Aug. 6, 2022 (EIRNS)–Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, met again on the sidelines of the ASEAN meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Aug. 5, their third meeting in the past 30 days, Lavrov noted; the two had consulted when they were in Bali for the G20 ministerial on July 7 and in Tashkent on July 28 for the SCO ministerial. There is nothing obligatory about their schedule; “every time we meet, we see that Russia and China have more issues to discuss and adopt practical decisions on,” Lavrov remarked in opening their meeting, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported.
Lavrov pointed to their common evaluation of “the arrogance” with which “the United States is using every available opportunity to strengthen its domination across the world…. The Americans are acting to suppress any manifestation of independence. In this spirit, they decided to turn Ukraine into a threat for the Russian Federation…. Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is in keeping with this approach….
“I am sure that our strategic partnership is a motivating force behind the movement for the priority of international law over the `rules’ invented by the United States and its satellites. The matter concerns above all international law, beginning with the UN Charter and its fundamental principle of the sovereign equality of states. The United States is violating this principle everywhere every day. We must respond to that.” BangladeshBeyond has the full report.
In this regard, Lavrov cited in particular the “Group of Friends in Defense of the UN Charter” at the United Nations, a forum on which he said both China and Russia are working. “I regard it as a promising structure that should be expanded. We are confident that more countries will join in this work.”
Aug. 3 (EIRNS) – Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated yesterday that Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was “purely provocative. We see this, it is being recorded by all countries of the world. We stand in absolute solidarity with China here. Its sensitivity to this issue is understandable. It is justified. And instead of respecting this the US is choosing the path of confrontation. It doesn’t bode well,” the Kremlin spokesman said, adding that Washington’s decision is “only regrettable.”
Asked whether the Pelosi visit could lead to “global war,” Peskov said her visit was a “clear provocation,” but “I would suggest not to throw around words as serious [as ‘global war’]. That said, “underestimating the level of tension sparked by this visit” is not advisable either, he added.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, asked by journalists on Wednesday what was behind the Pelosi trip, stated: “It was the drive to prove to everyone their impunity and to act accordingly. ‘I do whatever I want’, something like that. I can hardly imagine any other reason to create a flashpoint out of thin air, despite knowing what it would mean for China.”
Aug. 1 (EIRNS)—Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi continued on his Central Asian diplomatic tour, which brought him to high level meetings in Uzbekistan July 28-29, including the SCO Foreign Ministers’ meeting, and then to Kyrgyzstan on July 30, and Tajikistan July 31-Aug. 1, all focused on the growth of both the nations, and Central Asia as a whole.
In Kyrgyzstan, Wang met with Foreign Minister Jeenbek Kulubaev in the town of Cholpon-Ata. The Chinese Foreign Ministry readout reported that Wang said “the Chinese side has felt the great importance and ardent expectations by Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan to the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan [CKU] railway project, and will jointly advance this important project at a faster pace…. The Chinese side is ready to import more green and quality livestock products from Kyrgyzstan.” Wang said that China and Kyrgyzstan are ready to increase the frequency of direct flights. Kulubaev said he looks forward to accelerating the CKU railway and welcomed Chinese experts’ arrival in Kyrgyzstan to “carry out the survey work.” His country is “ready to work with China to speed up the implementation of key projects such as the new North-South Highway” and the renovation of the municipal roads of Bishkek, the nation’s capital.
Kulubaev attached special importance to China’s pledge to construct in his nation the Luban Workshop, a program China has developed in several nations, in which Chinese engineers and professionals educate host country’s students and labor force in such subjects as industrial robots, cloud computing, high-speed train maintenance, and vocational training.
On July 31, Wang set foot in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, where he met with President Emomali Rahmon, who noted on his website that China is one of the major trading partners of Tajikistan and its largest investor. Bilateral trade between Tajikistan and China during the first six months of 2022 increased by 82%, compared to the same period last year, and accounted for one-fifth of Tajikistan’s foreign trade.
Some of the groundwork for this trip was worked out at the third China + Central Asia Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan on June 12. The C-5 include Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan; at the ministerial, Wang outlined a 10-point program, stemming from the Belt and Road, for the region’s development. It is significant that for the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which Russia helped to found in 2014, both Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are full-time members, and Uzbekistan is an observer.
It is not accidental that both the China and Russian headed organizations seek the agricultural and industrial development of landlocked Central Asia, including Afghanistan, over the Anglo-American looting eyes.
Sept. 28, 2022 (EIRNS)—Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) wrapped up their two-day meeting in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, today having discussed the agenda for the Sept. 15-16 summit of the group’s heads of state and touched on several other topics of regional and international importance—the war in Ukraine, the Afghan situation, food and energy security, the threat of global recession, and the need to cooperate on regional issues, including on projects that are part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Given the increasingly complex international situation, the ministers stressed the importance of safeguarding regional security and stability.
