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Belt and Road Offers Great Future for Italian Ports and Shipowners

Oct. 27, 2017 -Matteoli, chairman of the Italian shipowners association Confitarma, said that the New Silk Road initiative represents a major o ppMario ortunity for growth mainly for Italian ports, since they become the next preferred gateway for goods coming from Asia into Europe, while today, cargo flows are more often offloaded in Northern Europe before being distributed in Central and Southern Europe.

“The Belt and Road project is of course challenging and scary at the same time,” Matteoli said,”but I think that the Italian players should be aware of this great opportunity mainly because instead of being at the terminus of the belt, we could have an inversion of the tendency of what the flows are now. Many industries in the north of Italy import goods from the ports based in Germany and The Netherlands, but the new infrastructure projects could instead invert the trend, and eventually Italy could become the entry point for the goods to be distributed towards the north.”

Matteoli also addressed  a crucial role of shipowners for mankind, stating that “we, as shipowners, have to participate (in the New Silk Road) in order to grant a better world for the future generations.”


Turkey wants to join the New Silk Road

Oct. 29 – “China is an important country in all respects. It is a country with which we want to develop our relations, and revive the historical Silk Road together,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said yesterday, in a speech in the southeastern city of Sanliurfa, Xinhua reports. He noted that the Silk Road includes many issues, including those of economy and security.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was a prominent participant in the May 2017 Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China; the country’s {Official Gazette} reported two days ago that Emin Onon, described as Erdogan’s “chief advisor” by Turkey Minute website, has been appointed Ambassador to China.

The pro-government newspaper {Daily Sabah} ran a story that same day reviewing the last decade of Turkish-Chinese economic ties, with an eye to how, “having gained momentum in the last decade, Turkish-Chinese cooperation is set to capitalize on further cooperation with additional joint investment projects to unlock the potential offered by the Belt and Road project.”

“Millennia-long ties between the Turks and the nation of dragons, China, have not always been marked with lucrative cooperation,” {Daily Sabah} wrote, but “history tells us that the two nations have enjoyed the benefits of trading on the ancient Silk Road…. China’s willingness to render the Belt and Road initiative as integrated into Turkey’s development strategy, will also help strengthen the exchange between China and Turkey.”

Among the economic cooperation underway or in the works mentioned by {Daily Sabah}, are ongoing negotiations on construction of the Edirne-Kars high-speed railway route, the agreement on China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Corp.’s construction of a third nuclear power plant in Turkey, and promotion of the use of direct renmimbi-lira currency transactions to finance trade and investment by the Chairman Xu Keen of the Turkish branch of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC Turkey).

Xu told {Daily Sabah}, “we will strengthen the market surveys in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region, while acting as the major partner to infrastructure projects including energy power plants, railroads, highways and others, in addition to other projects in Turkey and surrounding regions.”

Likewise, PowerChina (Power Construction Corporation of China) decided at the end of last May to establish its Eurasian regional headquarters operations in Istanbul. PowerChina Deputy General Manager Wang Bin explained, in opening the regional headquarters, that “Turkey is one of the most important countries along the Silk Road and has important regional advantages,”


First Direct Xinjiang-Ukraine Cargo Train Sets Off

The first cargo train linking China’s western-most Xinjiang province with Ukraine pulled out of Urumqi,

Xinjiang today, heading for Poltava in Ukraine with a load of oil drilling equipment, Xinhua reports. Cheng Jingmin, Deputy Manager of Xinjiang Beiken Energy Engineering, which provided the equipment, said the new route, running through Kazakhstan and Russia, will cut transportation time from more than two months by sea to 15 days.

Schiller Institute Chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche, in her Oct. 26 webcast, pointed to the importance of expanding Ukraine’s participation in such Belt and Road projects, thereby creating grounds for ending that dangerous crisis. Noting that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had just met with his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin, and both said that they want to cooperate very closely in the Belt and Road Initiative, Zepp-LaRouche continued: “That is what we have said for years: The only way that you can solve the Ukraine crisis–where the west of Ukraine is Western oriented, Catholic; and the eastern part, is Orthodox, Russian oriented–the only way that you can get back to the unity of Ukraine, is if the Eurasian Land-Bridge, the New Silk Road, is in construction from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and in that way, a higher level of cooperation is implemented, which then solves all of these conflicts. So that is also a very promising development.”


