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Symposium on China-Japan Projects

Oct. 14 – Senior Chinese and Japanese government officials began a two-day symposium Sunday in Tokyo – the 14th Annual Tokyo-Beijing Forum- at which the degree of Japanese
participation in the Belt and Road Initiative great projects program of China, is again the subject, reported {Japan Times}.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Oct. 25-27 will make the first state visit to China by a Japanese leader since 2011; this was announced by the Chinese Foreign Ministry Oct. 12. At
the Tokyo meeting, Wei Jianguo, vice chairman at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, revealed that during Abe’s visit, about 1,000 people will attend a signing ceremony for more than 60 joint projects involving Japanese and Chinese firms.

“Those projects are all designed to jointly develop `third-country’ markets in countries outside of China and Japan,” reported {Japan Times}. “During the symposium, Chinese officials repeatedly urged Japan to jointly promote third-country development projects in what is seen by some as a push by Beijing for Tokyo to join its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, which is centered on massive infrastructure projects in Central Asia, Europe and the Indo-Pacific region.”

“Right now, the China-Japan relationship has a forward-looking momentum. High-level contacts have been maintained and exchanges in various areas have been strengthened,” Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua told the symposium.

Successful Launching of the BRIX at Belt & Road Business Forum in Stockholm

First Silk Road cargo shipment from Sweden celebrated

“If you want to get rich, build a road first!” With this old Chinese proverb the moderator Hussein Askary opened the 2nd China-Sweden Business Forum, which was hosted by China-Sweden Business Council (CSBC) and the new association called the Belt & Road Executive Group in Sweden (BRIX) at the Grand Hotel Winter Garden in Stockholm on September 28, 2018. This year’s main theme of the Forum was the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). One hundred members and guests took part in the event.

AmbassadorIn his opening address, H.E. The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Gui Congyou, received a spontaneous applause when he brought the news to the audience that the first New Silk Road cargo shipment from Sweden to China had been sent off the week before. A train with containers left the community Insjön in the county Dalarna for the long route via Gothenburg and Hamburg to Ganzhou International Port bringing high-quality wood for a furniture producer in the Jiangxi province in Southern China.

The authorities and media in Sweden have been oblivious to the BRI so far. But this Forum provided the insights necessary to change that attitude. The association BRIX that co-hosted the event was launched at the Forum to promote an open dialogue and greater awareness of the BRI and its benefits for Sweden in particular, and the world community in general.

One key aspect of the BRI is that it is not only about links to China, but an initiative to promote global connectivity. All nations of the world are invited to participate on their own terms in the BRI. Stephen Brawer, BRIX vice Chairman, in his presentation, pointed to a world map where all continents will be connected, in the future even with links reaching out to the Americas and Australia. He pointed to the September 3-4 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing where 53 African nations linked up with BRI to fulfill the African Union’s Agenda 2063 for a continent wide modern infrastructure network and eliminating poverty in the continent.

“to foster a new type of international relations” and “forge partnerships of dialogue with no confrontation and of friendship rather than alliance.”

The BRI should not be seen only as a “practical” transport system for trade, Ms. Kitty Smyth underlined in the next presentation. Ms. Smyth, a U.K. strategy and PR senior adviser for Sino-European public relations, underlined that the BRI, since its launching by President Xi Jinping in 2013, also has a philosophical dimension of creating harmony, “to foster a new type of international relations”, and “forge partnerships of dialogue with no confrontation and of friendship rather than alliance”. She advised Sweden to establish institutions capable of developing long term BRI cooperation with China, just as the UK had done with an office for the BRI/related Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a regional cooperation mechanism called Northern Powerhouse, the all parliamentary China-UK group, and the government’s Permanent Envoy to the BRI.

DSC_4887The typical misunderstandings of the BRI in Swedish business circles were dissected by Ali Farmandeh, chairman of the CSBC. The BRI is much more than Chinese production of Swedish goods. Furthermore, he stressed, “the New Silk Road is also not something far away, as many in the northern corner of Europe think. Among the 70 nations that have joined the BRI, there are also neighbors in Europe, who are already building their parts of the world connectivity network, projects where Swedish businesses can take part immediately.”

Working with China is sometimes challenging to the old world due to cultural differences, as Ying Wu, a former Student of Royal Technical School (KTH) in Stockholm and now CEO of SinceUs, explained in the final presentation at the Forum. Turning many Swedish business habits upside down, she brought many insightful and humorous examples of problems she has met in assisting Swedish clients to enter and expand in the Chinese market of 437 million e-commerce shoppers. She presented the case study of a Swedish brand Airnum, which she had helped bring from unknown to a bestselling brand in just one year.

