The very same day that the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump was started in the U.S. Senate, EIR and the Schiller Institute gave a 2.5-hour background briefing in Berlin, featuring Harley Schlanger and former NSA Technical Director Bill Binney, the latter by video.
The participants from various nations and institutional backgrounds heard an extensive briefing by Schlanger about the strategic implications and history of the impeachment battle in the U.S. and the all-encompassing need to establish cooperation among the U.S., Russia, and China in the present strategic escalation, as Helga Zepp-LaRouche called for on January 7.
Schlanger described the British Empire’s role in bringing about regime change wars, the Blair doctrine of maintaining the failing “rules-based world order” of geopolitics and the bankrupt financial system of globalization. He contrasted those failures to the newly emerging paradigm of economic and political cooperation. It became clear to the participants that all of this was set up to end Trump’s explicit intention to stop the regime change wars and re-establish good relations with Russia — the nightmare for the Empire. Therefore, the impeachment question is of strategic importance for the whole world.
In the extended discussion period, questions included: Why is the British Empire still so important in all of this? If Trump is so peace-loving, why does he surround himself with war-hawks? Why did Gen. Michael Flynn not realize that he was under surveillance? What would happen if the Senate votes to convict Trump? How can the confrontation between Iran and the U.S. be stopped, and what role is this going to play in the U.S. elections? What was the role of then French President Sarkozy in eliminating Qaddafi?
The overall response by the participants demonstrated a growing demand to understand the full strategic picture, its historical dynamics, and above all the solution.
January 15, which is the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is the day of rallies and activity at appropriate locations, and on social media, websites, and all means of outreach. The Schiller Institute encourages all to commemorate the ideas and life’s work of Dr. King, by organizing for peace through economic development, as in the Call for the Emergency Summit.
The central international event will be at the United Nations in New York City, from 12 noon to 3 pm, Wednesday, January 15. Follow us on Facebook for on-the-ground reports from organizers throughout the world. To participate in New York, please contact: Lynne Speed, in New York, at (201) 562-9890.
This Schiller Institute conference is dedicated to the memory of Lyndon LaRouche. His ideas, his economic method, and his optimistic outlook about the potentials of human creativity for the lasting existence of humanity in the universe, are more relevant than ever. Today, the New Silk Road, joined by more than 130 nations, is the first opportunity for developing countries to overcome poverty and underdevelopment and is the achievement of his vision of a new, more just, world economic order. The core of his program for a new Bretton Woods system, in which the world’s strongest nations must work together to replace the oligarchic system, was, from the beginning, the industrialization of Africa, Asia and Latin America — the realization of the solidarity-building World Land-Bridge.
The Belt and Road and Apollo Program: Sources of Inspiration
By Hussein Askary and Jason Ross
In just a few days, world leaders will gather in New York for the 74th U.N. General Assembly summit, whose theme this year is “Sustainable Development.” The gathering is expected to attract developing nations’ leaders who are eager to see the implementation of the prioritized UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG2030). The priority goals are the eradication of poverty (Goal 1), eradication of hunger (Goal 2), providing good healthcare (3), quality education (4), clean water (6), available and affordable energy (7), economic growth (8), and infrastructure and industrialization (9). Despite the very real urgency of achieving these goals, the US, the EU, and the UN bureaucracy itself will likely place the greatest emphasis on Goal 13 (Climate Action)!
Wealthy doomsday prophets from Western countries will be descending on the UN building in New York, flying in planes, sailing on yachts, or crawling on the ground to preach the prophecy of the “end of the world” through the collapse of Earth’s climate—caused, they say, by continued economic growth and industrial development. They are joining a growing group of powerful financial and banking interests in the Western world who intend to enrich themselves through what they call “green growth” and “green finance.” The intention is to stop real economic growth and technological and scientific progress on a global scale to “save the planet.” In the meantime, the aspirations of poor countries and developing nations will have to take a back seat, because, obviously, there are more urgent matters than eliminating poverty and hunger, providing healthcare, education, and clean water and electricity to billions of people.
During the colonial period, the people of colonized nations were told that they were inferior beings, for whom poverty was the natural condition. In the post-colonial period, they were told that their poverty was the natural result of having corrupt leaders. Today, developing nations are told they are poor because the greedy, greedy industrial world caused climate change, and that they should never ever attempt to emulate the industrial world. Instead, they will get “climate-change mitigation” aid and handouts. Following this outlook would make poverty permanent (sustained) for generations.
The continued drumbeat for ending economic development is not new, but it has reached a hysterical level threatening both industrialized and developing nations. The vague discussion of “sustainable development” is partly to blame. The authors of this article are inclined to believe that there is a fundamental contradiction and discrepancy between how this term is propagated in the West and how it is perceived in China and other developing nations. In China and other developing countries, it is read “sustainable development” (with emphasis on “development”), while in the West, the emphasis lies on “sustainable.”
The Main Premise: Limited Resources!
The term “sustainable development” was formally codified by the United Nations through the 1987 Brundtland Report. (footnote 1)It is usually associated with promoting the use of so-called “renewable” sources of energy, such as solar and wind power, and is generally concerned with alleged adverse impacts of human activity on the environment. The referenced report states that “sustainable development” is defined as sufficient development to cover the “basic needs” of poor societies, i.e., the bare minimum to ensure survival, as well as extending to all nations and peoples the opportunity to fulfill their aspirations for better living standards.
However, the report states that many people in modern societies “live beyond the world’s ecological means, for instance in our patterns of energy use,” and warns that “sustainable development requires the promotion of values that encourage consumption standards that are within the bounds of the ecological possible and to which all can reasonably aspire.” How are these bounds determined? The report concedes that “the accumulation of knowledge and the development of technology can enhance the carrying capacity of the resource base. But ultimate limits there are, and sustainability requires that long before these are reached, the world must ensure equitable access to the constrained resource and reorient technological efforts to relieve the presume.” But are there truly ultimate limits for irreplaceable resources? Are the limits fixed by nature, or are they determined by our discoveries and inventions?
The notion of limited natural resources and the so-called “carrying capacity” of the ecological system are not applicable to human society, since it is the level of scientific and technological progress which defines the range of “resources,” rather than an a priori “natural” limit. Therefore, adopting the “sustainable development” goals determined by such notions as are presented in the Brundtland Report poses a great obstacle to eliminating poverty and providing higher living standards and quality of life for all individuals and nations. What is needed is either a new definition of these notions, or the adoption of completely different concepts.
China has proven that the way out of poverty and onto the path of progress is through fast-track “industrialization” and large-scale development projects, including mega-projects, using the full range of resources, whether scientific, human, or natural. For example, all useful sources of energy, such as coal, oil, gas, hydropower, and nuclear power, must be used. While it is imperative that the sources of power with a greater energy-flux density, like nuclear fission and fusion, should replace the less dense sources, it is neither reasonable nor moral to ask poor nations to avoid the sources of power that enabled the United States, Europe, Japan and others to become modern industrial societies. The speed of power expansion required necessitates the use and construction of hydrocarbon power sources, while the needed nuclear industrial base is developed and scientific advances for fusion are made.
China’s economic miracle is based on implementing sound policies that seem to be the opposite of those demanded by such international institutions as the World Bank, the IMF, international environmental organizations, and financial consulting corporations and think tanks. China has followed a policy which was, ironically, the policy that made the US the greatest economic power on earth by the end of the 1940s, and made a ruined Germany the second greatest industrial power in the post-World War II world.
China’s is a dirigist policy of centralized, state-financed development of infrastructure and industry through national credit for long-term development, by using the latest technological and scientific innovations and developing new ones.
This discrepancy—between the proven successful methods of development, both current and historical (as in industrialization of the United States and Germany, for example) on the one hand, and what is now being promoted by international institutions on the other—must be addressed and eliminated. The new paradigm of development spearheaded by China and the BRICS nations is a key element in this process.
It is therefore necessary to state in clear terms, here, in this context, that the definition of the term “sustainable development” should mean the ability to maintain a process of providing ever higher levels of productivity and standards of living, both physically and culturally, to whole societies through scientific creativity and technological innovation. “Sustainable development” should not be used to mean the adaptation by society to an ever-shrinking base of fixed resources, because there is no such a thing as limited resources! What puts a limit to growth is the lack of cultural, scientific and technological progress.
China: The epitome of a developing nation
Between 1981 and 2018, China lifted 800 million of its citizens out of poverty—as attested by such institutions as the World Bank—by investing in urban and rural infrastructure projects, by completing mega-projects in transportation, water, and power, and by building an industrial and scientific capacity unparalleled in world history. The only close example of such rapid industrialization is the 1930s and 1940s New Deal and WWII mobilization under U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This unparalleled achievement can be replicated, in its outline, by all developing nations, although with different dimensions and characteristics. Over the past forty years, China built more water management projects than the United States had done in a hundred years. Another metric that emphasizes the immense magnitude of the undertaking is the fact that China used more cement in the three years 2011–2013, than did the United States during the entire 20th century! The Chinese 20,000 km high-speed railway network has already surpassed the combined networks of the Western European nations. China has 37 operating nuclear power plants (70% of which were built in the past decade alone), and a further 20 plants are under construction.
Enter the BRI
The announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by Chinese President Xi Jinping in late 2013, (footnote 2) which was a breakthrough for the New Silk Road policy adopted by China since 1996, transformed China’s development policy into a global strategy, an all-inclusive initiative for all nations, without exception, to join and to shape. The BRI hinges on the construction of infrastructure mega-projects whose scale has not been seen in the world since the U.S. New Deal before World War II, the post–World War II reconstruction of Germany, and the U.S. space program of the 1960s.
The 6 Corridors of the Economic Belt of the New Silk Road (A-F) and the Maritime Silk Road (F) which were announced by President Xi in 2013. The other global transcontinental corridors were envisioned by the Schiller Institute as early as 1992. Credit: Belt and Road Institute in Sweden (BRIX)
The BRI is based on the solid foundation of China’s own economic miracle in the past few decades, and is backed by the entirety of the massive financial, technological, human resources base, and political power of China. It has evolved from a national Chinese project of economic development and industrialization into a massive intercontinental initiative for connectivity and economic cooperation, an initiative that more than 120 nations have joined so far. The BRI is already becoming the biggest economic undertaking in the history of mankind. The developing sector nations, many of which enjoy massive geographical advantages and human and natural resources, are poised to reap major benefits from this global initiative.
The fact that China is sharing its amazing experience of industrialization and development of the past three decades with the rest of the world is a key element of success.
Through the BRI, China is offering the rest of the world its know-how, experience, and technology, backed by a $3 trillion financial arsenal. This is a great opportunity for West Asia and Africa to realize the dreams of the post–World War II independence era, dreams that have unfortunately been sabotaged for decades. The dramatic deficit in infrastructure both nationally and inter-regionally in West Asia and Africa can, ironically, be considered in this new light as a great opportunity. Although many other industrial nations in Europe, Asia and the Americas have technological and labor capabilities similar to those of China, they lack the vision and political will to apply these capabilities and to finance their use. Since West Asia and Africa are such strategically important areas for both East and West, it is, therefore, a perfect place for bringing the capabilities of the nations of the world into one concrete project of peaceful cooperation and development.
Encouraging signs have simultaneously emerged from African nations that have realized the importance of joining and benefiting from the new paradigm of development based on industrialization and large-scale infrastructure projects. Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Kenya, for example, have all designed impressive national development plans that are being implemented in rapid steps. But even here, China’s role is decisive.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)—the most compact and well-defined BRI project—is revolutionizing Pakistan, a nation which until a couple of years ago was indebted and broken, economically. Now, Pakistan is bustling with optimism and its economy being transformed by all the power, water, transport, and logistics projects being undertaken at breathtaking speed under the CPEC. The industrial base of Pakistan which was mostly shut down in the past few years due to lack of electricity, is poised to reemerge now. Pakistans ports, like Gwadar, are in the process of moving from an isolated and abandoned fishing village to world-class maritime transport and logistics hub. China’s investments in Pakistan are reaching USD 60-70 billion from the originally planned level of $45 billion.
