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Argentina to Sign MOU Joining the Belt and Road Initiative As Soon As Possible

Argentina Ready to Sign MOU on Joining the Belt and Road Initiative As Soon As Possible

May 28 (EIRNS)–In a lengthy interview with the Spanish-language edition of China Today published May 18, Argentine Ambassador to China, Sabino Vaca Narvaja, underscored that while President Alberto Fernandez was unable to travel to China in early May to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to join the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), he is absolutely committed to doing this as soon as conditions permit him to travel, or alternatively, to sign the MOU virtually during this year’s biannual Belt and Road Forum.

Vaca Narvaja, who is an expert on China, noted that of course Argentina seeks to maintain a positive, “mature” relationship with the Biden administration, but pointed out that China is Argentina’s “main investor and financier.” China’s strict protocol for quarantining foreign visitors makes it difficult for the President to travel right now, because of the time this would involve, but, he continued, “it’s an option to sign the MOU for the Belt and Road if the President’s trip is put off much longer. We want to sign it as soon as possible because we already announced it, and because our government’s decision is to deepen even further its relations with China.” The bilateral relationship “is central for our President,” he said. “China is one of the countries at the top of his travel agenda.”

China and Argentina, he said, are about to renew a five-year development perspective including 16 to 20 development projects worth $30 billion, to be presented soon to China’s National Development and Reform Commission and to the Argentine Foreign and Finance ministries.. Those projects include railroad construction, telecommunications, energy–including a new nuclear plant with China’s Hualong technology–science and technology, “everything that has to do with bioceanic corridors…and working on the possibility of improving our rail lines and highways to have access to both the Atlantic and Pacific.” In this context, he emphasized the necessity of Latin America forging its own economic integration, having a long term development perspective just as China does, and pointed to ASEAN and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as examples of Asian integration. “If we don’t integrate and begin to think on a level of scale, our relationship will be more difficult,” he warned.

“China is a sufficiently large market for us to think about a continental strategy and this must be a policy of state for our governments,” he insisted. ”Our relationship with China should be an excuse to work for the long term in the region.” Latin America, he said, “should have its own Belt and Road and its own infrastructure plan linked to [China’s] Belt and Road Initiative.” China’s economy and those of Latin American nations are complementary, so, he emphasized, “we have a lot of potential for joint development and the Belt and Road Initiative is the most ambitious infrastructure plan for humanity.”


“China Speed” in the Vaccination Effort

“China Speed” in the Vaccination Effort

May 27, 2021 (EIRNS) – China has administered over 500 million doses of COVID vaccines as of May 23, according to a report in the May 26 Xinhua headlined “`China speed’ of vaccination highlights determination to beat COVID-19.” The first 100 million doses were administered as of March 27. Xinhua commented:

“Such stepped-up moves have once again demonstrated China’s strong mobilization ability, which has been proven by the country’s response to the virus since the outbreak of the epidemic… China’s vaccination speed has potential to further accelerate.” The article went on to restate the official policy:

“No one is safe until everyone is safe. Human society must ensure that the speed of COVID-19 vaccination is faster than the pace of mutation. The challenge of realizing herd immunity for the world’s most populous country is obvious, but the `China speed’ of vaccination has lit the light at the end of the tunnel. Until a final victory over the virus is secured, China will not stop its efforts to make contributions to the battle against COVID-19.”


Forget Geopolitics: Save Lives With Vaccines, Ibero-American Experts Tell Atlantic Council

Forget Geopolitics, Save Lives With Vaccines, Ibero-American Experts Tell Atlantic Council

May 26 (EIRNS)—On May 24, the Atlantic Council sponsored a webinar “The Race to Vaccinate: Chinese Vaccines in Latin America and the Caribbean,” including Guyana’s Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony as its special guest, and a panel of three commentators including Chile’s former ambassador to China, Jorge Heine, epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer Bouey of the RAND Corporation, and Ernesto Londoño, the New York Times correspondent in Brazil. Although the Atlantic Council has eagerly participated in the recent media and think tank rug-chewing about China’s vaccines being just a “cynical” political maneuver to increase its influence In Latin America and the Caribbean, moderator Pepe Zhang had to handle the discussion in an even-handed way—unable to directly challenge the reality that China’s vaccines are savings lives in the region, while the U.S. is absent.

