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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.”


China Prepared To Jump Right into Reconstruction of Syria

July 29 –China will play a major role in the reconstruction of Syria, which nation lies on the New Silk Road, at the crossroads of Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, Europe and Africa.

China hasd already pledged $2 billion to invest in Syrian industry last year, and in July announced a further $23 billion in loans and aid for the Arab region, including Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and others.

But there is already a deeper process underway for China to play a significant role in the reconstruction of Syria, which the World Bank estimates could cost $250 billion.

According to {Guangming News} of May 7, 2017, in an article entitled, “China’s First Post-War Reconstruction Conference in Syria,” there were two conferences in Spring 2017, one in Syria, one in China, to work on targetted areas for real growth.

From April 14-21, 2017, at the invitation of the Syrian government, Qin Yong, deputy chairman of the China Arab Exchange Association visited Damascus and Homs in Syria. Qin reported, “We are the first Chinese delegation to visit Syria to discuss post-war reconstruction and have received a high-standard reception from the Syrian authorities.” He cited positively the security and safety in Damascus, Homs, Latakia, and those regions under government contol, “the confidence and enthusiasm of the Syrian government and people for reconstruction,” and “the Syrian government’s and people’s desire to invite Chinese companies to participate in reconstruction is stronger than expected.”

On May 4, 2017, a conference, “Syria’s Security Situation and Reconstruction Opportunities–China Arab Exchange Association’s Visit to Syria,” took place in Beijing, where Qin reported back on his Syria trip, and presented his findings and the reconstruction possibilities. Syrian Ambassador to China Imad Mustafa also spoke, praising China as “the first protagonist for the future reconstruction of Syria.”

The China Arab Exchange Association (which is backed by the China State Council) also issued a series of reconstruction projects in Syria’s infrastructure, electricity, building materials, agriculture, etc. Reportedly as many as 1,000 Chinese companies are involved, including some of the leading Chinese companies in harbor engineering, steel, hydropower, metallurgy, aircraft, and agriculture.

{Guangming Daily} mentioned that concerning Syria, several business representatives have “expressed their willingness to shoulder the glorious mission of the Belt and Road Initative.”

The Russians have ideas for power development in Syria, which could include nuclear power.


Putin: “Russia Will Light Up Africa”

July 27, 2018 -Russian President Vladimir Putin, in addressing the BRICS Africa Outreach Session at the BRICS Summit today, said that the African continent “is in huge need of energy investments, and Russia could become one of its key partners…. I would especially like to note that Russia is planning to step up its assistance in development of national energy in African states.”

According to Putin, as reported in RT, Russia is planning oil and gas projects with Angola, Mozambique and Gabon. He said: “In the field of nuclear energy, where Russia is the technological leader, we offer African partners to build an industry from scratch. These projects are crucial for Africa since about 600 million people on the continent live without electricity.”

Putin added that Russian business was also interested in “working with African partners in a wide range of areas, including agriculture, healthcare, the development of mass communications, geology and subsoil use.”


Sergey Lavrov: BRICS a Stabilizing Factor in Global Affairs; Focus on Africa is Key

July 25–In an article published in South Africa‘s {Ubuntu} magazine, on the eve of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted the symbolism of the BRICS returning to Africa in 2018, on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nelson Mandela, “a prominent political and public figure on a global scale.” Mandela contributed personally to establishing friendly relations between South Africa and Russia, he recalled, making possible today’s “high-level of a comprehensive strategic partnership.”

Lavrov particularly praised South Africa’s leadership in the BRICS, and the “special attention paid by Pretoria to Africa-related issues,” an issue he said has become especially important for Russia’s foreign policy. “We support further strengthening of the sovereignty of African countries, their independent choice of the way of development while preserving national distinctiveness.”