Helga Zepp-LaRouche: A New Era of Hope

“People in the West are so behind the curve,” Helga Zepp-LaRouche commented today, taking note of the extraordinary conclusion of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. By and large, the governments in the West seem intent on sinking with the Titanic of the trans-Atlantic financial system. And the populations generally remain woefully ignorant of what is actually happening in China, and the Grand Design to use the Belt and Road Initiative to help build a “beautiful world” for all—an ignorance which Zepp-LaRouche’s weekly webcasts on the “Spirit of the New Silk Road” are designed to help remedy.

“We, more than 1.3 billion Chinese people, live in jubilation and dignity,” Chinese President Xi Jinping reported in his brief, concluding remarks to the CPC Congress. As significant as the achievements of the past have been—such as raising 700 million people out of poverty—Xi focused on the tasks of the future, stating that China “embraces brilliant propsects,” and will “stride forward to an ever promising future.” He soberly added that “we also feel the heavy weight of responsibility upon us.”

“People in the West are so behind the curve”

The CPC Congress issued a final Resolution which located China’s mission in the global context, announcing their commitment to “preserving world peace and promoting common development.” The keystone of this mission is to “actively promote international cooperation through the Belt and Road Initiative,” and to use the win-win approach championed by President Xi to “work together with the people of all countries to build an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity.”

Whether or not that “beautiful world” will be built, depends in large measure on the upcoming Asian trip of President Trump, and most especially on his Nov. 8 meeting with Xi Jinping. If Trump accepts Xi’s repeated offers to join the Belt and Road Initiative, a dramatic strategic sea-change will be underway. If, however, Trump remains largely tied down by British slanders and threats against him—such as the tidal wave of Russiagate and anti-China propaganda spewing from the British Empire and their assets—then the entire world may well sink with the bankrupt Old Paradigm. 

Just as the CPC Congress’s concluding press conference was about to occur yesterday, China Global Television Network turned to EIR Washington Bureau Chief Bill Jones for a live interview on his views on the Congress, and on Trump’s upcoming meeting with Xi. Jones’s response was to the point: the Belt and Road Initiative “could be the glue that really could cement the relationship” between the two countries; if Trump and Xi reach such an agreement, “the whole world will move toward a new era of development.”


Webcast: Replace the British Empire’s Geopolitics with the New Silk Road

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, NOON EDT, 6pm CET

Last week, the Schiller Institute inaugurated a weekly webcast, to bring to the attention of citizens throughout the world the incredible new dynamic which has been unleashed around China’s Belt-and-Road Initiative (BRI). The BRI is defining a New Paradigm for mankind, which means an end to geopolitics, with its endless wars, its bailouts and bail-ins of bankrupt financial institutions, and its demands for deadly austerity against the vast majority of people. This dynamic, which Mrs. LaRouche characterized as the “Spirit of the Silk Road” represents an opportunity for mankind to achieve a new era of peace, through development.

In less than a month, President Trump will travel to Asia, with visits to China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and the Philippines. His meeting with President Xi Jinping has the potential to be world historic, building on the positive rapport between the two from their initial meeting in April in Mar-e-Lago.

The forces of the neocon transatlantic oligarchy are engaged in a desperate deployment to prevent this relationship from developing into full collaboration. That is what is behind the “Get Trump” operation and why it must not be allowed to succeed.

For the US and European nations to join the New Silk Road is the only way to escape a new financial crash, which even outgoing German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is warning about.

Join Helga Zepp LaRouche and the Schiller Institute this Thursday, for a full strategic update as this dynamic is unfolding.




International Webcast with Helga Zepp-LaRouche – October 5th, 2017

 

Helga Zepp LaRouche, the Founder and Chairwoman of the Schiller Institute, will inaugurate a weekly English-language webcast, to spread what she calls the “New Silk Road Spirit” to the world.  Mrs. LaRouche is one of the most prominent intellectual authors of the concept “The New Silk Road becomes the World Landbridge”.  Since Chinese President Xi Jinping put the New Silk Road, the Belt and Road Initiative, as it is now called on the agenda four years ago, it is lifting tens of millions out of poverty, and puts an alternative to  the dangerous idea of geopolitical division of the world.  Known internationally  as “the Silk Road Lady,” Mrs. LaRouche is often featured in the Chinese press for analysis on the BRI, and the global strategic situation.


