I’m justreferring to some of the monetarist views and those people whotalk about the “rules-based order” all the time, but what theyreally mean is austerity.
So, I’m not talking about the West in general. I think theWest — I’m an optimist about the potential of all human beings— I’m only talking about certain parts of the establishment inthe West.
GBTimes: You mentioned Italy and Switzerland. Howsignificant is it that they signed up to the BRI now?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think this is extremely important. Firstof all, Italy, as you know, is the third largest economy inEurope. The north of Italy is highly industrialized and has alot of industrial capability; many hidden champions actually arein northern Italy. So, if such a country is now, as the first G7country, officially joining with a memorandum of understanding,this can become the model for all of Europe. And Prime MinisterGiuseppe Conte who just participated in the Belt and Road Forumcame back and said exactly that: That Italy plans to be theleader in bringing about a better relation between China andEurope. So I think this is extremely important.
And Switzerland, even if it may be a small country, they areindependent; they are sovereign, they are not part of theEuropean Union. And President Maurer just declared, or hisspokesman, that they do not need advice from the European Unionbecause they can make their own policy. So, I think this is alla new, healthy spirit of self-consciousness and self-assertion,which is very good, and can be indeed a sign of hope foreverybody else.
GBTimes: How do you see it impacting Europe, theirparticipation in the BRI, in the short term, and perhaps in thelonger term?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, there are different learning curves:Some are quicker, others are slower. For example, the so-calledfour big countries — that does not include Italy — that didnot send heads of state or government, but only ministers, Spain,France, Germany, and I think Great Britain, by not sending theirheads of state sort of expressed their reservation. But theneven the German Economic Minister Altmaier, who on the first dayof the Belt and Road Forum basically said, “we have to havetransparency and rules,” with the usual kind of arguments, butthe next day, he said something much more positive. He said: Oh,this was much better than I expected, the Chinese are actuallytrying to solve problems, and I will come back in June with alarge delegation of businessmen. So, I actually find this quitegood. It shows that eventually, I think, I hope, reason willprevail.
GBTimes: I think some of the obstacles for Westerncountries, is like Turkey refusing to participate because of theUighur problem; that there are other issues that aren’t relatedto the Belt and Road, that China has to overcome first.
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: All of these problems will eventually besolved, because I think the key to solving of any regional,ethnic, historical cultural problem is development. If peopleactually see the advantage of turning non-developed countries orareas into prosperous ones, into having more youth exchange,young people understanding each other, people-to-people exchange,dialogue of cultures, bringing forth the best tradition of eachculture; plus, naturally, real improvement of living standards,longevity, I think that even if not all develop with the samespeed, we are at a tremendous change of an epoch of humancivilization. The idea of these local and regional conflictswill eventually not be there any more.
If I just can point to the fact that now the eightradio-telescopes working together, being able to make, for thefirst time, images of the black hole in a galaxy which is 55million light-years away, proving that Einstein’s theory ofgeneral relativity was actually correct — now, that, for me isthe sign of the future: Because this image could not have beenmade by one country alone. It needed telescopes sited in Chile,in Spain, in the United States, in the Antarctic, and you neededthe whole world actually working together to make such atechnological breakthrough possible.
I think that that will be the kind of relationship peoplewill have to each other in the future, and I think this is whatXi Jinping really is the kind of thing he means when he says, “ashared community for the one future of humanity.” Because thecommon interest will eventually come first, and then everythingelse will fall into place.
GBTimes: Another one of the criticisms was currently “allroads lead back to Beijing” rather than a multilateral approachto BRI, where it’s between other country, it always leads back toChina at the moment. Do you think that is a problem?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I don’t know. First of all, I think Russiahas a big influence, I think the African countries are becomingmuch more knowledgeable and confident about their own role. Thereare many Africans who speak that, in the future, Africa will bethe new China with African characteristics. So, I think it’s allchanging very quickly, and those people who complain that thereis too much Chinese influence, well, then they should bring intheir active, creative contribution, and define what the newplatform of humanity should be.