Of special importance, Lavrov added, is the fact that BRICS countries will foster cooperation with other integration associations and consolidate positions in international organizations to present a “united front.” The invitation to Argentina, Indonesia and Turkey, plus other African nations, to attend the July 25-27 summit reflects the BRICS-Plus initiative, he explained. “Thus we will expand the global reach of the Group and establish an outer circle of like-minded countries. In this regard, BRICs has good potential to become a unique platform for linking various integration processes in a flexible way.” Coordination between BRICS and other major international organizations is crucial, Lavrov underscored, since consolidation of efforts “is a key to ensuring world stability and a way to settle serious conflicts.”

He particularly referenced how the BRICS-Africa Partnership has advanced since 2013. At the current summit, “a special outreach session will be held with the participation of the heads of State presiding over regional organizations of the continent in order to focus on its most relevant issues,” he said.


BRICS Could be an Alternative Model of Development to Western Dominance

July 25 -In a July 25 article published on the website of the Valdai Discussion Club, entitled “Brics and the World Order,” Georgy Toloraya suggests that the current BRICS grouping, plus other nations that form part of the “BRICS-Plus” structure (not official members) could offer the world “an alternative model of socio-economic development, differing from that of the West” which is based on “mechanisms of a liberal market or profit gaining…that assumes the dominance of the West.”

Toloraya is the Executive Director of the Russian National Committee for BRICS Research.

He debunks arguments that the BRICS is just a “China-centered structure,” intended only to promote China’s interests or its Belt and Road Initiative. These accusations, he notes, “are very sly statements. The Chinese factor is only one of the BRICS development facets.”

In today’s “turbulent global situation,” Toloraya adds, it is especially important that the BRICS “common denominator” grows. Why? In contrast to the G7, BRICS expresses a “touching unanimity, which is not faked. This is not a mutiny on the ship we see with the G7, when the captain led to one direction while the crew wants to go to another one.” By the time Russia takes over the chairmanship of the group in 2020, he notes, BRICS “could become a united center of the multipolar world…Now BRICS creates its own structure of global governance, and it must
develop in that direction. I do not know, whether that could be accomplished in the context of growing counteraction from the West, but we have to keep working.”

Because the BRICS is a global organization, Toloraya concludes, “these five leading ascendant powers could create a world order that will be more just and balanced than what we see now.” It may not expand yet, but “what we see in the BRICS+ format, which is involving the largest countries that are not the group’s members, but show interest in it, is a significant step towards increasing the BRICS value and making this union a representative of the greater part of humanity.” On the eve of the Johannesburg summit, he concludes, BRICS is not {against}, but {for}: for just economic development conditions, for sustainable development concept to be centered on human beings.”


Xi Jinping to BRICS Business Forum: “New Type of International Relations” Needed

July 25 –Speaking today in Johannesburg to the BRICS Business Forum, Chinese President Xi Jinping laid out the choices before his audience, stressing that “the international community has reached a new crossroads,” while especially emphasizing the role the BRICS must play in ensuring the development of Africa. Will the world choose cooperation or confrontation? he asked, sounding many of the themes that Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche has recently emphasized about whether humanity will rise to the occasion to ensure Africa’s development and fight for “a new type of international relations and a shared future for mankind.”

Xi focused on several points, chief among them the the need to develop and protect a multilateral world, in which all countries have the right to develop, pursuit of science and technology to “seize” development opportunities, and pursuit of the Belt and Road Initiative, “to create new opportunities of social and economic development for participating countries… It is our sincere hope that other BRICS countries, African countries and other emerging markets and developing countries, will forge strong partnerships with this Initiative so that its benefits will reach more countries and its peoples.” He also outlined China’s own contributions to world peace and development.

The Chinese leader placed great emphasis on the pursuit of science and technology as a driver for economic development. “Science and technology, as the primary production forces, have provided inexhaustible power, driving progress of human civilization. Humanity had made giant leaps forward as it progressed from an agricultural civilization to an industrial civilization.” And, “the world today has once again reached a critical historic juncture. In the unfolding new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation, new things will inevitably emerge and take the place of old ones… if countries succeed in seizing opportunities that have presented themselves, they will be able to achieve new dynamic growth and deliver better lives to their people.”