These opportunities for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) are important to make well known as best practices for further understanding in Sweden of the importance of the BRI and the opportunities for innovative businesses it opens up in so many countries worldwide.

The Swedish Wood products have a long tradition of being in the forefront of reaching out to new markets, since the industry was established in a big way as a pure export industry in the second half of the 19th century. A Swedish sawmill in Dalarna becoming a first explorer of the New Silk Road routes through Eurasia is very good news for the whole Swedish industry that is curious about the tremendous growth of new markets, cities and new industrial parks stimulated by the BRI.

Further information:

Prominent leaders endorse LaRouche’s New Bretton Woods

The following list of elected officials, scientists, professors, military leaders, musicians, authors, labor leaders, and more have endorsed the Schiller Institute’s petition, The Leaders of the United States, China, Russia, and India Must Take Action!  To read the full petition, or add your own signature, click here.

Elected Representatives active or former federal, state, and local elected officials

Government Officials active or former military, diplomats, ambassadors, etc

Organizational Leaders leaders in labor, agriculture, industry, and business organizations

Political, Religious, or Social Leaders 

Leaders in the Arts and Sciences scientists, technologists, professors, and musicians


We, the undersigned, appeal to President Trump, President Putin, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi, to convoke an emergency summit in order to create a New Bretton Woods global monetary system.


Elected Representatives
(active or former federal, state, and local elected officials)

Senator Richard Black (USA) • Sitting Virginia State Senator (Republican, District 13)

Hon. Gianni Tonelli (Italy) • Sitting member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Lega Nord party

Prof. Ivo Christov (Bulgaria) • Sitting Member of the Bulgarian parliament for the Socialist Party, member of the Foreign Policy, and Science and Education committees

U.S. Senator Mike Gravel (USA) • Two-term Democratic senator for the state of Alaska (1969-1981); famously read classified Pentagon Papers at a Congressional hearing to expose failure of the Vietnam War policy

Dr. Natalia Vitrenko (Ukraine) • Chair of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine; member of parliament with the Socialist Party of Ukraine (1995-1998) and then with the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine (1998-2002)

Congressman Cornelius Gallagher (USA) • Democratic Congressman representing New Jersey (1959-1972)

Viktor Marchenko (Ukraine) • Former member of parliament, Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine

Dr. Kirk Meighoo (Trinidad & Tobago) • Former Senator, Trinidad & Tobago; member of the advisory board of the Caribbean Integrationist

Senator William “Bill” Owens (USA) • Former Massachusetts State Senator (1975-1982, 1989-1992), Democratic party

Souad Sbai (Italy) • Former member of Italian National Parliament

Commissioner Robert Van Hee (USA) • Sitting County Commissioner, District 4 Redwood County, Minnesota

Councilwoman Elena Fontana (Italy) • Former City Councilwoman, Italia-Montichiari (Brescia)

Mayor Henry Gonzalez (USA) • Former Mayor of South Gate, California, founder and former President of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement

Guy N. Martin (USA) • Former Mayor pro tem of Conroe, TX; Attorney in TX;  Former Financial Advisor for AG Edwards


Government Officials
(active or former military, diplomats, ambassadors, etc)

General Edwin de la Fuente Jeria (Bolivia) • Former Commander-in-Chief, Bolivian Armed Forces

Dr. Julio C. Gonzalez (Argentina) • Former Technical Secretary to the Argentine Presidency

Major General (ret) Kostas X. Konstantinidis (Greece) • Co-founder of the Non Governmental Organization “Amphiktyonia of Ecumenical Hellenism”

Alain Corvez (France) • Advisor on international strategy

James George Jatras (USA) • Former diplomat; former adviser to Republican Senate leadership

Jacques Bacamurwanko (Guinea) • Former Ambassador of Burundi to the USA; now serving as Capacity Building Expert (Chef du Département “Suivi-Evaluation”) National Capacity Building Secretariat in Guinea

Ambassador Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos (Greece) • Former ambassador;  former Secretary General of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation

Vasant Bharath (Trinidad & Tobago) • Former Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment


Organizational Leaders
(leaders in labor, agriculture, industry, and business organizations)