One expert cited by Global Times noted the attractiveness of the SCO to many neighboring countries, given its emphasis on cooperation and regional development. Members also discussed ongoing cooperation for SCO expansion. Belarus’s application for full membership was discussed according to BeLTA news agency. SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming reported that the SCO has received 11 applications to join the organization in one or another capacity, or to upgrade existing status. He mentioned that at the Sept. 15-16 heads-of-state summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, “we expect the SCO heads of state to adopt a memorandum of obligations for the Islamic Republic of Iran to receive SCO membership.”
It was stressed that SCO expansion is not a response to NATO expansion but rather related to SCO’s focus on regional cooperation rather than confrontation.
On the sidelines of the conference, there were several bilateral meetings, including one between China’s Wang Yi and Russia’s Sergey Lavrov. A meeting between Wang and Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar had been mooted but it’s not clear whether it took place, given tensions between those two nations. Jaishankar did meet with Lavrov. Wang also met with Uzbek Acting Foreign Minister Norov Vladimir Imamovich to stress their excellent relationship and Imamovich’s commitment to Uzbek development and revitalization.
Lavrov and Wang had a substantive discussion, TASS reported, stressing, among other things, the SCO’s leading role “in building a regional security architecture and its constructive contribution to the process of maintaining peace and stability and ensuring economic development in Eurasia,” according to a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry. Ministers from all eight member countries attended the summit: China, Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Currently Belarus, Afghanistan, Iran, and Mongolia are observer nations. Dialogue partners are Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey, and Sri Lanka.
July 8 (EIRNS)—In his meeting with Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero in Bali, Indonesia where both were attending the meeting of G20 foreign ministers, China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi offered Beijing’s formal support for Argentina’s entry into the BRICS grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The foreign ministry issued a press release to this effect and Cafiero told the state news agency Telam that “China chairs the BRICS this year, and its support and commitment to nominate our country to join is fundamental.” In their meeting, Wang Yi stressed the importance of President Alberto Fernández having attended the BRICS-Plus meeting on June 24 and Argentina having formally entered the Belt and Road Initiative during his visit to Beijing in February of this year.
The two foreign ministers also discussed Argentina’s role as rotating president of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC), from which post it also promotes the China-CELAC Joint Action Plan 2022-2024. According to Argentina’s foreign ministry, Cafiero told Wang Yi that his nation can contribute to the BRICS by strengthening and amplifying a voice in defense of the interests of developing nations.
Telam observed that membership in the BRICS could provide Argentina a way to free itself from the dollar-based financial system and the restrictions it imposes on the country’s macroeconomic development. Argentina is in need of new sources of financing for its large infrastructure projects, Telam adds, and points out that the BRICS are playing a crucial role in “promoting a new international financial architecture through its New Development Bank,” the BRICS bank. The New Development Bank, Cafiero emphasized, “has a key role in international financial cooperation and in promoting the agenda of the Global South and the structural changes it demands.” The Telam article can be read here.
July 2, 2022 (EIRNS)–On July 1, approximately 100 graduate students from China and Switzerland took part in a cross-cultural event for the purpose of engaging more institutions in inspiring young students to explore the unknown. The two astronauts who were chosen to interact with the students were well-suited for the assignment.
Jing Haipeng, head of the Chinese astronaut corps, was the first Chinese astronaut to have flown on three Shenzhou missions. Claude Nicollier was the first Swiss astronaut and flew four space shuttle missions including two servicing missions to the Hubble Space Telescope.
The interaction was part of the Sino-Swiss Space Science and Technology Cooperation Online Meeting, which was co-sponsored by China Science and Technology Exchange Center and the Swiss Museum of Transport.
The two sides also signed a memorandum to set up a stable exchange and cooperation mechanism, build a platform for the exchange of scientific research institutions and personnel and encourage more entities of scientific research and innovation to participate in Sino-Swiss cooperation.
Claude Nicollier also delivered a video presentation to the Krafft Ehricke 100th Anniversary event in Munich in 2017 sponsored by the Schiller Institute.
July 2, 2022 (EIRNS)–Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos Jr. was inaugurated as President of the Philippines on Thursday, following up the ceremony with a very substantial meeting with Chinese VIce President Wang Qishan who had headed the Chinese delegation to the inauguration. (It is notable that the Biden Administration sent Kamala Harris’s husband, the “second gentleman” Douglas Emhoff, to head the U.S. delegation, a lowly designation indeed.)
