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China, Russia UN Envoys Call for International Community To Assist Haiti

It is notable, that at yesterday’s U.N. Security Council debate on Haiti, it was left to the representatives of China and Russia to at least raise Haiti’s desperate need for development and reconstruction, beyond merely relief aid.

All representatives who spoke, pointed to the need for Haitians to come together to resolve the nation’s government and institutional crisis, and spoke of elections, and of the terrible security problem of gangs and drugs that must be addressed. But without moving beyond meager humanitarian relief efforts, to international assistance to allow Haiti to undertake the kind of full-scale reconstruction program which the Schiller Institute is proposing, no political solution is possible.

Geng Shuang, Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN of China, called on the international community to step up and help Haiti recover, and “spare no effort in humanitarian assistance and post-disaster reconstruction…. China calls on the international community to respond actively to the UN humanitarian emergency appeals totaling about $187 million, and urges the Haitian government to work closely with the UN system to ensure that supplies reach people most in need and to avoid waste and embezzlement,” he said.

Geng suggested that a change in strategy is needed, pointing to the failure of the humanitarian strategy towards the country, in which the 14.7 billion U.S. dollars spent since 2010 “have yet to deliver the expected results…. The international community’s long-standing assistance model that can be compared to blood transfusion and oxygen supply to Haiti has proven to be neither markedly effective nor sustainable…. We are ready to join the rest of the Council members to address the systemic and operational impediments to peace and development in Haiti, and to consider adopting a novel approach to help Haiti come out of its plight,” he said.

Russian First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy spoke of the “urgent need to address issues that are inevitable to all States, among them combating unemployment and improving overall standards of living…. We cannot but be appalled by the information contained in the report from the World Bank that in 2021, 60% of Haitians will fall under the poverty threshold…. Clearly, such a dire situation in this insular country requires consolidated international support, first and foremost, from regional neighbors.”

Many representatives could not fail to reference the shocking decision to forcibly return to Haiti thousands of “people who cobbled together their last money to leave the country in search of better lives for their children,” as Polyanskiy—but not only he—put it. On that subject, U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield was silent.


China Begins Humanitarian Aid to Afghanistan

Oct. 1 (EIRNS)–A batch of aid mainly including warm materials such as blankets and cotton clothes provided by the Chinese government arrived in Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan, on Wednesday.

“The first batch of aid brings the deep love and friendship of the Chinese people and reflects China’s role as a major country that keeps its promises and is kind to its neighbors, which is a great move to build a community with a shared future for mankind,” said Luo Zhaohui, head of the China International Development Cooperation Agency.

Based on the needs of the Afghan people, China has decided to urgently provide food, materials for Winter, COVID-19 vaccines, and medicines worth 200 million yuan, according to Wang Yi, Foreign Minister, who spoke about this recently.

When security and other conditions are available, China is willing to help Afghanistan build projects that will contribute to improving people’s livelihood, and support peace and reconstruction.


“China’s Epic Journey from Poverty to Prosperity”— Pulling 770 Million People Out of Poverty

Sept. 28, 2021 (EIRNS)—“China’s Epic Journey from Poverty to Prosperity,” in English a 72-page white paper, was released today by China’s State Council Information Office, giving their account as to how they were able to pull 770 million people out of deep rural poverty and to build the world’s largest social security system. Portions of it were summarized by Global Times.

The achievement of “moderate prosperity” (xiaokang) was achieved by attacking the biggest weakness of the society, the vast rural poverty. With a national mission, a strong central government, and a willingness to invest in projects that made sense over time, though they may not turn a profit overnight, they accomplished the work. And in doing so, they claim that the achievement not only helped China but contributes to peace and development, and so is the foundation for common prosperity. It is now the basis for China’s interaction with the rest of the world, centered around the offer of the Belt & Road.

With the profound experience of accomplishing a worthwhile national goal, China’s leader have their eyes on another 30-year goal: By mid-century, they mean to go beyond “xiaokang” to become “prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful.” (That’s correct—“beautiful” is a key part of the mission task!) Midway, the 2035 goal includes a per-capita GDP of at least $20,000 (the World Bank standard of ‘moderately developed’). Global Times on Tuesday interviewed several key players in developing the intermediate 2035 goal. The former vice director of the Beijing Economic Operation Association, Tian Yun, identified rural revitalization as the key for the 2035 goal, and vital rural-urban connectivity. Urban jobs were necessary for converting migrant workers to the economic and cultural benefits of cities. So, modernization and industrialization are actually the road for rural revitalization. As the director of the China Agriculture Industry Chamber of Commerce, Sun Wenhua further developed the point: China has accelerated a new type of relationship between industry and agriculture, including efficient transportation infrastructure systems, and the two-way flow of goods and peoples. Finally, Bai Wenxi, chief economist of Interpublic Group of Companies, is cited: “To narrow the wealth gap and tackle imbalance development, China has a strong central government, which has the power of mobilization, and all levels of local governments are empowered by the staunch ability of implementation, and those are what makes China [able] to mobilize the whole country to achieve its goals, to make great progress.” His example made the point: The sending of experts to rural areas to assist in the assimilation and mastery of new technologies of production was a key expenditure of manpower and talent, although, “Those policies won’t have visible economic benefits in the short term.” But they are necessary, and it’s the role of strong centralized leadership that can make such long-term commitments work.