And Africa? Xi pointed to the fact that Africa is home “to more developing countries than any other continent, Africa has more development potential than any other region in the world. We should strengthen cooperation with Africa, support its development and make BRICS-Africa cooperation a model for South-South cooperation. We should actively carry out cooperation with African countries in such areas as poverty reduction, food security, innovation, infrastructure development and industrialization in a way compatible with their national conditions. We should help African countries develop their economic structure, contribute to the implementation of Agenda 2063 of the African Union and thus enable Africa, an ancient continent, to gain strong vitality.”

China and African countries, Xi said, “are destined to be good friends, good brothers and good partners, and China-Africa cooperation stands as a fine example of South-South cooperation.” He pointed out that the September summit in Beijing of the Forum on China-African Cooperation, titled “China and Africa: Toward an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-Win Cooperation,” intends to “enhance complementarity between China-Africa joint efforts to pursue the Belt and Road Initiative, the 2030 Agenda and the 2063 Agenda on the one hand and the development strategies of African countries on the other. This will enable China and Africa to pursue high quality and high standard cooperation for mutual benefit and common development.”

In concluding, Xi recalled that 2018 marks the centennial of the birth of the revered South African leader Nelson Mandela. Reciting one of Mandela’s famous sayings, “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb,” he remarked that this should serve as inspiration for the BRICS. “Indeed, the history of BRICS cooperation is a journey of our five countries climbing great hills only to reach new heights. I am convinced that when our five countries forge ahead together, we will scale new peaks, reach new heights, and make even greater contribution to peace and development of mankind.”


India-China Cooperation Advances at BRICS Foreign Ministers Meeting

June 5 -“Continuing multifaceted engagement between two large economies! [Indian Foreign Minister] Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi met on the sidelines of the BRICS Ministerial Conference. Both leaders discussed ways to maintain the momentum in bilateral and multilateral cooperation,” Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar enthusiastically tweeted yesterday after the two held a bilateral meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa on the sidelines of the meeting among the BRICS Foreign Ministers.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang was also enthusiastic. Xinhua reported that Wang had said in their meeting that “China and India working together will accelerate the common development of the two countries, benefit the entire world, and contribute to the progress of human civilization…. China and India have extensive common interests, and they have far more consensus than differences,” he emphasized, according to Xinhua. “The two sides should take bilateral relations and people’s fundamental interests as a starting point at all times, properly handle problems and differences, and prevent the interests of one party from affecting the overall interest. China and India should strengthen coordination and play a constructive role in promoting the development of BRICS cooperation, Shanghai Cooperation Organization and other multilateral mechanisms.”

Xinhua reported that India’s Swaraj spoke of the “unprecedented success” of the informal meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping at Wuhan at the end of April, as it “enhanced mutual trust between the two countries, strengthened cooperation, [and] made the parties more comfortable with each other.” As the two largest developing countries, “the two sides should further strengthen coordination and cooperation within multilateral mechanisms and contribute to preserving the common interests of developing countries,” she said.

The full BRICS Foreign Ministers meeting demonstrates that the BRICS process, uniting five members countries representing much of humanity–Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa–remains an active force, despite the “regime change” operations run in Brazil and South Africa in hopes of killing it. Brazil’s Foreign Minister did choose to attend the simultaneous Organization of American States General Assembly meeting in Washington, D.C. in order to support the drive to kick Venezuela out of that body, instead of the BRICS, but that government still had to send its Deputy Foreign Minister to represent it.

According to both Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and the Chinese Foreign Ministry press spokesman, the meeting was “constructive and thorough,” as the ministers agreed the purpose of the BRICS remains that of building “a brighter shared future for the global community,” as the final communiqué states.


