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Zepp-LaRouche Presents EIR’s New Silk Road Report at Beijing Symposium

by William Jones

The Chinese edition of the EIR report, “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge” was officially presented by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the founder of the Schiller Institutes, at a symposium sponsored by the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University on Sept. 29. The Chongyang Institute is also a co-sponsor of the Chinese-language report.

The Chongyang Institute was established a few years ago by graduates of Renmin University, and fashions itself as the new type of think-tank called for recently by President Xi Jinping, who is concerned about receiving the best analysis of the present world situation and some key recommendations for policy as China and the world enter into a new era of international relations. Wang Wen, the Executive Dean of the Chongyang Institute, as well as Mr. Fu Jianming, the Vice President of the Pheonix Publishing & Media Group which published the Chinese version of the report, made introductory comments at the press conference, which drew 70 people, including at least 15 journalists.

The full 370 page EIR World Land-Bridge report, now in Chinese.

 

The Genesis of a New Paradigm

In her address to the symposium, Mrs. LaRouche explained her role in the germination of the idea known in China as the “One Belt, One Road.”

She explained how she and her husband, economist and statesman Lyndon LaRouche, had, with the break-up of the Soviet Union, expanded on the series of development programs they had worked on for decades, to elaborate a program for linking the entire Eurasian continent.

Helga_Zepp_LaRouche_in_Beijing

Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche in Beijing, September 2015.

This would be done with a system of high-speed rail lines that would help bring the land-locked and newly independent nations of Central Asia, and vast underpopulated and underdeveloped regions of Central Russia, into the mainstream of international commerce and trade, thereby creating a land corridor for trade and economic development between Europe and Asia. The LaRouches dubbed this “The Eurasian Land-Bridge.”

Discussions with representatives of the Chinese government in the early 1990s led to a conference in Beijing organized under the auspices of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology in 1996, Mrs. LaRouche explained. This conference with leading experts from China and 34 other Eurasian countries, included an address by Mrs. LaRouche devoted to the implementation of this project.

helga_china_1996_0_0_0

Helga Zepp-LaRouche speaking at a 1996 international symposium in China on the New Eurasian Landbridge.

The Asian financial crisis of 1997 and the ruble crisis of 1998 prevented the further movement of this project. And it was only in September 2013 that Chinese President Xi Jinping revived the notion in his famous speech at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan, calling for the creation of a Silk Road Economic Belt to unite Europe and Asia.

The concept of the New Silk Road points in the direction of a new paradigm of mankind, Zepp-LaRouche told her audience, and away from the “geopolitics” which caused two world wars in the last century, to replace it with the idea of the common aims of mankind, which is reflected in Xi Jinping’s “win-win policy.” While the “One Belt, One Road” has become the going term for the Chinese project, Mrs. LaRouche underlined the importance of the Silk Road precedent. “We should keep the term the New Silk Road,” she said, “as it clearly expresses this cultural vision of cooperation manifested by the ancient Silk Road.”

She then went into the crisis in the Middle East and the massive flow of refugees into Europe from the war-torn areas created by U.S. policy under Bush and Obama. There is a very recent recognition by many European nations, that there must be a change in policy and the root causes of the refugee crisis must be adressed, she said. It is not enough to fight the Islamic extremists militarily; there must also be a real economic reconstruction of the entire region, which is now completely destroyed by war, to create a future for the young people now being attracted to violent jihad.

“We can extend the Silk Road to the Middle East,” she said, “creating centers of development. We can make the deserts bloom and create new cities. The New Silk Road can become a peace order for the Twenty-First Century,” she said. “If successful, it will create a new age of civilization, and if it fails, we will enter a new dark age.”

Reversing 40 Years of Disaster

EIR‘s Washington Bureau Chief Bill Jones then outlined the tremendous possibilities opened for the world, including the United States, with the implementation of the Silk Road project. He noted how Lyndon LaRouche, in 1975, proposed the creation of an International Development Bank for financing the development of the Third World, and how the Foreign Minister of Guyana Fred Wills, had, in collaboration with LaRouche, issued at the UN General Assembly in 1976 a call for a New World Economic Order and a debt moratorium for the developing nations.

“But there would be no new world economic order nor any debt moratorium,” Jones said. And the world then entered into a new phase of inflationary expansion of the world financial system which now encompasses over $2 quadrillion of accumulated—and unpayable—debt. “President Xi’s project of a land and maritime Silk Road Initiative offers now the possibility of reversing that dangerous trajectory,” Jones said.

bill jones

EIR’s Bill Jones speaking in Beijing, September 2015.

“The world stands in amazement over China’s development in the last few decades,” Jones said, “and now China is offering a similar development for the rest of the world.”

Jones also noted that, while the U.S. Administration has been less than enthusiastic about the project, there was a growing understanding in the United States, particularly at the state and local levels, which are greatly suffering the effects of the financial crisis, as well as among industrial layers, that what China is doing—and is offering the world—represents a ray of hope in an otherwise disastrous economic situation.

The Appreciation by Experts

These two presentations were followed by comments from eight leading Chinese scholars, who had read the report. Their reaction to the report was absolutely electric. Professor Bao Shixiu, formerly a Professor of Military Strategy at the PLA Academy of Military Sciences, said that bringing together the countries of the region around the New Silk Road initiative in a process of regional development was the task of the day.

“It is also related to the notion of good governance,” Professor Bao said, “and everyone has good feelings about this concept. We will thereby create a good neighborhood and begin to build a European common destiny.”

This was also the idea behind the notion of the Eurasian Land-Bridge put forward by the Schiller Institute in the 1990s, he said.

Ding Yifan, the former deputy director of the World Development Institute of the Development Research Center of the State Council of the P.R.C., underlined the importance of the economic concepts of Lyndon LaRouche, laying at the basis of the report.

“I have known the Schiller Institute for a long time,” he said, “and I have learned much from them. They have very specific ideas about the world economy. The concept underlying LaRouche’s view of the economy is that of the physical economy. LaRouche used the term negentropy to characterize the underlying laws of a healthy functioning economy,” Ding Yifan said.

“Helga Zepp-LaRouche put forward the concept of the Eurasian Land-Bridge as a war avoidance concept,” Ding added. “The new concept of the Belt and Road has received great attention from the whole world. … We cannot allow capital to control everything. Instead, we must control capital.”

Shi Ze from the China Institute of International Studies explained how the problem in the world today is caused by geopolitical thinking.

“Geopolitics has led to the dangerous situation we have today. The aim of the report is to develop a concept to replace geopolitics. And I found such a concept in this book,” Shi said. “On the other hand, is the economic aspect of the report, which places the stress on creating infrastructure. We have to look at the infrastructure needs of the other countries,” he said. “I am confident about the development of the Land-Bridge and I believe Mrs. LaRouche has made great progress in her idea.”

Tao Qingmei of the Beijing Long Way Foundation noted that the report also mooted the question of a new order and a new relationship between nations.

“This book reflects the views of U.S. experts and I really respect them. We should rethink the world on the basis of the new relationship between nations.”

Wang Xiangsui, the director for the Center for Strategic Studies at Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, called the report “a road to the future.”

“Today we have to proceed from a regional perspective, one which involves economics, politics, and culture. China is learning from other countries. And this book is very important in that respect,” he said.

Zhang Jianping, the Director of the Department of International Economic Cooperation at the National Development and Reform Commission, underlined the collaborative nature of the Silk Road Initiative and its openness to all countries. While noting skepticism from the U.S. side about the Silk Road project, he saw a certain shift in policy with regard to the U.S. view of the AIIB. Europe, on the other hand, was becoming absolutely enthusiastic about the project. Zhang felt that the EIR report, which he also noted was the result of 20 years’ labor, was an important element in promoting the idea of the New Silk Road in the United States.

Zhao Changhui from the China Export-Import Bank praised Progress Publishing for bringing out this report. He called the Silk Road project a thousand-year initiative. “When reading the report we have to ask ourselves how we can make a difference. It leads us to reflect on our own obligations.” He said that scholars must develop a long-term vision, as it was reflected in the report.

Liu Ying, the Director of the Department of Cooperative Research at Chongyang Institute, noted that the report was written from a global perspective, but from a modern global perspective, including from a space perspective.

“This report is about predicting the future rather than just explaining the past,” Liu Ying said.

All the participants received a copy of the Chinese report. The Chongyang Institute had purchased 1000 copies which they will distribute free of charge to a wide section of the Chinese political and intellectual circles. There was a considerable amount of coverage of the press conference in the economic press stressing the fact that this was the first analysis by “American scholars” of the Chinese project. There was also widespread recognition in the media reports of the role of Mrs. LaRouche and the Schiller Institute as a key initiator of this project in the early 1990s.

The high-level participation in the event by eight Chinese scholars, and the sponsorship by the prestigious Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, underlined the fact that the EIRreport has now become an authoritative source for Chinese scholars in pursuing the “One Belt, One Road” project. The economic concepts championed by Lyndon LaRouche over the period of 50-plus years have now become a staple for the intellectual layers in this, the most populous country in the world.


A New Era of Mankind Where We Become Truly Human

by Helga Zepp-LaRouche

This is the text of a presentation by Helga Zepp-LaRouche to the 2015 Silk-Road International Academic Conference–How to Establish Silk-Road Studies as an Independent Discipline of Research–in Gyeongju, South Korea, the ancient capital of Korea, on Aug. 21. It was presented by Mike Billington on Helga’s behalf.

Presentation for Panel 7: Future Vision of the Silk Road

When we are talking about the New Silk Road as a vision for the future, we should see it as a synonym not only for a new just economic order, and emphatically as the basis for a peace order for the 21st century, based on completely different economic and scientific principles than the previous system of globalization, but also for a new paradigm concerning the identity of the human species as the only creative species known so far in the universe.

Concerning the first aspect, in respect to the new economic system, tremendous progress has been made with the recent BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization summits. In these meetings the integration of Eurasian Economic Union and the Silk Road Economic Belt Policy, as well as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) transport system, were agreed upon, which will bring tremendous benefits to all peoples of Eurasia. Together with a new banking system, such as the AIIB, NDB, SCO Bank, SAARC Bank, New Silk Road Fund, Maritime Silk Road Fund, and CRA, all devoted to investments in the real economy and to fight off speculation, a completely new economic and financial order has gotten well underway, which in terms of human and natural resources and potential represent the locomotive of the future world economy.

Slide 1

Both President Putin, as well as President Xi Jinping, have emphasized, that while the BRICS are an organization of its own, they are open to collaboration with all other nations, including the United States, and European and Asian countries, President Xi Jinping has called this an all-inclusive win-win policy, in which all participating nations will enjoy mutual benefits. President Putin has reiterated that openness. The concept of the New Silk Road is therefore the most important strategic initiative, because it is the only available policy on the table to overcome the idea of geopolitics, which was the basis of the two World Wars in the 20th century. The prospect that nations, or a group of nations, would have legitimate geopolitical interests which would pit them against each other, must be replaced with the idea, that there is a higher level of reason, on which historical, ethnic, or other conflicts disappear. Mankind must be defined in this way for the first time in its history by the common aims of the human species.

This is not some vision for the far distant future, but it is the indispensable basis for an immediate intervention into the strategic situation today. Because there is the acute danger of a blowout of the transatlantic financial system, much more dangerous than the collapse of Lehman Brothers and AIG in September 2008, and directly related to that, the danger of the escalation of the confrontation between NATO and Russia and China into what could become a global thermonuclear war.

“Doomsday clock for global market crash strikes one minute to midnight as central banks lose control,” was one headline in the British {Daily Telegraph} on August 18th, being symptomatic of a general recognition among financial analysts that there are today all the markers of the situation before the crash in September 2008, but that the too-big-to-fail banks are an average of 40% larger today, their derivative exposure is around 80% bigger, and the so-called tool box of the central banks is empty, since the interest rates are already at about zero percent and quantitative easing has been going on for many years, without getting the real economy restarted.

It is that pending systemic collapse of the transatlantic financial system, which is the acute basis for the danger, that the West will indeed step into the much discussed Thucydides trap right now, resulting out of the same geopolitical reasons, described by the authors of the geopolical doctrine, Mackinder and Milner, before World War I. That same impulse governs very much those who wishfully call Russia only a regional power, which is ludicrous in light of Russia’s upgraded strategic nuclear capacities, or those who see in the rise of China something which must be contained.

The European Leadership Network, ELN, a thinktank consisting of former European and Russian defense ministers, just issued a stern warning, that the presently ongoing maneuvers of NATO and Russia are making a war in Europe more likely. Russia prepares for a war against NATO, and NATO prepares for a confrontation against Russia, the study writes. Such a war however, would not be limited to Europe, it lies in the nature of nuclear weapons, that once they are used, it will become a global thermonuclear war, which would in all likelihood lead to the annihilation of the human species.

In order to prevent that, it is urgent that the New Silk Road perpective be put even more energetically on the international agenda as a war avoidance policy.

The Schiller Institute presented last year a 370-Page scientific study with the title, {The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land Bridge}, which is the outline for an infrastructural integration of all continents, through a comprehensive system of fast train systems, highways, waterways, tunnels, and bridges as the arteries for deveopment corridors. This comprehensive plan for the reconstuction of the world economy would provide enormous advantages for each participating country, enabling every part of the planet to participate in a “win-win” perspective.