Before the CPEC projects came to fruition, Pakistan’s economic development was stymied by the lack of electricity, which lack prevented the needed growth to escape the actual debt trap related to a lack of development. As a result of its large trade deficit, Pakistan’s growing foreign debt reached $95 billion in 2017. It has been running a yearly trade deficit of over $23 billion for the past few years. Pakistan’s main export items are raw materials and staple foodstuffs, and its main manufactured export is textiles. Staple food and raw materials suffer from price oscillations, whereas the textile sector’s competitiveness is crippled by the unreliable and inadequate energy supply. And it is precisely the crucial energy sector and transportation, that are the main focus of Chinese investments in the CPEC.
Pakistan’s energy imports have contributed significantly to its trade imbalance and indebtedness. Over the fiscal year 2017–2018, imports stood at $60.86 billion, 2.6 times the $23.22 billion of exports, resulting in a historically high trade deficit of $37.64 billion. Nearly a quarter of Pakistan’s imports were energy (oil and gas), amounting to $14.43 billion. (footnote 3) These energy imports constitute nearly half of the annual deficit! On August 3, 2018, the Pakistan Express Tribune reported that the British Standard Chartered Bank was to extend a $200-million commercial loan (at 4.2% interest rate) to Pakistan to finance LNG imports. The SCB is one of Pakistan’s largest lenders, with $1.1 billion in loans in 2016–2017 alone. This is how a nation walks into a debt trap.
Before the full completion of CPEC power projects, Pakistan’s total installed electrical capacity was 25,000 MW (2017), with the average demand being 19,000 MW.
Installed capacities, broken down by production type, was as follows: 1. Hydrocarbons (thermal) 14.7 GW, comprising 64% of installed capacity, 2. hydropower 7.1 GW (31% ), 3. nuclear 0.7 GW (3%), 4. wind, solar, biogas 0.4 GW (2%). (footnote 4)
Considered in terms of actual electricity production, the figures are as follows: (1) hydrocarbons (thermal) 58.5 TWh, comprising 60% of electricity production, (2) hydro 32.9 TWh (34%), (3) nuclear 5.0 THw (5%), (4) wind, solar, biogas 0.8 TWh (0.8%).
In the decade preceding the CPEC, Pakistan’s annual electricity consumption lingered in the range of 70–80 TWh, approximately 50 watts (or 440 kWh/yr) per capita. With the completion of a portion of the CPEC power projects, the nation’s electricity consumption rose to 100 TWh in 2018, bringing the average up to 500 kWh capita. This growth is good, but the figure is still far too low, and tens of millions of Pakistanis do not yet have access to grid electricity.
The CPEC energy projects will play a significant role in expanding electricity access in Pakistan. (footnote 5) This can eliminate the energy deficit and prepare the economy for a further surge in industrial activity. The breakdown of the investments that are completed, under construction or negotiation is as follows: Coal plants: 8,580 MW; Hydropower: 2,700 MW; other thermal plants (natural gas): 825 MW; Solar power plants: 900 MW; wind farms: 350 MW. (footnote 6) The expected total new electricity generating capacity is 13,355 MW. And the total cost of all these power generation projects (including mining of coal and electricity transmission lines) is estimated to be $23-30 billion, which is approximately the cost of two years’ imports of oil and gas, and less than the annual trade deficit.
To tell Pakistan today to stop the coal power plants amounts to telling its people to commit collective suicide.
Pakistan was never enabled, or allowed, by its Western “friends”—who needed the country to fight the Soviet army in Afghanistan throughout the 1980s and the Taliban since 2001—to fully develop its clean and “carbon-free” nuclear power. This is poised to change, since China and Russia are fully capable of assisting in the construction of nuclear power plants. The choice of coal power at this moment is due to the fact that Pakistan has the raw material in abundance, because it takes a relatively short time (18-24 months) to construct a modern coal power plant, and because the necessary skills, equipment, and planning to produce them in large numbers currently exist. Nuclear power plants are complicated in both time and physical requirements. While coal may not be an ideal choice over the long term (30-40 years), the only reasonable alternative is nuclear power, for which the necessary construction capabilities must be geared up worldwide. For the Pakistani nation and economy to reach the platform of being able to build or participate in building its own nuclear power plants, its economy needs to be revived and developed now.
The attempt to supply the energy needs of Pakistan—or nearly (footnote 7) any nation, for that matter—by so-called “green” or “renewable” technologies for electricity production, would be an exercise in extortionately expensive futility, leading to real human suffering.
Chinese President Xi’s Philosophy of Development: “Make the cake bigger!”
Chinese President Xi Jinping.
By carefully reading the speeches and writings of the Chinese President Xi Jinping without ideological prejudice, we conclude that what Xi means by “sustainable development” is not what politicians and economists in the West mean by that term.
In his speech to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on October 18, 2017, Xi thoroughly describes the goals of development set out by him and the party, and clearly explains his understanding of the “Scientific Outlook on Development.” According to him, this is one of the key five guiding principles of the Communist Party of China (besides Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of the Three Represents). In point four of his speech, “Adopting a New Vision of Development,” Xi said: “Development is the underpinning and the key for solving our country’s problems.” He emphasized: “We must pursue a model of sustainable development featuring increased production, higher living standards, and healthy ecosystems.”
Rather than focusing on “limited resources” and how to divide them, Xi often uses the metaphor of “rather than fighting over a small cake, make the cake bigger” when urging his party comrades to think outside the box. Most indoctrinated so-called experts in the Western world would see this today as a contradiction of terms, because they believe that increased production and raising the living standards cause ecological problems and will inevitably hit the wall of limited resources.
Even more provocative to Western observers are Xi’s repeated calls for the industrialization of Africa. In his speech at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Johannesburg, South Africa in December 2015, Xi said the following:
“Industrialization is an inevitable path to a country’s economic success. Within a short span of several decades, China has accomplished what took developed countries hundreds of years to accomplish and put in place a complete industrial system with an enormous production capacity…
“It is entirely possible for Africa, as the world’s most promising region in terms of development potential, to bring into play its advantages and achieve great success…. The achievement of inclusive and sustainable development in Africa hinges on industrialization, which holds the key to creating jobs, eradicating poverty and improving people’s living standards.”
President Xi did not say this as a provocation to the West, but because he truly holds this view, which is completely in sync with China’s own fantastic feat of development in the past three decades.
The most transparent and scientific definition of “sustainable development” according to Xi is described in a speech titled “A Deeper Understanding of the New Development Concepts,” which he delivered on January 18, 2016 at a study session of the implementation of the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee. The term “coordinated development,” he says, has acquired new features. In the usual Chinese philosophical manner that is not fearful of contradictions that lead to solutions, he stated: “Coordinated development is the unity of balanced development and imbalanced development. The process from balance to imbalance and then to rebalance is the basic law of development. Balance is relative while imbalance is absolute. Emphasizing coordinated development is not pursuing equalitarianism, but giving more importance to equal opportunities and balanced resource allocation.”
Xi continued: “Coordinated development is the unity of weakness and potential in development. China is in a stage of transition from a middle-income country to a high-income country. According to international experience, this is a stage of concentrated conflicts of interest, in which imbalanced development and various weaknesses are inevitable. To pursue coordinated development, we should identify and improve our weaknesses, so as to tap development potential and sustain growth momentum.” (footnote 8)
No state of equilibrium: Breaking the boundary conditions
In this speech and other speeches on the concepts of development, Xi has emphasized that the way to overcome such contradictions is to pursue scientific and technological creativity and innovation. It is very clear that Xi realizes that there is no such a thing as a “state of equilibrium,” but rather there is a process of progress and sustained growth, although he emphasizes that the goal is growth that is qualitative, rather than merely quantitative.
People in the West hear every day that the modern civilization has hit the wall, that limits of growth and technological development have been reached, that Earth’s carrying capacity has met its limit, and that the solution is to slow down, roll back industrialization and reduce the world population, because we cannot sustain growth indefinitely.
The proponents of zero-growth base their theories on a fictitious “state of equilibrium” in nature between limited natural resources and the biological needs of all species, humans included, on this one and only planet! Life itself, the biosphere and the human species have proven that there is no such a static state of equilibrium, but that there is a process of progress and development. But that process of development usually bumps into certain boundary conditions, because a previous key “natural resource” is depleted. However, creative and revolutionary technological leaps break that boundary condition and brings life to a new and more intensive platform of progress. In other words, when a society hits a wall, it has to build a ladder and climb the wall to come to the new, but higher platform of economic development. That ladder is scientific and technological progress.
Human Creativity: the Greatest — and Infinite — Natural Resource
In a discussion of the role of science as a driver for the development of any nation, President Xi stated in a speech delivered to the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee on October 29, 2015, “Innovative development focuses on the drivers of growth. Our ability to innovate is inadequate. Our science and technology is not fully developed, and is unable to create momentum to support economic and social development. This is the Achilles heel for such a big economy as China.” (footnote 9) Concerning the primacy of human creativity to so-called natural resources, Xi stressed: “So we must consider innovation as the primary driving force of growth and the core in this whole undertaking, and human resources as the primary source to support development. We should promote innovation in theory, systems, science and technology, and culture, and make innovation the dominant theme in the work of the Party, and government, and everyday activity of in society.” (footnote 10)
This chart of human population over historical time reflects the unique characteristic of human life among all life known to us. Our species continually breaks the limits to its growth, by developing new knowledge that opens up new resources and increases the productive powers of labor.
Elaborating on the history of the impact of scientific progress since the Renaissance on the industrial development of Europe and later the United States, Xi informed his Party comrades: “In the 16th century, human society entered an unprecedented period of active innovation. Achievements in scientific innovation over the past five centuries have exceeded the sum total of several previous millenia… Each and every scientific and industrial revolution has profoundly changed the outlook and pattern of world development… Since the second Industrial Revolution, the U.S. has maintained global hegemony because it has always been the leader and the largest beneficiary of scientific and industrial progress.” (footnote 11)
Xi is not expressing frustration and envy over the fantastic past progress of Europe and the United States, but is urging his people to learn from those successes. As Confucius said in the Analects: “He who learns but does not think is lost. However, he who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.”
President Xi’s thoughts are clearly in harmony with those presented by American Economic Lyndon LaRouche, who has defined and treated economics in a scientific manner the same way physics is treated. LaRouche, the pioneer of Physical Economics, defined the process of progress of society as the building of new economic platforms.
The LaRouche View of Economics: Successive Economic Platforms!
Following his service in World War II, economist and statesman Lyndon LaRouche tackled a central problem to understanding economic growth: the seeming impossibility of representing the incommensurable value of scientific revolutions. To give an example of the difficulty involved, consider the initial development of steam power. This new technology transformed the power of coal, which had been used as a source of heat, into a source of motion, making it tremendously more valuable than it had been. The ability to separate the process of production both from the muscle power of people and beasts, and from a reliance on such local peculiarities as the availability of wind or flowing water, transformed the economic geography completely. The power of an individual worked increased by an order of magnitude. Goods that previously were created by hand by artisans and were consequently available only to the wealthy, could now be produced efficiently in larger numbers, making them available to a broader population. How can these varied benefits — in changing resources, increasing productivity, and altering the importance of geography — be understood?