The Manila Times reports that President Marcos told Vice President Wang that China is “the most powerful partner of the Philippines,” and that the Philippines’ “good-neighborly friendship is in the fundamental interests of both peoples.”
“The new Philippine government attaches utmost importance to the relations with China, and is willing to deepen its participation in the joint construction of the [One Belt One Road], join hands with China in coping with regional challenges and elevate the bilateral ties to a higher level,” Marcos said, as quoted by Xinhua. This is precisely what the neocons in the U.S. feared with the Marcos overwhelming election victory.
Wang told Marcos that the Philippine leader and his family have made “great contributions” to enhancing China-Philippine friendship. It was Bong Bong’s Mother Imelda Marcos (the First Lady to Ferdinand Marcos Sr.) whose visit to China in 1974 opened relations between the two nations (see the famous Mao “kiss on the hand” of Imelda here.
Wang added: “The Chinese side has always given priority to the Philippines in its neighborhood diplomacy, and is ready to work with the new Philippine government in carrying on with their friendship, boosting mutual trust and deepening cooperation so as to usher in a new ‘golden age’ in bilateral ties.”
Regarding the South China Sea issue, near the top of the list of U.S. efforts to undermine Chinese relations with the Philippines and others in the region, Wang called for the two countries to “properly resolve differences and jointly safeguard peace and tranquility” in the contested waters.
The Marcos regime is re-opening discussion regarding joint exploitation of resources in contested waters.
During a recent event of the Association for Philippines-China Understanding, Marcos said he would continue Duterte’s independent foreign policy. “This is what we feel is best in the national interest and I feel it is to be advantageous not only to our friends in China but to all our friends around the world,” he said. He added that “our strongest partner has always been… our close neighbor and our good friend, the People’s Republic of China.”
Chinese Scientists Discover Genes to Make Rice More Heat-Resistant —
June 19 (EIRNS)–According to a study published in the journal Science on June 16, researchers from the Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Shanghai Jiao Tong University have discovered two genes in rice that can make the staple crop more heat-resistant, providing a new way to breed highly thermotolerant crops, reported CGTN News today.
The scientists discovered a mechanism by which the rice’s cell membrane senses external heat-stress signals before communicating with chloroplasts – the organelles in which photosynthesis occurs.
Chloroplasts are tiny bean-shaped membranes (1–2 μm (1 μm = 0.001 mm) thick and 5–7 μm in diameter), which in turn contain even smaller structures (thylakoids), which are shaped like discs and stacked like hamburgers within the chloroplasts. This is the workhorse of the plant where photosynthesis takes place.
Too much heat can damage these membranes, and if over a long duration can cause a crop to fail.
CGTN reported, “The researchers identified a locus with two genes: Thermo-tolerance 3.1 (TT3.1) and Thermo-tolerance 3.2 (TT3.2). They interact in concert to enhance rice thermotolerance and reduce grain-yield losses caused by heat stress.
The researchers found that accumulated TT3.2 triggers chloroplast damage regarding heat stress, but, in that scenario, TT3.1 can serve as a remedy.
Upon heat stress, TT3.1, a potential thermosensor, will remove the cell membrane from the cell to degrade the mature TT3.2 proteins, according to the study.
“The study elucidates a fresh molecular mechanism that links plant cell membranes with the chloroplast in responding to heating signals,” said the paper’s co-corresponding author Lin Hongxuan with the Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology.
Then, the researchers used hybridization to translate the TT3 locus of African rice into Asian species.
The field test has shown that the new species is more heat tolerant. It can withstand heat at 38 degrees Celsius without crop failure, while the output of normal species would be reduced above 35 degrees Celsius, said the researchers.
The newly-found gene might also be used in other plants, including wheat, maize, beans, and vegetables, to cultivate heat-tolerant strains, according to the researchers.”
June 8, 2022 (EIRNS)–China has released the most detailed geological map of the Moon, a project which has been the lifelong goal of geochemist Ouyang Ziyuan, the inspiration for, and the chief designer of, the Chinese Chang’e program. Decades before China made the decision to launch a manned space program with an eye on the Moon, Ouyang was gathering data from previous lunar missions of both the U.S. and Russia.
The map is on a scale of 1:2,500.000. Based on the data of China’s Chang’e Project, and making full use of other international lunar exploration data and research results, through the study of the “strata,” morphology, composition, structure and geological age of the lunar surface, a new lunar geological chronology is being proposed.”
“The newly compiled map,” CCTV notes, “updates the Moon’s geological chronology based on a better understanding of the history of the lunar surface which has been categorized into three epochs and six periods. That trio of epochs have been classified as the early stage, dominated by internal geological activities, the middle stage which features both internal and external geological forces, and the late stage which has mainly external forces such as asteroid strikes shaping the Moon’s surface.”