Slide 2

This will be the way to bring to the landlocked areas of the planet the same advantages which previously only characterized areas located at oceans or rivers. This infrastructure will not only be the precondition for the development of industry and agriculture, but especially for the increase of the productivity of the respective populations. As the opening up of previously undeveloped areas progresses, and the industrialization intensifies, the speed and connectivity of transport becomes more important, and therefore the advantages of fast train systems over land become more significant than the cheaper transport by ships. Rather than transporting crude raw materials over many weeks over the oceans, where nothing is happening with them, in industrial centers with a highly differentiated division of labor and complex subsequent processing, time is of the essence.

Slide 3

One big area of the planet, where a solution urgently must be found, is obviously Southwest Asia and large parts of northern and central Africa. These large regions have been almost totally destroyed through wars, which were motivated by lies, and where the so-called war on terrorism has generated more terrorists with each bomb, drone, or killing. If the entire region from the Caucasus to the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, from Afganistan to the Mediterranean, as well as the just mentioned parts of Africa, which literally have been bombed back to the Stone Age, should cease to be breeding grounds for ever more barbaric forms of terrorism, there must be a real development perspective.

Right now a refugee crisis is errupting from both Southwest Asia as well as Central and North Africa, of a dimension not seen since the end of World War II from Eastern into Western Europe. Then, 12 million people fled. Today according to UN figures, there are 60 million people on the march, most of them being harbored in poor, completely overstretched neighboring countries, with a very large portion trying to somehow get into Europe. There, many of the communities are already overstrained, and in the short term, social explosions and xenophobic backlashes are threatening the stability of the societies.

Especially in light of the recent revelations of the former U.S. DIA director, General Michael Flynn, concerning the emergence of ISIS, it is urgent that a root cause analysis concerning the refugee crisis be conducted. But then a profound cure for the problem has to be offered.

Already, in 2012, we presented, at a conference of the Schiller Institute in Frankfurt, a comprehensive plan for the development of this region as a whole. Only if all big neighbors, namely Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, and hopefully some European nations, such as Germany, France, and Italy, and hopefully the United States, agree, together with the BRICS, to extend the New Silk Road development perspective into Southwest Asia and Africa, is there the possibility, that the vision of a better future will convince especially the young men, that it is better to study to become a scientist or engineer and raise a family, rather than joining ever new jihadist groups. The perspective of a higher level of reason, embedded in the concept ot the New Silk Road, the idea of peace thorugh development, is the only way that the deep and bitter hostilities between the different ethnic and religious groupings can be overcome.

Slide 4

What is needed is an integrated development program, including a war against the desert with the development of huge new water sources, infrastructure, industry, agriculture, new smart cities, and science and research centers. If all the countries which are presently threatened by the terrorism emanating from that region, would collaborate in this development, the danger could be overcome. Likewise, rather than upgrading the defenses with Frontex and gun boats against streams of hundreds of thousands and potentially millions of refugees, who are fleeing from war, hunger and disease, taking a 50% risk of death by trying to cross the Mediterenean, would it not make more sense to develop these regions, since people rather like to stay in their home countries, than go into a horribly uncertain future? We have to make up our minds, where that part of the world should be in 50 or a 100 years from now; in a miserable dark age at best, or in modern times with a decent living for everybody.

Slide 5

Due to climate change, caused primarily by solar and gallactic influences on planet Earth, the belt of deserts, ranging from the Atlantic cost of Africa all the way through the Sahara and Sahel, the Arabian peninsula, the Near and Middle East to China, is expanding presently in a similiar fashion as the desert in the Southwest of the United States, and parts of Central and South America. The obvious answer to this problem is the creation of large amounts of fresh water trough a variety of methods, such as desalination of large amounts of ocean water through nuclear energy, continental water diversification and management projects, weather modification, and ionization of atmospheric moisture.

In several countries, atmospheric ionization systems have been successfully used to increase precipitation, and in this way affect the associated weather processes. Successful application of this method, which imitates processes occurring naturally in our solar system and galaxy, has been tested over three decades. With international cooperation concerning the further development of these technologies, the desertification of the mentioned regions of the world could be fought back in a completely new way: by the management of the water resources of the atmosphere!

Slide 6

Joint space research and travel is one of the foremost areas which constitute the future common aims of mankind. It will lead to revolutionary and necessary insights into our Solar System and galaxy. It is existential in order to protect mankind from dangers from space, such as asteroids, meteoroids, and comets, and it will be absolutely essential to define practically limitless new resources, such as for example the mining of Helium 3 on the moon as a fuel for a future fusion economy on Earth. If one considers the enormous progress mankind has made scientifically and technologically, it is obvious that space science is presently still in its very first baby shoes.

At the recent BRICS Youth Summit meeting of youth ministers in Kazan, Russia, on July 8-9, the participants signed a memorandum of understanding, which urged the BRICS member-nations to set up a joint space station, as well as to commit to the creation of a system of research institutions, the development of technology parks, and the organization of exhibitions on research-related subjects, according to a news item issued on the Russian BRICS website. The MOU document said: Working together on a space station for exploring outer space and carrying out manned programs could become a symbol of the new world order based on BRICS values.

While the concept of the New Silk Road becoming the World Land Bridge completes the era of the infrastructural development of the planet Earth, the extension of the New Silk Road into space represents the comprehension of our planet as part of our galaxy and will enable us to understand the galactic processes of which we are a part.

Slide 7

The beauty of our world is, that it has many rich cultures, which have contributed to the universal history of the human species. The ancient Silk Road did not only lead to an exchange of goods, such as silk, porcelain, glass, and spices, but it made possible the exchange of the most advanced technologies of that time, leading to the improvement of the living standard of all participating countries. With that came an exchange of cultures, philosophies, and new ideas, bringing human civilization forward.

The New Silk Road will make it possible that each culture of the planet can contribute its best and most noble expression in the areas of classical music, poetry, the visual arts, philosophy, and science. There will be an exchange of the high phases of each culture and civilization, young and old people will study the Greek classical period, Confucianism, the Gupta period, the Abbasid era, the Andalusian renaisance, the Joseon [or Chosun] period, the golden Italian renaissance, the German classics, to only name a few. By learning to know the best of each other’s culture, a deep understanding and even a love of the other cultures will develop, and in this way prejudices, chauvinism, and backwardness will be replaced by the spirit of a new renaissance, which will build on the knowledge of the old cultures, but will enlarge and enrich that wealth to the creation of new works of art in all fields.

The New Silk Road will open up a completely new paradigm for mankind, one in which that quality which differentiates human beings from all other species, its creative power of reason, will become the normal outlook. What was characteristic in past history only for exceptional individuals, the great discoverers, scientists, composers, and poets, will become the more natural condition for more and more people, especially when each child will have access to a universal education that emphasizes these treasures. This new renaissance will be the demonstration of the theory of the Russian scientist Vladimir Vernadsky, that in the evolution of the universe, the noösphere will increasingly influence and dominate the biosphere. The human species will develop its identity as the truly creative species.

So, we as humanity have reached the most important crossroads of our entire history. Either we can consciously organize our affairs based on the new paradigm which the New Silk Road represents, and deliberately create a new era in human history, or we may have the same fate as the dinosaurs. I would hope very much, that this conference and the New Silk Road study center will send a powerful message to the world to this effect.

Thank you very much.

 


The Necessity of Redefining “Sustainable Development” as “Sustained Development”


The Belt and Road and Apollo Program: Sources of Inspiration

By Hussein Askary and Jason Ross

In just a few days, world leaders will gather in New York for the 74th U.N. General Assembly summit, whose theme this year is “Sustainable Development.” The gathering is expected to attract developing nations’ leaders who are eager to see the implementation of the prioritized UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG2030). The priority goals are the eradication of poverty (Goal 1), eradication of hunger (Goal 2), providing good healthcare (3), quality education (4), clean water (6), available and affordable energy (7), economic growth (8), and infrastructure and industrialization (9). Despite the very real urgency of achieving these goals, the US, the EU, and the UN bureaucracy itself will likely place the greatest emphasis on Goal 13 (Climate Action)!

Wealthy doomsday prophets from Western countries will be descending on the UN building in New York, flying in planes, sailing on yachts, or crawling on the ground to preach the prophecy of the “end of the world” through the collapse of Earth’s climate—caused, they say, by continued economic growth and industrial development. They are joining a growing group of powerful financial and banking interests in the Western world who intend to enrich themselves through what they call “green growth” and “green finance.” The intention is to stop real economic growth and technological and scientific progress on a global scale to “save the planet.” In the meantime, the aspirations of poor countries and developing nations will have to take a back seat, because, obviously, there are more urgent matters than eliminating poverty and hunger, providing healthcare, education, and clean water and electricity to billions of people.

During the colonial period, the people of colonized nations were told that they were inferior beings, for whom poverty was the natural condition. In the post-colonial period, they were told that their poverty was the natural result of having corrupt leaders. Today, developing nations are told they are poor because the greedy, greedy industrial world caused climate change, and that they should never ever attempt to emulate the industrial world. Instead, they will get “climate-change mitigation” aid and handouts. Following this outlook would make poverty permanent (sustained) for generations. 

The continued drumbeat for ending economic development is not new, but it has reached a hysterical level threatening both industrialized and developing nations. The vague discussion of “sustainable development” is partly to blame. The authors of this article are inclined to believe that there is a fundamental contradiction and discrepancy between how this term is propagated in the West and how it is perceived in China and other developing nations. In China and other developing countries, it is read “sustainable development” (with emphasis on “development”), while in the West, the emphasis lies on “sustainable.”

The Main Premise: Limited Resources! 

The term “sustainable development” was formally codified by the United Nations through the 1987 Brundtland Report. (footnote 1) It is usually associated with promoting the use of so-called “renewable” sources of energy, such as solar and wind power, and is generally concerned with alleged adverse impacts of human activity on the environment. The referenced report states that “sustainable development” is defined as sufficient development to cover the “basic needs” of poor societies, i.e., the bare minimum to ensure survival, as well as extending to all nations and peoples the opportunity to fulfill their aspirations for better living standards.

However, the report states that many people in modern societies “live beyond the world’s ecological means, for instance in our patterns of energy use,” and warns that “sustainable development requires the promotion of values that encourage consumption standards that are within the bounds of the ecological possible and to which all can reasonably aspire.” How are these bounds determined? The report concedes that “the accumulation of knowledge and the development of technology can enhance the carrying capacity of the resource base. But ultimate limits there are, and sustainability requires that long before these are reached, the world must ensure equitable access to the constrained resource and reorient technological efforts to relieve the presume.” But are there truly ultimate limits for irreplaceable resources? Are the limits fixed by nature, or are they determined by our discoveries and inventions? 

The notion of limited natural resources and the so-called “carrying capacity” of the ecological system are not applicable to human society, since it is the level of scientific and technological progress which defines the range of “resources,” rather than an a priori “natural” limit. Therefore, adopting the “sustainable development” goals determined by such notions as are presented in the Brundtland Report poses a great obstacle to eliminating poverty and providing higher living standards and quality of life for all individuals and nations. What is needed is either a new definition of these notions, or the adoption of completely different concepts.

China has proven that the way out of poverty and onto the path of progress is through fast-track “industrialization” and large-scale development projects, including mega-projects, using the full range of resources, whether scientific, human, or natural. For example, all useful sources of energy, such as coal, oil, gas, hydropower, and nuclear power, must be used. While it is imperative that the sources of power with a greater energy-flux density, like nuclear fission and fusion, should replace the less dense sources, it is neither reasonable nor moral to ask poor nations to avoid the sources of power that enabled the United States, Europe, Japan and others to become modern industrial societies. The speed of power expansion required necessitates the use and construction of hydrocarbon power sources, while the needed nuclear industrial base is developed and scientific advances for fusion are made.

China’s economic miracle is based on implementing sound policies that seem to be the opposite of those demanded by such international institutions as the World Bank, the IMF, international environmental organizations, and financial consulting corporations and think tanks. China has followed a policy which was, ironically, the policy that made the US the greatest economic power on earth by the end of the 1940s, and made a ruined Germany the second greatest industrial power in the post-World War II world.

China’s is a dirigist policy of centralized, state-financed development of infrastructure and industry through national credit for long-term development, by using the latest technological and scientific innovations and developing new ones.

This discrepancy—between the proven successful methods of development, both current and historical (as in industrialization of the United States and Germany, for example) on the one hand, and what is now being promoted by international institutions on the other—must be addressed and eliminated. The new paradigm of development spearheaded by China and the BRICS nations is a key element in this process.

It is therefore necessary to state in clear terms, here, in this context, that the definition of the term “sustainable development” should mean the ability to maintain a process of providing ever higher levels of productivity and standards of living, both physically and culturally, to whole societies through scientific creativity and technological innovation. “Sustainable development” should not be used to mean the adaptation by society to an ever-shrinking base of fixed resources, because there is no such a thing as limited resources! What puts a limit to growth is the lack of cultural, scientific and technological progress.