And I think China has said many times, and I have absolutelyevery confidence that that is the case, that they’re not tryingto export their social model, but that they’re just offering theexperience of the incredible success of the last 40 years of theform in opening-up, and basically tell developing countries,“Here, if you want to have our help in accomplishing the samething, we are willing to provide it.” And naturally, thecountries of the developing sector, which had been neglected, oreven treated negatively by colonialism, by the IMFconditionalities, when they now have the absolute, concrete offerto overcome poverty and underdevelopment, why should they nottake it?
So, I think all these criticisms are really badly coveredefforts to hide their own motives. I really think China is doingthe best thing which has happened to humanity for a very longtime, and I think the Belt and Road Initiative is the onlylong-term plan for how to transform the world into a peacefulplace. And I think that should be applauded and people shouldhave a cooperative approach.
GBTimes: My next question was going to be, how confidentare you that the BRI will pay off for China, but I get the sensethat you’re very confident.
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Oh, I think it already paying off! First ofall, it makes it more easy for China to develop its own westernand internal regions, because they are now sort of integratedinto the Belt and Road transport routes to Europe, to CentralAsia, integrating the Belt and Road Initiative with the EurasianEconomic Union, and hopefully eventually also the European Union.So I think it is already bringing benefits to China.
And from an economic standpoint, the more a country exportshigh technology goods and technologies, the more than becomes amotor to develop one’s own industry even to high levels. So it’slike a self-inspiration, so to speak, and that is already payingoff. That’s what any country should do.
GBTimes: You mentioned technology: It’s also the digitalSilk Road, Digital Belt and Road. Of course, China has a lot ofcontrol over its internet, on the Great Firewall: How much of abarrier do you think that will be for countries to buildrelationships via the Belt and Road Initiative?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: You mean the G5 question and Huawei?
GBTimes: Well, partly that, too, but also the control ofthe internet inside of China, which is difficult for Westerncompanies to do business, to establish themselves, as there are alot of controls there. Do you think that could be a barrier, aspart of the digital Belt and Road, that’s also being discussed.
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, I think there can be ways of makingarrangements which are satisfying to everybody. This wholequestion of “digital control” and so forth, is highlyexaggerated, because, if you look at who is controlling theinternet, you have the big firms, Apple, Google, Facebook, andthey are very linked with the Western government’s. You know, ina certain sense, after the scandal of the NSA listening intoeverybody’s discussions, which erupted a couple of years ago andwhich was never changed or remedied or anything, we are living ina world where that already happening. And I think China is notdoing anything more than the NSA or the already mentioned GCHQdoing that in the West.
So I think the fact that China has a competitive system, tothis Western system is what causes all of this debate. Becausethe people who had the control of the internet first, they shouldlike to keep it that way, and they regard China as a competitor,which they don’t like, but that’s a fact of reality now.
GBTimes: One question I have is why do you think the Beltand Road Initiative is needed, when there’s the AsianInfrastructure Investment Bank, now? Do you think the two aremutually exclusive, or do they work together?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: No, I think the Belt and Road Initiative hasmany financing mechanisms. You have the AIIB, you have the NewSilk Road Fund, you have a lot of the Chinese banks themselveswhich are doing the investment. I have been advocating for avery long time, that the West should modify its own creditinstitutions to work on a similar principle. Now, that would beactually very possible, because the American System of economy asit was developed by Alexander Hamilton, who created the firstNational Bank as an institution for issuing credit, that isactually very close to what China is doing. As a matter of fact,I would even go so far as to say, that the Chinese economic modelis much closer to the American System, as it was developed byAlexander Hamilton, and then revived by Lincoln, by Henry C.Carey, by Franklin D. Roosevelt; so if the United States wouldsay, we create our own national bank; and Germany, for example,would say, we go back to the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, theCredit Institution for Reconstruction, which was used for thereconstruction of Germany in the postwar period, which was also astate bank, — or it still is a state bank — then you could havea new credit system, whereby each country would have their ownnational bank; you would have clearing houses in between them tocompensate for duration of investment, or the differences betweensmall and large countries with lots of raw materials, or not somuch — you need these clearinghouses. But you could create anew credit system, a New Bretton Woods system with fixed exchangerates, having a stability in the system which the Western systempresently does not have.