That point was driven home in spades in response to one of Zhang’s carefully-constructed questions, about whether China’s “vaccine diplomacy” represents “a new avenue for engagement” in the region. Ambassador Heine quickly dispensed with the narrative coming from Western media and Washington think tanks that China is using its vaccines for political leverage and “domination,” stating that the issue here is timing. Chinese vaccines come “now” to Latin America whereas the U.S. and European countries are hoarding and talking about 2022 or 2023. That’s no good, he said, describing as absurd the discussion in the Western media comparing the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine to China’s Sinopharm, whose efficacy is reportedly 70%. “This is rich country club talk,” he pronounced. The perception of Chinese vaccines in the region is very high, Heine added. Latin America is “ground zero” for COVID cases and deaths, and how the crisis is handled “will be remembered for a very long time,” he warned. So, the U.S. should get going, and start providing vaccines fast.

While initially offering a factual report on the situation in Guyana and the surrounding region, Dr. Anthony made the same point. China had donated large quantities of PPE and lab equipment as well as 20,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine. (Anglo-American media lie that China never donates anything. India donated 800,000 doses. USAID offered a grant, “but no vaccines.” The situation in the region is now critical, he warned, with a surge in cases and deaths in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago. Guyana and the region have also been driven into deep economic crises. The bottom line, he said, is that there aren’t enough vaccines. That is the case across the Caribbean, he underscored, where vaccination rates are extremely low. He pointed out that it’s easier to store Sinopharm vaccines because they don’t require the same cold-chain capacity as Pfizer. President Biden has donated 4,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to Mexico and Canada and is offering Southeast Asia more, but, Dr. Anthony added, “we’re in the U.S.’s backyard, and with more vaccines, we can change the situation.”

Even the New York Times correspondent, Ernesto Londoño, noted that while the U.S. warns that dealing with China “comes at a price,” the reality is that China responded to many countries in their “hour of need…they showed up first and scaled a victory,” while the U.S. was hoarding vaccines. And when asked whether there were “geopolitical competition” between China and the U.S. in the region, the RAND Corporation’s Dr. Jennifer Bouey, a Chinese-American epidemiologist who has extensive experience working in China, responded that the current situation could offer an opportunity for the U.S. and China to work together, as they had done in the past, collaborating on SARS, Avian flu, and Ebola to “build a public good.” So, she said, the precedent is there. In concluding, Zhang asked each participant to express a final message, to which Heine said: Get U.S. vaccines to Latin America ASAP; Londoño, in the face of enormous loss, help must come soon; Anthony: get the vaccines in ASAP. Dr. Bouey: U.S., Chinese and Latin American scientists can work together in resolving the crisis.


Putin and Xi Jointly Launch Construction of Four Nuclear Plants in China, Emphasize “Innovation-Based Development”

May 20, 2021 (EIRNS) – The presidents of Russia and China, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, both participated in a videoconference hookup yesterday to launch the beginning of construction of four new nuclear plants in China, based on Russian technology. These are two units each at the Tianwan nuclear power plant in the city of Lianyungang, and at the Xudapu nuclear plant in Huludao district in northeastern China.

The two presidents chose to make this a major policy-shaping occasion for their two countries, as well as one globally focused on the role of innovation and scientific and technological cooperation in achieving development. “It is necessary to strive for innovation-based development and to strengthen scientific and technical cooperation in the nuclear sphere,” Xi Jinping stated, reiterating that the two countries had agreed “to make a sizable intellectual contribution to the innovation-driven development of the global nuclear sphere.” The Chinese president asserted that “our countries have been providing each other with solid support and have been engaged in close and effective cooperation” in many areas, and that “energy has always been the biggest and most successful branch in our practical cooperation while nuclear energy cooperation has been its strategic priority. We are jointly upgrading our cooperation in this area and have already put into operation a host of major projects.”