Russia’s Lavrov at the UN: Not “Might Is Right” but “Right Is Might”

Russia’s Lavrov at the UN: Not “Might Is Right” but “Right Is Might”

Sept. 28, 2021 (EIRNS)—Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov used his address at the United Nations on September 25, to make clear the important difference between international law and the reality behind the sophistry of a “rules-based order.” International law is a principle based upon “right is might”—not “might is right.” The latter is behind the “selfish interests” of the “so-called ‘rules-based order’ concept that the West is persistently introducing into political discourse as opposed to international law.” The U.S.’s “Summit for Democracy” makes democracy into a wedge to get into countries’ internal affairs, but there can be no challenging the undemocratic reality outside of countries, such as NATO. Talk of democracy—such as the U.S.’s “Summit for Democracy”—is a cover for interfering into sovereign countries and has no reality for relations between countries, where the undemocratic military weapons of NATO are not to be brought up. “The use of unilateral restrictive measures” against Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, “violate the Charter-based principle of non-interference in internal affairs of sovereign states… undermines the prerogatives of the Security Council,” and even ignores the UN call “to suspend them at least for the period of the pandemic.”

Lavrov said that it was now time to stop the “policy aimed at undermining the UN-centric architecture” and choose the path of “rejecting any confrontation and stereotypes,  and joining efforts to address key tasks of humanity’s development and survival. We have enough instruments for this.” He enumerated them. President Vladimir Putin has proposed a P5 summit for a “frank discussion on global stability issues.” As there were “great expectations” for the “prospect of the Russian-American dialogue” on arms control, per the U.S.-Russian summit at Geneva, this could work. He referenced Biden’s extension of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty as encouraging. Russian proposals on addressing the cyberwarfare problem was a basis for common agreement, where concerns can be examined “in a transparent manner, relying on facts.”

“In Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and in other hotbeds, all external actors must show an understanding of the cultural and civilisational specifics of society, reject politicization of humanitarian aid, and assist in the creation of broadly representative bodies of authority that would involve all major ethnic, religious and political forces of the relevant countries. Guided by such an approach, Russia has been constructively engaged in the promotion of the Afghan settlement via the extended Troika and the Moscow format.” He added, “It was with great interest that we perceived the Global Development Initiative proposed by President of China Xi Jinping, which resonates with our own approaches.” Lavrov finished with a twinkle: “In conclusion, I would like to propose a hashtag #UNCharterIsOurRules.”


Iran-Kyrgyzstan Rail Corridor Discussed

Sept. 25 (EIRNS)–During a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week in New York, Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Kazakbaev congratulated Amir-Abdollahian on his appointment as Iran’s top diplomat, and proposed a direct flight between Bishkek and Tehran. Kazakbaev also expressed willingness to use the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas’s capacity for transit cooperation.

The Kyrgyz Foreign Minister said his country’s internal conditions are better than ever for the presence of Iranian economic activists, calling for the two countries to work together on cooperation within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union. He also said Kyrgyzstan is ready to cooperate in the construction of a railway corridor between the two countries.

The Iranian government has already proposed some time ago to Central Asians, the value of making effective use of Iranian ports and the development of the Uzbek-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman transport corridor. This could connect to the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway line being built, as well as to the Uzbekistan-Afghanistan-Iran corridor. A part of this latter project, there are connections for the Afghan cities of Mazar-i-Sharif and Herat with the Iranian port of Chabahar. 


Pakistan’s PTV World Features Helga Zepp-LaRouche

Sep. 20 (EIRNS)–On Pakistan’s “PTV World” broadcast, Faisal Rehman hosted Helga Zepp-LaRouche of the Schiller Institute and Pakistan’s Ambassador to Italy, Jauhar Saleem. Rehman began by welcoming “Our guest, Ms. Helga!” with an opening question as whether the world had entered into a clash of civilizations. Zepp-LaRouche answered that she had read Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations, and, first, it must be said that he knew very little about the civilizations that he wrote about.