So, I think that the more countries go to these kinds ofcredit financing of projects the more stable this new system willbecome.
GBTimes: Do you think the United States will ever becomepart of the Belt and Road Initiative, under the Presidency ofDonald Trump, or perhaps whoever is voted in next
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: That’s actually the big question, you know:Will the rise of China be answered by the United States, eitherwith a war, the Thucydides trap which some people have mentionedas a danger? There were in history twelve cases where a risingpower overtook the dominant power up to that point, and it led towar; and there were four cases where it happened in a peacefulway. Now, China, first of all, has offered that neither of thesetwo options should occur, but they have offered a special greatpower special relationship model, based on the acceptance of theother social model’s sovereignty, non-interference. And I thinkTrump with his America, First policy is more inclined to respondto such a model than the previous administrations of Obama andBush, who had these interventionist wars in the Middle East andeverywhere else for exporting their system of so-called“democracy” and human rights.
So I think President Trump has said very clearly that hewants to have a good relationship with China. He calls PresidentXi Jinping his friend all the time. And I think the presenttrade negotiations actually, in my view, demonstrate that theUnited States would suffer tremendously, if they would try todecouple from the Chinese economy. They probably would suffermore than China, because China is much more capable, in my view,to compensate for the loss of the relationship with the UnitedStates.
But I think that the hopefully reasonable way would be tosay, “OK, let’s use the foreign exchange reserves of China whichthey have in terms of U.S. Treasuries; let’s invest them throughan infrastructure bank in the United States, to help to modernizeAmerican infrastructure.” And that would be an urgent need,because if you look at the U.S. infrastructure, it’s really in aterrible condition, and President Trump, who is talking today, Ithink, with the leading Democrats Pelosi and Schumer on a newinfrastructure legislation; the sums which are discussed here,from what I have heard so far, are so small! First of all, theRepublicans don’t want to have Federal spending; the Democratsare talking only about “repair,” and small issues.
So, what is lacking in these discussions is a grand design,where you would take the approach China has taken for themodernization of its infrastructure: To have fast train systemsamong all the major cities, to have slow-speed maglev trains forintra-urban transport. Now, you could take that same approachand modernize the entire infrastructure of the United States. Andif China would, in turn, off that U.S. companies would integratemore into the projects of the Belt and Road around the world, itwould be beneficial for both. Some American companies are alreadydoing that, like Caterpillar, General Electric, Honeywell, butthat could be a real incentive for the United States to go in tisdirection.
Hopefully it will happen that way, because if not, I think aclash between the two largest economies would be a catastrophefor the whole world: So, let’s hope that the forces of good willall work together to get to this positive end.
GBTimes: Let’s talk about the Schiller Institute itself asa think tank. What is your day-to-day role in the promotion ofthe Belt and Road Initiative? How do you work to support it?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Oh, you know, this all goes back to thelife’s work of my husband, who died recently: Mr. LyndonLaRouche; who spent, actually, the last 50 years, to work on veryconcrete development projects. The first such project wepresented in ’76 in Paris. This was a comprehensive plan for theinfrastructure development of all of Africa. Then we workedtogether with the President of Mexico José López Portillo on aLatin American development plan — this was ’82. We worked withIndira Gandhi on a 40-year development plan, and also in thebeginning of the ’80s, we developed a 50-year development planfor the Pacific Basin. And then, when the Berlin Wall came down,and the Soviet Union disintegrated, we proposed to connect theEuropean and Asian population and industrial centers throughdevelopment corridors, and we called that the EurasianLand-Bridge.