Lyndon LaRouche (1922-2019) speaking at a live webcast in 2010.
LaRouche begins his theory with a consideration of the most important metric of human economy, the potential population density that can be achieved by a given society’s cultural and scientific development, adjusted for the conditions of geography (including man made improvements to that geography). This metric, potential relative population density, gives a rough understanding of the economic power brought to bear by a civilization. True economic value exists in those processes and developments that act to increase this metric.
As an additional metric, LaRouche insists that the intensity of power applied by a society — at the point of production as well as more broadly considered per capita and per land area — must increase with economic growth. This metric, energy flux density, involves both the quantitative increase in power available, and also its qualitative nature, as expressed in its intensity. For example, a laser uses a greater density of energy than does a metal cutting device, yet it may be able to cut a metal part using less total energy. This is a reflection of the greater energy flux density embodied in the laser. A similar example is the increasing ratio of energy use specifically as electricity — a more concentrated form of energy — to total energy use in an economy.
In addition to the concepts of potential relative population density and energy flux density, add another: the concept of the economic platform as a superior concept to that of infrastructure.
As we progress, we rely increasingly on an improved environment. Rather than walking on paths made by herds of animals or floating on natural rivers, we use roads, rail lines, subways, sidewalks. We increasingly work in illuminated buildings and enclosed vehicles, safe from the ravages of weather, rather than unprotected outdoors. The substrate upon which we depend, this built environment, is often considered as an accumulation of pieces of “infrastructure.” LaRouche takes a fresh approach to this concept, as in a 2010 paper:
We should then recognize that the development of basic economic infrastructure had always been a needed creation of what is required as a “habitable” development of a “synthetic,” rather than a presumably “natural” environment, for the enhancement, or even the possibility of human life and practice at some time in the existence of our human species. . . .
Man as a creator in the likeness of the great Creator, is expressed by humanity’s creation of the “artificial environments” we sometimes call “infrastructure,” on which both the progress, and even the merely continued existence of civilized society depends. (footnote 12)
LaRouche reconceptualizes the history of human development from the standpoint of a succession of economic platforms. The earliest human civilizations were limited in their movements to land and to the oceans and rivers. And this water transportation itself required the technologies of ship-building and navigation. The sky itself served as an infrastructure platform, its stars providing a means of finding one’s way. The construction of new rivers, in the form of navigable canals, marked the next great stage of human advancement, providing a new platform upon which to develop. The land itself changed in value, as areas that were previously quite distant from the seas and rivers were brought within its reach, including through supplementary road networks. The railroads — rivers of steel — were the next great platform, utilizing the scientific knowledge of metallurgy and of the steam engine to transform our relationship to the land, and to space and time themselves. Distances that were traversable only in weeks could now be crossed in days.
Connectivity grew and the economic potential of land increased by the availability of rail transport.
The next great platforms upon which human civilization will be based, will rely on new technologies of greater energy flux density. With the realization of nuclear fusion, building on the gains already achieved through the control over nuclear fission, our relationship to travel and to resources will be fundamentally altered. Processing of ores, which today requires the use of coke produced from coal for its chemical transformation, could be achieved in a much simpler way. The value of high-level concentrations of mineral deposits will decrease, as lower concentrations will be economically viable to use. Our relationship to water — a precious resource required in great quantities — will take on a new form as we use nuclear fusion to use the plentiful water in the world’s salty seas. Our power over space will grow exponentially as nuclear-powered rockets propel us quickly through the solar system, and move asteroids that might strike the Earth onto safer orbits!
In all of this analysis, money itself plays a secondary, although important role. Money, being a scalar value, cannot be used to assign a value to the steam engine, to the development of railroads, to the 1960s Apollo mission to the Moon, or to the coming breakthrough of nuclear fusion. While money can measure more of what existed previously, the benefits of these leaps is that they allow us to accomplish more than we could before. In each of these cases, the potential population density of the human race is increased, processes of higher energy flux density are used or unlocked, and a greater platform of created environment upon which other activity unfolds is born.
LaRouche has consistently urged the creation of economic and political systems that cohere with the laws of physical economics. This means national and international credit systems under which long-term credit can be provided for projects that increase the physical productivity of the nation or society, including in the many circumstances that such investments would not be financially profitable to a private investor. Instead of suffering under economic “laws” that have no universal validity, the financial system itself must be subjected to the creative will of man, and brought into coherence with the long-term goals of the species.
Key in upgrading our potential is the conquest of space, that great domain lying always over our heads, beckoning us to look up and to think big! From space, there is only one Earth, populated by a single human race. From space, the overwhelming potential of that beautiful, creative species becomes manifest. It is for this reason that many of the greatest space visionaries and engineers have developed profound reflections on the human race itself. The German-American Krafft Ehricke is one such example.
A species not Earth-bound
Space visionary Ehricke, whose scientific contributions made the Apollo Program possible, strongly disputed the “limits to growth” philosophy, and his arguments in opposition to it were informed by his deep relationship to science and technology. In a 1984 speech, Ehricke said: “If you have a no-growth philosophy and if you regress into the Middle Ages, then you create an environment in which that, what you are asking the human being to do — namely to live with less and being very modest … and not to grow — is impossible, because a dog-eat-dog fight is bound to break out under those conditions. We’ve come too far. We have to go on. Life shows us that technological advances are the road to go. But based on those technological advances, must come the advances of the species and the advances of our civilization.” (footnote 13)
Ehricke argued that in the process of evolution on Earth, organic matter faced this crisis and overcame it: “Earth was like a gigantic flower, which soaked up solar energy and also utilized other energy to establish basic organic compounds, and amino acids. And when life began to stir here, there lived, of those fossil assets, Haldane’s famous ’soup that ate itself up,’ or something similar to that, and of course, eventually the resources ran out. And the first great crisis of life on this planet occurred, because they were living off previously generated organic substances… It was then, that we saw for the first time, two things: That what seemed to be an absolute limit to growth, was no limit to growth. It was a hindrance, that had to be overcome, and was overcome by technological advances — incredible technological advances, namely photosynthesis.”
The “first industrial revolution” is how Ehricke termed this advancement whereby organic matter found in outer space a new, extraterrestrial resource—solar radiation—for its continued development and survival.
Ehricke called for the human species to do the same, by going to outer space to explore and tap the unlimited resources that the solar system and the universe offers us: “This goes far beyond that… Information metabolism transcends planetary limitations, and is the metabolism on which life moves now over into space itself.”
Krafft Ehricke summarized his philosophy of astronautics in three laws, formulated in 1957:
First Law: Nobody and nothing under the natural laws of this universe impose any limitations on man except man himself.
Second Law: Not only the Earth, but the entire Solar system, and as much of the universe as he can reach under the laws of nature, are man’s rightful field of activity.
Third Law: By expanding through the Universe, man fulfills his destiny as an element of life, endowed with the power of reason and the wisdom of the moral law within himself. (footnote 14)
In a stark contrast to the mantra frequently repeated respecting environmental concerns that “there is no planet B,” the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the July 20, 1969 moon landing by the US Apollo 11 mission (Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins), has spread a new wave of optimism across the world, because it is such groundbreaking achievements that remind people of their true mission in life, on Earth and the universe — the mission to be creative, to discover and explore new frontiers of knowledge, science and technology while at the same time resolving a myriad of issues and conflicts that stem from the pessimistic and cynical view that the nature of humans is egoism and the characteristic of nations is to undermine each other and fight over purported “limited resources.”
A science city on Mars, as proposed by Lyndon LaRouche. In 1988, he wrote that “If the United States follows the approach I have proposed, we shall have our first permanent colony on Mars by the year A.D. 2027. During a few years following that, that colony will grow into an increasingly self-sustained community, the size of a medium-sized city on Earth. Long before A.D. 2027, the average U.S. taxpayer will have gained an enormous personal profit from the earlier, preparatory stages of the program as a whole.” The development of new scientific breakthroughs and technologies allows us, uniquely among known species, to transform our relationship to nature by improving the productive powers of labor. This creative potential, common to all people, is the basis for international collaboration in space, science, and culture, to advance the common aims of mankind.
“A community of shared future for mankind,” the concept pronounced by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the UN General Assembly in September 2015, should no longer be Earth-bound, but rather encompass everywhere human civilization reaches in the Solar System and the universe beyond. The fruits of space exploration by any nation should be celebrated and shared by all nations. This idea is shared by the best of the US and European astronauts and space scientists. When Armstrong set foot on the surface of the moon, he said this was “one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” He did not proclaim it a “giant leap for the US,” but for all mankind, because he understood the full implications the achievement.
In a recent intervention at a George Washington University event titled “One Giant Leap: Space Diplomacy, Past, Present, and Future,” Buzz Aldrin called for the creation of an “international space alliance” where the U.S. would cooperate with the space programs of China, Russia, Europe, Japan and India. He correctly argued that colonizing the Moon and making it a launchpad for manned missions to Mars cannot be achieved efficiently by one nation. In addition to the technical necessity, cooperation is also a means to achieve global peace, and to advance scientific and technological cooperation which should eventually include every nation in the world.
Harrison (“Jack”) Schmitt, one of the astronauts on Apollo 17, which made the last human landing on the Moon, and who is perhaps the most insightful spokesman for the space program, told the Daily Telegraph (footnote 15) that “Moon and Mars settlement is extremely important for the dispersal of the human species throughout the Solar System, and possibly beyond.” Harrison Schmitt envisioned the “100th anniversary of Apollo,” saying that at that time “there will be settlements on the Moon, people living there permanently, producing the resources of the Moon… Settlements on the Moon are going to be a piece of cake.”
The Moon’s status as a launchpad to further space dreams arises from its physical characteristics. The lunar regolith (soil) harbors unique resources, its small mass allows for easy takeoffs, and its proximity to the Earth makes it a convenient location.
One of the Moon’s unique resources is related to power. The best designs for nuclear fusion power require nuclear reactions without neutrons (uncharged particles, which cannot be controlled electromagnetically), and the ideal fuel for these reactions is helium-3. This special isotope of helium is almost non-existent on Earth, but is constantly emitted by the sun. Because the Moon lacks a magnetic field (or an atmosphere), this fuel source flung generously by the sun is caught in the lunar soil, where millions of tons exist today. This helium isotope, the best fuel for nuclear fusion power, can serve humanity both in space and on Earth, to meet the needs of all nations for probably hundreds of years to come.
There are several other benefits of Moon industrialization. Water on the Moon can be broken down into hydrogen and oxygen, which can be used as fuel for rockets. Metals can be mined to set up local manufacturing on the Moon. This manufacturing will benefit from the Moon’s small size. As a result of the weaker gravitational attraction on the Moon, less than one-tenth as much power is required to a payload from the surface of the Moon to Earth orbit as would be required to bring the same payload from the surface of the Earth to Earth orbit. And since the Moon is relatively close by, the journey time is not long.
Schmitt emphasizes these benefits of lunar development:
“Not only will that assist a Mars mission, but helium-3 is an ideal fuel for electric power generation because it creates no radioactive waste and demands for electrical power are not going to decrease; civilization depends on it [electrical power], and this is one of the major potential and long-term sources.
“The Moon’s debris layer provides the opportunity to produce water, hydrogen and oxygen as fuels. It’s also very fertile, so if you want to produce food, that’s achievable. Settlements on the Moon are going to be a piece of cake.”
The industrialization of the Moon could become the joint development project of the world. Not only does it open the frontiers of space, but it also breaks the pessimistic and unscientific ideology of limited resources. One of the important objectives of the Chinese lunar mission is to gather the helium-3 that is uniquely abundant on the surface of the Moon.