Daisuke Kotegawa (Japan) • Research Director, Canon Institute; Former Executive Director for Japan IMF

Dr. Walter Formento (Argentina) • Director, Center for Economic and Political Research

Jean-Pierre Gerard (France) • Former member of the Council of Monetary Policies of the Banque de France; entrepreneur

John Lampl (USA) • Vice-President (retired) of the AFL-CIO, North Dakota; former District President of North Dakota Democratic Party

Rich (John R) Anderson (USA) • Former director of the National Cattlemen’s Association; former member of the Texas Republican Executive Committee; former County Chairman of the Republican Party

Trustee George Bioletto (USA) • International Association of Machinists, Long Beach, CA

Francis Kelly (USA) • Farm Bureau in Wyoming; county chair in the Republican Party

Tate Ulsaker Nelson (New Zealand) • International Trade Consultant; founder of Direct Info

Denys Pluvinage (France) • President of Apopsix Editing company

Jean-Michel St. Jean (USA) • Haitian National Congress, Inc.


Political, Religious, or Social Leaders

Helga Zepp-LaRouche (Germany) • Founder of the Schiller Institute; founder and chairwoman of the German Bürgerrechtsbewegung Solidarität party (BüSo) (Civil Rights Movement Solidarity)

Fouad Alghaffari (Yemen) • Head of the Preparatory Committee of the New Silk Road Party in Yemen; President of the Yemeni BRICS Youth Cabinet

Reverend Andrew Ashdown (UK) • Anglican Priest; author, The Very Stones Cry Out; leader of the first British community group to visit Aleppo following the beginning of the Syrian conflict

Ellen Brown (USA) • Attorney; chairman of the Public Banking Institute; author of twelve books, including Web of Debt and The Public Bank Solution

Ali Rastbeen (France) • President of the Geopolitical Academy of Paris

Chris Fogarty (USA) • Former Vice President of the Friends of Irish Freedom; author of The Mass Graves of Ireland: 1845-1850 and Ireland 1845-1850: the Perfect Holocaust, and Who Kept it Perfect

Fred Huenefeld, Jr. (USA) • Louisiana State Democratic Party Committee

Jacques Cheminade (France) • President of Solidarité et Progrès

Tom Gillesberg (Denmark) • Chairman of The Schiller Institute in Denmark

Liliana Gorini (Italy) • Chairwoman of Movimento Internazionale per i Diritti Civili – Solidarietà (MoviSol)

Antonio “Butch” Valdes (Philippines) • Founder of the Philippines LaRouche Society; Initiator of the Citizens National Guard, Philippines

Ramasimong Phillip Tsokolibane (South Africa) • Leader of LaRouche South Africa

Abdus Sattar Ghazali (USA) • Editor, American Muslim Perspective; former News Editor of Daily News, Kuwait; former correspondent of Associated Press and the Daily Dawn of Pakistan

Michael P. Collins (USA) • Author of Saving American Manufacturing and The Manufacturer’s Guide to Business Marketing; writer for Forbes Magazine and Industry Week

George/Vladislav Krasnow (USA/Russia) • Russian American Goodwill Association

Mike Robinson (UK) • Editor, UK Column, Plymouth, UK

Dr. James Hufferd, (USA) • 911 Truth Grassroots Organization, Adel, Iowa

Mary Sullivan (USA) • Irish American activist, Chicago, Illinois


Leaders in the Arts and Sciences
(scientists, technologists, professors, and musicians)

Dr. Eduardo M.A. Peixoto (Brazil) • Ph.D. and Prof. of Chemistry, University of São Paulo; former Superintendent of Technical Consultancy, Nat’l Development Bank (BNDES); former Brazilian representative to WHO

Dr. Jorge Alberto Montenegro (Argentina) • Professor of International Trade, FASTA University

Professor Bong Wie (USA) • Vance Coffman Endowed Chair Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Iowa State University; founding director of the Asteroid Deflection Research Collaboration

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Knorr (Germany) • Professor of Nuclear Energy Technology, Technical University of Dresden (TUD); Director of the Institute for Energy Technology of the TUD; President of the Kerntechnischen Gesellschaft; Board Member of the German Atomic Forum; Board Member of European Nuclear Society

Gian Marco Sanna (UK) • Founder of the Geminiani Project, focused on restoring the original classical music tuning of 432 hz; leader of the Camerata Geminiani

Dr. Rainer Sandau (Germany) • Technical Director Satellites and Space Applications, International Academy of Astronautics (IAA)

Chief Scientist Wayne Moore, Ph.D (USA) • Accel Algorithmics; NASA (ret.)