Afghanistan Looks to India and China To Build Rail

May 1 -Informed sources in New Delhi have told the Indian daily, {The Statesmen} that senior officials from India and China will meet soon to discuss “the broad contours” of their joint
cooperation on development projects in Afghanistan which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping discussed at their two-day informal summit in Wuhan last week. Afghani Ministry of Economy spokesperson Suhrab Bahman gave an idea of the scope of development that could result on Apirl 29, reporting that one of the joint projects will be the construction of a railroad connecting Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Iran and China. That exciting potential was reported by Afghan TOLOnews.  Bahman said, in TOLOnews’ report, “that China is interested in giving Afghanistan more share in the ‘Belt and Road’ project connecting China with Central Asia.”

Such joint work will proceed, even though India is not likely to formally endorse the Belt and Road Initiative by name anytime soon, similar stories appearing today in {The Statesman} and {New Indian Express} report.

The {New Indian Express} cited Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou’s statement to reporters after the Wuhan summit, that “when it comes to connectivity, China and India do not have any principled disagreements.” He said that the two leaders “did not talk about the specific wording or expression of the Belt and Road, many things China and India are planning to do are in keeping with what the Belt and Road Initiative stands for.”

Afghanistan signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China on the BRI in May 2016, while India is already helping build a road and rail network to connect the Iranian port of Chandahar with Afghanistan, and then up north into Central Asia.

The other “connectivity” project where India and China are already cooperating cited by both newspapers is the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor. China considers the BCIM as an important part of the Belt and Road; Indian diplomats emphasize that the project started before the BRI.

The {New Indian Express} asked a senior Indian diplomat if the joint project in Afghanistan implies that India might take a “softer” stance toward the BRI when Modi attends the June Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in China?

“Most unlikely,” the diplomat said. “Given that we have elections next year, any such move would be seen as a climbdown by the electorate. We will continue to oppose the CPEC [China-Pakistan Economic Corridor]. But does that mean we can’t join other segments of the BRI if they align with our own interests?”


Wang Yi to China-Celac Summit: BRI Cooperation is the “Golden Key that Unlocks a Brighter Future for Both Sides

Jan. 25 -In his opening speech to the Second Ministerial Summit of the China-Celac Forum, held in Santiago, Chile on Jan. 22, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi laid out an exciting perspective for the future of relations between these two regions of the world: China and the Latin American and Caribbean nations (LAC), the latter grouped in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac).

Posted today to the Chinese Foreign Ministry website, the speech, entitled “Join Hands Across the Ocean in a New Era,” describes, among other things, the essential points of the final 2019-2021 Action Plan, whose text is not yet available. He emphasizes that “China stands ready to share in the development dividends with all other countries and achieve common prosperity together with fellow developing countries… The consensus we will reach on Belt and road cooperation at this meeting will be reflected in a special declaration…. As we see it, China and LAC countries are well placed to take full advantage of the BRI.”

The mission of China’s diplomacy, he said, “is to work with all other countries to forge a new form of international relations, featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation… The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China is aimed at providing the world with public goods… {Geopolitical contest or zero-sum game is neither our purpose nor our practice.} We invite all countries, big and small, to discuss the BRI as equals…” [emphasis added]

Wang outlined five key areas that will be the basis of cooperation between China and the LAC countries, emphasizing that Belt and Road cooperation “will be a `golden key’  that unlocks a brighter future for both sides… I think it would be appropriate to compare China-LAC cooperation to a fruit tree. If we can nourish it with Belt and Road cooperation, it will be more exuberant and bear more fruit, both bilaterally and collectively…” The five areas include:

1) building a transportation network connecting lands and oceans, emphasizing China’s support “in building the bioceanic railway and bioceanic tunnels, and open more sea routes and direct air links… China also stands ready to conclude Belt and Road agreements with more LAC countries, and launch more Belt and Road projects with a view to reaping an `early harvest;’

2) fostering a large market that is open and beneficial to both sides;

3) developing competitive and sovereign home-grown industries, based on the most advanced technologies. “China has the equipment, technology, funding and training opportunities you need. Our two sides may speed up industrial cooperation, work to build logistics…  broaden financing channels… and explore establishment of a consortium of development financial institutions, and build more industrial parks and special economic zones;”

4) “seize the opportunity of innovation-driven growth. Enhance coordination between the Belt and road Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation Action Plan and development strategies of LAC countries, and build a China-LAC online Silk Road and a digital Silk Road. Both sides “may advance cooperation in the emerging areas such as aerospace and aviation… China is ready to help train more researchers from LAC countries through the China-LAC Science and Technology Partnership and the China-LAC Young Scientists Exchange Program.”