Lyndon LaRouche has been famous for his promotion both of nuclear fusion and of a fully developed Moon-Mars program, which would serve for decades as a driver of new scientific and technological breakthroughs. His 1988 campaign for U.S. President included a thirty-minute video, The Woman on Mars, which detailed his program to the general audience of American voters and thinkers worldwide.
In a presentation he gave in 2010, LaRouche put forward the motivations for humanity to reach into the heavens: (footnote 16)
Therefore, we have to go to Mars, not because we want to get there, but we don’t want to fail to get there! … We’re going to a new conception of basic economic infrastructure, which started with the space pioneers in the 1920s, and into the United States. We began to realize that mankind needs a new dimension, beyond railroads, beyond old water systems, needs a new dimension for the expression of humanity in the Solar System.
This is not just for “getting there.” This is for giving man a mission, a natural mission for mankind, on which we will base the culture which increases mankind’s options, and also the security of humanity. That is, by developing ourselves, instead of sitting on one planet and depleting that planet and doing nothing else, and becoming fat and lazy—instead of that, let’s take on a mission!
Let’s look ahead 75 years, three generations. And let’s take what we have now, with these—we’ve got young people under 25 who are in a disastrous state of education in life. They’re going no place, unless we do something for them. We’re going to have to give them a mission, and an opportunity, which inspires them, so that their children will not be so damned stupid. And therefore, by three successive generations of development … I’m satisfied that we could develop the scientific and technological capabilities, in three successive generations—all the time, bringing our people up to a higher level of productivity—to make up for what we’ve lost, and to go beyond that…
We know we have to develop the Moon, which is accessible to us, readily, with technology already developed by us. We know we can develop an industry on the Moon, because you don’t want to take off from Earth, and lug a lot of things up from Earth; there’s just too much effort involved. Go to the Moon, take your technology to the Moon, develop industries on the Moon: You can build the spacecraft and other things you need to go to Mars!
The lunar regolith (soil) includes many of the basic elements required for industrial production of rocket components and fuel. And its helium-3 is an ideal fuel for nuclear fusion, surpassing anything economically available on Earth. Once components are built on the Moon, they can be easily brought to Earth orbit. In fact, bringing payloads from the surface of the Moon to Earth orbit uses less than 10% of the energy required to bring them from the surface of Earth to Earth orbit! LaRouche continued:
Why do we go to Mars? Because it’s the nature of man to do so: The nature of man is expressed by the fact that we are not a fixed species, with fixed behavior. We’re a species that must develop, as mankind has developed, despite all the setbacks. Mankind has greatly improved, since our first evidence of what mankind was on this planet. Improved through technology, through intellectual development, stimulated by technology; by improvements in culture, especially Classical culture.
And the purpose of man, is to find his place in the universe.
Don’t worry about what the destination is. We’ve got to find our place in the universe: We must develop! Mankind is creative. Mankind must create! Mankind must develop!
And if we do that—the space program, as we would develop it—my estimate is, that it will take three generations to develop the capability to actually put human beings safely on Mars. To solve the problem of gravitation in interplanetary flight and that sort of thing. We can do it! We don’t have a population which is trained, yet, to undertake that mission. But we have a population, which is ready to be uplifted from despair, now, and plan that the grandchildren of people today, of young people today—the grandchildren of young people today will solve that problem! And it should be our mission to dedicate the United States, in particular, and the planet as a whole to that mission, to give mankind a sense and a determination of a future which should belong to mankind.
Mankind was put in this universe for some purpose. We’re not always too sure what that purpose is. But we’re sure of one thing about that purpose: It requires, as history has shown us, the development of the intellectual powers of mankind, the intellectual powers of man’s progress. The future, if it means anything to have children and grandchildren, is to ensure that the children and grandchildren have made an upwards step, beyond what’s impossible now. And to do as we’ve done before, from our past experience, in making the kind of progress, the changes in behavior, and progress, and increase in the power of mankind, to solve great problems, problems of disease, all kinds of problems.
What is the greatest focus for this human mission? LaRouche answers:
Therefore, we have to put a name on it, and the name we put on it for the short term, is the Mars Mission. And we say, that within three generations, we’ll take this wretched nation, this poor, broken-down, ruined, betrayed nation, and, in cooperation with other nations on this planet, we will develop a technology and the people capable of carrying it, which will, step by step, bring man to his true dignity, to recognize the place of man in the universe. Not to what we’re going to do in the universe, ultimately, but to know we’re there!
And we need that.
You know, people talk about immortality and so forth—what’s it mean? Just another person being produced, to replace the one that died? No. Immortality is the certain understanding, that you are living today, because you are doing something, which is going to lead to the development of man’s power in the future. Your immortality lies in your grandchildren, and your great-grandchildren beyond that. Your immortality, your purpose of your life, is what comes out of it! That you’re a permanent part of the universe! Because, by developing within the universe, you’ve demonstrated that you’re not just a drop on the planet: You are part of the universe, forever!
And that should motivate you.
It is from this greatest of mission-orientations that we can draw inspiration for developing the necessary platforms of economic development to enable people from all nations of the world to live lives allowing us to meaningfully aspire to contribute something of enduring value to all of human history.
The endless pursuit of that goal is the only process of development that can truthfully be called sustainable.
1. Former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland headed the UN-appointed World Commission on Environment and Development, which released the report “Our Common Future,” also known as the Brundtland Report, in 1987: http://www.un-documents.net/wced-ocf.htm
2. President Xi Jinping announced the creation of the “Economic Belt of the Silk Road” in a speech in the Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan in September 2013. The Belt is a land-based economic corridor extending from eastern China to western Europe and engaging 69 nations in its path. One month later he announced, from Jakarta, Indonesia, the intention to launch the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road together with other nations. This includes building numerous ports on the sea lanes of the Pacific and Indian Oceans and the Mediterranean. The two projects complement each other and together make up the BRI. http://english.gov.cn/beltAndRoad/
3. “Pakistan’s Trade Deficit Stands at $30.19b” Salman Siddiqui, The Express Tribune, Aug 14, 2018
4. Figures from Pakistan’s National Electric Power Regulatory Authority, “State of Industry Report 2015”
5. For detailed description of the energy projects involved in the CPEC, consult the project’s official website
6. Since the expected capacity factor of solar and wind would be no greater than 30%, the energy generated by these systems should be estimated as being at most one-third their official capacity. These projects, by dint of the low intensity of their power sources, are also expensive. Considering both their cost and their likely capacity factors, the (intermittent) electricity produced by these projects will cost several times more than coal or large hydro.
7. There is a temporary exception of those few nations capable, by virtue of their geography, of utilizing large hydro plants and geothermal energy. Iceland is currently such an example, although future development will require energy beyond what can be supplied by these means.
8. Xi Jinping, The Governance of China II, pp. 226-227. (emphasis added)
9. The Governance of China II, Page 217. Speech titled “Guide Development with New Concepts”.
10. Ibid. Emphasis added.
12. Lyndon LaRouche, “What Your Accountant Never Understood: The Secret Economy” EIR, May 28, 2010.
13. “Lunar Industrialization and Settlement — Birth of Polyglobal Civilization” Presented at the October 1984 Conference of the National Academy of Science, on “Lunar Bases and Space Activities of the 21st Century”
14. Cited in Marsha Freeman, How We Got to the Moon: The Story of the German Space Pioneers (Washington, D.C., 21st Century Science Associates, 1993), p. 297.
16. Transcript available as “Change is a’Comin’” EIR, July 16, 2010
The Schiller Institute hosted a high-level seminar in Berlin, Germany on August 29 to provide a report on the true significance and substantial progress of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), especially regarding developments in Southwest Asia and Africa. Forty-five people attended, including representatives of Germany’s Mittelstand (small and medium-sized industries), the diplomatic community, and other institutions. A visiting delegation of scholars from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), an important academic organization and research center, presented papers on the role of the BRI in stabilizing the region through economic development. A common theme of virtually all presentations was that for peace to be achieved in this region, a commitment to real economic development is necessary, centered on advances in science and application of new technologies.
Moderator Stephan Ossenkopp of the Schiller Institute opened the event by emphasizing that there is an urgent need for a “rational dialogue” on what the Chinese are actually doing, as opposed to the negative reports in the western media. The BRI is not a unilateral, imperial project, but one which is comprehensive and inclusive.
The keynote, from Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the Chairwoman of the Schiller Institute, expanded on this theme, noting that the BRI is “the most important strategic policy on the agenda.” The speed of its growth in the last six years has been amazing and it is of particular importance for rebuilding the war-torn nations of southwest Asia, and overcoming the suppression of nations in Africa, where Europe could have contributed to the industrialization of Africa, but has not.
Founder of the international Schiller Institute, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, delivering her keynote address.
Instead of allowing the opponents of development to turn China into an “enemy,” the truth of what China is doing needs to be more broadly known and understood. The Belt and Road Initiative is necessary for peace and stability, and should be joined by western governments, especially the United States.
Reviewing the present strategic crisis, which has worsened due to the unleashing by the British empire of destabilizations around the world, including against China, and Iran, Zepp-LaRouche said that Europe has an important role to play, if leading nations are to free themselves from their geopolitical strategic orientation.
She spoke of the tremendous potential for German Mittelstand companies to engage in joint ventures in third countries, noting that the policies of the present government do not favor that potential. She emphasized that key to creating change in the Trans-Atlantic region is to inspire optimism, to particularly emphasize the potential unleashed by the new initiatives in space exploration. We must think at least fifty years ahead, she said, and reject the pessimism that is being spread by the Greenies and the financiers who back them.
There were five speakers from Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). Prof. Tang, the leader of the delegation, spoke on “China’s Concept on Security and Middle East Security,” providing a broad view of the BRI approach to the subject.
He was followed by Prof. Yu, who spoke on the topic, “BRI and the Peace Between Palestine and Israel,” emphasizing the importance of economic development for Palestine, which is essential to realizing the two-state solution to the ongoing crisis. Prof. Wang addressed the “BRI in the Gulf Cooperation Council and Gulf Security” and Dr. Wei, “Iraq’s Reconstruction and China’s Role,” in which he highlighted the difficulties in rebuilding a nation subjected to a war that had destroyed much of its infrastructure. Dr. Zhu spoke on “BRI in Egypt and China-Egypt Cooperation,” presenting an optimistic evaluation of how the cooperation between the two states has provided tangible benefits.
Other Schiller Institute speakers were Hussein Askary, co-author of Extending the New Silk Road to West Asia and Africa, a book-length report, who gave an impassioned account of the progress of the BRI in the two regions, and Claudio Celani, whose report on the Abuja, Nigeria conference on Transaqua provided a concrete picture of what is possible with international cooperation—but also the obstacles created by international financial institutions and their geopolitical strategies which must be overcome.
There were questions from the audience after each presentation, evidence of a hunger for real solutions and a desire to draw out more of the thinking of the representatives from the CASS. Several questions were directed to Helga Zepp-LaRouche, including one on Malthusianism, another on the India-Pakistan crisis. A lively discussion continued after the formal proceedings concluded.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: “The Strategic Implication of the New Silk Road”
Tang Zhichao: “China’s Concept on Security and Middle East Security”
Hussein Askary: “The Belt and Road to Peace and Prosperity in West Asia and Africa”
Yu Guoqing: “BRI and the peace between Palestine and Israel”
Wang Qiong: “BRI in the GCC and Gulf Security”
Claudio Celani: “Why the Transaqua Solution for Lake Chad is a Test of Morality for Europe”
Wei Liang: “Iraq’s Reconstruction and China’s Role”
Zhu Quangang: “BRI in Egypt and China-Egypt Cooperation”
The July 2 Schiller Institute conference, “France and the Maritime Silk Road: Past, Present, and Future,” held in Nantes, was a major intervention on a hot topic: France has a maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 10 million square kilometers and the world’s second largest maritime economic area. Nantes—a port city of 900,000 on the Atlantic Ocean and the birthplace of the visionary Jules Verne—has a place in France’s “blue economy.”