China: The epitome of a developing nation

Between 1981 and 2018, China lifted 800 million of its citizens out of poverty—as attested by such institutions as the World Bank—by investing in urban and rural infrastructure projects, by completing mega-projects in transportation, water, and power, and by building an industrial and scientific capacity unparalleled in world history. The only close example of such rapid industrialization is the 1930s and 1940s New Deal and WWII mobilization under U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This unparalleled achievement can be replicated, in its outline, by all developing nations, although with different dimensions and characteristics. Over the past forty years, China built more water management projects than the United States had done in a hundred years. Another metric that emphasizes the immense magnitude of the undertaking is the fact that China used more cement in the three years 2011–2013, than did the United States during the entire 20th century! The Chinese 20,000 km high-speed railway network has already surpassed the combined networks of the Western European nations. China has 37 operating nuclear power plants (70% of which were built in the past decade alone), and a further 20 plants are under construction.

Enter the BRI 

The announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by Chinese President Xi Jinping in late 2013, (footnote 2) which was a breakthrough for the New Silk Road policy adopted by China since 1996, transformed China’s development policy into a global strategy, an all-inclusive initiative for all nations, without exception, to join and to shape. The BRI hinges on the construction of infrastructure mega-projects whose scale has not been seen in the world since the U.S. New Deal before World War II, the post–World War II reconstruction of Germany, and the U.S. space program of the 1960s.

The 6 Corridors of the Economic Belt of the New Silk Road (A-F) and the Maritime Silk Road (F) which were announced by President Xi in 2013. The other global transcontinental corridors were envisioned by the Schiller Institute as early as 1992. Credit: Belt and Road Institute in Sweden (BRIX)

The 6 Corridors of the Economic Belt of the New Silk Road (A-F) and the Maritime Silk Road (F) which were announced by President Xi in 2013. The other global transcontinental corridors were envisioned by the Schiller Institute as early as 1992. Credit: Belt and Road Institute in Sweden (BRIX)

The BRI is based on the solid foundation of China’s own economic miracle in the past few decades, and is backed by the entirety of the massive financial, technological, human resources base, and political power of China. It has evolved from a national Chinese project of economic development and industrialization into a massive intercontinental initiative for connectivity and economic cooperation, an initiative that more than 120 nations have joined so far. The BRI is already becoming the biggest economic undertaking in the history of mankind. The developing sector nations, many of which enjoy massive geographical advantages and human and natural resources, are poised to reap major benefits from this global initiative.

The fact that China is sharing its amazing experience of industrialization and development of the past three decades with the rest of the world is a key element of success. 

Through the BRI, China is offering the rest of the world its know-how, experience, and technology, backed by a $3 trillion financial arsenal. This is a great opportunity for West Asia and Africa to realize the dreams of the post–World War II independence era, dreams that have unfortunately been sabotaged for decades. The dramatic deficit in infrastructure both nationally and inter-regionally in West Asia and Africa can, ironically, be considered in this new light as a great opportunity. Although many other industrial nations in Europe, Asia and the Americas have technological and labor capabilities similar to those of China, they lack the vision and political will to apply these capabilities and to finance their use. Since West Asia and Africa are such strategically important areas for both East and West, it is, therefore, a perfect place for bringing the capabilities of the nations of the world into one concrete project of peaceful cooperation and development.

Encouraging signs have simultaneously emerged from African nations that have realized the importance of joining and benefiting from the new paradigm of development based on industrialization and large-scale infrastructure projects. Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Kenya, for example, have all designed impressive national development plans that are being implemented in rapid steps. But even here, China’s role is decisive.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)—the most compact and well-defined BRI project—is revolutionizing Pakistan, a nation which until a couple of years ago was indebted and broken, economically. Now, Pakistan is bustling with optimism and its economy being transformed by all the power, water, transport, and logistics projects being undertaken at breathtaking speed under the CPEC. The industrial base of Pakistan which was mostly shut down in the past few years due to lack of electricity, is poised to reemerge now. Pakistans ports, like Gwadar, are in the process of moving from an isolated and abandoned fishing village to world-class maritime transport and logistics hub. China’s investments in Pakistan are reaching USD 60-70 billion from the originally planned level of $45 billion. 

Before the CPEC projects came to fruition, Pakistan’s economic development was stymied by the lack of electricity, which lack prevented the needed growth to escape the actual debt trap related to a lack of development. As a result of its large trade deficit, Pakistan’s growing foreign debt reached $95 billion in 2017. It has been running a yearly trade deficit of over $23 billion for the past few years. Pakistan’s main export items are raw materials and staple foodstuffs, and its main manufactured export is textiles. Staple food and raw materials suffer from price oscillations, whereas the textile sector’s competitiveness is crippled by the unreliable and inadequate energy supply. And it is precisely the crucial energy sector and transportation, that are the main focus of Chinese investments in the CPEC.

Pakistan’s energy imports have contributed significantly to its trade imbalance and indebtedness. Over the fiscal year 2017–2018, imports stood at $60.86 billion, 2.6 times the $23.22 billion of exports, resulting in a historically high trade deficit of $37.64 billion. Nearly a quarter of Pakistan’s imports were energy (oil and gas), amounting to $14.43 billion. (footnote 3) These energy imports constitute nearly half of the annual deficit! On August 3, 2018, the Pakistan Express Tribune reported that the British Standard Chartered Bank was to extend a $200-million commercial loan (at 4.2% interest rate) to Pakistan to finance LNG imports. The SCB is one of Pakistan’s largest lenders, with $1.1 billion in loans in 2016–2017 alone. This is how a nation walks into a debt trap.

Before the full completion of CPEC power projects, Pakistan’s total installed electrical capacity was 25,000 MW (2017), with the average demand being 19,000 MW.

Installed capacities, broken down by production type, was as follows: 1. Hydrocarbons (thermal) 14.7 GW, comprising 64% of installed capacity, 2. hydropower 7.1 GW (31% ), 3. nuclear 0.7 GW (3%), 4. wind, solar, biogas 0.4 GW (2%). (footnote 4)

Considered in terms of actual electricity production, the figures are as follows: (1) hydrocarbons (thermal) 58.5 TWh, comprising 60% of electricity production, (2) hydro 32.9 TWh (34%), (3) nuclear 5.0 THw (5%), (4) wind, solar, biogas 0.8 TWh (0.8%).

In the decade preceding the CPEC, Pakistan’s annual electricity consumption lingered in the range of 70–80 TWh, approximately 50 watts (or 440 kWh/yr) per capita. With the completion of a portion of the CPEC power projects, the nation’s electricity consumption rose to 100 TWh in 2018, bringing the average up to 500 kWh capita. This growth is good, but the figure is still far too low, and tens of millions of Pakistanis do not yet have access to grid electricity.

The CPEC energy projects will play a significant role in expanding electricity access in Pakistan. (footnote 5) This can eliminate the energy deficit and prepare the economy for a further surge in industrial activity. The breakdown of the investments that are completed, under construction or negotiation is as follows: Coal plants: 8,580 MW; Hydropower: 2,700 MW; other thermal plants (natural gas): 825 MW; Solar power plants: 900 MW; wind farms: 350 MW. (footnote 6) The expected total new electricity generating capacity is 13,355 MW. And the total cost of all these power generation projects (including mining of coal and electricity transmission lines) is estimated to be $23-30 billion, which is approximately the cost of two years’ imports of oil and gas, and less than the annual trade deficit.

To tell Pakistan today to stop the coal power plants amounts to telling its people to commit collective suicide. 

Pakistan was never enabled, or allowed, by its Western “friends”—who needed the country to fight the Soviet army in Afghanistan throughout the 1980s and the Taliban since 2001—to fully develop its clean and “carbon-free” nuclear power. This is poised to change, since China and Russia are fully capable of assisting in the construction of nuclear power plants. The choice of coal power at this moment is due to the fact that Pakistan has the raw material in abundance, because it takes a relatively short time (18-24 months) to construct a modern coal power plant, and because the necessary skills, equipment, and planning to produce them in large numbers currently exist. Nuclear power plants are complicated in both time and physical requirements. While coal may not be an ideal choice over the long term (30-40 years), the only reasonable alternative is nuclear power, for which the necessary construction capabilities must be geared up worldwide. For the Pakistani nation and economy to reach the platform of being able to build or participate in building its own nuclear power plants, its economy needs to be revived and developed now.

The attempt to supply the energy needs of Pakistan—or nearly (footnote 7) any nation, for that matter—by so-called “green” or “renewable” technologies for electricity production, would be an exercise in extortionately expensive futility, leading to real human suffering.

Chinese President Xi’s Philosophy of Development: “Make the cake bigger!”

Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Chinese President Xi Jinping.

By carefully reading the speeches and writings of the Chinese President Xi Jinping without ideological prejudice, we conclude that what Xi means by “sustainable development” is not what politicians and economists in the West mean by that term.

In his speech to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on October 18, 2017, Xi thoroughly describes the goals of development set out by him and the party, and clearly explains his understanding of the “Scientific Outlook on Development.” According to him, this is one of the key five guiding principles of the Communist Party of China (besides Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of the Three Represents). In point four of his speech, “Adopting a New Vision of Development,” Xi said: “Development is the underpinning and the key for solving our country’s problems.” He emphasized: “We must pursue a model of sustainable development featuring increased production, higher living standards, and healthy ecosystems.” 

Rather than focusing on “limited resources” and how to divide them, Xi often uses the metaphor of “rather than fighting over a small cake, make the cake bigger” when urging his party comrades to think outside the box. Most indoctrinated so-called experts in the Western world would see this today as a contradiction of terms, because they believe that increased production and raising the living standards cause ecological problems and will inevitably hit the wall of limited resources.

Even more provocative to Western observers are Xi’s repeated calls for the industrialization of Africa. In his speech at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Johannesburg, South Africa in December 2015, Xi said the following: 

“Industrialization is an inevitable path to a country’s economic success. Within a short span of several decades, China has accomplished what took developed countries hundreds of years to accomplish and put in place a complete industrial system with an enormous production capacity…

“It is entirely possible for Africa, as the world’s most promising region in terms of development potential, to bring into play its advantages and achieve great success…. The achievement of inclusive and sustainable development in Africa hinges on industrialization, which holds the key to creating jobs, eradicating poverty and improving people’s living standards.”

President Xi did not say this as a provocation to the West, but because he truly holds this view, which is completely in sync with China’s own fantastic feat of development in the past three decades. 

The most transparent and scientific definition of “sustainable development” according to Xi is described in a speech titled “A Deeper Understanding of the New Development Concepts,” which he delivered on January 18, 2016 at a study session of the implementation of the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee. The term “coordinated development,” he says, has acquired new features. In the usual Chinese philosophical manner that is not fearful of contradictions that lead to solutions, he stated: “Coordinated development is the unity of balanced development and imbalanced development. The process from balance to imbalance and then to rebalance is the basic law of development. Balance is relative while imbalance is absolute. Emphasizing coordinated development is not pursuing equalitarianism, but giving more importance to equal opportunities and balanced resource allocation.”

Xi continued: “Coordinated development is the unity of weakness and potential in development. China is in a stage of transition from a middle-income country to a high-income country. According to international experience, this is a stage of concentrated conflicts of interest, in which imbalanced development and various weaknesses are inevitable. To pursue coordinated development, we should identify and improve our weaknesses, so as to tap development potential and sustain growth momentum.” (footnote 8) 

No state of equilibrium: Breaking the boundary conditions

In this speech and other speeches on the concepts of development, Xi has emphasized that the way to overcome such contradictions is to pursue scientific and technological creativity and innovation. It is very clear that Xi realizes that there is no such a thing as a “state of equilibrium,” but rather there is a process of progress and sustained growth, although he emphasizes that the goal is growth that is qualitative, rather than merely quantitative.

People in the West hear every day that the modern civilization has hit the wall, that limits of growth and technological development have been reached, that Earth’s carrying capacity has met its limit, and that the solution is to slow down, roll back industrialization and reduce the world population, because we cannot sustain growth indefinitely. 

The proponents of zero-growth base their theories on a fictitious “state of equilibrium” in nature between limited natural resources and the biological needs of all species, humans included, on this one and only planet! Life itself, the biosphere and the human species have proven that there is no such a static state of equilibrium, but that there is a process of progress and development. But that process of development usually bumps into certain boundary conditions, because a previous key “natural resource” is depleted. However, creative and revolutionary technological leaps break that boundary condition and brings life to a new and more intensive platform of progress. In other words, when a society hits a wall, it has to build a ladder and climb the wall to come to the new, but higher platform of economic development. That ladder is scientific and technological progress.

Human Creativity: the Greatest — and Infinite — Natural Resource

In a discussion of the role of science as a driver for the development of any nation, President Xi stated in a speech delivered to the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee on October 29, 2015, “Innovative development focuses on the drivers of growth. Our ability to innovate is inadequate. Our science and technology is not fully developed, and is unable to create momentum to support economic and social development. This is the Achilles heel for such a big economy as China.” (footnote 9) Concerning the primacy of human creativity to so-called natural resources, Xi stressed: “So we must consider innovation as the primary driving force of growth and the core in this whole undertaking, and human resources as the primary source to support development. We should promote innovation in theory, systems, science and technology, and culture, and make innovation the dominant theme in the work of the Party, and government, and everyday activity of in society.” (footnote 10)

This chart of human population over historical time reflects the unique characteristic of human life among all life known to us. Our species continually breaks the limits to its growth, by developing new knowledge that opens up new resources and increases the productive powers of labor.