Berlin Conference: The China Model and Its Implications

Professor Zhang Weiwei (张维为), founder of the Centre for China Development Model Research (中国发展模式研究中心主任) at the renowned Fudan University (复旦大学) in Shanghai, is perhaps uniquely capable of familiarizing the Western public with the reasons for the success of the Chinese economic model and international Belt and Road Initiative.

After completing his studies in Shanghai, Zhang Weiwei worked as a translator for Deng Xiaoping and other members of the Chinese leadership. He received his Ph.D in International Relations from the University of Geneva`s School of Diplomacy and International Relations. He was also visiting fellow at Oxford University and senior research fellow at the Centre for Asian Studies, University of Geneva.

As an author Prof. Zhang’s 2012 book “The China Wave: Rise of a Civilizational State” (available in English on amazon.com) has risen to the status of an international bestseller and has become one of the standard works on China’s global economic and diplomatic policies

The Schiller-Institute feels privileged to present to you a scholar and author of such acclaim.

Prof. Zhang Weiwei

The China Model and Its Implications

* The China Model: A Dialogue between Francis Fukuyama and Zhang Weiwei (Fall 2011):
http://www.digitalnpq.org/archive/2011_fall/13_fukuyamaweiwei.html


Mo Li Hua / 茉莉花 (Jasmine Flower)

Schiller Institute Chorus Berlin


 

 

 


Food for Peace & Thought: China-U.S. Agricultural Cooperation

July 10—On July 7, in Manhattan, a conference titled, “Food for Peace & Thought—China-U.S. Agricultural Cooperation,” brought together an audience of some two hundred people, to hear twelve presentations on agriculture and economic science, with a focus on supporting collaboration between China and the United States, for a “win-win” drive internationally, to once and for all end poverty and hunger anywhere in the world, and lift up life for all peoples. Participants included a powerful delegation of agriculture experts from China, diplomats from the United Nations missions community, a contingent from the U.S. Midwest Farmbelt, infrastructure experts, and a very diverse audience from Metropolitan New York and surrounding states.

The co-sponsors of the day-long event were the Schiller Institute, the China Energy Fund Committee, and The Foundation for the Revival of Classical Culture. The speakers on the two panels: “China-U.S. Agricultural Cooperation,” and “Ending Poverty and Starting International Scientific Collaboration,” are listed in a box accompanying this article. Videos (Panel 1Panel 2) of the two-panel conference are now posted on the Schiller Institute site. Transcripts and reports on the proceedings are in preparation.

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The 12 speakers of the Food for Peace & Thought conference.

The occurrence of the event is highly significant because it comes in the context of an extreme emergency need for food right now in Yemen, Syria, and parts of Africa, emergencies which are being created by the geopolitics and monetarism of the expiring neo-colonialist British policy. But at the same time, we have the ever-growing benefits of the economic development impact of the Belt-and-Road Initiative, whose first world summit was in May in Beijing. Additionally, there are specific, positive potentials in the commitment to developing enhanced cooperation between the world’s two largest food producers—China and the United States—as shown when their leaders, Xi Jinping and Donald Trump, met in Florida in April.

These potentials were explicitly referenced in the presentation by Wei Zhenglin, the Agriculture Attache of the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. In terms of U.S. relations, Wei pointed out that U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue was just in Shanghai and Beijing a week ago, celebrating the new U.S. beef shipments to China, which have come about during the “100-day” period of new China-U.S. economic relations, mandated at the Xi-Trump Mar-a-Lago April meeting. In contrast, Wei reported frankly that in the recent past, U.S.-China relations were strained. Chinese agriculture technological exchange groups were treated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as simply tourists.

The tenor of the July 7 Food for Peace conference was entirely different. The welcome to the event was given by DeWayne Hopkins, former Mayor of Muscatine, Iowa (2012-2015), on the Mississippi River. Hopkins pointed out that he comes from the heartland of the Farmbelt, where he had personally welcomed Xi Jinping, then China’s Vice-President, in 2012, for Xi’s return visit to Muscatine, where Xi had first stayed in 1985 while on an agriculture tour. Since then, there have developed many Muscatine connections to China. Iowa’s former governor, Terry Branstad, is now the U.S. Ambassador to China, and is a personal friend of Xi. Hopkins called for everyone all over the world to treat each other in the spirit of “neighbors.”