Further, the world is not about “geopolitics but geo-economics” — employing the distinction recently made by Pakistani President Imran Khan. AUKUS is not the spirit of the time. The AUKUS attempt may even provoke something like de Gaulle’s response to NATO, as in 1958. This move has destroyed trust in Biden. He had just said, in pulling troops out of Afghanistan, that this was the end of an era; the end of useless wars. Was he serious? Or was it just to concentrate forces against China? This is not good for Biden, as trust in his word is undermined.

Rather, the New Silk Road is the pathway – and the Schiller Institute, by the way, has been on this pathway since 1991. So, does Australia want to be an aircraft carrier for this new military alliance? Or does it want an economic future for its own people? The situation is that there is a decaying neo-liberal system, and it has been refusing to respond to offers from China and Russia.

After a question and some discussion with Ambassador Saleem, Rehman turned back to Zepp-LaRouche, and asked: How would the U.S. and China, given the present conflicting positions, move ahead? Zepp-LaRouche set out that, objectively, neither China nor Russia represent a threat. There have been many offers on demilitarization from Putin — including to Germany, when he spoke, in German, to the Bundestag. And China has lifted 850 million of their people out of poverty. The BRI is not a threat. They are offering to developing countries to conquer poverty.

We need to take a step back. It is a nuclear-armed world, and there is the threat of war by accident, war by miscalculation. China’s Global Times clearly warned that China will fight and win certain conflicts, such as Taiwan. Therefore, we must stop geopolitics. In Afghanistan, David Beasley from the World Food Program made clear that 90% are hungry. Afghanistan’s Health Minister Majrood explained that 90% have recently been denied health care. The recent move to use the Extended Troika (of China, Pakistan, Russia and the United States) involves reaching out and collaborating to develop Afghanistan. It can be integrated into the BRI — and there is the offer to Europe and the US to join in. Pino Arlacchi, e.g, was able to conclude an agreement in 2000 with the Taliban on opium production.

There are presently two billion people in the world without access to clean water. We need a modern health sector in every country. Not doing so simply means that there will be more mutations, new variants and the defeat of the last round of vaccines. Clearly, this crisis requires a new paradigm. Afghanistan can be the new building block. The human species is the only one endowed with creative reason. We can find cures for a pandemic, for overcoming poverty, even colonizing Mars. You know, in February, the United Arab Emirates, China and the United States all had Mars missions at the same time. It is time to become an adult species.


Drumbeat Grows for Release of Afghan Funds As Economy Falters

Drumbeat Grows for Release of Afghan Funds As Economy Falters

As Afghanistan’s Chamber of Commerce and Investment warned on September 13 that the country would plunge into an economic crisis unless frozen international reserves were released by the U.S. Treasury, there is a growing cascade of voices calling on the U.S. to do just that. These private sector representatives charged that the U.S. Treasury’s freezing of reserves is a violation of humanitarian law and reported that since the reserves were frozen, all transactions between Afghan and international banks have been halted.

Unless this situation is reversed, the country won’t avoid a deep recession, the representatives warned, according to TOLO News. “We call on the United States and the world to solve the issue with the frozen assets, because that money belongs to the people of Afghanistan. If you have political issues with the government or some people, you should not take people’s money hostage,” ACCI acting director Yunus Mohmand said. A fellow member of the ACCI, Khan Jan Alokozay, said that most of the factories are facing serious financial shortages and raw materials because they are unable to withdraw money, adding that in the last month over one million laborers have not been paid.

In addition, Afghanistan’s Health Minister, Wahid Majrooh, who had stayed on from the previous government, said that the Afghan health system is teetering on the edge of collapse, “We are losing personnel, we are losing lives, and the morale and momentum we had,” Majrooh said.  “The crisis is very, very extensive.”

Pressure is growing on the U.S.  to release the funds. On September 15th, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijjan said that the U.S. should release those Afghan Government assets which they have been holding in abeyance as the new Afghan government was in the process of formation. Zhao was replying to a question regarding the Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen’s call for release of the funds. “Shaheen is right,” Zhao said. “The assets belong to Afghanistan and should be spent for the Afghan people. The U.S. should not freeze them without justification. The U.S. should face up to the legitimate demand of Afghanistan, abandon pressures and sanctions, and stop creating obstacles to the economy, livelihood and peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan.”

One can also expect a clear statement from the upcoming SCO meeting as both Russia and China have indicated that the U.S. which is responsible for the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan have got to take the primary responsibility for resolving the crisis. A first step in that direction would be releasing the funds to the present interim government before it is too late.


