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The Schiller Institute’s New Silk Road Dossier in French Presented in Paris

The French edition of the Schiller Institute report “New Silk Roads Becomes the World Land-Bridge Vol II,” was presented on Nov. 6 at a Paris seminar. Among the 100 participants were representatives of 10 embassies from Europe, Africa and Eurasia, Chinese and Russian media, strategic analysts, and African associations particularly interested by the industrialization perspective for their continent.

This dossier will help to counter the negative propaganda about the New Silk Road promoted by many of the national think tanks and media in France, including the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), which just published a very hostile report. While the French government is open to participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, it is so far only involved in small joint projects in the area of artificial intelligence, and a couple of joint projects in Namibia and Cambodia.

Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche opened the seminar, followed by representatives of the French Schiller Institute who gave brief outlines on the contents. Helga Zepp-LaRouche noted that the Schiller Institute’s dossier, with its development projects for Africa, the Middle East, and the rest of the world, offers the solutions to the major crises of today, including the threat of a new financial crash, the refugee flows, and world peace. In the same vein, the Belt and Road Initiative, based on the principle of win-win cooperation, proposes an alternative to geopolitics, which seeks to impose the interests of one country or group of countries (empire) on others. Zepp-LaRouche drew a parallel between Xi Jinping’s idea of a “shared community of principle for the future of humanity” and the philosophy of Nicholas of Cusa of the “coincidence of opposites”, where humanity is thought of as a “One”, which is of a higher magnitude than the “Many”.

Odile Mojon went through the 40-year historic role of Lyndon and Helga Zepp-LaRouche in the emergence of this Eurasian perspective, going back to the fights of the non-aligned movement in the 70s and the 80s and up to the emergence today of the BRICS group and China's New Silk Road. Karel Vereycken presented the secrets of the Chinese development model, which has nothing to do with British free trade, but much more with centralized long-term planning that regulates the market, such as guided the New Deal in the US and the French planning tradition.

Sebastien Périmony went through the rapid industrialization occurring in Africa as a result of Chinese investments, a situation that is creating panic in France whose market shares plunged from 11% to 5,5% between 2000 and 2017, while the Chinese share rose from 3% in 2001 to 18% last year. Périmony debunked the “debt trap” campaign designed to discredit Chinese initiatives, and concluded by presenting a few large infrastructure projects like the Trans-Sahelian Noukchott-Ndjamena railway, which would give France an excellent opportunity to engage with China in joint African projects.


Schiller Institute Representative Addresses High Level Conference in Beijing

On Oct. 29, Hussein Askary, Southwest Asia Coordinator of the Schiller Institute,
addressed the Belt and Road International Food Industry Conference, sponsored by China
People’s Daily, Global Times and China Food News and supervised by the official state
Belt and Road Portal. The conference addressed the impact of the Belt and Road Initiative
(BRI) and China's development model on food security in China and globally.
The main panel was opened by such senior officials as former Director of the State
Council Office of Poverty Alleviation Liu Jian, who also earlier served as deputy Agriculture
Minister. He was followed by the former spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and member of the Public Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sun Yuxi,
who is currently Member of the Public Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Hussein Askary, in his speech, first outlined the past 24 year' efforts of the Schiller Institute
to promote the global connectivity now associated with the New Silk Road and the
Eurasian-African Land-Bridge. He expressed his and the Schiller Institute’s gratitude to
President Xi Jinping for launching the BRI in 2013, which has “already changed the world,
ushering in a new set of international relations based on economic cooperation and mutual
development, which will have great implications for food security in the world.” That would
not have been possible, Askary stressed, “without China’s amazing industrialization
process of the past three decades.”
He went on to review the immense positive changes in the living conditions of the Chinese
people, including the increase in food production and consumption, with a more diversified
diet for the people. However, this new diet, with greater emphasis on proteins, is a more
capital-intensive process. “You can expect that this process will be replicated in every
country and part of the world that the BRI reaches, with the increase in living conditions
and, consequently, in food consumption.” Askary reviewed the UN-produced “Hunger Map
of the World” showing that 800 million people lack adequate food today. However, the most
hungry nations, especially in Africa and West Asia, are now joining the BRI to alleviate this
terrible situation, and "we have to imagine how much land and technology will be required
to achieve this goal". With the world population poised to double by 2050, only such
massive initiatives as the BRI can address this challenge, Askary concluded.
The conference, including Askary’s speech received wide coverage in Chinese media,
including postings of Askary’s speech in full on several websites. According to China Daily,
the “Belt and Road” Food Industry International Summit is a world-class food industry
conference with the participation of the food industry and the food industry related trade
associations, industry associations, well-known enterprises and social organizations.”
(The official website of the conference, that of The Belt and Road Global Chambers of
Commerce and Associations, is http://www.msdnba.com/topics?id=15.html)


FAO Chief Praises China for Worldwide Reduction of Hunger

Nov. 4 -Jose Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), gave an interview to Xinhua on Nov. 3 which lavishes praise on China’s role in both alleviating hunger and advancing agricultural science. “China has made great achievements in curbing hunger and increasing food security, both domestically and globally, since the launch of its reform and opening-up 40 years ago,” Graziano da Silva told Xinhua.