In keeping with this spirit, Classical musical selections opened both conference panels. The first piece was a string duo, “Music in the Air,” featuring the Chinese erhu and ’cello, playing “Chrysanthemums Terrace” and “Kang Ding Love Story.” The second panel was opened by the Schiller Institute Chorus, presenting the spiritual, “Deep River,” and the Civil War song, “Rally ’Round the Flag, Boys.”

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Feifei Yang playing the erhu.

The intent of the Food for Peace conference especially included fostering people-to-people contact among the high-level Chinese guests and U.S. farmers, as well as Americans generally. On July 8, some twenty-five Chinese agriculture specialists were joined by nine U.S. farm representatives, to visit a dairy farm in the Hudson River Valley. En route on their bus, the farmers and Chinese guests conferred on actual farming conditions in China and North America, finding much to their surprise on both sides.

Following the dairy farm visit, the entourage, joined by others from the July 7 audience and friends, met at Hyde Park to tour the home (and farm), library and grave-site of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor. Gathering at the Henry Wallace Center, named for FDR’s two-term Agriculture Secretary and Vice President, the group received a briefing from Bob Baker, one of the July 7 speakers and Farmbelt liaison for the Schiller Institute, on Henry Wallace (and his father and grandfather before him), and their contributions to American System agriculture and science.

U.S. farm delegations came from South Dakota (four people), Minnesota (two), and two from Iowa. There were messages of greeting from James Benham, State President of the Indiana Farmers Union, and Tyler Dupy, Executive Director of the Kansas Cattlemen’s Association.

Timing of the Conference: ‘Agenda 2030’

The timing of the July 7-8 Food for Peace activities was also highly significant. Many of the Chinese speakers and participants at that forum are part of China’s delegation to a special U.N. event July 10-19, “High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development,” which theme is, “Eradicating Poverty and Promoting Prosperity in a Changing World.” There will be many NGO side-sessions. The last two days of the forum will have ministerial-level participation and will issue a declaration. The forum will be chaired by the ambassadors to the UN from Austria and Jamaica. Some fifty nations have submitted papers in advance.

Ho C. P., Patrick, Deputy Chairman and Secretary General of the China Energy Fund Committee.

Ho C. P., Patrick, Deputy Chairman and Secretary General of the China Energy Fund Committee.

On July 6 at the United Nations, many of the same Chinese agriculture speakers who would address the Food for Peace July 7 conference, also spoke at the NGO event, “Agriculture for Sustainable Development,” which was co-sponsored by the China Energy Fund Committee, the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), and the Shenzhen Dasheng Agriculture Group. Its theme was to address the fact there are about 795 million people undernourished worldwide.

“Eradicating hunger” is “Number 2” of the current round of “Sustainable Development Goals,” intended to succeed by 2030. The “Number 2” goal calls on the international community to “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030.”

In 2015, the UN General Assembly launched this effort, calling it the “Agenda 2030” project. The other sixteen goals on the list include safe water, sufficient power, health care and so on. Needless to say, past rounds of U.N. development goals came and went unfulfilled, because, until now, no alternative emerged to successfully displace the collapsing monetarist system, which system—the neo-colonialist City of London/Wall Street system of “free” (rigged) trade, speculation, and looting, caused the impoverishment in the first place. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has changed all that.

China has intervened in UN institutions for this BRI positive-growth perspective in critical ways over the past eighteen months. To begin with, China was the first nation to issue a blueprint to the United Nations, after the 2015 General Assembly vote for the 2030 Project, to outline how poverty can truly be eradicated worldwide: The BRI is key. In March, 2016, the Belt and Road perspective was associated with the U.N. World Food Program. In September 2016, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was struck between China and the U.N. Development Program, endorsing the BRI. The MOU was drafted by China’s National Development and Reform Commission, which implemented China’s anti-poverty success: raising 700 million Chinese out of poverty over the past thirty years. The UN General Assembly voted to combat poverty through backing for the BRI, in an action taken earlier this year.