Through their joint work, Russia and China will “make a sizable contribution to the global development of nuclear energy,” Xi stated.

Putin responded by effusively greeting “President Xi Jinping, my dear friend,” emphasizing that “Russian and Chinese specialists are working on this flagship joint project which is truly a milestone. They are building powerful, modern Russian-designed nuclear reactors that meet all safety and environmental standards. It is planned that they will start operating as soon as in 2026–2028, which, as President Xi just said, will be a solid contribution to China’s energy security.”

Putin emphasized “Russia’s unique high technology capabilities in industrial production,” adding that “President Xi and I determined the main areas of our genuinely close partnership, the cooperation between Russia and China on nuclear technology, during my state visit to China in 2018… It can be said that Russia-China relations have reached their highest level in history.”

The Russian President then stated: “Returning to the topic of nuclear energy cooperation, I would like to note, with great satisfaction, that all the agreements reached at the highest level are being consistently and unfailingly fulfilled. In addition to the construction of new power units at the Tianwan and Xudapu nuclear power plants, there are many other large Russian-Chinese initiatives that have been and are being implemented. These initiatives include an experimental fast neutron reactor built in China with Russia’s participation… Russia also supplied China with radionuclide heating blocks for the spacecraft that was the first in history to land on the far side of the Moon in 2019. We were extremely happy about your success, dear Chinese friends.”

“I am convinced that Russia and China will have many more ambitious and successful projects together. We are ready to develop our cooperation in the construction of nuclear power plants, and innovative partnership in the development and implementation of low-carbon and other technologies.”

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that the project is the biggest China-Russia nuclear energy cooperation project to date.


Schiller Institute Rep. Injects Necessary Principle Into Dialogue on China Policy

Schiller Institute Representative Injects Necessary Principle Into Dialogue on China Policy

Nov. 18 (EIRNS)—At a Watson Institute conference entitled “Rising Tensions in the Taiwan Straits: Will the Chinese Civil War End with a Bang or a Whimper,” the following exchange occurred between Schiller Institute representative Cloret Ferguson and the two very prominent speakers, Ambassador Chas Freeman and Professor Lyle Goldstein.

Cloret Ferguson: It’s a pleasure to see and hear both of you. My question is, why would we not seek a more Westphalian approach to the question of China and US relations? For instance, the fact that China has elevated more than 850 million of its own population out of dire poverty and has said that they are reaching out to the whole world, to solve the problem of poverty of the whole world in 30 or 40 years, why would we not approach these relationships and take that branch as a means to solve the problem on a much more noble plane? Why would we not accept this as the pathway for relations between China and the US instead of dwelling on the past. We have the biggest military arsenal in the world!

Chas Freeman: The military industrial complex is us. We have a very militarized foreign policy. The first thought when we run into a problem abroad is, sanctions, which is coercive, a form of war, an economic war; then we send in the Marines, or if the Marines aren’t available, the Army or somebody. This is our mentality, and it comes out of our history, I suppose. You are very rational; that is exactly what I think we should be doing, that is, we should accept that there is no military answer that is acceptable to the Taiwan question, either for China, or for us. We need to find a way to take it off the track that it is now on toward a fight. I don’t know about you, but at the moment, Americans have no consensus on what the past means; our founding myths are all being deconstructed, our heroes are being toppled from their pedestals. New heroes are not really being invented that appeal to everyone. We are more divided than ever. We don’t agree on what the present is; we have no common vision of the future. And if you doubt that, look at Washington DC at the present. What Ed said, China has a clear ambition and a strategy for achieving it. We are countering it with fumbling and internal division, and a focus on military uses of force.