Schiller Institute booth at the La Mer XXL Exposition in Nantes, France on June 30, 2019.
The four-hour conference with nine speakers was part of an international maritime exposition, La Mer XXL, that drew 38,000 visitors. Several of the speakers at the Schiller event had important institutional roles in France and all of the speakers were passionate about their subjects and conveyed a sense of optimism and mobilization. The creative ideas and science-driver perspective of Lyndon LaRouche, for the common good of mankind, were very much present.
The Expo was organized by one of the largest media groups in France, the Group Ouest-France; the Maritime Credit Bank; and the French Maritime Cluster, a business association encompassing all ocean-related enterprises—ports, transport o and from ports, shipbuilding, fishing, aquaculture, and deep-water research institutions in biology and mining (oil, rare earths).
Odile Mojon at the literature table during the La Mer Expo.
For twelve days, June 28 to July 10, the Schiller Institute manned an exhibit at the Expo. At least 200 exhibitors—associations, companies, research institutions—had booths to present their work. Schiller Institute representatives were able to present the full spectrum of the Institute’s activities and the 484-page French edition of the Institute’s World Land-Bridge report released in November 2018. In the months preceding the event, the Schiller Institute had sent out mailings to regional industrialists and companies; French and Chinese engineers and scientists; and its own contact lists, and followed up with personal contact.
The four-hour, in-depth Schiller conference drew 60 people including representatives from the Friends of the Maritime Museum of La Rochelle, and the Maritime Cluster of Luxembourg, who were eager to get copies of the Land-Bridge report. People came from as far as Provence and Switzerland to participate.
Several copies of the Land-Bridge report were sold on the spot and more during the book dedication event set up at the Expo library. A professor from Africa, who attended the conference, when passing our booth the next day, said he was so excited that he persuaded his university to order five copies.
Prof. Michel Cantal-Dupart (left) and Karel Vereycken, two of the speakers at the Schiller Institute Conference in Nantes, France on July 2, 2019.
The Schiller Institute’s Karel Vereycken, who has studied the maritime domain for several years, was the moderator, and opened the floor to greetings: André Sobczak, a Nantes city councilman and the 15th Vice-President for International Relations of the Nantes Metropolitan Area, warmly welcomed the participants; Anne Lettrée, CEO of China’s Silk Road Business University and co-organizer of the event; two Minister Counselors of the Chinese embassy who were unable to attend at the last minute, and Minghong Chen, Chairman of the French-Chinese Intercultural Center.
Maritime Silk Road: Ancient and Modern
Karel Vereycken speaks on the Maritime Silk Road.
Vereycken presented the idea that the Maritime Silk Road in history—in China and other countries—has always been a space of cooperation and not of confrontation. With images of beautiful pottery, other ceramics, and other artistic or mechanical objects and utensils, he showed how each one, produced in one area, had designs and decorations coming from elsewhere, thanks to trade on the Maritime Silk Road. He presented another example of the high degree of development of that trade, the shipwreck of an Arab vessel made in Oman, from 826 AD, which was discovered recently on the sea floor near Java, Indonesia complete with the 60,000 pieces of ceramics and manufactured goods, including some with Persian motifs.
University Professor Antoine Cid followed, on Zheng He’s maritime expeditions to the Gulf and eastern Africa in the early 15th century and China’s peaceful and diplomatic objectives of cooperation. This activity was not limited to Zheng He, or to that period of time. Prof. Cid hypothesized that the Chinese, in the early part of the 20th century, decided to make this excellent story a positive epic narrative to convey the message that China is not a conquering power, on sea or on land.
Henri Tsiang, a former researcher at the Pasteur Institute, who also played an important role in mediating between France and China after World War II, went through what is happening in the South China Sea, the issues and the actors, and how the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has led to the expansion of other peaceful trade initiatives in the zone, a good way of solving disputes that had been used by geopolitical forces to harass China.
Sebastien Goulard, a public affairs consultant, and founder and coordinator of OBOReurope, countered the fake “debt trap” narrative and other false stories circulated to slander China. He made clear that problems can and do arise here and there, due to changes in political power in participating countries, and due to differing conceptions of investment terms: for the Chinese it’s the long term, while for the West it’s the time of an election cycle.
He showed that the Chinese are quick to find new solutions: The sale of Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port to a Chinese company, with the possibility offered to the state to acquire up to 50% ownership in 20 years, protects that port from political changes created in the country by competitors to China, in this case, India. Chinese investments, he showed, improve competition in a good way. After the Chinese financed the port, the Indians decided to build an airport, which in the meantime has become complementary to the port!
Sébastien Périmony discusses his recent trip to Africa with a conference attendee.
Contributions followed from people actively involved in New Silk Road cooperation.
The Silk Road Today and Tomorrow
The next speaker, Professor Mohamed Jebbar, held the audience in rapt attention. He is a professor of microbiology at Brest University, Director of the Microbiology Laboratory of Extreme Environments (LM2E) and co-director of the French-Chinese Laboratory of Deep-Sea Microbiology, called MICROB-SEA, which he fought for several years to establish. The laboratory’s objective is to study the conditions of ocean life at a depth of 5,000 meters—where the total absence of light had led people to believe that life was not possible, or that it was determined by life above those limits. Prof. Jebbar explained that life does exist at those depths, and that it is organized by bacteria that accomplish through chemosynthesis what the Sun accomplishes on the Earth’s surface through photosynthesis. He explained to the audience how this works.
His Franco-Chinese research center collaborates with the astrobiologists of the European Space Agency (ESA) and other space agencies to see what those extreme conditions can teach us about the existence of life in space. The first test carried out in a joint effort between the Chinese and ESA was to see if the microalgae called spirulina, sent in satellites, could grow in space.
Anne Lettrée spoke on “Earth, innovation, technologies, art, nature and health, a whole program.” She is an executive of the Silk Road Business School (Paris and Xi’an) who has become impassioned with China and fully supports the New Silk Road. She is creating a large holistic park, the Garden of Titans, in Normandy, with spaces for research, artwork, and theater, combined with ecology. Jane Han, the official representative in France of China’s largest photovoltaic company, confirmed China’s interest in this park conception.
Two important French figures spoke in the last section on the future of the New Silk Road. Michel Cantal-Dupart, architect, urban planner, and professor at CNAM (Conservatoire Nationale des Arts et Métiers—School of Industrial Arts and Crafts) is engaged in large urban architectural projects and territorial infrastructure—inland waterways, rapid transport—and works with the UN to develop these programs in developing countries. He was clear in his anger at the lack of vision by successive French governments for the development of France’s waterways and canals—the largest set of inland waterways in Europe, which are all totally disconnected today. Instead of having a system, France has a series of dead ends.
He was followed by Bernard Planchais, the recently retired operational Director General at the National Naval Construction Company (formerly DCNS and today the Naval Group), producing civilian ocean liners and military vessels such as the Mistral and submarines. Planchais presented a “war plan” for France to develop its maritime economy, since France commands, after all, the second largest maritime zone in the world. While at the DCNS, Planchais worked with the nuclear sector to develop Flex Blue, a program using nuclear submarine technology to build small nuclear plants operating on the ocean floor—a great idea which, like many others, was never developed at all by our successive governments.
The conference concluded with Odile Mojon’s presentation of the Schiller Institute’s Land-Bridge report, in the context of the ongoing fight by Helga Zepp-LaRouche today to bring about a just new world economic order.
The organizers of the Expo were impressed by the size of the group gathered for such a four-hour, in-depth conference and requested three minutes of video footage of our event to use in their Expo publicity.
Hardly had the breakthroughs of the Xi-Trump meeting occurred at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan than London and its neo-conservative allies, in and out of the Trump administration, escalated a new flank in the war of nerves against China. Following the demonization of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by London’s neo-con and liberal acolytes in the United States and Europe, the trade-war hype, the Huawei saga, and the Hong Kong mass demo destabilization, in come accusations of mass torture in Xinjiang.
Attacks have been growing in recent months against China’s counter-terrorist offensive in this region, one that has suffered the most from the spillover of terrorism spawned in recent years’ Middle East wars. A Uyghur contingent that had joined ISIS and Al Qaeda in those wars brought that terrorism home to China. Accusations have been made that China has illegally jailed 1-3 million Uyghurs, and is subjecting them to torture, brainwashing and even organ harvesting!
Photo Credit: Adam Ludwiczak
These accusations came to a head on July 10 when a group of 22 nations (18 European nations joined by Japan, Australia, Canada and New Zealand), addressed a letter to Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, noting “disturbing reports of large-scale arbitrary detentions of Uyghurs, and other Muslim and minority communities.” On July 13, however, a group of 37 other countries sent their own letter to the UN authorities, backing China and praising its government for having invited diplomats, think-tanks and media to visit Xinjiang, noting that “what they saw and heard in Xinjiang was in total contradiction with what had been reported by certain Western media.” Among the signers were ten Muslim States!
Foreign Affairs Ministry in Beijing with Wang Lixin Deputy director general at the Department of External Security Affairs and international tour of journalists.
The Chinese government has, in fact, successfully conducted a counter-terror operation and is continuing to organize visits to Xinjiang. Between July 7 and 14, representing the French Schiller Institute’s China desk and as a journalist who writes on strategic and defense questions, this author had the opportunity of participating in one such visit, with a very interesting group of experts. They were representatives from Russia, Italy, France, Poland, Pakistan, Thailand, and New Zealand, including journalists and academic think-tank experts, most of whom had in-depth experience and knowledge of China. Our eight-day “Information Mission” concentrated on China’s policies towards ethnic and religious minorities in general, and on its policies of counter-terrorism in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
China’s Policies Towards Minorities
Our tour started with seminars at the Institute of Tibetology and the Institute of Borderline States, in Beijing. China, with its more than 5,000-year history, is a centralized but multi-ethnic and multi-religious state, home to 56 different ethnic groups, which benefit from having equal rights with the Han majority (92%). China has created 5 autonomous regions and 30 autonomous prefectures, in which minorities are granted some advantages beyond those available to the Han majority, such as favorable quotas to enter schools and greater access to jobs in the public companies as well as an exemption from the “one child only” policy that had been applied to the Han. Religious practices are strongly protected as long as they don’t promote separatist or extremist ideas. The Koran, the Bible and other scriptures are published by the State and are accessible through the internet and available at all libraries. The Muslim religion is practiced in 39,000 mosques in China (25,000 in Xinjiang alone) and requires only certification of the Imams.
Seminar at the Institute of Tibetology in Beijing.
The contribution of ethnic minorities to the particularly rich cultural and religious heritage of China is fully recognized by the State. However, due to the difficulty of reaching out to them in the border lands of China (e.g., Mongolia, Tibet, Xinjiang) and the daunting challenges of their geography, economic development has lagged, a weakness which the enemies of China have always exploited.
Xinjiang has been part of China ever since the Han dynasty, under the name of “Western territories.” But, at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, taking advantage of China’s weakness, the British, the Russians, and the Japanese fought for the control of this area in what was then called the “Great Game.” The ideologies of Pan-Turkism and Pan-Islamism promoted by the different camps gave birth to a movement in favor of an “Oriental Turkestan.”
Xiahe county at Tibetan autonomous prefecture in Gannan (Gansu).