This rapidly-spreading BRI impact for development is the realization of the inspiration and efforts going back decades, by Lyndon LaRouche and Helga Zepp-LaRouche.

Many conference speakers, while talking about crops, seeds, livestock, farming practices, and food, referred specifically to the Belt and Road Initiative, or to the LaRouches’ work. Prof. Carl Pray of Rutgers University, for example, addressed the great potential in crop genetics achievements that he sees possible through new collaboration between the U.S. and China, which he called “agriculture along the New Silk Road.”

It is not possible here, to summarize each of the twelve panelists’ presentations, but we highlight three areas of concepts:

1) economic science,

2) the success of China in agriculture and rural development, and

3) proposals and advisories.

Potential Relative Population Density

The idea that there are insurmountable limits to resources for expanding agriculture and food, and that population must be suppressed, was roundly denounced. Dr. Patrick Ho C.P., Deputy Chairman and Secretary General of the China Energy Fund Committee, led off his presentation by denouncing Malthus in particular, and also denouncing the 20th century version of this bunk, in the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth book. Ho went on to describe aspects of expanding agriculture to meet a growing population.

Benjamin Deniston, Researcher, 21st Century Science & Technology magazine, led off his remarks by presenting Lyndon LaRouche’s refutation of “Limits to Growth,” in terms of the ability of the human species to exert creativity and intervene to deliberately create “new” natural resources, and thereby constantly increase the potential relative population density of humankind. One example of this kind of intervention, is to understand and expand usable water resources. Deniston gave a short update on the progress in inducing rainfall through ionization methods, and explained the significance of understanding the phenomenon of “atmospheric rivers,” of potentially tapping into these water vapor configurations of Earth.

Bob Baker, a founding member of the 1988 Schiller Institute Food for Peace Initiative, gave an illustrated presentation (video), for crop farming, of LaRouche’s breakthrough concept of “energy flux density”—the metric for measuring economic progress in terms of increasingly powerful and concentrated applications of energy. Baker pointed to increased energy flux density as shown historically in successive advances in technology for three farm field crop functions: tillage, planting, and harvesting.

China Provides ‘Universal Lessons’

Most significant to everyone at the conference, was the outstanding fact of China’s advancement of agriculture over the past forty years, and the lifting of 700 million people out of poverty at the same time. Many Chinese experts presented exciting aspects of this. The implications of the process for what can and must be done in Africa, in reconstruction in Southwest Asia, in the Mediterranean Basin and in all points of need, were dramatically clear for all to see. A summary of the story of China’s great success, in this short report is the presentation given by Mei Fangquan, both at the July 6 United Nations event and on July 7 at the Food for Peace conference. He has been engaged in scientific research at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), focusing on grain and food security and China’s agricultural development strategy.

Food-for-Peace-Slide-3

The steadily increasing amount of grain going for livestock feed, 1980 to the present, in China.

Mei’s presentation was titled, “Universal Lessons from China’s Advancement in Agriculture.” Mei outlined three major structural phase-changes in China over the past several decades.

First, as of 1984, the nation of China had achieved the condition of a reliable food supply, with a surplus of grains. This allowed the consideration of a shift in some of the grain capacity, for certain chosen purposes. For example, some land area could be switched to cotton production. Plus, the decision could be made to use more of the grain output for livestock. This was done.

China’s agriculture went from a situation in 1980, in which eight percent of the grain capacity went for feed grain for livestock, to the situation in 2010, in which 38% of total grain is feed grain for livestock. The goal by 2030, is for 50% of grain capacity to be livestock feed grain.

This shift is reflected in the improvement of the quality of food consumption. For example, the kilograms in the average diet per year, from 1995 to 2020, went down for grain foods, from 232 to 173, while they went up for meat, eggs, fish, dairy, and fruit.

Food-for-Peace-Slide-4

The steady improvement in the Chinese diet, to include more animal protein, fish, and fruit, 1995 to the present.

Now, in addition to this process of dietary improvement, Mei said that a new process of ecological improvement is underway, in which agriculture is maintained and adjusted, while at the same time there is re-forestation, land restoration, and related upgrades. For example, a report was given on a national project to use salt-tolerant oats, not only to get a better oats crop, but for the beneficial effect it has over time to reduce salination in the soil.