This chart of human population over historical time reflects the unique characteristic of human life among all life known to us. Our species continually breaks the limits to its growth, by developing new knowledge that opens up new resources and increases the productive powers of labor.

Elaborating on the history of the impact of scientific progress since the Renaissance on the industrial development of Europe and later the United States, Xi informed his Party comrades: “In the 16th century, human society entered an unprecedented period of active innovation. Achievements in scientific innovation over the past five centuries have exceeded the sum total of several previous millenia… Each and every scientific and industrial revolution has profoundly changed the outlook and pattern of world development… Since the second Industrial Revolution, the U.S. has maintained global hegemony because it has always been the leader and the largest beneficiary of scientific and industrial progress.” (footnote 11)

Xi is not expressing frustration and envy over the fantastic past progress of Europe and the United States, but is urging his people to learn from those successes. As Confucius said in the Analects: “He who learns but does not think is lost. However, he who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.” 

President Xi’s thoughts are clearly in harmony with those presented by American Economic Lyndon LaRouche, who has defined and treated economics in a scientific manner the same way physics is treated. LaRouche, the pioneer of Physical Economics, defined the process of progress of society as the building of new economic platforms.

The LaRouche View of Economics:  Successive Economic Platforms!

Following his service in World War II, economist and statesman Lyndon LaRouche tackled a central problem to understanding economic growth: the seeming impossibility of representing the incommensurable value of scientific revolutions. To give an example of the difficulty involved, consider the initial development of steam power. This new technology transformed the power of coal, which had been used as a source of heat, into a source of motion, making it tremendously more valuable than it had been. The ability to separate the process of production both from the muscle power of people and beasts, and from a reliance on such local peculiarities as the availability of wind or flowing water, transformed the economic geography completely. The power of an individual worked increased by an order of magnitude. Goods that previously were created by hand by artisans and were consequently available only to the wealthy, could now be produced efficiently in larger numbers, making them available to a broader population. How can these varied benefits — in changing resources, increasing productivity, and altering the importance of geography — be understood?

Lyndon LaRouche (1922-2019) speaking at a live webcast in 2010.

Lyndon LaRouche (1922-2019) speaking at a live webcast in 2010.

LaRouche begins his theory with a consideration of the most important metric of human economy, the potential population density that can be achieved by a given society’s cultural and scientific development, adjusted for the conditions of geography (including man made improvements to that geography). This metric, potential relative population density, gives a rough understanding of the economic power brought to bear by a civilization. True economic value exists in those processes and developments that act to increase this metric.

As an additional metric, LaRouche insists that the intensity of power applied by a society — at the point of production as well as more broadly considered per capita and per land area — must increase with economic growth. This metric, energy flux density, involves both the quantitative increase in power available, and also its qualitative nature, as expressed in its intensity. For example, a laser uses a greater density of energy than does a metal cutting device, yet it may be able to cut a metal part using less total energy. This is a reflection of the greater energy flux density embodied in the laser. A similar example is the increasing ratio of energy use specifically as electricity — a more concentrated form of energy — to total energy use in an economy.

In addition to the concepts of potential relative population density and energy flux density, add another: the concept of the economic platform as a superior concept to that of infrastructure.

Mankind Creates

As we progress, we rely increasingly on an improved environment. Rather than walking on paths made by herds of animals or floating on natural rivers, we use roads, rail lines, subways, sidewalks. We increasingly work in illuminated buildings and enclosed vehicles, safe from the ravages of weather, rather than unprotected outdoors. The substrate upon which we depend, this built environment, is often considered as an accumulation of pieces of “infrastructure.” LaRouche takes a fresh approach to this concept, as in a 2010 paper:

We should then recognize that the development of basic economic infrastructure had always been a needed creation of what is required as a “habitable” development of a “synthetic,” rather than a presumably “natural” environment, for the enhancement, or even the possibility of human life and practice at some time in the existence of our human species. . . .

Man as a creator in the likeness of the great Creator, is expressed by humanity’s creation of the “artificial environments” we sometimes call “infrastructure,” on which both the progress, and even the merely continued existence of civilized society depends. (footnote 12)

LaRouche reconceptualizes the history of human development from the standpoint of a succession of economic platforms. The earliest human civilizations were limited in their movements to land and to the oceans and rivers. And this water transportation itself required the technologies of ship-building and navigation. The sky itself served as an infrastructure platform, its stars providing a means of finding one’s way. The construction of new rivers, in the form of navigable canals, marked the next great stage of human advancement, providing a new platform upon which to develop. The land itself changed in value, as areas that were previously quite distant from the seas and rivers were brought within its reach, including through supplementary road networks. The railroads — rivers of steel — were the next great platform, utilizing the scientific knowledge of metallurgy and of the steam engine to transform our relationship to the land, and to space and time themselves. Distances that were traversable only in weeks could now be crossed in days.

Connectivity grew and the economic potential of land increased by the availability of rail transport.

The next great platforms upon which human civilization will be based, will rely on new technologies of greater energy flux density. With the realization of nuclear fusion, building on the gains already achieved through the control over nuclear fission, our relationship to travel and to resources will be fundamentally altered. Processing of ores, which today requires the use of coke produced from coal for its chemical transformation, could be achieved in a much simpler way. The value of high-level concentrations of mineral deposits will decrease, as lower concentrations will be economically viable to use. Our relationship to water — a precious resource required in great quantities — will take on a new form as we use nuclear fusion to use the plentiful water in the world’s salty seas. Our power over space will grow exponentially as nuclear-powered rockets propel us quickly through the solar system, and move asteroids that might strike the Earth onto safer orbits!

In all of this analysis, money itself plays a secondary, although important role. Money, being a scalar value, cannot be used to assign a value to the steam engine, to the development of railroads, to the 1960s Apollo mission to the Moon, or to the coming breakthrough of nuclear fusion. While money can measure more of what existed previously, the benefits of these leaps is that they allow us to accomplish more than we could before. In each of these cases, the potential population density of the human race is increased, processes of higher energy flux density are used or unlocked, and a greater platform of created environment upon which other activity unfolds is born.

LaRouche has consistently urged the creation of economic and political systems that cohere with the laws of physical economics. This means national and international credit systems under which long-term credit can be provided for projects that increase the physical productivity of the nation or society, including in the many circumstances that such investments would not be financially profitable to a private investor. Instead of suffering under economic “laws” that have no universal validity, the financial system itself must be subjected to the creative will of man, and brought into coherence with the long-term goals of the species.

Key in upgrading our potential is the conquest of space, that great domain lying always over our heads, beckoning us to look up and to think big! From space, there is only one Earth, populated by a single human race. From space, the overwhelming potential of that beautiful, creative species becomes manifest. It is for this reason that many of the greatest space visionaries and engineers have developed profound reflections on the human race itself. The German-American Krafft Ehricke is one such example.

A species not Earth-bound

Space visionary Ehricke, whose scientific contributions made the Apollo Program possible, strongly disputed the “limits to growth” philosophy, and his arguments in opposition to it were informed by his deep relationship to science and technology. In a 1984 speech, Ehricke said: “If you have a no-growth philosophy and if you regress into the Middle Ages, then you create an environment in which that, what you are asking the human being to do — namely to live with less and being very modest … and not to grow — is impossible, because a dog-eat-dog fight is bound to break out under those conditions. We’ve come too far. We have to go on. Life shows us that technological advances are the road to go. But based on those technological advances, must come the advances of the species and the advances of our civilization.” (footnote 13)

Ehricke argued that in the process of evolution on Earth, organic matter faced this crisis and overcame it: “Earth was like a gigantic flower, which soaked up solar energy and also utilized other energy to establish basic organic compounds, and amino acids. And when life began to stir here, there lived, of those fossil assets, Haldane’s famous ’soup that ate itself up,’ or something similar to that, and of course, eventually the resources ran out. And the first great crisis of life on this planet occurred, because they were living off previously generated organic substances… It was then, that we saw for the first time, two things: That what seemed to be an absolute limit to growth, was no limit to growth. It was a hindrance, that had to be overcome, and was overcome by technological advances — incredible technological advances, namely photosynthesis.”

The “first industrial revolution” is how Ehricke termed this advancement whereby organic matter found in outer space a new, extraterrestrial resource—solar radiation—for its continued development and survival.

Ehricke called for the human species to do the same, by going to outer space to explore and tap the unlimited resources that the solar system and the universe offers us: “This goes far beyond that… Information metabolism transcends planetary limitations, and is the metabolism on which life moves now over into space itself.”

Krafft Ehricke summarized his philosophy of astronautics in three laws, formulated in 1957:

First Law: Nobody and nothing under the natural laws of this universe impose any limitations on man except man himself.

Second Law: Not only the Earth, but the entire Solar system, and as much of the universe as he can reach under the laws of nature, are man’s rightful field of activity.

Third Law: By expanding through the Universe, man fulfills his destiny as an element of life, endowed with the power of reason and the wisdom of the moral law within himself. (footnote 14)

In a stark contrast to the mantra frequently repeated respecting environmental concerns that “there is no planet B,” the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the July 20, 1969 moon landing by the US Apollo 11 mission (Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins), has spread a new wave of optimism across the world, because it is such groundbreaking achievements that remind people of their true mission in life, on Earth and the universe — the mission to be creative, to discover and explore new frontiers of knowledge, science and technology while at the same time resolving a myriad of issues and conflicts that stem from the pessimistic and cynical view that the nature of humans is egoism and the characteristic of nations is to undermine each other and fight over purported “limited resources.”

A science city on Mars, as proposed by Lyndon LaRouche. In 1988, he wrote that “If the United States follows the approach I have proposed, we shall have our first permanent colony on Mars by the year A.D. 2027. During a few years following that, that colony will grow into an increasingly self-sustained community, the size of a medium-sized city on Earth. Long before A.D. 2027, the average U.S. taxpayer will have gained an enormous personal profit from the earlier, preparatory stages of the program as a whole.” The development of new scientific breakthroughs and technologies allows us, uniquely among known species, to transform our relationship to nature by improving the productive powers of labor. This creative potential, common to all people, is the basis for international collaboration in space, science, and culture, to advance the common aims of mankind.

A science city on Mars, as proposed by Lyndon LaRouche. In 1988, he wrote that “If the United States follows the approach I have proposed, we shall have our first permanent colony on Mars by the year A.D. 2027. During a few years following that, that colony will grow into an increasingly self-sustained community, the size of a medium-sized city on Earth. Long before A.D. 2027, the average U.S. taxpayer will have gained an enormous personal profit from the earlier, preparatory stages of the program as a whole.” The development of new scientific breakthroughs and technologies allows us, uniquely among known species, to transform our relationship to nature by improving the productive powers of labor. This creative potential, common to all people, is the basis for international collaboration in space, science, and culture, to advance the common aims of mankind.

“A community of shared future for mankind,” the concept pronounced by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the UN General Assembly in September 2015, should no longer be Earth-bound, but rather encompass everywhere human civilization reaches in the Solar System and the universe beyond. The fruits of space exploration by any nation should be celebrated and shared by all nations. This idea is shared by the best of the US and European astronauts and space scientists. When Armstrong set foot on the surface of the moon, he said this was “one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” He did not proclaim it a “giant leap for the US,” but for all mankind, because he understood the full implications the achievement.

In a recent intervention at a George Washington University event titled “One Giant Leap: Space Diplomacy, Past, Present, and Future,” Buzz Aldrin called for the creation of an “international space alliance” where the U.S. would cooperate with the space programs of China, Russia, Europe, Japan and India. He correctly argued that colonizing the Moon and making it a launchpad for manned missions to Mars cannot be achieved efficiently by one nation. In addition to the technical necessity, cooperation is also a means to achieve global peace, and to advance scientific and technological cooperation which should eventually include every nation in the world.

Harrison (“Jack”) Schmitt, one of the astronauts on Apollo 17, which made the last human landing on the Moon, and who is perhaps the most insightful spokesman for the space program, told the Daily Telegraph (footnote 15) that “Moon and Mars settlement is extremely important for the dispersal of the human species throughout the Solar System, and possibly beyond.” Harrison Schmitt envisioned the “100th anniversary of Apollo,” saying that at that time “there will be settlements on the Moon, people living there permanently, producing the resources of the Moon… Settlements on the Moon are going to be a piece of cake.”

The Moon’s status as a launchpad to further space dreams arises from its physical characteristics. The lunar regolith (soil) harbors unique resources, its small mass allows for easy takeoffs, and its proximity to the Earth makes it a convenient location.

One of the Moon’s unique resources is related to power. The best designs for nuclear fusion power require nuclear reactions without neutrons (uncharged particles, which cannot be controlled electromagnetically), and the ideal fuel for these reactions is helium-3. This special isotope of helium is almost non-existent on Earth, but is constantly emitted by the sun. Because the Moon lacks a magnetic field (or an atmosphere), this fuel source flung generously by the sun is caught in the lunar soil, where millions of tons exist today. This helium isotope, the best fuel for nuclear fusion power, can serve humanity both in space and on Earth, to meet the needs of all nations for probably hundreds of years to come.

There are several other benefits of Moon industrialization. Water on the Moon can be broken down into hydrogen and oxygen, which can be used as fuel for rockets. Metals can be mined to set up local manufacturing on the Moon. This manufacturing will benefit from the Moon’s small size. As a result of the weaker gravitational attraction on the Moon, less than one-tenth as much power is required to a payload from the surface of the Moon to Earth orbit as would be required to bring the same payload from the surface of the Earth to Earth orbit. And since the Moon is relatively close by, the journey time is not long.