Some were calling for an independent state on Xinjiang’s territory; others, for an Islamic State extending from Turkey to Xinjiang. The heirs to the British Empire today are following the same policies towards the Uyghurs and Tibetans. Is it a coincidence that the so-called freedom and liberation movements are both financed by the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington and that their main propaganda instrument, Radio Free Asia, was recreated by the U.S. government in 1996 and has been run by it ever since?
What is important in the Chinese counter-terror offensive is that it is based on the recognition that economic development is the key to solving those problems: “We have to eliminate the soil which allows extremist groups to recruit people, and that is poverty,” insisted Xu Jianying of the Institute of China’s Borderlands at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. The counter-terrorist campaign is also based on a clear differentiation between those who have committed major crimes, who are punished severely, and those who have committed minor crimes, who are offered a very positive rehabilitation program if they admit to their crimes and clearly express a desire to change. The Chinese policy aims, says the government, at striking the right balance between “severity” and “leniency.”
Gansu and Xinjiang
Our visit took us to two of the poorest provinces of China today, Gansu and Xinjiang. But thanks to modern road and rail infrastructure such as the Beijing-Urumqi Expressway inaugurated in 2017 and the Lanzhou-Urumqi high-speed train, these provinces are rapidly catching up with the rest of the nation. Both provinces played key roles in the ancient Silk Roads and are strategic to the success of the BRI today.
Gansu has a Tibetan minority and Xinjiang, a large minority of Muslim Uyghurs (45%). In these areas our group saw the ongoing “poverty alleviation” measures that had started with the Western development strategy (1999) and were accelerated by the BRI beginning in 2013. We also witnessed the strong protection given by the State to local cultures and to the practice of religions, and, in Xinjiang in particular, the ongoing massive rehabilitation efforts in this area, which has almost eliminated all terrorist attacks in the last three years, to the great relief of local populations and the Chinese government.
Labrang Buddhist monastery at Tibetan autonomous prefecture in Gannan.
Gansu is a province with great disparities: a very mineral-rich soil, but a mountainous and desert-like geography. The rich Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Gannan (TAR) is an exception to this. We visited this beautiful area, home to some 120 Buddhist temples, and in particular to the Labrang monastery of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. Here, a monk, with a Socratic outlook, having engaged in a 20-year study of philosophy, gave us a tour. “Man is not a beast,” he stressed. “He has access to the light of reason. Man can know truth, but for that he must first know himself!”
We visited a model village in Gaxiu that will replace 95 poorer villages totaling 1,800 inhabitants, as part of the extensive effort to meet the goals set by Xi Jinping of eliminating all extreme poverty by 2021. Five such new villages, equipped with clinics, primary schools, and areas for growing vegetables, have been already built. Twenty-five more will be built by next year. The villages are financed by the government, but built by the people, who become owners of their homes. Richer provinces also contribute 0.1% of their income. Today, in this area, 100% of the population has access to clean water and to 15 years of free education. With the orientation towards industry, ecological investments and tourism, a Tibetan yak herder today can expect to go from a yearly 9,000 Yuan income to 30,000 Yuan.
Model Tibetan village in Gaxiu (Gannan).
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
On July 12 we headed towards Xinjiang, taking a bus through the mountains on good roads that had gas stations and restroom facilities. First we visited Turpan, then the capital city, Urumqi.
These areas are the supposed site of the alleged massive arrests by the Chinese government. This Western state is strategic to the success of the BRI. It not only represents a sixth of China’s territory and is very rich in raw materials; it is also the door to the Silk Road leading to Europe. Without a peaceful Xinjiang, there will be no Belt and Road Initiative! Xinjiang has a large Uyghur minority and shares borders with eight states (Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Kashmir) in which poverty and religious extremism is often endemic. This is the province in China that is most exposed to terrorism.
However, as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs official accompanying us stated emphatically: “The Chinese government is not fighting Muslims or Uyghurs; it is fighting terrorism that has spilled over into our country through these borders, from people going back and forth to the wars in the Middle East.” Between 8,000 and 15,000 Uyghurs are reported to have joined ISIS and Al-Qaeda in the war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with the explicit aim of pursuing their Holy War against Beijing next.
A large International Exhibit on terrorism in Urumqi demonstrates, with extensive photo and video material, the extent of problem. No less than 14,000 bloody attacks occurred in Xinjiang between 1992 and 2015—suicide bomb attacks, vehicles launched against people in crowded areas, arbitrary knife, machete and axe attacks against ordinary people. The high point of these attacks was the 2009 riots in Urumqi which left 197 dead and more than 1,600 wounded.
A Preventive War Against Terrorism
This is the background to understanding what the Chinese government calls a preventive counter-terrorist policy. First, the decision was taken to improve the living standards of the local population, through development of infrastructure. And it works! Infrastructure has boosted tourism in the ancient city of Turpan, from 8 to 10 million visitors between 2016 and 2017 and up to 6 million in just the first six months of 2019.
In a White Paper on Xinjiang published on March 2019, the Chinese government lists the efforts it is conducting to “ensure and improve public well-being” in this area. Among those efforts are plans to transfer 100,000 jobs to southern Xinjiang (2018-2020); creating 1,400,000 new industrial jobs; free universal health checkups; health insurances for 15 serious illnesses; improving the social security system; and increasing allowances granted to impoverished populations.
While those having committed major crimes undergo “severe punishment,” those having committed minor crimes and having confessed, repented, and shown willingness to reintegrate into society, are treated with “leniency” and offered a full rehabilitation package.
Those who accept reintegration are then recruited to vocational centers where they undergo a well thought-out strategy of rehabilitation that can go from several months to several years. The first phase is the mastering of spoken and written Mandarin, along with their own languages, to be able to integrate in the society; then civic education given by legal experts, which educates people on China’s standards of criminal law.
Trainees then can choose among different vocational activities they want to learn in order to improve their chances to get gainful employment. The choices offered depend on the job potentialities of the local market. Options range from hairdressing, to garment production, medical first aid, tourism, and factory work. According to the White Paper, these rehabilitation centers for minor delinquents adopt “a boarding school management system,” in which “students can have home visits on a regular basis and can ask for leave to attend to personal matters. When the trainees meet the proper trade assessment standards, they get completion certificates and are assisted in getting jobs.”
Visiting Vocational Centers
When we arrived in Turpan, it was over 103 degrees Fahrenheit, which is normal in its 100-day summer season! We first visited the Gaochang District vocational education and training center that has a capacity of 600 students.
The counter-terror policies were clearly carefully thought out. Xinjiang is well known for its beautiful folklore. What better way to counter the Wahhabite ideology, which rejects progress and social activities, than with beautiful music and dance? We were invited to watch a dance performance by a highly professional group, with projected images of local realities and of modern China in the background.
Beautiful Folk dance and projected images, Gaochang District vocational and training center (Turpan).
We then visited the vocational classes. One group was reading out loud in Mandarin a text composed by the class, focusing on local values. Later we spent some time in the civic education classes, before moving to vocational classes in learning how to use sewing machines, how to apply first aid, and a class training tourist guides. We then witnessed a group receiving art lessons: ten people were learning figure drawing and the use of watercolors in one room; another group was practicing calligraphy, copying and translating between Chinese and Uyghur; others were singing in a chorus accompanied by instrumental musicians.
Dancing at Gaochang District vocational and training center (Turpan).
There were many young people in those groups, especially young women. In the artistic classes, there was a form of playfulness and freedom, which is the key to reorienting people towards productive ideas of society, and contributing to social harmony, rather than criminal behavior. The environment we saw in those classes is coherent with the Chinese government’s stated policy of creating not only a functioning Xinjiang, but also a “beautiful Xinjiang.” Through these efforts and others, we saw a productive cross-cultural approach, bringing together different ethnic groups and the Han, coherent with the national orientation of China as a multi-ethnic unity, without trying to eliminate or marginalize minorities.
At Urumqi, we visited a cross-cultural center, created in 2001, working on the same principle. People of different ethnic groups are brought together to practice dancing, choral singing, cooking or other activities in order to better know each other. Here also, the environment was free and playful.
Our last stop in Urumqi was the White Mosque where the Imam reported the participation of 200 to 300 people in services every day; 1,000 to 2,000 on Fridays, and up to 5,000 during Ramadan. Parallel to the ongoing crackdown on terrorists in the area, the government has improved the material conditions in these mosques—providing water, electricity, flush toilets, radio and television facilities, libraries, and fans and air conditioning.
Urumqi International Bazaar crowded on Sunday.
We visited the museum and public areas, confirming what other witnesses have reported, that the security situation has vastly improved in Xinjiang. The police presence and checkpoints, which were very visible last year, have disappeared. We were able to walk around the large, beautiful central park, which was thick with probably as many as 10,000 people enjoying themselves in the environs. The last stop was shopping at the bustling Grand International Bazaar.
China Denounces ‘Double Standards’
In such information missions, often the fear is that the country visited might restrict your access, displaying select showcase locations. The composition of our group was very helpful in addressing this concern, many having long experience in China and the regions of China that we were visiting. The group included Russian scholars from the Far East Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who have visited the province and working closely with Chinese institutes on the Xinjiang minorities, for more than 15 years; a former Pakistani Air Force officer, who is now a journalist and TV anchorman—his first visit to Xinjiang goes back to 1974; and the head of a China-New Zealand friendship association who organizes tourist trips to China, and is also involved half the year in poverty reduction programs in China.
All these experts confirmed the important improvement of living standards and infrastructure in the areas with which they were familiar. Our Pakistani expert, a practicing Muslim, who has a keen interest in seeing that Muslims can practice freely, confirmed that this is the case.
What we saw therefore, during this intense trip, is a model which has been able to cope with a highly degraded security situation, by giving to many Uyghurs, the possibility of looking towards a better future and integration in the nation. The Chinese government White Paper from last March openly discusses that “a large number of people are undergoing training.”
The terrorist problem is not Chinese in origin. China has been successful in bringing some 800 million people out of extreme poverty in the last 30 years. The approach to its western regions is aimed at solving the economic problems of provinces like Gansu and Xinjiang. But foreign powers, which since the end of the 1990s have been playing with fire, have been using Wahabbite extremists as cannon fodder first in Afghanistan, then against Libya and Syria. Chinese officials met on this trip denounced, in this respect, the “double standards” of some Western countries, which make distinctions between “extremists” useful to themselves, and others they decide to battle, letting “useful extremists” operate against China, some based in European countries.
In order to bring terrorism once and for all to an end, I am convinced, it is urgent, that this problem be brought up, once again, at the UN Security Council, as was done most effectively during the Syrian war. We were told, in briefings during the trip, that this approach is one supported by China.
Because of the disorder in international relations many new formats for discussion and dialogue are developed to figure out what to do about the dangerous world security situation. The Wanshou Dialogue for Global Security was started last year by the Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament, which is an organization founded in 1985 and is by far the largest civil society organization in China dedicated to Peace. It has a membership of 25 mass organizations in China and maintains contact with 350 international peace organization and institutes for strategic studies.
The Wanshou Dialogue is organized in coordination with the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee whose Minister Song Tao and Vice Minister Wang Yajun were the highest Chinese representatives in the Dialogue. There were 27 International guests and 23 Chinese participants in the Dialogue which had the form a closed round table discussion.
The opportunity to participate in this very prestigious conference about Global Security came out of the blue, as a side effect of the activities of the Swedish Schiller Institute to promote BRI in Sweden. It was a great opportunity to meet and become friends with leaders of top Think Tanks in many important countries. Only a few of them had met or knew of the International Schiller Institute on other occasions.