This became one of the topics of exchange during the ’bus dialogue,’ when Minnesota farmer Andrew Olson asked about “where the salt went” from the oats effect, and Dr. Ren Changzhong, Director of the National Oat Improvement Center (and editor of China Oat and China Buckwheat), gave a fascinating reply, ranging from which variety of oats is effective, to how many years the cultivation has to go on to benefit the soil.

MERCI: Reconstruction for MENA

Dr. Ho introduced a special proposal—called “MERCI”—in his presentations on July 6 at the U.N., and at the Food for Peace conference. It stands for the “Middle East Reconstruction Initiative.” He spoke of the need for reconstruction all across MENA (the Middle East North Africa), and that we should make agriculture the initiating goal.

Ho stated, “The MENA region, an essential pivot connecting the East and West economic circle of the Belt and Road Initiative, is an important link in China’s BRI. In particular, many countries in this region are, or used to be, major agriculture countries, such as Israel, Iraq and Egypt.” He said, “The purpose of MERCI is to identify ways to integrate the reconstruction of the Middle East into the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, to discuss the role of the international community, multi-lateral development banks and the private sector in the reconstruction effort, and to draw attention to the need to reach political and economic solutions to the region’s challenges. The agricultural sector is a most pertinent starting point to advance this initiative.”


Symposium: “The Aesthetic Education of Humanity Through Music” Concluding Event of Two Day Tribute to Sylvia Olden Lee

On Friday, June 30, 2017, at the Bruno Walter Auditorium of the New York Library for the Performing Arts, near Lincoln Center, a historic gathering of great musicians and associates of Sylvia Olden Lee,  from different generations, backgrounds and  accomplishment took place to discuss “The Aesthetic Education of Humanity Through Music.” The symposium was the second event of a two day “Tribute to Sylvia Olden Lee, Master Musician and Teacher,” sponsored by the Foundation for the Revival of Classical Culture, the Schiller Institute and the Harlem Opera Theater.

The Tribute commenced at Carnegie Hall on the evening of June 29 with a Classical concert of African-American Spirituals, (performed with both solo and choral singers) and works of Giuseppe Verdi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, and Gaetano Donizetti. The audience of 2,100 was deeply moved by the quality of agapēbrought forth by the soloists, by the speeches of  those close to the immortal Sylvia Olden Lee, as well as the beauty of the choral performances. Rarely does a “community chorus” reach the stage of Carnegie Hall, let alone receive standing ovations, but the Sylvia Olden Lee Centennial Choir, comprised of four Schiller Institute New York Choruses (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and New Jersey), the Boston and Northern Virginia Schiller Institute Choruses, and the Convent Avenue Baptist Church Chancel Choir, sung with proper voice-placement at the “Verdi tuning” (A=432 Hz) and was inspired, sensing that Mrs. Lee was indeed present there.

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The following day’s Symposium, on the theme “Calling All Teachers and Other Lovers of Wisdom: The Aesthetic Education of Humanity through Music,” was moderated by Dennis Speed of the Schiller Institute. The first session opened with remarks from Lynn Yen, Executive Director of the Foundation for the Revival of Classical Culture, after which selected members of the Sylvia Lee Centennial Chorus sang Hall Johnson’s arrangement of “I’ll Never Turn Back No More,” directed by Diane Sare, with soloists Frank Mathis, baritone and Michelle Fuchs, soprano. Soprano Gudrun Bühler followed with Desdemona’s aria from Verdi’s Otello, accompanied by Richard Alston on the piano. Music Director Sigersonshowed the audience the two pianos on the stage, one tuned to the Verdi A=432 Hz, and the other tuned to A=441 Hz. The audience of musicians, educators, and students would also get to hear singers on each piano, comparing the different tunings. He then introduced the videos to the gathering.