Tom Wysmuller (USA) • NASA (ret.); meteorologist

Professor Lilya Takumbetova (Russia) • Retired Associate Professor at Bashkir State Pedagogical University

Professor Cathy M. Helgason, M.D. (USA) • Retired Professor of Neurology University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois

Roger Boyer (USA) • Retired principal science and engineering technician at the Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC)

China Will Integrate Belt and Road with African Development Plans

Sept. 4, 2018  — The second day of the FOCAC Summit in Beijing consisted of a round-table chaired jointly by  President Xi Jinping and President Cyril Ramaphosa, and a series of side forums dealing with individual issues. Speaking at the concluding press conference of the summit, President Xi Jinping underlined the motif: “We will synergize China’s Belt and Road Initiative with African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the national development strategies of African countries.”

Xi said, “Together we will better uphold the common interests of China and Africa, boost the strength of developing countries, and make the world a more balanced and better place for everyone to live in.”

Xi also had words of wisdom for other “international partners” of Africa. “We hope that Africa’s international cooperation partners could learn from each other, leverage their respective strength, build synergy, and jointly contribute to peace and development in Africa,” Xi said. He thanked President Ramaphosa for his close cooperation over the last few months in preparing for the summit, and welcomed President Macky Sall of Senegal as the new African co-chair of FOCAC. President Ramaphosa reiterated his strong support for the BRI: “…[t]he China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative provides the African continent with great opportunities. African countries all collectively accept and praise the initiative, hailing it a best way to address Africa’s challenges.” He pointed out that China and African countries agreed to work more closely together and share technologies and achievements, and listed a series of projects, including the China-Africa cooperation center for ocean science and blue economy, the China-Africa research center for the development of green agriculture, the China-Africa energy technological cooperation center, and the China-Africa geo-science cooperation center.

President Sall, in turn, expressed that he is “happy” over being able to co-chair FOCAC, and said he saw “great prospects” in coming years with more engagements with the private sector. “We will push our relationship to a higher level,” he said, calling the present period of China-Africa relations, a “golden age.”

Greece and China Signs Collaboration Memo for Belt and Road

Aug. 28  — Speaking at a press conference following their meeting in Beijing, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and is Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi announced the signing of a memorandum of collaboration in the framework of China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative.

Kotzias told the press that “our main goal is to deepen our political cooperation,” and announced he has extended an invitation to Wang Yi to visit Athens. They will hold further talks on finalizing the next five-year action plan in economic cooperation in the meantime, reported various Chinese and Greece media.

For his part Wang Yi called Greece a “natural partner of China” and said the two ministers discussed linking infrastructure, promotion of trade, financial cooperation and collaboration between the peoples of the two countries in tourism, science and technology, education and culture, sports, youth and local government.

Earlier in the day Kotzias met with officials of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) and today he will meet with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and CPC Politburo member and also State Councillor Yang Jiechi, and deliver a speech at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on Greek-Chinese relations on the way forward. In the evening he will travel to Shanghai for further meetings.

Indian Scholar: The Belt and Road Came from Lyndon and Helga LaRouche

Aug. 28 -Mahmud Ali, an Indian scholar currently at the Institute of China Studies at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, posted an article on LinkedIn titled “America’s Foundational Contributions to China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI)” on Aug. 27. He ridicules the “disdain” from Western officials and media towards the Belt and Road Initiative, and stating that the slanders are “repeated {ad nauseam},” especially in the U.S. But, he continues, the concept “originated in America, with U.S. visionaries envisaging, promoting and advancing the cause of a united Euro-Asian economic space, as early as the late 1980s, before politicians and their assorted advisors had begun considering the possibility of the collapse of the Soviet Union, or the end of the Cold War. It was that American intellectual spark, nurtured by a few farsighted men and women, which illuminated the new world of possibilities. Without it, and direct intervention by governments and multilateral agencies based in America and its allies, there would probably be no BRI today.”