Schmitt emphasizes these benefits of lunar development:

“Not only will that assist a Mars mission, but helium-3 is an ideal fuel for electric power generation because it creates no radioactive waste and demands for electrical power are not going to decrease; civilization depends on it [electrical power], and this is one of the major potential and long-term sources.

“The Moon’s debris layer provides the opportunity to produce water, hydrogen and oxygen as fuels. It’s also very fertile, so if you want to produce food, that’s achievable. Settlements on the Moon are going to be a piece of cake.”

The industrialization of the Moon could become the joint development project of the world. Not only does it open the frontiers of space, but it also breaks the pessimistic and unscientific ideology of limited resources. One of the important objectives of the Chinese lunar mission is to gather the helium-3 that is uniquely abundant on the surface of the Moon.

Conclusion

Lyndon LaRouche has been famous for his promotion both of nuclear fusion and of a fully developed Moon-Mars program, which would serve for decades as a driver of new scientific and technological breakthroughs. His 1988 campaign for U.S. President included a thirty-minute video, The Woman on Mars, which detailed his program to the general audience of American voters and thinkers worldwide.

In a presentation he gave in 2010, LaRouche put forward the motivations for humanity to reach into the heavens: (footnote 16)

Therefore, we have to go to Mars, not because we want to get there, but we don’t want to fail to get there! … We’re going to a new conception of basic economic infrastructure, which started with the space pioneers in the 1920s, and into the United States. We began to realize that mankind needs a new dimension, beyond railroads, beyond old water systems, needs a new dimension for the expression of humanity in the Solar System.

This is not just for “getting there.” This is for giving man a mission, a natural mission for mankind, on which we will base the culture which increases mankind’s options, and also the security of humanity. That is, by developing ourselves, instead of sitting on one planet and depleting that planet and doing nothing else, and becoming fat and lazy—instead of that, let’s take on a mission!

Let’s look ahead 75 years, three generations. And let’s take what we have now, with these—we’ve got young people under 25 who are in a disastrous state of education in life. They’re going no place, unless we do something for them. We’re going to have to give them a mission, and an opportunity, which inspires them, so that their children will not be so damned stupid. And therefore, by three successive generations of development … I’m satisfied that we could develop the scientific and technological capabilities, in three successive generations—all the time, bringing our people up to a higher level of productivity—to make up for what we’ve lost, and to go beyond that…

We know we have to develop the Moon, which is accessible to us, readily, with technology already developed by us. We know we can develop an industry on the Moon, because you don’t want to take off from Earth, and lug a lot of things up from Earth; there’s just too much effort involved. Go to the Moon, take your technology to the Moon, develop industries on the Moon: You can build the spacecraft and other things you need to go to Mars!

The lunar regolith (soil) includes many of the basic elements required for industrial production of rocket components and fuel. And its helium-3 is an ideal fuel for nuclear fusion, surpassing anything economically available on Earth. Once components are built on the Moon, they can be easily brought to Earth orbit. In fact, bringing payloads from the surface of the Moon to Earth orbit uses less than 10% of the energy required to bring them from the surface of Earth to Earth orbit! LaRouche continued:

Why do we go to Mars? Because it’s the nature of man to do so: The nature of man is expressed by the fact that we are not a fixed species, with fixed behavior. We’re a species that must develop, as mankind has developed, despite all the setbacks. Mankind has greatly improved, since our first evidence of what mankind was on this planet. Improved through technology, through intellectual development, stimulated by technology; by improvements in culture, especially Classical culture.

And the purpose of man, is to find his place in the universe.

Don’t worry about what the destination is. We’ve got to find our place in the universe: We must develop! Mankind is creative. Mankind must create! Mankind must develop!

And if we do that—the space program, as we would develop it—my estimate is, that it will take three generations to develop the capability to actually put human beings safely on Mars. To solve the problem of gravitation in interplanetary flight and that sort of thing. We can do it! We don’t have a population which is trained, yet, to undertake that mission. But we have a population, which is ready to be uplifted from despair, now, and plan that the grandchildren of people today, of young people today—the grandchildren of young people today will solve that problem! And it should be our mission to dedicate the United States, in particular, and the planet as a whole to that mission, to give mankind a sense and a determination of a future which should belong to mankind.

Mankind was put in this universe for some purpose. We’re not always too sure what that purpose is. But we’re sure of one thing about that purpose: It requires, as history has shown us, the development of the intellectual powers of mankind, the intellectual powers of man’s progress. The future, if it means anything to have children and grandchildren, is to ensure that the children and grandchildren have made an upwards step, beyond what’s impossible now. And to do as we’ve done before, from our past experience, in making the kind of progress, the changes in behavior, and progress, and increase in the power of mankind, to solve great problems, problems of disease, all kinds of problems.

What is the greatest focus for this human mission? LaRouche answers:

Therefore, we have to put a name on it, and the name we put on it for the short term, is the Mars Mission. And we say, that within three generations, we’ll take this wretched nation, this poor, broken-down, ruined, betrayed nation, and, in cooperation with other nations on this planet, we will develop a technology and the people capable of carrying it, which will, step by step, bring man to his true dignity, to recognize the place of man in the universe. Not to what we’re going to do in the universe, ultimately, but to know we’re there!

And we need that.

You know, people talk about immortality and so forth—what’s it mean? Just another person being produced, to replace the one that died? No. Immortality is the certain understanding, that you are living today, because you are doing something, which is going to lead to the development of man’s power in the future. Your immortality lies in your grandchildren, and your great-grandchildren beyond that. Your immortality, your purpose of your life, is what comes out of it! That you’re a permanent part of the universe! Because, by developing within the universe, you’ve demonstrated that you’re not just a drop on the planet: You are part of the universe, forever!

And that should motivate you.

It is from this greatest of mission-orientations that we can draw inspiration for developing the necessary platforms of economic development to enable people from all nations of the world to live lives allowing us to meaningfully aspire to contribute something of enduring value to all of human history.

The endless pursuit of that goal is the only process of development that can truthfully be called sustainable.

Footnotes

1. Former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland headed the UN-appointed World Commission on Environment and Development, which released the report “Our Common Future,” also known as the Brundtland Report, in 1987: http://www.un-documents.net/wced-ocf.htm
2. President Xi Jinping announced the creation of the “Economic Belt of the Silk Road” in a speech in the Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan in September 2013. The Belt is a land-based economic corridor extending from eastern China to western Europe and engaging 69 nations in its path. One month later he announced, from Jakarta, Indonesia, the intention to launch the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road together with other nations. This includes building numerous ports on the sea lanes of the Pacific and Indian Oceans and the Mediterranean. The two projects complement each other and together make up the BRI. http://english.gov.cn/beltAndRoad/
3. “Pakistan’s Trade Deficit Stands at $30.19b” Salman Siddiqui, The Express Tribune, Aug 14, 2018
4. Figures from Pakistan’s National Electric Power Regulatory Authority, “State of Industry Report 2015”
5. For detailed description of the energy projects involved in the CPEC, consult the project’s official website
6. Since the expected capacity factor of solar and wind would be no greater than 30%, the energy generated by these systems should be estimated as being at most one-third their official capacity. These projects, by dint of the low intensity of their power sources, are also expensive. Considering both their cost and their likely capacity factors, the (intermittent) electricity produced by these projects will cost several times more than coal or large hydro.
7. There is a temporary exception of those few nations capable, by virtue of their geography, of utilizing large hydro plants and geothermal energy. Iceland is currently such an example, although future development will require energy beyond what can be supplied by these means.
8. Xi Jinping, The Governance of China II, pp. 226-227. (emphasis added)
9. The Governance of China II, Page 217. Speech titled “Guide Development with New Concepts”.
10. Ibid. Emphasis added.
11. Ibid.
12. Lyndon LaRouche, “What Your Accountant Never Understood: The Secret Economy” EIR, May 28, 2010.
13. “Lunar Industrialization and Settlement — Birth of Polyglobal Civilization” Presented at the October 1984 Conference of the National Academy of Science, on “Lunar Bases and Space Activities of the 21st Century”
14. Cited in Marsha Freeman, How We Got to the Moon: The Story of the German Space Pioneers (Washington, D.C., 21st Century Science Associates, 1993), p. 297.
15. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2019/07/21/mining-moon-could-help-save-humanity-says-last-apollo-astronaut/
16. Transcript available as “Change is a’Comin’” EIR, July 16, 2010


The writers are the authors of the Schiller Institute Special Report “Extending the New Silk Road to West Asia and Africa”. Both are long-time members of the International Schiller Institute founded in 1984 by the German thinker Helga Zepp-LaRouche. 

authors Hussein Askary and Jason Ross

Hussein Askary, Iraqi-Swedish citizen, founding board member of the Belt and Road Institute in Sweden (BRIX). hussein.askary@brixsweden.com   brixsweden.com

Jason Ross, American citizen, Editor in Chief of the 21st Century Science and Technology Magazine.  jason@21stcenturysciencetech.com  21sci-tech.com 

 


An Urgent Appeal for Action to the Heads of Government: The UN General Assembly Is the World’s Last Chance!

by Helga Zepp-LaRouche

More and more people worldwide are profoundly worried over what only a few prominent people are saying publicly: NATO’s confrontation with Russia and China is ongoing, and set to escalate, so that a global thermonuclear war is almost inevitable, unless we dramatically change our political course. The worldwide stock market collapse which followed “Black Monday” wiped out around $5 trillion, which then almost immediately flowed again into the pockets of one gambler or another, after the central banks set their electronic printing presses into motion in grand style.

The ultimate meltdown of the trans-Atlantic financial system has been delayed in the short term by a gigantic dose of “quantitative easing”–the unconditional throwing about of “helicopter money,” as former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke called it. But it is in this impending financial crash of Wall Street and the City of London that the source of the acute war danger lies, and not in anything that Russia or China has done.

“Russia is preparing for a conflict with NATO, and NATO is preparing for a possible confrontation with Russia,” says a recent study by the “European Leadership Network,” which comprises former European and Russian defense ministers and military experts. Indeed, the modernization of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, the establishment of U.S. BMD systems in Eastern Europe, and NATO’s first-strike doctrine permit no other conclusion. Russia and China in turn have reacted with the modernization of their own nuclear capacities and the development of supersonic missiles, which would knock out the NATO systems. If this war were to happen, there is a very high probability that mankind will be largely or totally obliterated.

The heart-wrenching refugee crisis which is currently playing out in Europe, and which has resulted from a series of wars based on lies, in Southwest Asia and North Africa, should be a warning shot across the bow for the whole world, that the entire system of the international community of peoples has collapsed. Every single one of the tens of thousands of people who have already drowned in the Mediterranean; every single one of the hundreds of thousands who are currently on the run, only to be potentially exposed to violence by right-wing terrorists; and every single one of the millions who have been uprooted and are now refugees, represents a thundering indictment of those responsible for these war crimes and crimes against humanity.

– A New Direction –

Where is the institution that can still intervene, virtually at the last minute? Where is the world court before which this great crime can be avenged? Are we, as mankind, collectively able to deflect from a course which is threatening to lead to our own destruction?

If there is any such institution at all, then it is the upcoming General Assembly of the United Nations in New York. A large number of heads of state and government will participate in this meeting from September 24 to October 1. Manhattan, during this time, will be the place where the fate of mankind will be debated before the eyes of the entire world and a vision for a better future can be agreed upon–or, to put it another way: The precondition will be set for whether we will have a future at all.

There is a solution to this existential crisis, but it must be located in a totally new paradigm; it must restore mankind’s identity as a creative species, and it must consciously herald a new era for mankind.

Lyndon LaRouche insisted in an emergency appeal issued August 26, that only the immediate introduction of Glass-Steagall banking separation–exactly as Franklin D. Roosevelt introduced it in 1933–can protect the real economy from the effects of the imminent financial meltdown. Wall Street is hopelessly bankrupt. Therefore an all-out mobilization is required to induce Congress to preemptively shut down Wall Street by passing the Glass- Steagall law. Because the crisis is global, the Glass-Steagall standard must be established internationally–i.e., the global financial system must be put through an orderly bankruptcy reorganization and a credit system established, in order to restore the necessary capital-intensive production in the real economy.

The total indebtedness of the global financial system, an estimated $2 quadrillions, of which around 90% is outstanding derivative contracts, is even less sustainable than Greece’s debt. Only if the casino economy is shut down–that is, the virtual and toxic part of the banking sector cancelled and the section of the banking system serving the real economy protected–can there be a recovery of the physical economy, thereby halting the dynamic toward war.

– The Groundwork Has Been Laid –

The UN General Assembly is probably the last opportunity for resolving upon such a reorganization. It is perhaps an historical coincidence that the assembly is occurring in Manhattan, and thus in the place where the first Treasury Secretary of the United States, Alexander Hamilton, established the American System of Economy and the principle of the National Bank. It was precisely in this Hamilitonian tradition that Franklin D. Roosevelt led America out of the Depression in the 1930s, with the Glass-Stegall law and the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. This was also the model by which the Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau (Reconstruction Loan Corporation) rebuilt Germany out of the rubble after World War II, and made possible the German economic miracle.