Lyle Goldstein: I think this is a very wise question, and for those of you not familiar with 17th- Century European diplomacy, this term, the Westphalian model, is something we really ought to get back to, and I think it is generally studied in international relations classes, but I don’t think it’s known beyond that, but I’m glad you brought it up. I do think it’s absolutely critical to a way forward with China. All it is, is a basic principle, countries can be different, probably should be different, they shouldn’t interfere in each other’s affairs, and this eventually stopped the incredible warring that was going on between various Catholic and Protestant states in Central Europe. It’s very applicable to today, that most diplomats agree with these basic principles, but it seems to me, I’m not sure why this is completely broken down in the modern discourse in international politics. I have a feeling it has something to do with Twitter and journalism and Cable News, and all this, and kind of democracy run amok. I think George Kennan and people like that would certainly favor returning to the old ways, to this understanding that it is quite normal that countries are run in very different ways, and to resist the temptation to constantly be telling other countries how to run their affairs.

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Facing U.S. Sanctions Threat, El Salvador Turns to China and Russia for Support For Its Sovereign Development

May 20, 2021—All over the world, nations are beginning to recognize that an alternative to the dying Old Order of geopolitics, colonialism, and usury is coming into being, with sovereign nations joining together for mutual development. Central America is no exception to this process.

“We are very enthusiastic about strengthening the relationship with Russia, we are facing a world with new challenges and opportunities, and we want to take advantage of those opportunities,” Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele told Russian Ambassador Alexander Khokholikov yesterday, in receiving the new Ambassador’s credentials. Bukele noted that El Salvador recognizes “the importance of Russia in the world.” Khokholikov responded in the same spirit, assuring him that the Russian government also wishes to increase cooperation. “We are going to work bilaterally and multilaterally,” he said, “because that is how it should be to maximize mutual benefit, both of Russia and El Salvador.”

Today China’s Embassy in El Salvador issued an important communiqué, reiterating that the agreement signed with El Salvador for China to oversee the construction of four development projects requested by the Salvadoran government spells out that China is covering the costs of the projects. President Bukele immediately posted the communiqué to his Twitter, much followed by others in the region, as well as Salvadorans at home and abroad.  

The Biden administration, which has supplied neither vaccines nor economic development aid to the region, is publicly threatening to overthrow the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras if they break with the old order.

This is being done in the name of “fighting corruption” in Central America. The State Department included in its list of corrupt officials in those countries which it released on Tuesday, for example, two top Bukele administration officials: the President’s Chief of Cabinet, Carolina Recinos, and Minister of Security and Justice Rogelio Rivas. The charges are preposterous: Recinos is accused of engaging in “significant acts of corruption during her term in office” (no further details), while Rivas’s alleged “significant acts of corruption” were supposedly that he “awarded his own private construction company several noncompetitive and unadvertised contracts to build police stations and other buildings that fall under his official capacity and inflated the cost of materials.”

American Democratic Congresswoman Norma Torres, head of the Central American Caucus in the House of Representatives and a close ally of Vice President Kamala Harris, proclaimed on Tuesday as she released the list: “I will be relentless in demanding accountability from our government – if we know someone is corrupt, I expect our government to use all levers at our disposal, including sanctions, visa restrictions, withholding support to deter future acts of corruption, and dismantling the systems that allow corruption to occur.”


The Significance of The Belt and Road Initiative

The Significance of The Belt and Road Initiative – Zepp-LaRouche contributes to dialogue

Nov. 19 (EIRNS)–On this eighth anniversary of the announcement by China’s President Xi Jinping, of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI,) which he made in Kazakhstan Nov. 19, 2013, calling it then, One Belt, One Road, President Xi spoke at the symposium on the project, discussing in detail its many achievements and continuing intent, functioning as the modern-day Silk Road, for the common good of all.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Schiller Institute President, and long known in China and internationally as the “Silk Road Lady,” for her advocacy of the concept, gave three interviews today, on the occasion of the BRI anniversary. She appeared on CGTN TV, in two interviews, one on Global Business, and another on the Dialogue Weekend program; and she was interviewed on her weekly Schiller Institute webcast, titled, “Most of the World Is Hungry for Change.” See transcript of both interviews here.

Beginning in the early 1990s, she and her husband Lyndon LaRouche, promoted the idea of the “World Land-Bridge,” of development corridors. The latest books they issued on this were two volumes (2014 and 2018) of the “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge,” along with “Extending the New Silk Road to West Asia and Africa” (2017.) These presented details, region by region, for world economic development.