Then, under the subhead “American Prophets Imagine a New Silk Road,” he writes that despite the geopolitical thinking of most people in the West, based on the concepts of Halford Mackinder, “Western thinkers operating outside state-funded national security establishments envisioned a non-competitive, indeed collaborative, vision of the future. One of them, the U.S. politician and co-founder, with his wife Helga LaRouche, of the Washington-based Schiller Institute, Lyndon LaRouche, promoted such a vision, with some success in influencing segments of trans-Atlantic opinion. In October 1988, LaRouche briefed the media in West Berlin on ‘U.S. Policy Toward the Reunification of Germany,’ prophesying the collapse of COMECON economies, and urging food-support to Poland so that a majority of Germans on both sides desired reunification. In December, he assigned a group of Schiller Institute specialists to examine prospects for establishing a Paris-Berlin-Vienna productive triangle. In January 1990, Schiller Institute published LaRouche’s book on a proposed 320,000 European economic area comprising a population of 92 million concentrated in 10 large industrial areas, from which he envisaged infrastructural corridors, linked with high-speed railways, radiating in all directions, providing a basis for upgrading living standards across Eurasia.”

Ali goes on to describe Schiller Institute conferences and {EIR} articles between 1991 and 1996 (noting that LaRouche was then in prison), when Helga Zepp-LaRouche presented her speech at the May 7-9, 1996 “Symposium on Economic Development along the New Euro-Asia Continental Bridge” in Beijing on May 8, 1996, titled “Building the Silk Road Land-Bridge: The Basis for Mutual Security Interests of Asia and Europe.”

Then, he writes: “In January 1997, Lyndon LaRouche addressed a Washington conference, urging the Clinton Administration to sponsor a New Bretton Woods system, reorganizing the world economy to prevent disruptive boom-bust cycles, and recognize the global merit of the Eurasian Land-Bridge program. Reinforcing and explaining her husband’s persistent thematic refrain, Helga LaRouche published a commentary titled, `Eurasian Land-Bridge: A New Era for Mankind,’ which was widely circulated across the Atlantic by the Schiller Foundation [sic].” He adds that Helga LaRouche addressed a second conference in Beijing in November 1997. “By then,” he continues, “railway connectivity between coastal China, Central Asia and Russia was a reality; Europe beckoned.”

He next reports on a conference in India organized by Schiller representative Ramtanu Maitra, with leading figures from Russia, China and India, where they “established a Triangular Association with the goal of promoting Indo-Russian-Chinese cooperation in forging a shared vision of Eurasia’s post-Cold War future of peace, progress and prosperity. The effort failed for a combination of distractions and difficulties: fallout from the Asian Economic Crisis, the September 2001 al-Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington and America’s subsequent Global War on Terrorism, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and then, the Great Recession. Nonetheless, seeds had been sown in the febrile post-Cold War intellectual hotbeds. Ideas analysed at Schiller’s many conferences and events began gelling into policy-frameworks in early 21st century.”

Ali then reviews other Western interventions into Central Asia, including a number of “bilateral investment treaties” the U.S. signed with coutries in Central Asia and the South Caucasus, aimed at capturing the energy resources and breaking them away from Russia and China, and the so-called “New Silk Road Initiative” sponsored by Hillary Clinton (based on keeping Central Asia out of Russia and China influence), and the Lower Mekong Initiative, also by the U.S. State Department.

However, Ali makes a point that the U.S. initiatives were both “much more modest” than the LaRouche plans, or of Xi Jinping’s plan announced in September 2013, and that the U.S. “more candidly advertised their geopolitical drivers.” On the other hand, he concludes, “Beijing emphasized its economic, indeed geoeconomic focus.”

President Xi Stresses the Belt and Road Initiative as a New Form of Global Governance

Aug. 27, 2018 -Speaking at a symposium on the Belt and Road Initiative as we approach next month, the fifth anniversary of its inception, President Xi Jinping underlined its importance as the basis of a new type of global governance.

“In the past five years, the ‘One Belt and One Road’ has greatly improved the level of China’s trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and promoted China’s open space from the coast, along the river to the inland, along the border, forming a new open pattern of land and sea linkage, east and west mutual aid,” Xi said. “The trade volume of goods with the countries related to the Belt and Road has accumulated more than $5 trillion, and the direct foreign investment has exceeded $60 billion, creating more than 200,000 jobs for the local economies. China’s foreign investment has become an important factor driving the growth of global foreign direct investment.”

Xi pointed out that the world today is undergoing a period of great development, great change, and adjustment.