China to Donate Vaccines, Medical Aid To Afghanistan; Stresses Need for Regional Cooperation and Coordination

China to Donate Vaccines, Medical Aid To Afghanistan; Stresses Need for Regional Cooperation and Coordination

Sept. 9, 2021 (EIRNS)–Yesterday’s mini-summit among China, Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, called to discuss how to address the challenges posed by the Afghan situation, announced a humanitarian aid package of $31 million, including food, water, three million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, and other medical supplies. The meeting was chaired by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who had just completed a tour of Afghanistan’s neighbors 10 days earlier. The three million COVID vaccine doses reportedly represent only a first batch, with more to come. Xinhua reports that State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced that China is prepared to offer more anti-epidemic and emergency materials to Afghanistan under the China-South Asian Countries Emergency Supplies Reserve.

Today, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian offered more details on yesterday’s meeting, stressing that it is the first attempt by Afghanistan’s neighbors “to work closely in response to the evolving situation in the country,” and to specifically establish “a coordination and cooperation mechanism.” He explained that this mechanism should be able to work smoothly with other existing multilateral mechanisms on Afghanistan “and can complement each other and form synergy. All participating parties support the continued operation of this unique mechanism so that countries can share policy propositions, coordinate positions, and jointly address challenges through this platform. The hope to host the second conference has already been expressed,” he reported. 


Taliban Want Relations with Regional Nations

Taliban Want Relations with Regional Nations

Sep. 6 (EIRNS) — TASS, citing Al Jazeera, reported this morning that the Taliban intend to invite a number of foreign countries to be present at the installation of the new government that they expect to announce within the next few days. “We have sent invitations to Turkey, China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan and Qatar to take part in the [ceremony] of announcing [the composition of the new Afghan] government,” said an unnamed Taliban representative.

Mohammad Akbar Agha, a former Taliban field commander and now the leader of Afghanistan’s High Council of Salvation, told TASS yesterday that the Taliban is very interested in establishing relations with Russia, Iran and Pakistan. “We should establish broad relations with Moscow, since it is in the interests of both the Taliban and Russia,” he said. “Iran and Pakistan are also countries we want to establish relations with. They need us and we need them.”

Agha also said that the Taliban have no objections against having a U.S. embassy in Kabul but Washington is afraid of it. “Before the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan there was a possibility to have good relations with Washington. But after their invasion and their crimes … relations have worsened,” he said. Agha said that “there are chances that [diplomatic] relations between the United States and the Taliban will be established. I think the Taliban will not be against opening the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan. But the United States is afraid of the current situation in the country and most likely there will be no embassy for some time,” he said.


China’s Ambassador to U.S.: China-U.S. Relations at ‘Historical Juncture’

China’s Ambassador to U.S.: China-U.S. Relations at ‘Historical Juncture’

Sep. 1 (EIRNS)–China’s Ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, held a Zoom discussion on August 31 with the board of directors of the National Council on U.S.-China Relations and other China-watchers, including Henry Kissinger and Susan Thornton, an Assistant Secretary of State for Asia under Trump. He said that U.S.- China relations were at “an historical juncture.” 

 “The extreme China policy of the previous US administration has caused serious damage to our relations, and such a situation has not changed. It is even continuing,” he said . He said that the United States should not treat China as a rival or push the situation toward a “Cold War.” “China is not the Soviet Union,” Qin said. “Some people in the US believe that America needs to deal with China from a position of strength. They think America can win the new `Cold War’ against China, just as it defeated the Soviet Union. This reflects a serious ignorance of history and China. China is not the Soviet Union. China has learned from this part of history that hegemonism will only lead to decline. Under the leadership of the CPC, China’s socialist democracy keeps improving. The people are the master of their own country. The nation enjoys economic development, social stability and better livelihoods for the people,” Qin said.

He stressed that both countries had benefited from their relationship over the last 50 years and within the U.S. business community there is a great deal of interest in being involved in the Chinese economy. China is not intent on surpassing the United States, he said, it is only interested in surpassing itself. And its goal is to create a better future for the people of China. Trying to paint China as an enemy, he said, is like Don Quixote jousting with the windmills. He said that it would be a big mistake to think of “decoupling” from China. He noted that when the Soviet advisers withdrew from China in 1960, it caused great problems, but China survived. And in the attempt to take down Huawei, he said that many Chinese believe that it will only lead to many more Huaweis.

The two sides should observe each other’s “red lines” and use the opportunity of cooperation on issues like COVID and climate change in order to find further areas of cooperation. “At the same time, we need to jointly remove obstacles for cooperation. It is hoped that the U.S. will stop political manipulation on the origins tracing of the virus and stop deliberating and passing China-related bills that will seriously hijack China-U.S. relations” he said. He concluded his remarks by appealing to his American interlocutors, “The historical mission of upholding and promoting our relationship in the new era has come to us.” Let’s hope they take that to heart.


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