In each interview today, she stressed the urgency for Western nations to rethink, and give up geopolitics and neo-colonialism, which have brought the world to the brink of nuclear war, worsening famine and persisting pandemic. Nations have been deliberately kept in poverty. These conditions, and induced strife, have produced mass migrations. She said on her webcast, “We have to have a re-thinking. Germany, the United States, other European countries should stop this geopolitical confrontation and say, ‘We have a pandemic, we have a mass famine, we have a refugee crisis of Biblical dimensions, and we must join hands and build infrastructure, hospitals, schools, industry, agriculture in all these countries…’.” She stated, “Let’s just build infrastructure, let’s build up Africa, this is the natural thing, and the Chinese are doing the natural things, and we should stop bickering about it, because we should take the moral lesson from the Chinese in this respect.”

President Xi Jinping reported that as of August, 2021, 170 nations had, in various ways, cooperated with the BRI. Now today, in terms of combatting the pandemic, 110 of these nations have received some of the 1.7 billion doses of vaccine.

Zepp-LaRouche drew attention in her webcast, to the fact that the same principle is involved in what China calls its “Belt and Road Health Initiative,” and what the Schiller Institute is campaigning for, in calling on nations to collaborate in building a world health system. This means facilities, staff, water, power, food, infrastructure.

We have a moment of special opportunity now. A week ago in Glasgow, COP26 ended as FLOP26. It was a failure for its organizers—the gaggle of royals, banksters, billionaires and the like, who want nations to agree to commit suicide, “to save the planet.” A critical number spoke out against this in Glasgow, and their view was again re-stated yesterday in Abuja, Nigeria, by Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama. He said simply, while standing alongside visiting U.S. Foreign Sec. Antony Blinken at a joint press conference, that Nigeria is “a gas-producing country…and we’re looking to gas to help to address our energy needs.” So, he called on Blinken to do something to stop the international financial institutions from refusing to lend to fossil fuels development. Nigeria has the right to use its resources and develop.

Now it is the time for all humanity to step forward and take the lead. Zepp-LaRouche replied to CGTN reporter Michael Wang’s question about her opinion of the BRI at a time of uncertainties in the world: “I think it is, for sure, the most important strategic initiative on the planet right now. Because—you say, `uncertainties’—these uncertainties show right now in the form of hyperinflationary tendencies—you see the energy prices skyrocketing, food prices, and we may actually head towards a hyperinflationary blowout of the entire system. At such a moment, to have the Belt and Road Initiative, which focuses entirely on the physical side of the economy, can actually become the absolute, important savior for the world economy as a whole. So, I think the existence of the Belt and Road Initiative is the most important initiative on the planet.”

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New Xinhua Video on the BRI Features African & Ibero-American Leaders, Schiller Institute Rep

New Xinhua Video on the BRI Features African & Ibero-American Leaders, Schiller Institute Rep

Nov. 20 (EIRNS)–“Xi Urges Continuous Efforts to Promote High-Quality BRI Development” is the headline of a new Xinhua print and video release, dated 11/20/21, which features short statements from Zimbabwe President Mnangagwa, former Brazilian President Temer, and think tankers including the Schiller Institute’s Richard A. Black on the success of the BRI in uniting over 140 countries and 30 organizations in global manufacturing and development.

In the 10-minute English-language Xinhua video, Black, identified as the Schiller Institute representative at the UN, is shown in a recent video interview describing a unique feature of the BRI: a great economic power, China, has extended its arms worldwide to all nations — including those nations which are poor and are small — and deals with those nations as equals. This is an aspect of a win-win strategy of rapid, mutual economic benefit. (The article with the embedded video is found here.)

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China Points to Promethean Nature of Space Exploration–“To Light Up Human Civilization”

China Points to Promethean Nature of Space Exploration–“To Light Up Human Civilization”

May 18 (EIRNS)—At Monday’s Foreign Ministry briefing, spokesman Zhao Lijian responded to a comment about the fact that NASA and Russia had congratulated China for landing its first rover on Mars, with a report about the many congratulations it had received from many other countries around the globe. He also referenced President Xi Jinping’s congratulatory message which pointed out that the Mars landing marked an important step in China’s interstellar exploration–from the exploration of the Earth-Moon system to interplanetary exploration.