Ulf Sandmark presents the Schiller Institute’s report, The New Silk Road Becomes the World Landbridge II to Yu Hongjun, Vice-President of the Chinese people´s Association for Peace and Disarmament and Former Vice-Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee
The Schiller Institute expertise was called upon to contribute to the Panel 3 about “Emerging and New Technologies and Global Security.” Among those technologies are ABM, ASAT, UAV, Cyberwarfare and Artificial Intelligence. Here several speakers warned against the militarization of space and the plan from President Trump to unilaterally deploy space weapons. It was an opportunity to bring those technologies that could uplift the dialogue to a level where the Common Aims of Mankind would show the way out of the disastrous global security dilemmas.
Lyndon LaRouche’s Strategic Defense Initiative and the Strategic Defense of Earth were the obvious starting points for this intervention by the Schiller Institute and then also Space Exploration and Fusion Power development that would make it possible for a policy of Global Raw Materials Security. Also, the Chinese Belt & Road Initiative was brought in from the physical economic standpoint of developing a new infrastructure platform as a new international logistics machine. This made it possible to link up the development of the economy as a stabilizer of the Global Security and to bring in the Four Laws of LaRouche as the absolute strategic necessity to be implemented through a Four Powers agreement for a New Bretton Woods.
The Russia-India-China cooperation was brought into the Dialogue by a Russian scholar as the s.c. RIC-format (as in BRICS). Also, at the G20 meeting President Trump had had meetings individually with the other three leaders who also had their special RIC meeting on their own. These developments opened up for launching the Four Power proposal at the Wanshou Dialogue, which is to ask President Trump to join the leaders of the RIC Powers to form a group strong enough to challenge the currently dominating financial power of London and Wall Street which under its leadership of the modern form of the British empire is the force behind the disastrous policy geopolitical wars bringing the world to brink of nuclear war. Finally, the necessity for the immediate global security to bring into the international strategic discussion these strategic proposals by Lyndon LaRouche, made the call for his exoneration appropriate to bring into the 2nd Wanshou Dialogue.
This ten minute presentation was well received. Another participant responded about SDI in a very positive way and asked if the SDI negotiations could move out of the US – Russian format and also bring in other powers. Ulf Sandmark got the opportunity for a very short reply saying that the first step would be to immediately start the process for implementing the SDE, as it it is civilian and can build trust. Secondly the SDI proposal should be studied and updated by all leading powers in the world. Thirdly a fully implementable counterproposal should be proposed to President Trump as an alternative to his proposal for a Space Force.
Sandmark said that SDI was developed by Lyndon LaRouche and further promoted by the Schiller Institute. If we as private institute could develop the SDI proposal, then any other institute, certainly leading national security organizations, would be able to fully develop the concepts necessary to bring forward the SDI as a solution to eliminate the danger of nuclear extinction.
Also, this intervention was received well. The Chinese chairman of the panel half jokingly introduced the need for an “SDF” – a Strategic Defense of Face. He took up the example of a recent video where the face of President Trump had been manipulated and put into a video saying that he was immediately attacking Iran. These types of videos, although false, could if they were spread, trigger a real war, the chairman said. This warning against the new technologies that could be used in this way, had the effect to further familiarize the conference with the concepts of SDI, which then became a reference point in the later discussions.
The 2nd Wanshou Dialogue brought up many other questions and concerns for evaluation among the participants and for sure will continue to be a platform for discussion about Peace and Development also in the future.
The conference “Italy on the New Silk Road” organized byMovisol (LaRouche’s movement in Italy) and the Lombardy Region(state legislature) in Milan Wednesday, was a success, withUndersecretary Michele Geraci (of the Task Force China in theItalian government) opening it and emphasizing the importance ofthe MOU which Italy will sign with President Xi Jinping on March22 in Rome, of the benefits for Italy of this cooperation withChina, including for the development of the Italian Mezzogiorno.
Undersecretary of the Task Force China in the Italian government, Michele Geraci and EIR’s Claudio Celani.
Geraci was followed by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, who explainedthe more profound meaning of this important development for therest of the world, the realization of the New Paradigm for whichLyndon LaRouche and the Schiller Institute have been working forthe last 30 years. See a full text of Helga’s remarks below.
There was a short message from Sen. Tony Iwobi, the firstNigerian parliamentarian elected for the Lega, about thehistorical significance on the Transaqua project, which was thendescribed in detail by Engineer Bocchetto of Bonifica, which isworking on the feasibility study with China.
Geraci, Celani, Zepp-LaRouche and Movisol leader, Liliana Gorini.
Liliana Gorini, chairwoman of Movisol, concluded theconference by thanking the Lombardy Region, which had helped toorganize it, and dedicating it to Lyndon LaRouche, who is knownin Italy not only as the “visionary” of the New Silk Road, asformer Economics Minister Giulio Tremonti defined him Tuesday in Corriere della Sera, but also as the main promoter ofGlass-Steagall and LaRouche’s Four Laws, and reminding people howmany parliamentarians who had heard him speak at the ItalianFinance Committee at the Parliament in Rome in 1998, admittedyears later that he was completely right.
TRANSCRIPT OF HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE’S REMARKS
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: It is in one sense quite amusing to seewhat high waves the possibility of Italy signing the MOU withChina is causing right now. Because, when Xi Jinping announcedthe New Silk Road in 2013 and then proceeded to make treaties inthe meantime, I think it’s with 112 countries, an enormous growthdeveloped, six major industrial corridors, the Belt and RoadInitiative became very quickly the largest infrastructure projectin history, ever. And the strange thing was that for about fouryears, in the mainstream media in the United States and Europe,there was practically no reporting about this.
And then, all of a sudden, in an obviously coordinated way,the major think tanks of Europe and the United States started aseries of attacks, studies, that China is causing countries tofall into a debt trap, that it’s just an effort to replace theUnited States as the dominant force in the world, to becomeChinese imperialists, that the Belt and Road projects are notviable, that China is an authoritarian system and Xi Jinping is adictator. So all of a sudden, you had a barrage of attacks onthis concept.
The funny thing is, if you would ask and listen to theleaders of the countries cooperating with the Belt and Road, likethe Africans, the Asian countries, the Latin American countries,they would be full of praise and say that with the Chinesecooperation, they have for the first time, the opportunity toovercome the underdevelopment and poverty they had suffered as aresult of Western colonialism, and 70 years of IMFconditionalities, which prevented them from having exactly thatkind of development. And they were full of praise, calling Chinaa friend — so you get a completely opposite view.
I have come to the conclusion that everything in the Westernmainstream media are saying about China is fake news, and just alie. And it comes from the fact that many people in the Westsimply have lost the ability to imagine that any country, letalone China, could promote something which is, indeed, for thecommon good of all of humanity. When Xi Jinping talks about the“shared community of the common future of mankind,” or the“community of destiny,” he means it! And isn’t it obvious thatin the time of thermonuclear weapons, in international spacetravel, of conquering all the problems of the world, that we haveto think about the one humanity first, before we talk aboutnational interests? As a matter of fact, the concept of a win-wincooperation for the Belt and Road Initiative, it has all theeconomic aspects which are beneficial to all the countries thathave participated.
But it is much more than that: Because from the standpointof the evolution of mankind, if you take a step back, and don’ttake a look at the conflict between Marseille and Trieste, whichI understand is obviously very important for the Italians, but ifyou look at the larger point of view, isn’t it natural thatinfrastructure development would eventually open up allcontinents and connect them?
So now, all of a sudden, you have this eruption ofanti-China propaganda, but it comes from the fact that we are nowat a point where something is happening, which has alreadyhappened 16 times in history, namely, that the up-to-now dominantpower is being surpassed by the up-to-now second largest power.And in history this has led 12 times to war, between those twocompeting power, and 4 times it was just that the second powersurpassed the dominant power without war. China has emphasizedmany times, they don’t want, obviously, to follow the 12 exampleswhere this conflict would lead to war, but they also don’t wantto simply replace the United States in the role of the leader ofan unipolar world, but that they want to build a completely newsystem of international relations based on sovereignty, onrespect for the different social system, on non-interference, andactually proposing a completely new system of internationalrelations.
So, the big question strategically is you have the conflictbetween the United States and Russia, which is obvious, becauseof the cancellation of the ABM Treaty, then the Russian reactionto that, and now the cancellation of the INF Treaty — so thereare many who think that we are actually close, in worse strategiccrisis than during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis,because of the relations between the United States and Russia.But if you talk to some strategic insiders on both sides of theAtlantic, they easily admit that the much more dangerous conflictis actually the one between the United States and China: Willthe United States accept the rise of Asia, and the Belt and RoadInitiative is just the obvious expression of that? Or, is whatwas said by the RAND Corporation a couple of months ago, thatit’s better to have the war with China now, than in 10 years,because the casualties will be less?
Well, obviously, this is something we have to change, and Ithink that the best way to change it is, indeed, to bring in thisreality of a new paradigm of thinking altogether: We have toleave geopolitics. We have to leave the idea that there can be alegitimate interest of one country, or a group of country,against another bloc of countries, because this was what ledtwice to world war in the 20th century. As a matter of fact, Ithink the potential to overcome this conflict is absolutelythere. I know in Europe, many people are fainting when youmention the name of President Donald Trump, but President Trumpis not seeking confrontation with Russia — as a matter of fact,he wants to have an improved relation with Russia, which heproved in the summit with Putin in Helsinki. And despite thepresent trade tension, President Trump always talks aboutPresident Xi Jinping as his very good friend, and China being agreat country and that he wants to actually have a goodrelationship between the United States and China.
So the attacks on Italy, coming from the White House — the[i]Financial Times[/i] mentioned this Garrett Marquis — is notrepresenting the same view as Trump. It comes from a faction ofthe neo-con which are unfortunately also in the TrumpAdministration, but the factional situation in the United Statesis very divided. You have the Democrats and the neo-cons tryingto get Trump out of office with Russiagate, but on the otherside, I think President Trump has proven a tremendoussustainability against the efforts to drive him out of office,and his supporters are absolutely backing him, and the chancesthat there will be a second Trump Administration are actuallyvery, very high.
Now one of the accusations against China and the Belt andRoad Initiative is that it would divide Europe. I thinkeverybody knows Europe is divided already, without China: Youhave the North-South conflict because of the EU austerity policy,which impoverished, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, gave nodevelopment to the East European countries, so they are now happyto cooperate with the Belt and Road initiative, because the EUdid not provide these things. Now, the second area of divisionis obviously the migrant issue, where you have the divisionbetween East and West — the East European countries do not wantto have any part of the proposed quota system of the EU.
Now, what Italy is actually doing in this context is reallya role model, because the kind of cooperation between Italianfirms and Chinese firms in the development of Africa is actuallythe only human way to address the refugee question.
So you have right now 13 countries which have already signedthe MOU with China; you have, now with Italy, the first G7country (which is really overrated, because the G7 is no longerthat important as compared to the G20, for example). And youhave many ports — Mr. Geraci said, if actually all the ports ofEurope which are already wanting to be a hub between not only theNew Silk Road over the land route, but also hubs to the MaritimeSilk Road, Portugal and Spain becoming the hub for all theSpanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries around the world. Sothere is a completely changed attitude developing very quickly.
Now, also even in Germany and France, the two countrieswhich are now trying to put the brakes on the most, apart fromthe EU Commission, there are many cities which are absolutelyrecognizing their self-interest to cooperate with the Belt andRoad Initiative. You have three states in Germany —Schleswig-Holstein, Bavaria, and Brandenburg — which all thetime have huge delegations back and forth; you have many citieswhose mayors are complete fans of cooperation with China, and itis an increasing dynamic, which is growing more rapidly than youwould think.
So, if you would ask my prognosis, I think the perspectiveof unifying Europe, not necessarily under the EU bureaucracy, butin the conception of de Gaulle, more like a “Europe of theFatherlands” uniting with China, with Russia, with the Belt andRoad Initiative, the Eurasian Economic Union [EAEU], and Europeancountries, to cooperate fully in this new paradigm is absolutelythere.