“We must have a strategic vision and establish a global outlook. We must have both a sense of risk and a sense of history, and we must have a sense of historical opportunity to work hard in this century-old change. … Building a community of human destiny with the ‘One Belt and One Road’ as a platform for practice, is proposed from the perspective of China’s reform and opening up, and long-term development. It is also in line with the Chinese philosophy that the Chinese nation has always upheld, in line with the Chinese people’s concept of harmony under heaven and occupies the commanding heights of international morality. Building the Belt and Road is not only a means of economic cooperation, but also an important way to improve the global development model and global governance and promote the healthy development of economic globalization,” Xi said.

Xi explained how the BRI has won support throughout the world for the benefits it has brought, and that the key now was to proceed to expanding and deepening its influence. Xi said that
in the past few years, the “One Belt, One Road” project has produced the general layout of the project, and that a “‘large freehand brushwork’ has been sketched out.” Moving forward, he said, it is a matter of “filling in the ‘more delicate lines’ and achieving an exquisite ‘Chinese brushwork painting.'”

“We must work hard to open up the market, build more trade promotion platforms, guide powerful enterprises to carry out investment cooperation with the countries along the Belt and Road, develop new trades and new modes of cross-border e-commerce, and pay attention to trade balance. We must work hard on financial security, speed up the formation of financial support and build a `One Belt, One Road’ policy system, promote the internationalization of the RMB in an orderly manner, guide social funds to jointly invest in national infrastructure and resource development projects along the route, and provide foreign exchange funds for enterprises going global.

“It is necessary to promote the vigorous exchanges in the fields of education, science and technology, culture, sports, tourism, health, archaeology, etc., and carry out effective ‘people’s livelihood assistance’ around the ‘One Belt, One Road.’ It is necessary to standardize corporate investment and business operations, conduct legal and compliant operations, pay attention to protecting the environment, fulfilling social responsibilities, and become a model ambassador for the joint construction of the `Belt and Road’. It is necessary to attach great importance to the prevention of overseas risks, improve the security risk prevention system, and comprehensively improve overseas security and risk response capabilities.”

El Salvador Prepares To Get On Board the Belt and Road

Aug. 21 – El Salvador’s President Salvador Sanchez Ceren told a national TV audience last night that El Salvador had broken diplomatic relations with Taiwan and established relations with the people’s Republic of China, in order to fulfill the government’s promise to secure a dignified life for all citizens, and create a future for new generations. He reported that a delegation of three high-level officials, led by Foreign Minister Carlos Castaneda, were in Beijing, and had just signed a Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with China.

The President did not mention the Belt and Road Initiative in his speech, but Panama’s eager participation in the BRI, after its decision to break with Taiwan in June 2017, has sparked discussion throughout Central America on prospects for increased integration and actually crushing poverty, drugs and violence. In point of fact, El Salvador’s move in the direction of the BRI is the single most important action it could have taken to stop the scourge of drugs and Satanic gang violence which, along with Wall Street looting, has driven over 20% of 1st generation Salvadorans to emigrate desperately to the U.S.

El Salvador has been looking for some time for international assistance to relaunch its container port at La Union in the Gulf of Fonseca on the Pacific, and China has expressed interest in
the project. The initial concept for the La Union port was to turn the Gulf into a development hub with Nicaragua and Honduras, which also border the Gulf, and to connect it to the Caribbean through a railroad across Honduras. At the same time, the high-speed railroad in Panama which China has agreed to build has sparked active discussion in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Honduras, minimally, of building a regional railroad, {EIR} has learned.

El Salvador’s decision increases the potential for other Central American countries–Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala, in particular–to also leave the “Taiwan Gap” and enter the future. President Sanchez Ceren had met with the Presidents of Honduras and Guatemala earlier in the day, on the occasion of his nation joining the Customs Union which those two nations had created, bringing the 32 million people in those three countries — 73% of all of Central America’s population — closer together.

“I am speaking to you on this occasion to make public a decision which will have a profound impact on the present and future development of our country,” President Sanchez told the nation. When he was inaugurated, he explained, he promised to create the conditions needed to transform the nation towards securing a decent life for each one and their families, and after analyzing the domestic and foreign situation, we have made the decision to break relations with Taiwan and establish relations with the P.R.C., he explained.

This is a decision which will bring “great benefits to the country and offer extraordinary opportunities on the personal level to each of you. The People’s Republic of China is the second economy in the world, in continuous development, and whose development achievements in diverse fields has enabled it to position itself among the most successful countries,” he said, citing China’s promotion of “shared development … in countries such as ours through South-South cooperation.”