In very poetic language, reminiscent of western myth of Prometheus giving fire to mankind, Zhou then said: “The Chinese people have a long-cherished space dream. From Shenzhou, Chang’e and Yutu to Tiangong and Tianwen, these beautiful names are the crystallization of their infinite longing for the distant stars and unknown space. The Mars rover of Tianwen-1 is named Zhurong after the god of fire in ancient Chinese mythology. Fire brought warmth and brightness to the ancestors of humankind, and fire lit up human civilization. Naming China’s first Mars rover after the god of fire signifies igniting the flame of China’s inter-planetary exploration, inspiring those working in this field to surpass themselves and pursue space dreams.

“The universe is also a dream for all humankind. China has always committed itself to peaceful use of space, carried out relevant international exchange and cooperation and shared outcomes in space exploration. With the spirit of seeking benefits for all mankind, China will continue to advance international cooperation in an open and inclusive manner and make greater contributions to the lofty cause of exploring the mysteries of the universe and promoting peace and development for mankind.” (His full remarks are here.)

Compare this beautiful explanation to the pathetic commentary from that NATO outpost in the U.S., the Atlantic Council, in the Fast Thinking daily nuggets it puts out, today entitled, “Mars With Chinese Characteristics.” What does China’s achievement on Mars “mean for the great-power space race?” it asks. “What are the military implications?” It then consults one of its “space experts” who pontificates that Beijing will “continue to challenge U.S. superiority” in space, and warns that if China “pioneers activity beyond low-Earth orbit…the trajectory of U.S. security and prosperity in space comes into question,” calling for the US to lead a NATO-style force into space. (The entire Fast Thinking daily item is here.)


South Africa’s DIRCO Posts ‘China’s Shared Future for Mankind’

South Africa’s DIRCO Posts ‘China’s Shared Future for Mankind’

May 17 (EIRNS)—A lengthy op-ed from March 29 for the Independent Online (IOL) website, highlighting the benefits to Africa from its recent relationship with China was posted on March 30 on South Africa’s website for the Department for International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), the country’s foreign ministry. The op-ed is by DIRCO’s Deputy Director-General for Asia and the Middle East Anil Sooklal, who holds the rank of ambassador. He is South Africa’s Sherpa to the BRICS, the G20, and IBSA (India-Brazil-South Africa), and the IORA (Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation). The article is headlined “China’s Shared Future for Mankind.”

Striking a very non-combative but distinctly pro-China tone from the start, Ambassador Sooklal begins with the story of China’s “idea of a community with a shared future for mankind,” from their first appearance on the world scene in 2013, with the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative, writing, “The concept, or what is now considered as a vision, calls for the fostering of international relations based on mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.”

China recognizes that this vision of “shared future” runs across the grain of the existing uni-polar order, the ambassador says, and they have not chosen confrontation, but rather doubled down on the multi-polar vision. “While there is greater convergence among countries and regions, there is also a worrying trend towards increasing political divergence in the international community. This does not augur well for the promotion of global peace, security, economic growth and development, and hence for China, working with the major players and other countries has become all the more important towards sustaining economic globalization, maintaining the system of global governance and ultimately promoting a community of shared future, based on equal opportunity and access to economic wealth, development and growth.”

The foreign ministry’s posting of the ambassador’s op-ed contributes to South Africa’s internal discussions and orientation as it struggles to emerge from the pandemic. Watching from their cockpit at the “top” of the African Global South, its decision and direction will have a major effect on the entire Sub-Saharan third of the huge continent. In the month since it was written, the explosion of the Mozambique terror has shaken the region, and in the days following, South Africa announced that it would order COVID-19 vaccines from China and Russia. The appearance of Sooklal’s article on the foreign ministry website is an indication of the internal fight currently raging, and also an indication of which way many would like to see it go.


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