April 1 (EIRNS)—Helga Zepp-LaRouche was interviewed on CGTN’s broadcast “The Dialogue” this morning with host Xu Qinduo and a second guest Prof. John Gong, who frequently appears on CGTN’s shows. The discussion was on the EU-China meeting by videoconference today, which included President Xi Jinping (in what Xinhua dubbed “Xiplomacy”) and EU Council President Charles Michel and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
XU: That’s a good point, John. Helga, what do you think about this Ukraine issue somehow playing a part in the relationship between China and the European Union? Is there a way they can deal with the issue that will enhance or bring the two sides together? Is that affecting their relationship?
HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Obviously. The EU had on their website beforehand that they wanted to have the Ukraine issue practically the only issue. They want China to mediate and influence Russia. But I think it is very clear that China did not want to take a side. However, given the fact that EU economy is in free fall; as a matter of fact, the accumulation of COVID, the sanctions, Europe is not in a strong position at all. And I think China has a conception which I think lends itself to a mediation role, and that is President Xi Jinping’s idea of a shared future for a joint humanity. I think that is the most important conception right now, given the fact that we are in a situation strategically which is more dangerous than during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Therefore, what we really need, and I think China would be uniquely in a position to do that, is to propose a new international security architecture which would take into account the interests of every single country on the planet. Because the reason why we have the Ukraine crisis is because NATO expansion to the East for 30 years, which the West does not want to even discuss anymore. But the question is, how do we get out of it? We need a new security architecture, and I have proposed it to be in the tradition of the Peace of Westphalia, which ended the 150 years of religious wars in Europe. The situation today in face of the danger of nuclear war is much more dangerous than even then.
I think the Europeans, they totally are ignoring the fact that a new system is emerging, based on the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BRICS, the Russia-India-China combination. India refused to be drawn into the camp of the United States, but wants to stay neutral, also. I think the only way how we will get out of this is if the Europeans—and finally also the United States—would understand that it is in their best interest to cooperate with the Belt and Road Initiative, in addressing the real issues which concern all of humanity: Which is, the pandemic is not over, we have a hunger crisis. I think one Chinese economist recently said that as a result of the sanctions against Russia, 1 billion people are in danger of dying of hunger this year. So, I think if China would play a mediating role, and say that all of these issues have to be addressed simultaneously. And then, Ukraine could become a bridge rather than being a geopolitical tool between the EU and Russia, it could become a bridge in the cooperation on the Eurasian continent.
XU: That’s a good point, Helga. China stressed very much cooperation, win-win cooperation. China also takes pride in being the source of peace and stability. When it comes to China-EU cooperation, we know the two sides are great civilizations, they are two of the largest economies. They represent the two largest markets. So, if you look at their cooperation against this background with emerging ascendity, even an emerging Cold War. How important it is, Helga, for the EU and China to further cooperate in multiple fields?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think for the EU it is much more existential than they admit, because there are two possibilities. Either the EU finds a way of cooperating with China, and that way the conflict can be solved; or, there are some people in the West—especially in Great Britain and in the United States—who want a complete decoupling of the West and the so-called authoritarian regimes. In this case, I think the West would suffer, because their values are much more based on monetarist values, as let’s say China and the countries cooperating with the BRI, because they are putting much more focus on physical economy. So, if they would go for a complete decoupling, the West would suffer. Hopefully, the European Union understands that it is not in their own interest to go this way, even if Victoria Nuland was just there and told Europe to side with the U.S. completely.
So, I think that a lot depends on the initiatives proposed by China, because China right now has the only policy which is a way out: And that is the shared community of the one future of humanity. And I think more and more people realize that.
XU: Helga, to further cooperation, we know there is a very important trade agreement, a comprehensive investment agreement between China and the EU. So, are we going to see any headway during the summit, or after the summit? Should we probably re-energize that kind of cooperation?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think obviously it is an agreement which would benefit both sides, so it should be pushed. But I’m not so hopeful that, given the geopolitical tension right now that that will be accomplished at this summit. However, I think the fact that the trans-Atlantic financial system is collapsing—look at the hyperinflation; this was there long before the Ukraine crisis erupted. So, the question of a new financial system, a new credit system maybe in the tradition of the New Bretton Woods system, should be put on the agenda; because there is the danger of a repetition of the 2008 crisis, but much larger. The Federal Reserve does not dare to increase the interest rate much to fight the inflation, because of the indebtedness of the whole system. So, a new credit policy should be put on the agenda, and in that context, then you can increase the EU-China trade agreement, and that will all be beneficial. But I think the problem is much more fundamental than it even can be addressed through that agreement.