So we have been engaged in these kinds of big projects forthe transformation of the world economy for the last decades, andnaturally, we proposed it to China in the beginning of the ’90s.I attended a big conference in ’96 in Beijing, which had thetitle, “The Development of the Regions along the EurasianLand-Bridge.” And China, at that time, declared the building ofthe Eurasian Land-Bridge the long-term strategic aim of China by2010. Then, naturally, came the Asia crisis in ’97, so the wholething go interrupted.
We were very happy when Xi Jinping announced the New SilkRoad in 2013, because, in the meantime, we had kept working forthis. We had many conferences, actually hundreds ofconferences and seminars all over the world. So this is has beenone major point of what the Schiller Institute has been doing forthe last decades. So naturally, we are very happy that now, whatwas only planning on our side is now being realized by the secondlargest economy in the world, and therefore, it becomes reality:And that makes quite happy.
GBTimes: Is there anything else you’d like to add? I’veasked my questions and a lot more. Is there anything we haven’ttouched upon, you’d like to talk about?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: We could talk a little bit more about theculture of the New Silk Road.
GBTimes: Please — in what way?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, I think that the New Silk Road, or theBelt and Road Initiative, it’s not just about economics andinfrastructure. But I think equally important, if not moreimportant, in my view, is the cultural side of it: That it couldlead and will hopefully lead to an exchange of the besttraditions of all cultures of this world. And by reviving thebest traditions, like Confucianism in China, Beethoven inGermany, and Schiller; Verdi in Italy, and so forth and so on, itwill ennoble the souls of the people, and I think that that isthe most important question right now, because I agree withFriedrich Schiller, according to whom this institute is named:That any improvement in the political realm can only come fromthe moral improvement of the people. And therefore, I think it’salso very interesting to me that President Xi Jinping hasemphasized the aesthetical education as extremely important,because the goal of this is the beautiful mind of the pupil, ofthe student.
Now, that is exactly what Friedrich Schiller said, who inthe response to the Jacobin Terror in the French Revolution,wrote his Aesthetical Letters in which he develops hisaesthetical theory, which I find is in great cohesion with whatXi Jinping is saying; and that has also to do with the fact thatthe first education minister of the Chinese Republic studied inGermany, and he studied Schiller and Humboldt; his name was CaiYuanpei — I’m probably pronouncing it wrong again — but hewas the first president of the Beijing University, and I thinkthere is a great affinity, a much greater affinity between thethinking of the aesthetical education as it is discussed by XiJinping and as it does exist in the Schiller-Humboldt traditionin Germany, in particular. I would just hope that that kind of adialogue could be intensified, because then I think a lot of theprejudices and insecurities about the other culture woulddisappear, and you would bring back and bring forth the best ofall sides.
GBTimes: How could this be accomplished, do you think? Whatsort of forms?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: You can organize conferences, you can moreconsciously make the poetry known — I think poetry is very, veryimportant, which is naturally not so easy, because as Schillersaid, you have to be a poet in two languages to do justice to thepoetry of one language. You could have more conscious theaterperformances, not just as an entertainment but involvingstudents, children, adults, and make more exhibitions, make moredeep-level understanding of the other culture.
I think China is doing an enormous amount of that, but Iwould have still some suggestions to make it more thanentertainment, because many people go to these things, and theydon’t quite “get it” what it’s all about; and then, it was nice,but the deeper philosophical, poetical, musical meaning could bemade more pedagogically intelligible, and I think that would be away of opening the hearts of more people, because they wouldrecognize what treasures are there to be discovered.