Sanchez reported that dialogue will immediately begin between the two countries to identify “potentials and concrete actions in the areas of trade, investment, infrastructure development, scientific, economic and technical cooperation, in health care, education, tourism, and support for micro and medium-sized companies,” as well as coordinating immediate humanitarian aid for Salvadoran farmers affected by drought.

FOCAC-Gipfel: Eine neue Phase der chinesisch-afrikanischen Beziehungen

  1. Erneuerung des Aufrufs für eine gemeinsame Zukunft von China und Afrika im Rahmen ihrer gemeinsamen Interessen.
  2. Einleitung einer neuen Phase der chinesisch-afrikanischen Entwicklung, verstärkte Beteiligung afrikanischer Länder in der Belt and Road Initiative und verbesserte Zusammenarbeit im Handel, der Infrastruktur und den zwischenmenschlichen Kontakten.
  3. Eröffnung von Wegen für eine höhere Ebene der Zusammenarbeit in den kommenden drei Jahren und Unterzeichnung mehrerer Kooperationsabkommen mit einigen Ländern mit Schwerpunkt auf für Afrika kritische Bereiche.
  4. Fortführung der historischen chinesisch-afrikanischen Zusammenarbeit mit neuen menschenbezogenen Maßnahmen.

Wang Yi betonte außerdem, daß man ein großes Schwergewicht auf junge Menschen lege, um die Beziehungen weiter voranschreiten zu lassen.

Am Vormittag des ersten Gipfeltages wird ein Eröffnungsdialog zwischen den Teilnehmern, konzentriert auf praktische Fragen der Zusammenarbeit, der Erhöhung der Synergie und Verbesserung der Handelsbeziehungen stattfinden. Präsident Xi und mehrere afrikanische Staatsführer sowie Wirtschaftsführer und andere Delegierte werden sich an der Debatte beteiligen. Am Nachmittag gibt es die Eröffnungszeremonie, auf der Präsident Xi eine Grundsatzrede halten wird, gefolgt von einer formellen Diskussion fokussiert auf industrielle Zusammenarbeit, Entwicklung des Handels, Fragen des Gesundheitswesens, Friedens- und Sicherheitsfragen. Die Diskussion soll auf die Bedürfnisse der afrikanischen Länder zugeschnitten sein. Präsident Xi und der südafrikanische Präsident Cyril Ramaphosa werden die Sitzung gemeinsam leiten.

Am 4. September findet eine Roundtable-Diskussion statt; die Morgensitzung wird von Präsident Ramaphosa und die Nachmittagssitzung von Präsident Xi geleitet. Zur Diskussion steht der Dreijahresplan bis zum Jahr 2021. Am Rande des Gipfels wird sich Präsident Xi mit afrikanischen Staatschefs treffen. Xis Ehefrau Peng Liyuan wird außerdem ein Forum über AIDS leiten.

Uruguay Formally Joins the Belt and Road

Aug. 20, 2018  — Meeting in Beijing yesterday with China’s Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi, Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by which his government formally joined the Belt and Road Initiative. China is Uruguay’s most important trading partner, purchasing 27% of that country’s exports. In addition to Wang Yi, Nin also met with the head of the National Reform and Development Commission, He Lifeng, among other dignitaries.

The meeting with Wang Yi also served to commemorate the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations, as well as to officially launch “Uruguay Week in China.” During his Aug. 19-28 stay, Nin will lead a large delegation of businessmen to the cities of Chongqing and Guangzhou, and will return in November to head up the Uruguayan delegation to the Shanghai International Import Fair.

Uruguay and China have enjoyed a comprehensive strategic association for the past few years, but Uruguay wants to deepen that relationship, increasing cooperation in several other areas in addition to trade, while offering attractive conditions for Chinese investors, particularly in the area of infrastructure. He identified as key investment projects Uruguay’s Central Railroad, a new fishing port, and rural electrification in the country’s north.

“We believe that all the conditions Uruguay offers make China’s presence, permanence, and closer ties with our country very attractive,” Nin told EFE news service. “In Uruguay, there is an absolutely consensual policy on the role that China plays and the relationship we should have with it.”  According to Xinhua, he also stressed that Uruguay is the first member of the four-nation Common Market of the South (Mercosur) to join the Belt and Road Initiative, but expressed the hope that his country can serve as an “entry point” for China into the region, and help promote closer ties between China and Mercosur, and with other Ibero-American countries as well.

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