Such an economic miracle is needed by many regions of the world today, and its realization is within our grasp. Chinese President Xi Jinping, since 2013, has been putting on the agenda the proposal for building the New Silk Road as a new model for economic cooperation among nations with a perspective of “win-win cooperation.”

Since no later than the Summit of the BRICS nations in Fortaleza, Brazil, in 2014, an unprecedented dynamic of cooperation has developed among the BRICS nations, and those of Latin America, Asia, Africa, and even some Europeans, for the realization of long-overdue infrastructure projects: the Nicaragua Canal, a transcontinental railway between Brazil and Peru, several Pacific-to-Atlantic tunnels between Argentina and Chile, extensive cooperation in nuclear energy between the BRICS nations and developing countries, and joint space projects–to name a few. There has been an explosion of development, which had been blocked for decades. The construction of the New Suez Canal in only one year is symptomatic of the new spirit.

What is now demanded of the heads of state at the UN General Assembly, is their capacity to present a vision for mankind. The groundwork has been laid. The construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road–“One Belt, One Road”–and its integration with the Eurasian Union is in full swing. Many states in Asia, Latin America, and Africa are already advancing their development through cooperation with the BRICS countries. All the world’s problems could be solved, if this UN General Assembly succeeds in winning the European nations and the United States to cooperate with the BRICS countries, to build up the regions of the world that are currently breaking apart under conditions of war, starvation, water shortages, epidemics, and terrorism.

If this UN General Assembly succeeds, in the framework of the New Silk Road, which is becoming a World Land-Bridge linking peoples together, in adopting a common development perspective, primarily for Southwest Asia and Africa, but also for Central and South America–a perspective for which Russia, China, India, Iran, Egypt, Germany, France, Italy, other European nations, and the United States work together–then it would be relatively simple to overcome terrorism, so that people in these regions have a real perspective for their future, namely to rebuild their states economically. But also, therein lies the only chance for giving the people who are now fleeing from war and terror, hope in their homelands, and for stopping the new migration of many millions of people into an overburdened Europe or America.

Geopolitics, and the idea of solving conflicts through wars, which, in the age of thermonuclear weapons, will lead to the extermination of the human race, must be replaced with the idea of the common aims of mankind, for whose realization all nations on this planet must participate. If the heads of government and other representatives succeed in inspiring their nations with the spirit that they must now, at the moment of the greatest danger for the future survival of mankind, dare to step outside the well-worn pathways of the oligarchical rules of the game, and come to an agreement on the great mega-project for the future of mankind, then we can be confident in the courage to solve all, really {all}, the problems of today, and begin a new era of mankind–an era in which mankind will be truly human and bring our laws and activity here on Earth into harmony with the laws of the order of creation, the Cosmos.

Only in that way will we survive as a species. And by that standard will the heads of state meeting in Manhattan be measured. Because if mankind is going to have a history, it will be remembered either as a monsters, or as extraordinary individuals, who succeeded, at the decisive moment, to realize a passionate, tender love for mankind, and usher in a new phase of evolution.

{This appeal was translated from German.}


Schiller Institute Seminar: The Role of the Belt & Road in Peace and Stability in West Asia & Africa

The Schiller Institute hosted a high-level seminar in Berlin, Germany on August 29 to provide a report on the true significance and substantial progress of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), especially regarding developments in Southwest Asia and Africa. Forty-five people attended, including representatives of Germany’s Mittelstand (small and medium-sized industries), the diplomatic community, and other institutions. A visiting delegation of scholars from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), an important academic organization and research center, presented papers on the role of the BRI in stabilizing the region through economic development. A common theme of virtually all presentations was that for peace to be achieved in this region, a commitment to real economic development is necessary, centered on advances in science and application of new technologies.

Moderator Stephan Ossenkopp of the Schiller Institute opened the event by emphasizing that there is an urgent need for a “rational dialogue” on what the Chinese are actually doing, as opposed to the negative reports in the western media. The BRI is not a unilateral, imperial project, but one which is comprehensive and inclusive.

Zepp-LaRouche Keynote

The keynote, from Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the Chairwoman of the Schiller Institute, expanded on this theme, noting that the BRI is “the most important strategic policy on the agenda.” The speed of its growth in the last six years has been amazing and it is of particular importance for rebuilding the war-torn nations of southwest Asia, and overcoming the suppression of nations in Africa, where Europe could have contributed to the industrialization of Africa, but has not.

Founder of the international Schiller Institute, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, delivering her keynote address.

Founder of the international Schiller Institute, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, delivering her keynote address.

Instead of allowing the opponents of development to turn China into an “enemy,” the truth of what China is doing needs to be more broadly known and understood. The Belt and Road Initiative is necessary for peace and stability, and should be joined by western governments, especially the United States.

Reviewing the present strategic crisis, which has worsened due to the unleashing by the British empire of destabilizations around the world, including against China, and Iran, Zepp-LaRouche said that Europe has an important role to play, if leading nations are to free themselves from their geopolitical strategic orientation.

She spoke of the tremendous potential for German Mittelstand companies to engage in joint ventures in third countries, noting that the policies of the present government do not favor that potential. She emphasized that key to creating change in the Trans-Atlantic region is to inspire optimism, to particularly emphasize the potential unleashed by the new initiatives in space exploration. We must think at least fifty years ahead, she said, and reject the pessimism that is being spread by the Greenies and the financiers who back them.

Chinese Presentations

There were five speakers from Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). Prof. Tang, the leader of the delegation, spoke on “China’s Concept on Security and Middle East Security,” providing a broad view of the BRI approach to the subject.

He was followed by Prof. Yu, who spoke on the topic, “BRI and the Peace Between Palestine and Israel,” emphasizing the importance of economic development for Palestine, which is essential to realizing the two-state solution to the ongoing crisis. Prof. Wang addressed the “BRI in the Gulf Cooperation Council and Gulf Security” and Dr. Wei, “Iraq’s Reconstruction and China’s Role,” in which he highlighted the difficulties in rebuilding a nation subjected to a war that had destroyed much of its infrastructure. Dr. Zhu spoke on “BRI in Egypt and China-Egypt Cooperation,” presenting an optimistic evaluation of how the cooperation between the two states has provided tangible benefits.

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Other Schiller Institute speakers were Hussein Askary, co-author of Extending the New Silk Road to West Asia and Africa, a book-length report, who gave an impassioned account of the progress of the BRI in the two regions, and Claudio Celani, whose report on the Abuja, Nigeria conference on Transaqua provided a concrete picture of what is possible with international cooperation—but also the obstacles created by international financial institutions and their geopolitical strategies which must be overcome.

There were questions from the audience after each presentation, evidence of a hunger for real solutions and a desire to draw out more of the thinking of the representatives from the CASS. Several questions were directed to Helga Zepp-LaRouche, including one on Malthusianism, another on the India-Pakistan crisis. A lively discussion continued after the formal proceedings concluded.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche: “The Strategic Implication of the New Silk Road”


Tang Zhichao: “China’s Concept on Security and Middle East Security”


Hussein Askary: “The Belt and Road to Peace and Prosperity in West Asia and Africa”


Yu Guoqing: “BRI and the peace between Palestine and Israel”


Wang Qiong: “BRI in the GCC and Gulf Security”


Claudio Celani: “Why the Transaqua Solution for Lake Chad is a Test of Morality for Europe”


Wei Liang: “Iraq’s Reconstruction and China’s Role”


Zhu Quangang: “BRI in Egypt and China-Egypt Cooperation”

 


International Call to Youth: “The Age of Reason Is in the Stars!”

Helga Zepp-LaRouche
Founder and President of the Schiller Institute
zepp-larouche@eir.de

PDF of this statement

There is really good news: Man is capable of reason and therefore limitless intellectual and moral perfectibility! We can do something that neither the donkeys nor the monkeys can do: we can discover new scientific principles of the universe in which we live, without limits! And these qualitative discoveries mean that, unlike donkeys and monkeys, we can constantly redefine what resources are, therefore making them unlimited, and that we can continue to improve the livelihoods of humanity!

We are experiencing unprecedented, fascinating scientific revolutions: the Chinese are exploring the dark side of the Moon with their Chang’e Moon missions, planning to mine helium-3 as fuel for the coming fusion economy on Earth, and next year a Mars mission will investigate the conditions for terraforming the red planet. With their Chandrayaan-2 mission to the south pole of the Moon, the Indians will explore the ice in the craters there, which are always in the shade, and thus one of the essential prerequisites for life on the Moon. The European Space Agency is working on concrete plans for international cooperation on a permanent Moon village! The U.S. is building upon the Kennedy Apollo program with its Artemis program, and Russia, the U.S., and China all see nuclear-powered spaceships as the right choice for future flights to Mars and deep into space!

The great thing about space travel is that it proves that we are not living in a closed system where raw materials are limited and the murderous views of Thomas Malthus, Julian Huxley, Bertrand Russell, and Prince Philip would be correct, but on the contrary, we live an anti-entropic universe. Space travel is the irrefutable proof that the universe “obeys” an adequate hypothesis of the human mind, that there is therefore absolute coherence between the immaterial ideas produced by reason, and the physical laws of this universe, and that these ideas are the spearhead of the anti-entropic dynamics of the universe.

There have been groundbreaking proofs recently: around 100 years after Einstein’s theses on the existence of gravitational waves and black holes, the change in space-time has now been proven, and shortly thereafter, with the help of eight radio telescopes distributed all over the world, images were made of the area around a black hole whose mass is 6.5 billion times larger than that of the Sun, 55 million light years away at the center of the M87 galaxy. There is still so much to discover in our universe, where, according to the Hubble telescope, there are at least two trillion galaxies! Space exploration opens up a deeper insight into how the laws of our universe work, and what role we humans play in it!

This is the life-affirming cultural optimism that comes with the idea of humanity as a space-faring species, in complete contrast to the contrived doomsday atmosphere which is spread by the apostles of the coming apocalypse—such as Prince Charles and the hedge-fund cover girl Greta Thunberg. Behind the Greta hype are quite vile interests: the trans-Atlantic financial system is facing a more serious crash than in 2008, and the financial sharks and locusts of the City of London and Wall Street are trying one final big deal, to steer as much investment into “green” technology as possible, before the systemic crisis hits.

A closer look at the sponsors of Greta’s extremely ambitious and well-funded agenda, the Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Fridays For Future (F4F), reveals that this movement is being funded by the richest people on Earth, including Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, George Soros and Ted Turner. The fact is that the beneficiaries of the climate hype and the Green New Deal are the banks and hedge funds.

The target of this unprecedented manipulation is you, the children and teenagers of this world! Shouldn’t it make you stop and think, when your alleged “rebellion” is supported by the whole spectrum of mainstream media and the entire liberal establishment? Yet the vile idea that manipulating the paradigm shift of an entire society must begin with the indoctrination of children is nothing new. As early as 1951, Lord Bertrand Russell wrote in his article “The Impact of Science on Society”:

“I think the subject which will be of most importance politically is mass psychology. … Its importance has been enormously increased by the growth of modern methods of propaganda. … It may be hoped that in time anybody will be able to persuade anybody of anything if he can catch the patient young and is provided by the State with money and equipment. The social psychologists of the future will have a number of classes of school children on whom they will try different methods of producing an unshakable conviction that snow is black. …not much can be done unless indoctrination begins before the age of ten.”

The goal of the apocalyptic scaremongering by people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (“We have only 12 years left!”), or the head of the British Commonwealth, Prince Charles (“We only have 18 months left!”), is an induced radical change in way of life of mankind. Everything that we have understood as progress during the last 250 years should be abandoned, and we should return to the technological level that existed before the Industrial Revolution. But this also means that then the number of people who can be sustained at that level will drop to about a billion or less.

It would mean that developing countries would have no prospects for ever escaping poverty, hunger, epidemics and a shortened lifespan; it would be a genocide of an unimaginably large number of people! If “climate scientist” Mojib Latif thinks that the Western lifestyle can not be transmitted to all people in the world, and if Barack Obama is outraged that many young people in Africa want a car, air conditioning and a big house, then behind that lurks the inhuman arrogance of members of the totally privileged upper class. It is precisely this view by the colonial rulers that is responsible for the fact that Africa and much of Latin America are still underdeveloped, and many hundreds of millions of people have died early unnecessarily.

For the developing world, the pseudo-religion of anthropogenic climate change means genocide, but for the soul of the young people of the world, the cultural pessimism it induces is a poison that destroys confidence in human creativity. When everything becomes a problem and is suddenly laden with guilt—eating meat, or eating at all, driving a car, flying, home heating, clothing, and indeed life itself—it destroys any enthusiasm for discovery, any enthusiasm for that which is beautiful, and all hope for the future. And if every human being is just another parasite that destroys the environment, then quite a few come to the misanthropic conclusions of the mass shooters of Christchurch and El Paso, who in their “manifestos” cited environmental reasons for their actions.

Conversely, the scientific and technological advances associated with space travel are the key to overcoming all apparent limitations of our present existence on Earth. “Terraforming”—the creation of human conditions—then becomes possible not only on the Moon and Mars, but also here on Earth, and in the future on many heavenly bodies in our solar system and perhaps beyond.