GBTimes: Do you have any closing words on the Belt and Roadyou’d like to share with our readers?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think we are probably the generation onwhom later generations will look back to, and say, “Oh! This wasreally a fascinating time, because it was a change from an epochto another one.” And I have an image of that, which is, thischange that we are experiencing right now, is probably going tobe bigger than the change in Europe between the Middle Ages andmodern times. In the Middle Ages you had people believing in awhole bunch of axioms, the scholastics, Aristotelianism,witchcraft — all kinds of strange beliefs — and then, becauseof the influx of such thinkers as Nicholas of Cusa, or theItalian Renaissance, the modern image of man, of science andtechnology, of the sovereign nation-state, all these changeshappened, and they created a completely different view of theimage of man and of nature, and the universe, and everything wecall “modern society” was the result of this change.
Now, I think we are in front, or the middle of such anepochal change, where the next era of mankind will be much, muchmore creative than the present one, and that’s something to lookforward to, because we can actually shape it, and we can bringour own creative input into it. And there are not many periodsin history when that is the case: So we are actually lucky.
“For the last several years or so, Western media and mainstream politicians have chosen to largely ignore the Belt and Road Initiative, which Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed in 2013. The initiative, consisting of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, efficiently addresses the infrastructure needs of developing countries, which the West simply pretended not to exist.
“But, at a certain point it dawned on the Western establishment that China was not only building an enormous amount of railway lines, ports, bridges, power plants and industrial parks in Asia, Africa and even in parts of Europe, but that the prospect of poverty alleviation offered by China instilled an unprecedented spirit of optimism.”
The major French dailiesLe Figaro and Le Monde published a full-page paidsupplement on the Belt and Road Initiative last week which includes threearticles: a larger one entitled “BRI: Soon Six Years ofImplementation”; a second one entitled “One China-Europe Link IsAlready on a Good Track,” and one last article, about one fifthof the page, on the Schiller Institute’s book-length dossier “TheNew Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge,” headlined“Everything You Want To Know about the ‘World Land-Bridge.'” Thethree articles are written by People’s Daily journalists.
The first two articles are full of updates on the ongoinggreat Silk Road projects; the third, on the Schiller Instituteand its dossier, was written by Ge Wenbo, who has already severaltimes covered our work in Africa.
The articles are a paid supplement, published in bothpapers. The articles are shorter in Le Monde, in particular onour dossier, which became a small box with the same title. Thetranslation follows:
“All You Need To Know about the ‘World Land-Bridge'”
“Last year, on Nov. 6, the Schiller Institute, aninternational think tank, published the French version of itsdossier ‘The New Silk Road, a World Land-Bridge To BringGeopolitics to an End.’ The presentation, which took place in theParis 5th arrondissement municipality, recommends countries totake part in the Belt and Road Initiative.
“Contrary to the analysts on the other side of the Atlantic,often prisoners of the ‘geopolitical’ software in which thewinner always wins to the detriment of the loser, we try to showhere that a new win-win paradigm is not only possible butindispensable. Whereas the New Silk Roads must be known becauseof the major opportunity they represent for international trade,above all they must be known, explains this dossier, as amultilateral alternative to financial globalization, a trueleverage to restart growth and a chance for peace. HelgaZepp-LaRouche, president and founder of the Institute, affirmsthat since its launching in 2013, the BRI has shaped the world.The Chinese initiative will have a growing influence over moreand more countries and improve the future.”
A photo of a container ship at berth accompanies the articlewith a following caption: “Container ship CSCL Star, withthousands of containers onboard, sailed from Shanghai and reachedFrance’s port of Le Havre a month later. That port plays animportant role in the implementation of the 21st Century MaritimeSilk Road.”
Kirk Meighoo in Trinidad & Tobago, a former Senator and a notable academic and political figure in the country, has done a beautiful 1-hour podcast with Helga Zepp-LaRouche as his guest. The podcast centered on the issue of the Chinese role in development around the world, as part of the global New Silk Road (Belt and Road Initiative, BRI). Zepp-LaRouche reviews 45 years of initiatives from her husband, Lyndon LaRouche, and herself, for the kind of American System economics embedded in the BRI, and evaluates how the United States can be brought aboard.