Well, I think that that is also the only way how Europe canimpact the strategic situation: Because if you had a unitedEurope of the Fatherlands cooperating with the Belt and RoadInitiative, including Germany and France, that would be the bestway to get the United States to also give up their opposition —which I said, is not Trump himself, but these other forces — andget the United States to join the new paradigm. And I think thisis the [i]only[/i] hope we have to avoid a catastrophe where we wouldend in World War III with nuclear weapons, meaning the extinctionof civilization. So in that sense, what Italy is doing right now,is of the greatest historical importance, because Italy, withwhat you are doing, with the MOU but also with the joint ventureswith China in Africa, can become the role model for all the otherEuropean countries.
But the New Silk Road is not just an economic concept.Obviously, infrastructure, investment, all of this is extremelyimportant, as the backbone, but it has a much more, and not sowell-known cultural/moral dimension, which I think is bestexpressed in the fact that the Chinese thinking is actually basedon the Confucian theory, namely, that you absolutely must haveharmony among all the nations, developing all in a harmoniousway. And when some think tanks say that there is now acompetition of systems between the Western liberal model and thestate-guided model of the Chinese state economy, well, what theyreally mean is, China has developed its whole policy based on aConfucian orientation, which means that the state is also incharge of the moral improvement of its population through theaesthetical education. As a matter of fact, Xi Jinping has saidrepeatedly, that he puts the highest emphasis on the aestheticaleducation, because the result of this is the “beauty of the mind”and the “beauty of the soul.”
So the problem is, the reason why some people in the Westregard that as a competition, is because Western neo-liberal andliberal philosophy has moved away from that conception: We areno longer humanists. We are no longer thinking as during theItalian Renaissance or the German Classical period, but we havereplaced that with a liberal thinking of “everything is allowed,”every degenerate form of culture is allowed, everything goes — Idon’t want to elaborate that, but if you look at the violence,the pornography in the entertainment, we don’t have to worry. Wewill lose that competition of the systems, simply because we arenot taking care of our future generations, but allowing them tocompletely morally decay.
And that is why I think that we have to understand that theonly way how Europe can persist in the coming future is notthrough military power — what Mr. Macron is proposing isridiculous — but we will preserve our European culture [i]only[/i] ifwe return to the greatest tradition of our own history, meaningreviving the spirit and the ideas and principles of the ItalianRenaissance, of the Ecole Polytechnique of France, of the GermanClassical music, literature, and poetry. Only if we rise againto our best traditions can we persist in the coming world.
So I think that the cultural dimension of the New Silk Roadis as important, if not more important, than the question ofeconomics.
I would be happy to take any questions. Thank you.
Thursday, November 22, 2018, Schiller Institute in Denmark chairman Tom Gillesberg, accompanied by a 4-person delegation, gave testimony before the Business Committee of the Danish parliament, Folketing. We requested the 15-minute testimony in the hope that the recent series of serious bank scandals to hit the country, would increase the openness to our proposals for what needs to be done to prevent a new financial crash.
In fact, the committee members were in shock after hearing the whistleblower in the Danske Bank (Danish Bank) money laundering case speak at a hearing on Monday.
Tom Gillesberg reminded the committee of our 2007 election campaign forecast before the last crisis, and the deregulation that caused it, our proposals for Glass Steagall and other measures afterwards which have not been heeded, and warned of the coming crisis. Tom then presented The Schiller Institute’s comprehensive solution consisting of 1. Join the New Silk Road; 2. Create a New Bretton Woods credit system, and; 3. Implement LaRouche’s Four Laws.
There were two committee members present, one from Venstre, a liberal party, and one Social Democrat. They both had supportive comments about our role in the Danish political process, and asked good questions.
While we were waiting to give our testimony, the foreign minister came by and received a copy of our testimony, as did the business minister, who had spoken to the committee just before us.
In fact, the committee had sent our testimony request letter to the Business Minister Rasmus Jarløv, and asked for his comment to The Schiller Institute’s proposal for Glass-Steagall bank separation. The minister first explained what Glass-Steagall was. Then he stated that the EU had discussed bank separation after the last crisis, and that in 2014, the commission had introduced a proposal to separate certain trading activities from normal activity, but that this proposal was withdrawn. This was discussed in Denmark, but because he said that trading activity was not the cause of the crisis in Denmark, it was not adopted. Denmark responded by increasing requirements for bank capital solidity, and instituted procedures for the resolution of troubled SIFI banks.
As supplementary material, The Schiller Institute submitted an article in Danish about Glass-Steagall, and the section “Without LaRouche’s Four Laws, financial crash means chaos,” from the new Silk Road report, which is now available on the parliament’s homepage. The business minister has also been asked to comment on this material.
Next Thursday, The Schiller Institute in Denmark is holding a seminar entitled, “The World After the U.S. Mid-term Elections: Glass-Steagall bank separation and a New Bretton Woods credit system can make the New Silk Road become the World Land-Bridge,” with a live-video presentation by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, a presentation by Hussein Askary, and a pre-recorded presentation by Paul Gallagher.
Schiller Institute delegation to Parliament.
Schiller Institute’s Full Testimony Before Danish Parliament’s Business Committee
I am Tom Gillesberg, Chairman of the Schiller Institute in Denmark. Thank you for allowing us to come.
The Danish public has had a sudden awakening to the true state of the Danish financial world. For many years, Danske Bank (Danish Bank) has been deeply involved in money laundering, and both the bank’s management and the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority failed completely, after they became aware of the problem many years ago. It has also been revealed, that other major SIFI banks (Systematically Important Financial Institutions) in Denmark have colluded in tax evasion, and have failed in their fight against fraud and money laundering. Finally, many of the Danish banks, as well as their international colleagues, have contributed to the looting of the Danish and foreign treasury funds through fraudulent dividend tax rebates (also known as Cum-ex). All of this shows, that it is not a matter of individual problems, or individual bad apples, but is a systemic problem in which the entire banking and financial world is impregnated with uncontrolled greed, putting its own financial gain above the law, and the general welfare. The policy of deregulation, and allowing the financial world to control itself, has failed. This was actually already evident in connection with the meltdown of the international financial system in 2007-2008.
I, and other activists from the Schiller Institute, warned about this already in 2007, when I ran for parliament with the slogan: “After the financial crash – Maglev across the Kattegat” (here or a footnote: the body of water separating the island of Zealand, where Copenhagen is located, and Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city on the Jutland peninsula). But our warnings were ignored. Then, after the crash in 2008 – where only a Danish government guarantee covering all financial institutions prevented a meltdown in the Danish banking world – when we suggested how to clean up the financial world through the implementation of Glass-Steagall bank separation, which would separate the wheat from the chaff in the process – separate normal banking activity, important to the society, from the casino economy – there was again an institutional refusal to listen, in Denmark, and the rest of the Western world. They would not put an end to the unhealthy behavior in the financial world that had created the collapse in 2008. If entire financial sector had not been deregulated, and Glass-Steagall banking separation abolished in the U.S. in 1999, we would have avoided the financial crisis.
But then, the focus was to save the banks, and all other players in the financial world, with bank packages and quantitative easing, at the expense of the real economy and the living standards of ordinary people. Therefore, today, we are facing a coming financial crisis, which is potentially far worse than the one we experienced in 2008. The Danish measures of letting banks and mortgage companies increase their capital solidity (with customers’ money), will not prevent a new crisis. Without a separation of the activities in the financial supermarkets, as in 2007-2008, we still have no fire doors that can prevent fire in a part of the financial world from spreading to the entire financial house.
The imminent financial collapse
There are many ticking bombs under the international financial system. In the wake of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank’s rate hikes, there are more and more warnings about a coming meltdown of the $3.5 trillion sized U.S. corporate debt market, where more and more unsecured loans are being repackaged and resold in many different disguises – similar to the bad U.S. mortgage loans in 2007-2008. This has been accompanied by a fall in the stock markets, and a sharp fall in economic growth in the U.S. and Europe. The Bank for International Settlements warned of this dangerous development in its annual report in July, and the Bank of England did something similar in October. Then, the IMF’s explicit warning of falling corporate bond markets came in the IMF blog on November 12th.
A collapse of the mortgage debt market will have greater consequences than the collapse of the U.S. subprime loan bubble in 2008. Once the crisis is triggered, it will hit the banks around the world, and behind the polished surface, they have become even bigger, and even more bankrupt than they were in 2008. Like the upbeat to the 2007-2008 crisis, there has also been a collapse and capital flight from the so-called “emerging markets,” and the gigantic, unregulated market for financial derivatives can implode at any time.
There is no Band-aid solution that can fix this, but the Schiller Institute and the international LaRouche movement have proposed a coherent solution for how we can surgically remove the speculative cancer tumor, and create credit for productive investments, both internationally, and here Denmark.
1. We must join the New Silk Road
While most of the economy in the western world has been lagging for the last 10 years, and most people have experienced a falling standard of living, China has continued to experience strong economic growth, and has been able to lift more and more people out of poverty. The 2008 crisis was used to launch massive infrastructure projects, so China now has more kilometers of high-speed trains than the rest of the world combined. New towns, water projects, power stations and other infrastructure have been built, which make it possible to take care of a growing population, with an increasing standard of living.
In 2013, China’s President Xi Jinping launched this development policy on and international level with the Belt & Road Initiative, also known as The New Silk Road, which, today, is 12 times larger than the U.S. Marshall Plan after World War II, and over 60 countries are now participating. Denmark ought to be a prominent part of this development agenda, especially in Africa and South-West Asia.
2. A New Bretton Woods Credit System
On November 30, the G20 summit will occur in Argentina, and the Schiller Institute has suggested that the summits between President Trump, Xi Jinping and Putin be used to establish a new Bretton Woods credit system, in cooperation with India’s Prime Minister Modi. A new version of the old fixed-exchange system, established after World War II, but now, to create long-term credit for the development of all nations. This is the only thing that can prevent the ongoing disintegration of the current City of London and Wall Street-based financial system from leading to chaos and possible war.
3. LaRouche’s Four Laws
In Denmark, we can now prepare measures that can protect our economy against the upcoming financial tsunami. The Schiller Institute has proposed Lyndon LaRouche’s Four Laws, a conceptual script to turn our economy away from financial speculation, and back to physical economy, and scientific and technological progress:
1. The enactment of Glass-Steagall bank separation of the Danish financial sector, where we clear out, and reorganize the banking system and divide normal banking activity from financial speculation. The financial supermarkets must be separated into normal banks, investment banks, mortgage business and insurance, each on its own. Banks and other financial institutions must be divided and reduced in size, so they no longer constitute a systemic risk, and the government deposit guarantee will only apply to normal banks;
2. We must create government credit for productive investment in the economy;
3. We must channel part of this credits into major infrastructure projects, and other things, that can increase productivity, and energy-flux-density in the economy, and create the next, higher economic platform for Denmark, such as a Kattegat bridge and a national maglev network, and fixed connections between Helsingør (Demark) and Helsingborg (Sweden), and under the Fehmarn Belt (to Germany).
4. We must invest heavily in research and development of the areas that create future technologies, such as nuclear power, fusion energy, space research, etc. The biggest mistake we can make, is to believe that we can leave these questions to the financial world. It has proven that it has neither the moral compass, nor the necessary solutions, to ensure our future. Therefore, the state must now assume its responsibility, and establish the necessary laws and regulations that can safeguard the general welfare, and the future of Denmark, and the Danish people. In light of the recent bank scandals, there is a broad public backing for doing just that.