In his “Anthropology of Astronautics,” the German-American space pioneer Krafft Ehricke writes:

“The concept of space travel carries with it enormous impact, because it challenges man on practically all fronts of his physical and spiritual existence. The idea of traveling to other celestial bodies reflects to the highest degree the independence and agility of the human mind. It lends ultimate dignity to man’s technical and scientific endeavors. Above all, it touches on the philosophy of his very existence. As a result, the concept of space travel disregards national borders, refuses to recognize differences of historical or ethnological origin, and penetrates the fiber of one sociological or political creed as fast as that of the next.”

Today, we need this culturally optimistic image of mankind, and the passionate love for humanity associated with it as the only creative species known to date! The fact that we can venture into space means that we can overcome the narrow, Earth-bound mindset. “There, in the stars, lies mankind’s entry into the long-awaited Age of Reason, when our species sheds at last the cultural residue of the beast,” as Lyndon LaRouche put it.

It is an incredible privilege to be young now, to reach for the stars and help shape an epoch of humanity that, for the first time in history, can unleash the unlimited potential of our species!

 


Zepp-LaRouche on Sputnik Radio ‘Hiroshima: There was no reason for this bombing’

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,Sputnik International, under the title, “US Analyst Claims Geopolitics Could Lead to Extinction of Human Race”, ran an interview with Helga Zepp-LaRouche on August 7, underscoring Lyndon LaRouche’s warning that a “Guns of August” scenario today would lead to a thermonuclear war.

Referring to the end of WWII, Sputnik quotes Zepp-LaRouche as saying,

“There was absolutely no reason for this bombing as there was already peace negotiation between the emperor and the Vatican at that time. The bombing was done to instigate horror and awe by Truman so that he could continue the era of imperialism.”

Then, regarding the strategic situation today,

“There are many people who have been warning that the US and NATO are preparing a new war against Russia and China. There is a very serious escalation of the situation, making the month of August extremely dangerous as history shows most of the wars started in August, and the US military has changed tactic in Syria last week and the US Congress has gone into recess.”

Helga Zepp-LaRouche, President of the International Schiller Institute issued a “Call to Stop the Immediate Danger of World War III!”, as a petition, earlier this week for circulation internationally.

The full interview and article with Helga can be found here.  A transcript of the interview is below.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche: I think historically it is now well-established that there was absolutely no reason for this bombing, because there were already peace negotiations between the Emperor and the Vatican at that time. And therefore the argument that it was to save American soldiers, is completely fraudulent. I think the bombing occurred to establish an aura of Schrecklichkeit, of horror, of awe, to basically—this was Truman, and it was a way to start to establish a post-war order in order to continue the rule of colonialism and imperialism, which would not have happened if Franklin D. Roosevelt would have been alive.

Sputnik: And let’s look at these poll findings, from the Japanese. The majority of Japanese don’t share the point of view presented by foreign policy, so the question here, Helga, is, who and why is someone trying to rewrite history?

Zepp-LaRouche: Yes, but I think it is part of the present logic. I think there are many people in the last period who have been warning that the United States and NATO are preparing a new war, this time against Russia and China. Even the Observer has an article to this effect. My husband, Mr. Lyndon LaRouche, has warned at the end of June already, that the most dangerous period would be the month of August. First of all, because all world wars in the past century have started in August, and he said the most dangerous period is when the U.S. Congress goes into recess. And unfortunately, this was totally confirmed, because the U.S. Congress went into recess last Wednesday, a week ago, and on Friday, the U.S. changed the rules of engagement for the U.S. Air Force in Syria, and that was done without announcement, without approval of Congress, and it was only leaked then the following Sunday by the Wall Street Journal.

Now this means a very serious escalation, because it brings the world back to exactly the situation where it was two years ago, when the U.S. Congress voted against military strikes against Syria. So this time, the Congress is out of session, and this was changed —this is unfortunately only one aspect. You have to look at the totality of the situation.

You have the modernization of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, the B61 and B61-12, which could indicate an attack being brought into the Russian territory by F-35 stealth bombers, and there are many people who are extremely concerned that this is a preparation for a regional nuclear theatre in Europe. You have to add to that the fact that the United States did not stop the U.S. missile defense system in Eastern Europe after the Iran P5+1 agreement was successfully concluded, and that confirms what Russia has said many times: that this U.S. missile defense system was never meant for missiles from Iran, but it was always directed against Russia.

And then, at the recent and present ASEAN forum in Malaysia, Foreign Minister Lavrov just warned correctly, that there is a huge military buildup in the Pacific. Obviously, what is the purpose of these aircraft carriers and other systems being brought there?

So I think the signs are overwhelming that there is a war preparation, and I think there will be a maneuver in September which basically will be—it’s called the Trident Juncture 15— which will rehearse the use of nuclear weapons against Russia.

All of these signs are overwhelmingly worrisome, and I think we need, really, a complete mobilization of the world public, because this is the eve of World War III, and it has to be stopped. Because if it happens, I don’t think it will be a regional theatre; I think it will, by the nature of thermonuclear weapons, it will be a global thermonuclear war, in which case there will be probably nobody left alive. So, we are really looking at the annihilation of mankind, and that is where we are at.

Sputnik: At this point, Helga, what should be done? Who should sit down and talk?

Zepp-LaRouche: Well, I think there must be made an absolute effort that the United States, Russia, and China are sitting together at one table, and all the other leaders of the world who are concerned, should make maximum pressure that this occurs. Europe could do a big role, if Europe would say, we are not part of such a war, and we insist that the United States and Russia and China, the leaders, sit together, and discuss the new international security architecture.

I think President Xi Jinping has given a very good example when he offered to President Obama at the recent APEC meeting last year, in Beijing, the win-win policy of cooperation with the New Silk Road. He has said that we have to have a world order in which cooperation among major nations occurs for the common benefit of everybody, a win-win strategy. And I think, that if we have learned anything from the geopolitical wars in the Twentieth Century, then the lesson must be that, if we don’t want to extinct ourselves, we must overcome geopolitics. Geopolitics is what causes world wars. And that we must move to a new paradigm in the history of civilization, a new era, which is defined by the common aims of mankind as one humanity first, and then you can settle regional questions after you have agreed on these common aims of mankind.

And that is the all-demanding question of this moment.


Sputnik – Interview with Helga Zepp-LaRouche

 

On Monday morning, July 6, Helga Zepp-LaRouche gave an interview to Sputnik News, which was aired live. The interview touched on the bankruptcy of the trans-Atlantic region and the looming war danger, among other topics.

Here is the interview in full:

This interview was conducted by Sputnik news © all rights reserved.

The interview followed an earlier one only a few days prior with Sputnik, as well as {Pravda.ru}, and RT.  They all highlighted the Schiller Institute’s resolution calling on the U.S. and European Union to join with the BRICS countries in abandoning geopolitics and joining in the new paradigm of “win-win” economic development. The article prominently featured an interview with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and chair of the Schiller Institute, who identified the two grave threats to world stability: the collapse of the trans-Atlantic financial system and the danger of thermonuclear war, stemming from U.S. and NATO provocations against Russia and China.

The article was run on RT in Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and English, and on various other sites in Italian, and even Turkish. Sites such as Brazil Business Today and the Polish Gazette, were among those sites monitored thus far. A Russian-language version of the report by RIA Novosti, with which Sputnik is affiliated, gave even more detail from Zepp-LaRouche and New York Schiller Institute spokesperson Lynne Speed; it has been published by scores of Russian newspapers and websites.

For the full Sputnik article click here.

 

 

 


German-Russian Dialogue in Baden-Baden Hears Zepp-LaRouche

During her speech at Germany’s prestigious Fourth Cultural and Business Forum “East-West Dialogue,” April 24-25, in the southwestern spa city of Baden-Baden, Schiller Institute founder and chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche addressed the danger of the breakdown crisis of the Western financial system and the current confrontationist policies leading to world war. The alternative is the BRICS perspective, she said in her prominent intervention during the first day of the conference before leading Russian and German personalities. Europeans should seize upon this opportunity of a newly emerging world, to find a constructive way out of the crisis. She stressed, that this view is also held by many Americans, who oppose the destructive geopolitics of the Obama Administration.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sent a greeting to the conference, as did other German and Russian officials. It was read at the evening concert by a high-level official of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Zepp-LaRouche’s warnings of a new fascism and war were referenced several times by other speakers afterwards. Alla G. Gryaznova, the president of the Russian government’s Financial University, who chaired the organizing committee of the forum, made a very passionate appeal in her closing remarks that day to the participants, to stop this new drive into catastrophe, 70 years after the end of World War II, thanking Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche for her clear stand as a German personality against these dangers and for her overall optimistic approach.

The Culture and Business Forum this year was expanded to the broader notion of “East-West Dialogue,” taking into account the new BRICS perspective, instead of just Russian-German relations, as in the past. As a featured speaker, Prof. Shi Ze of the China Institute of International Studies in Beijing, who had adressed last year’s International Schiller Institute conference in Frankfurt, spoke on the New Silk Road policy and China’s inclusive “win-win policy.” In another speech, he elaborated on matters of energy collobration between Russia and China. His contributions, which he gave in Russian, were very well received.

The Baden-Baden event was addressed by, among other personalities from Russia, senior officials of the Russian Foreign and Finance Ministries and Duma representatives, as well as by leading figures of German-Russian economic relations. One very important aspect of the event and other related conference-events was that it also gave German participants a much clearer idea of the acute danger of the situation in and around Ukraine, which will hopefully lead to effective action to prevent catastrophe.

From the German side, Klaus Mangold, the Russian honorary consul in Stuttgart and former chairman of the Ost-Ausschuss der Deutschen Wirtschaft (Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations) of German industry, in his speech, denounced the sanctions and the cutoff of official dialogue channels between Europe and Russia. He also urged both Europeans and Russians to realize how urgent it is to engage in official dialogue between the EU and the Eurasian Economic Union. That despite the opposition of certain EU governments, in particular the Baltic states and Poland. The catastrophic situation for German industry through the EU/NATO sanctions was highlighted by Mangold and Russian representatives, who reported that during the first two months of 2015, German exports to Russia decreased by 35%.

Russian speakers at the event expressed hope that the BRICS process will lead to new kinds of financial institutions that are focussed on the development of infrastructure and high-tech small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Russia, modelled on the German Mittelstand. While there is the absolute wish to secure and expand relations with Germany and other European countries, it was also made clear by several speakers, that Russia has no choice other than to turn to the Eurasian perspective, in any case.

After two full days of panels, discussions, an evening concert with first-class Russian artists and children’s choruses, and other opportunities to exchange ideas, the conference concluded with a panel on “investments into the future” in culture, medicine and education. There, Zepp-LaRouche gave an inspiring, forward-looking speech on the future of mankind and the new paradigm. Picking up on fears by some in Russia, that China might become too influential in the current turn of events, due to its breathtaking economic development, she highlighted the Russian contribution for the Eurasian Land-Bridge, with a selection of slides of the many seminars to which the Helga and Lyndon LaRouche were invited by leading Russian intellectuals during the last decades, shaping the Eurasian Land-Bridge conception, including the Bering Straits initiative. Quoting from Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin’s statement that all the BRICS countries are cosmic nations, she said that this is the path for all mankind, and is the only way to solve problems such as today’s droughts in California and other huge challenges. She encouraged everybody to focus on the development of human creativity as the sole source to transform the universe to a higher level, which is mankind’s destiny.


Schiller Institut⁠e⁠ in China⁠—Xinjiang Province: China Rejects All Accusations

by Christine Bierre, Bierrechristine@gmail.com

Hardly had the breakthroughs of the Xi-Trump meeting occurred at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan than London and its neo-conservative allies, in and out of the Trump administration, escalated a new flank in the war of nerves against China. Following the demonization of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by London’s neo-con and liberal acolytes in the United States and Europe, the trade-war hype, the Huawei saga, and the Hong Kong mass demo destabilization, in come accusations of mass torture in Xinjiang.

Attacks have been growing in recent months against China’s counter-terrorist offensive in this region, one that has suffered the most from the spillover of terrorism spawned in recent years’ Middle East wars. A Uyghur contingent that had joined ISIS and Al Qaeda in those wars brought that terrorism home to China. Accusations have been made that China has illegally jailed 1-3 million Uyghurs, and is subjecting them to torture, brainwashing and even organ harvesting!

china-provinces-map-600

Photo Credit: Adam Ludwiczak

 

These accusations came to a head on July 10 when a group of 22 nations (18 European nations joined by Japan, Australia, Canada and New Zealand), addressed a letter to Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, noting “disturbing reports of large-scale arbitrary detentions of Uyghurs, and other Muslim and minority communities.” On July 13, however, a group of 37 other countries sent their own letter to the UN authorities, backing China and praising its government for having invited diplomats, think-tanks and media to visit Xinjiang, noting that “what they saw and heard in Xinjiang was in total contradiction with what had been reported by certain Western media.” Among the signers were ten Muslim States!

Foreign Affairs Ministry in Beijing with Wang Lixin Deputy director general at the Department of External Security Affairs and international tour of journalists.

Foreign Affairs Ministry in Beijing with Wang Lixin Deputy director general at the Department of External Security Affairs and international tour of journalists.