5) Extensive exchanges, especially in cultural and people-to-people areas. “China is ready to share more governance experience with LAC countries, enhance… exchanges between our political parties” and other national organizations of media, youth, etc. as well as establish more culture centers in each other’s countries and more Confucius Institutes in LAC countries “to deepen mutual understanding and friendship.”

Wang concluded: “As a Chinese poem reads, `True friends value their promises to each other and will travel a thousand miles to be together.’ Let us make this meeting a new starting point in our relations, seize the opportunity offered by the Belt and Road Initiative, and join hands across the ocean to open a splendid new era of China-LAC relations.”


Yemen’s Foreign Minister Sends Message of Gratitude to Helga and the LaRouche Movement

September 23,2017

On September 19, the Yemeni Arabic news service Khabar Agency published the full text of a letter sent by the Foreign Minister of Yemen, Eng. Hisham Sharaf, to Helga-Zepp LaRouche and all members of the International LaRouche Movement, expressing gratitude for the campaign they have been waging to stop the war of aggression on Yemen and calling for integrating Yemen into the New Silk Road paradigm.

Khabar Agency titled its report as: “Foreign Minister Sends a Telegram to the New Silk Road Lady.” The following is a translation of the text of the letter:

To the honored friend Helga LaRouche,
Chairwoman of the Schiller Institute,
The New Silk Road Lady,

Subject: Gratitude for your international campaign to stop the aggression against Yemen, to support the Yemen people’s right to development.

It is my pleasure to express, in this my second letter to you following the first one I sent on the occasion of Women’s Day in March, my appreciation to your personal, and the International Schiller Institute’s, stances and great efforts exerted in Berlin, and those of the LaRouche Movement in Washington, to make Yemen a pearl in the necklace of the New Silk Road, as you mention in your literature.

I received with great gratitude your special statement which calls for establishing an international commission to investigate the violations committed by the Saudi aggressors against our people, and also the six-point appeal to stop the aggression immediately, lifting the blockade imposed from the sea, air and land, and moving towards reconstruction, development along the New Silk Road as a means to restart the national dialog which was interrupted by the ugly war of aggression.

We in the Republic of Yemen have also followed with great interest the Xiamen BRICS Plus summit and the vision embedded in its declarations. We have also followed the events launched by your movement starting in Berlin where your Vice-Chairwoman Mrs. Elke Fimmen addressed the public in a Berlin square, and Mr. Ulf Sandmark who spoke at the Human Rights Commission’s sessions in Geneva, and Mr. Jason Ross and his colleague Matthew Ogden in the LaRouche PAC, and all LaRouche activists around the world.

We were deeply moved by the site of the two courageous ladies Michelle Fuchs and Lynne Speed as they were distributing thousands of leaflets in the streets of New York in front of the UN General Assembly headquarters, these leaflets that convey the aspirations of the people of Yemen to live in peace and prosperity which is identical to the true American dream of peace and human development. They stood in stark contrast to those who sold their conscience and made human mind and blood the least worthy thing. We assure you and those who stand in the streets of New York like Michelle and Lynne, of our full support and solidarity with the families of the victims of the 9/11/2001 terrorist attack, until the culprits and masterminds behind it are brought to the court of justice to receive their deterrent punishment.

Finally, I convey to you the greetings of the peace-loving Yemeni people, and assure you that Yemen is planning to become an active component in the vision and the steps of building the New Silk Road to establish world peace. We will be a key global partner to accomplish the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

Until we meet sometime soon, accept my most sincere regards.

Eng. Hisham Sharaf,
Foreign Minister
Sana’a, Yemen

 


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