Before introducing Carmela Altamura, founder of the Altamura Center for the Performing Arts and the Altamura-Caruso competition, Sigerson showed a 1988 Schiller Institute video from Casa Verdi in Milan, with baritone Piero Cappuccilli demonstrating the superiority of the Verdi Tuning. Maestra Altamuraspoke of her work, and then coached three of her students, tenor Mauricio Trejo, soprano Jennifer Adams, and baritone Gustavo Ahualli on aspects of singing correctly, and creating bel canto tone. The difference between the higher tuning and the proper tuning was especially evident in the soprano’s high notes in Oscar’s aria “Saper vorreste” from Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera. However, in the baritone’s example, which he sang first at the 440 Hz and then at 432 Hz tuning, it was the tone color and the warmer, rounder quality that was audible, as well as the proper register shift.

After a brief intermission, tenor Reginald Bouknightand pianist Richard Alston presented the first song of Beethoven’s song cycle, “An die ferne Geliebte.” Maestro Tony Morss spoke on the history of musical tuning and the Schiller Institute’s tuning initiative, followed by a dialogue with Simon Estes. They were joined after that in a panel discussion by Elvira Green, Osceola Davis, Gregory Hopkins, Eve Lee (Sylvia Olden Lee’s daughter), and William Wray, which not only covered the amazing influence and impact that Sylvia Olden Lee had on each of them and their circumstances, but the necessity to continue that mission, for the future.

Introduction: Dennis Speed


Prelude: Lyn Yen and the Schiller Institute NYC Chorus


Gudrun Buhler: The Aesthetical Education of Humanity Through Music


John Sigerson: The Schiller Institute Campaign to Restore the Verdi Tuning


Carmela Altamura: The Art of Bel Canto singing


Mauricio Trejo (tenor): The Aesthetical Education of Humanity Through Music


Jennifer Adams (soprano): The Aesthetical Education of Humanity Through Music


Gustavo Ahualli (baritone): The Aesthetical Education of Humanity Through Music


Reginald Bouknight: Auf dem Hügel sitz ich spähend


Anthony Morss: Saving Grace, Saving Voices


A Discussion with Simon Estes: The Aesthetical Education of Humanity Through Music


A Discussion of Sylvia Olden Lee’s Life and Work

 


Shanghai Daily Interviews Helga Zepp-LaRouche

EDITOR’S Note: Helga Zepp-LaRouche visited Shanghai for the first time in the summer of 1971. In 1977 she married American economist Lyndon LaRouche, and the couple have since worked together on development plans for a just new world economic order. Zepp-LaRouche founded the Schiller Institute in 1984, a think tank devoted to the realization of these plans and a renaissance and a dialogue of classical cultures. In 1991 she was a coauthor of a study The Eurasian Land-Bridge/ The New Silk Road and in 2014 of the study The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge, which has been translated into Chinese, Arabic, German and Korean. She is an expert in European humanist philosophy and poetry, Confucius, and history. After attending the recent Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, she visited Shanghai, where Shanghai Daily reporter Wan Lixin interviewed her.


Q: In what way do you think the Belt and Road initiative is significant for the world and China?

A: I think the Belt and Road initiative signifies a revolutionary move to a new epoch of civilization. The idea of having a win-win cooperation among nations is the first time that a concrete concept has been offered to overcome geopolitics. Since geopolitics was the cause of the two world wars, I think it is a completely new paradigm of thinking where an idea proposed by one country has the national interest basically in coherence with the interests of humanity as a whole. This has never happened. This has instilled tremendous hope among developing nations that they have the chance to overcome poverty and underdevelopment. And I think this is an initiative that will grow until all the continents are connected through infrastructure and development.

Q: What do you think are challenges confronting the world today?

A: I think the biggest challenge is that the trans-Atlantic financial system is in jeopardy, because the G7 countries did nothing after the financial crisis of 2008 to remedy the root causes of this crisis. The danger today is that we are going to have another financial crisis much worse than that of 2008. In this light I think the financial system associated with the Belt and Road Initiative, like the AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) and similar institutions, which are focused on investment in the real economy, are an anchor. Hopefully the Western nations will rethink their orientation of high risk speculation and eventually go back to the banking system represented by AIIB. U.S. President Trump announced that he will go back to the American economic system of Alexander Hamilton, and that’s potentially the kind of reform that makes the United States fit to cooperate in this new financial system. The second challenge is naturally terrorism. This requires international cooperation, and there I think the Belt and Road could offer a lasting solution by extending the initiative to Southwest Asia, and build up the economy in that part of the world that had been destroyed by wars which were based on lies. Why did you have to solve the problem of terrorism militarily first? You have to have an economic perspective so that people in the regions have hope for the future. So I think ending terrorism would require the Belt and Road Initiative and the reconstruction of the Southwest Asia and Africa.