The Chinese government has, in fact, successfully conducted a counter-terror operation and is continuing to organize visits to Xinjiang. Between July 7 and 14, representing the French Schiller Institute’s China desk and as a journalist who writes on strategic and defense questions, this author had the opportunity of participating in one such visit, with a very interesting group of experts. They were representatives from Russia, Italy, France, Poland, Pakistan, Thailand, and New Zealand, including journalists and academic think-tank experts, most of whom had in-depth experience and knowledge of China. Our eight-day “Information Mission” concentrated on China’s policies towards ethnic and religious minorities in general, and on its policies of counter-terrorism in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).

China’s Policies Towards Minorities

Our tour started with seminars at the Institute of Tibetology and the Institute of Borderline States, in Beijing. China, with its more than 5,000-year history, is a centralized but multi-ethnic and multi-religious state, home to 56 different ethnic groups, which benefit from having equal rights with the Han majority (92%). China has created 5 autonomous regions and 30 autonomous prefectures, in which minorities are granted some advantages beyond those available to the Han majority, such as favorable quotas to enter schools and greater access to jobs in the public companies as well as an exemption from the “one child only” policy that had been applied to the Han. Religious practices are strongly protected as long as they don’t promote separatist or extremist ideas. The Koran, the Bible and other scriptures are published by the State and are accessible through the internet and available at all libraries. The Muslim religion is practiced in 39,000 mosques in China (25,000 in Xinjiang alone) and requires only certification of the Imams.

Seminar at the Institute of Tibetology in Beijing.

Seminar at the Institute of Tibetology in Beijing.

The contribution of ethnic minorities to the particularly rich cultural and religious heritage of China is fully recognized by the State. However, due to the difficulty of reaching out to them in the border lands of China (e.g., Mongolia, Tibet, Xinjiang) and the daunting challenges of their geography, economic development has lagged, a weakness which the enemies of China have always exploited. 

Xinjiang has been part of China ever since the Han dynasty, under the name of “Western territories.” But, at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, taking advantage of China’s weakness, the British, the Russians, and the Japanese fought for the control of this area in what was then called the “Great Game.” The ideologies of Pan-Turkism and Pan-Islamism promoted by the different camps gave birth to a movement in favor of an “Oriental Turkestan.”

Xiahe county at Tibetan autonomous prefecture in Gannan (Gansu).

Xiahe county at Tibetan autonomous prefecture in Gannan (Gansu).

Some were calling for an independent state on Xinjiang’s territory; others, for an Islamic State extending from Turkey to Xinjiang. The heirs to the British Empire today are following the same policies towards the Uyghurs and Tibetans. Is it a coincidence that the so-called freedom and liberation movements are both financed by the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington and that their main propaganda instrument, Radio Free Asia, was recreated by the U.S. government in 1996 and has been run by it ever since?

What is important in the Chinese counter-terror offensive is that it is based on the recognition that economic development is the key to solving those problems: “We have to eliminate the soil which allows extremist groups to recruit people, and that is poverty,” insisted Xu Jianying of the Institute of China’s Borderlands at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. The counter-terrorist campaign is also based on a clear differentiation between those who have committed major crimes, who are punished severely, and those who have committed minor crimes, who are offered a very positive rehabilitation program if they admit to their crimes and clearly express a desire to change. The Chinese policy aims, says the government, at striking the right balance between “severity” and “leniency.”

Gansu and Xinjiang

Our visit took us to two of the poorest provinces of China today, Gansu and Xinjiang. But thanks to modern road and rail infrastructure such as the Beijing-Urumqi Expressway inaugurated in 2017 and the Lanzhou-Urumqi high-speed train, these provinces are rapidly catching up with the rest of the nation. Both provinces played key roles in the ancient Silk Roads and are strategic to the success of the BRI today.

Gansu has a Tibetan minority and Xinjiang, a large minority of Muslim Uyghurs (45%). In these areas our group saw the ongoing “poverty alleviation” measures that had started with the Western development strategy (1999) and were accelerated by the BRI beginning in 2013. We also witnessed the strong protection given by the State to local cultures and to the practice of religions, and, in Xinjiang in particular, the ongoing massive rehabilitation efforts in this area, which has almost eliminated all terrorist attacks in the last three years, to the great relief of local populations and the Chinese government.

Labrang Buddhist monastery at Tibetan autonomous prefecture in Gannan.

Labrang Buddhist monastery at Tibetan autonomous prefecture in Gannan.

Gansu is a province with great disparities: a very mineral-rich soil, but a mountainous and desert-like geography. The rich Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Gannan (TAR) is an exception to this. We visited this beautiful area, home to some 120 Buddhist temples, and in particular to the Labrang monastery of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. Here, a monk, with a Socratic outlook, having engaged in a 20-year study of philosophy, gave us a tour. “Man is not a beast,” he stressed. “He has access to the light of reason. Man can know truth, but for that he must first know himself!”

We visited a model village in Gaxiu that will replace 95 poorer villages totaling 1,800 inhabitants, as part of the extensive effort to meet the goals set by Xi Jinping of eliminating all extreme poverty by 2021. Five such new villages, equipped with clinics, primary schools, and areas for growing vegetables, have been already built. Twenty-five more will be built by next year. The villages are financed by the government, but built by the people, who become owners of their homes. Richer provinces also contribute 0.1% of their income. Today, in this area, 100% of the population has access to clean water and to 15 years of free education. With the orientation towards industry, ecological investments and tourism, a Tibetan yak herder today can expect to go from a yearly 9,000 Yuan income to 30,000 Yuan.

Model Tibetan village in Gaxiu (Gannan).

Model Tibetan village in Gaxiu (Gannan).

Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

On July 12 we headed towards Xinjiang, taking a bus through the mountains on good roads that had gas stations and restroom facilities. First we visited Turpan, then the capital city, Urumqi.

These areas are the supposed site of the alleged massive arrests by the Chinese government. This Western state is strategic to the success of the BRI. It not only represents a sixth of China’s territory and is very rich in raw materials; it is also the door to the Silk Road leading to Europe. Without a peaceful Xinjiang, there will be no Belt and Road Initiative! Xinjiang has a large Uyghur minority and shares borders with eight states (Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Kashmir) in which poverty and religious extremism is often endemic. This is the province in China that is most exposed to terrorism.

However, as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs official accompanying us stated emphatically: “The Chinese government is not fighting Muslims or Uyghurs; it is fighting terrorism that has spilled over into our country through these borders, from people going back and forth to the wars in the Middle East.” Between 8,000 and 15,000 Uyghurs are reported to have joined ISIS and Al-Qaeda in the war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with the explicit aim of pursuing their Holy War against Beijing next.

A large International Exhibit on terrorism in Urumqi demonstrates, with extensive photo and video material, the extent of problem. No less than 14,000 bloody attacks occurred in Xinjiang between 1992 and 2015—suicide bomb attacks, vehicles launched against people in crowded areas, arbitrary knife, machete and axe attacks against ordinary people. The high point of these attacks was the 2009 riots in Urumqi which left 197 dead and more than 1,600 wounded.

A Preventive War Against Terrorism

This is the background to understanding what the Chinese government calls a preventive counter-terrorist policy. First, the decision was taken to improve the living standards of the local population, through development of infrastructure. And it works! Infrastructure has boosted tourism in the ancient city of Turpan, from 8 to 10 million visitors between 2016 and 2017 and up to 6 million in just the first six months of 2019.

In a White Paper on Xinjiang published on March 2019, the Chinese government lists the efforts it is conducting to “ensure and improve public well-being” in this area. Among those efforts are plans to transfer 100,000 jobs to southern Xinjiang (2018-2020); creating 1,400,000 new industrial jobs; free universal health checkups; health insurances for 15 serious illnesses; improving the social security system; and increasing allowances granted to impoverished populations.

While those having committed major crimes undergo “severe punishment,” those having committed minor crimes and having confessed, repented, and shown willingness to reintegrate into society, are treated with “leniency” and offered a full rehabilitation package.

Those who accept reintegration are then recruited to vocational centers where they undergo a well thought-out strategy of rehabilitation that can go from several months to several years. The first phase is the mastering of spoken and written Mandarin, along with their own languages, to be able to integrate in the society; then civic education given by legal experts, which educates people on China’s standards of criminal law. 

Trainees then can choose among different vocational activities they want to learn in order to improve their chances to get gainful employment. The choices offered depend on the job potentialities of the local market. Options range from hairdressing, to garment production, medical first aid, tourism, and factory work. According to the White Paper, these rehabilitation centers for minor delinquents adopt “a boarding school management system,” in which “students can have home visits on a regular basis and can ask for leave to attend to personal matters. When the trainees meet the proper trade assessment standards, they get completion certificates and are assisted in getting jobs.”

Visiting Vocational Centers

When we arrived in Turpan, it was over 103 degrees Fahrenheit, which is normal in its 100-day summer season! We first visited the Gaochang District vocational education and training center that has a capacity of 600 students.

The counter-terror policies were clearly carefully thought out. Xinjiang is well known for its beautiful folklore. What better way to counter the Wahhabite ideology, which rejects progress and social activities, than with beautiful music and dance? We were invited to watch a dance performance by a highly professional group, with projected images of local realities and of modern China in the background.

Beautiful Folk dance and projected images, Gaochang District vocational and training center (Turpan).

Beautiful Folk dance and projected images, Gaochang District vocational and training
center (Turpan).

We then visited the vocational classes. One group was reading out loud in Mandarin a text composed by the class, focusing on local values. Later we spent some time in the civic education classes, before moving to vocational classes in learning how to use sewing machines, how to apply first aid, and a class training tourist guides. We then witnessed a group receiving art lessons: ten people were learning figure drawing and the use of watercolors in one room; another group was practicing calligraphy, copying and translating between Chinese and Uyghur; others were singing in a chorus accompanied by instrumental musicians.

Dancing at Gaochang District vocational and training center (Turpan).

Dancing at Gaochang District vocational and training center (Turpan).

There were many young people in those groups, especially young women. In the artistic classes, there was a form of playfulness and freedom, which is the key to reorienting people towards productive ideas of society, and contributing to social harmony, rather than criminal behavior. The environment we saw in those classes is coherent with the Chinese government’s stated policy of creating not only a functioning Xinjiang, but also a “beautiful Xinjiang.” Through these efforts and others, we saw a productive cross-cultural approach, bringing together different ethnic groups and the Han, coherent with the national orientation of China as a multi-ethnic unity, without trying to eliminate or marginalize minorities. 

Urumqi

At Urumqi, we visited a cross-cultural center, created in 2001, working on the same principle. People of different ethnic groups are brought together to practice dancing, choral singing, cooking or other activities in order to better know each other. Here also, the environment was free and playful.

Our last stop in Urumqi was the White Mosque where the Imam reported the participation of 200 to 300 people in services every day; 1,000 to 2,000 on Fridays, and up to 5,000 during Ramadan. Parallel to the ongoing crackdown on terrorists in the area, the government has improved the material conditions in these mosques—providing water, electricity, flush toilets, radio and television facilities, libraries, and fans and air conditioning.

Urumqi International Bazaar crowded on Sunday.

Urumqi International Bazaar crowded on Sunday.

We visited the museum and public areas, confirming what other witnesses have reported, that the security situation has vastly improved in Xinjiang. The police presence and checkpoints, which were very visible last year, have disappeared. We were able to walk around the large, beautiful central park, which was thick with probably as many as 10,000 people enjoying themselves in the environs. The last stop was shopping at the bustling Grand International Bazaar.

China Denounces ‘Double Standards’

In such information missions, often the fear is that the country visited might restrict your access, displaying select showcase locations. The composition of our group was very helpful in addressing this concern, many having long experience in China and the regions of China that we were visiting. The group included Russian scholars from the Far East Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who have visited the province and working closely with Chinese institutes on the Xinjiang minorities, for more than 15 years; a former Pakistani Air Force officer, who is now a journalist and TV anchorman—his first visit to Xinjiang goes back to 1974; and the head of a China-New Zealand friendship association who organizes tourist trips to China, and is also involved half the year in poverty reduction programs in China. 

All these experts confirmed the important improvement of living standards and infrastructure in the areas with which they were familiar. Our Pakistani expert, a practicing Muslim, who has a keen interest in seeing that Muslims can practice freely, confirmed that this is the case.

What we saw therefore, during this intense trip, is a model which has been able to cope with a highly degraded security situation, by giving to many Uyghurs, the possibility of looking towards a better future and integration in the nation. The Chinese government White Paper from last March openly discusses that “a large number of people are undergoing training.”

The terrorist problem is not Chinese in origin. China has been successful in bringing some 800 million people out of extreme poverty in the last 30 years. The approach to its western regions is aimed at solving the economic problems of provinces like Gansu and Xinjiang. But foreign powers, which since the end of the 1990s have been playing with fire, have been using Wahabbite extremists as cannon fodder first in Afghanistan, then against Libya and Syria. Chinese officials met on this trip denounced, in this respect, the “double standards” of some Western countries, which make distinctions between “extremists” useful to themselves, and others they decide to battle, letting “useful extremists” operate against China, some based in European countries.

In order to bring terrorism once and for all to an end, I am convinced, it is urgent, that this problem be brought up, once again, at the UN Security Council, as was done most effectively during the Syrian war. We were told, in briefings during the trip, that this approach is one supported by China.

Christine Bierre, Bierrechristine@gmail.com


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