Q: There has been evolving perception about globalization. How do you think the Belt and Road Initiative is reshaping this perception?

A: The old globalization really went entirely in one direction. First of all it made the deregulation of the markets and high risk speculation easy. And this increased the gap between the rich and the poor in an intolerable way in many countries. This mode of globalization is being rejected, as you can see by the Brexit and the rise of many right-wing movements in Europe. So this model has clearly failed. I think the new Silk Road, the win-win cooperation as proposed by China, has developed in incredible speed in the less than four years since President Xi proposed it. This new model of globalization is based on the common good of all participating countries. This is the more attractive form of globalization and this is why so many countries have joined it.

Q: What do you think are some of the factors that need to be considered when it comes to implementing the Belt and Road initiative across different cultures?

A: The Schiller Institute has organized hundreds of seminars and conferences on the New Silk Road for 26 years. We have always made the point that for this New Silk Road to succeed in the tradition of the old Silk Road, which was also an exchange of ideas and cultures, not just products and technology, you have to combine economic cooperation with dialogue between cultures. This dialogue must be on the highest level, so each culture has to present examples of the best of their culture, like Confucianism, Italian renaissance, the German classical period, and present the best works of arts in music and poetry, paintings and other forms of art. Our experience is that when people get into contact for the first time with expression of such high culture from another culture, they are surprised by its beauty. And this beauty then opens the heart and souls of the people. And this is the best medicine against chauvinism, xenophobia, and prejudice, and it opens the way for the love of other cultures. This is in conformity with Confucian teaching that all activity must be combined with strengthening of love for the mankind, because without that cultural component, that New Silk Road will not flourish.

Q: What do you think such high profile events like the recent summit suggest about China’s role in world affairs?

A: I think it a great honor for me to participate in this Belt and Road Forum, and I was deeply impressed by the speech of President Xi Jinping. Among all participants I spoke with there is consensus that we are actively participating in the shaping of history. All this means that China is right now leading the world in terms of providing the perspective for the future. I think this has been recognized by many countries in Latin America, in Africa, in Asia, and even some European countries start to recognize it is in their best interests to ally with that initiative. So I think it has made clear that China is the only country right now that offers a positive perspective to overcome the strategic bottleneck of our present times.

Q: In the past, the quest for prosperity invariably led to competition, strife, or wars. Is this avoidable?

A: Concerning the question of competition, strife and war, I think this must be replaced by joint development. Here I would like to quote from Pope Paul VI who said that “Development is the new name for peace.”

Q: How do you think the West responds to the Belt and Road Initiative?

A: The responses have been mixed, because you have those who want to stick to the old geopolitical thinking, to the status quo of their power, and to their understanding of their power position. I think this is an outdated way of thinking. Many think-tanks of the West are still publishing reports along these lines. But there is a wind of change. Many European countries have realized the potential of collaborating with the Belt and Road, which includes Greece, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Switzerland. So I think this tendency will increase. Those countries which are more reserved — like Germany — will have to change. But I think German industries, particularly those middle-sized industries, are absolutely in cooperation with China in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Q: Say something about your China experience.

A: I was first in Shanghai 46 years ago in 1971, after traveling on a cargo ship. Although it was not the best time to be in China, it had awakened my love for China. The city has changed completely. Except for some buildings on the Bund, I couldn’t find anything in my memory. I could not think of any other countries in the planet that have seen such gigantic changes. I think the Chinese people are much too modest. They should feel more confident about what they have accomplished. They have created the biggest miracle of the world, even bigger than the post-war German economic miracle. They should be very proud to be Chinese. The decision by Moody’s Investors Service to cut China’s sovereign ratings is insane. In German we have a saying: People should touch their own nose first before they made a stupid criticism.

(source: Shanghai Dailyhttp://www.shanghaidaily.com/opinion/chinese-perspectives/Belt-and-Road-initiative-instills-hope-for-peace-and-development-among-nations/shdaily.shtml

 


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