Most interesting, Graziano da Silva totally debunks the 1995 book by Lester Brown titled {Who Will Feed China? Wake-Up Call for a Small Planet}, one of the major propaganda tools for the depopulation movement. “But China did succeed,” Graziano da Silva said. China lifted 80 million people out of hunger in what Graziano da Silva called “the most successful program that I know of in the world.”

Xinhua quotes the FAO 2018 World Food Security report, which states that the world produces enough food to feed everyone, yet one in nine people goes hungry and 821 million people are chronically undernourished. In 2007 over 15% of the chronically undernourished were in China, but that is now down to 9%. Graziano da Silva said this is “closely related to what China is doing to eradicate poverty, especially in rural areas.”

Xinhua reports that Graziano da Silva designed and implemented a Zero Hunger program that lifted 28 million people out of poverty in 10 years in his native Brazil, and that China’s program using reforestation to combat poverty along the Mongolian desert became “an example for my country.”

Graziano da Silva said China is helping the FAO with its South-South cooperation programs in Africa, including Chinese scientists helping to develop drought-resistant varieties of rice. He notes that in 2006, China was the first country to establish a strategic alliance with the FAO on South-South cooperation, and today more than 1,000 Chinese experts and technicians have supported 37 countries in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean on agricultural issues.

On the Belt and Road, Graziano da Silva said: “The BRI is providing support for countries such as Malawi, for example, they produce enough food, but they lose half of it due to lack of storage. So we believe that infrastructure (projects) that are part of the BRI can help a great deal to improve food security and reduce food loss and waste, which in turn will also reduce pressure on natural resources.”

Graziano da Silva announced on Nov. 2 that the FAO will establish an International Center of Excellence for Agriculture Innovation and Rural Development in Beijing, aimed at helping to reach the FAO’s Zero Hunger goal by 2030.


Abe in China: from Competition to Cooperation

Oct.26, 2018 -Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe began a three-day visit to Beijing on Thursday for a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the first such summit since 2011. The main
goal of the visit is to transform relations from that of competition to cooperation, especially concerning Japanese cooperation in the Belt and Road Inititive. Some 500 Japanese businessmen accompanied Abe on his visit.

Abe has held substantive meetings with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, the chair of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee Li Zhanshu, and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Abe’s repeated message, as he emphasized in his joint press conference with Prime Minister Li, was that Japanese-Chinese relations have entered a new phase, moving “from competition to cooperation…. We want to expand our relationship significantly. We are
neighbors. We are partners cooperating with each other. We have to avoid becoming a threat to each other.”

President Xi opened his talks with Abe, noting that “as the international situation changes, China and Japan are becoming increasingly dependent on one another. Our countries also have a growing number of common interests and concerns on a multilateral level. The rapid changes in the world are providing China and Japan with opportunities for more in-depth cooperation.”

Reflecting on the historical relations between the two countries, Xi added that “China and Japan have interacted for more than 2,000 years. The people of our countries have long been
learning from each other and achieving developments. In that long history, there were deplorable times and the Chinese people suffered tremendously.”

Abe reiterated to Xi his above message, that his visit is “an opportunity to elevate the Japan-China relationship to a new phase from competition to cooperation…. [W]e want to work with China for the peace and stability of the world, and the region, and that’s what countries around the world expect of us.”

{Asahi Shimbun} reported that Li and Abe confirmed that the two countries will jointly promote infrastructure projects led by Japanese and Chinese private companies in third countries. Chinese state radio reported that Li welcomed Japan to actively take part in China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, and in China’s reforms and the opening up of its economy,

Speaking on the sidelines of an economic forum of 1,400 business and government official on Friday, Abe pointed out that “Infrastructure projects in Asia are expected to be worth 1.7 trillion dollars annually by 2030. It won’t be easy for companies in one country to tackle this demand and overcome the accompanying challenges.” He stressed that projects led by
Japanese and Chinese firms in other countries must follow international standards.

All kinds of agreements were signed, between the leaders and between Chinese and Japanese businessmen. A key one is that annual high-level dialogues that have been suspended for years will be reestablished (e.g. between Foreign Ministers). Others reportedly include agreements to work together on a total of 52 joint projects, including urban development in a special economic zone in eastern Thailand and establishing a new fund with banks and securities firms; to accelerate talks on jointly developing gas fields in the East China Sea; and a decision to revive a 30 billion dollar currency swap pact dropped in 2013.


Portugal Prepares To Officially Enter the Belt and Road

Oct. 22, 2018 –Portugal and China are finishing details a Memorandum of Understanding on Portugal’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative initiated by China, focused on investment in infrastructure, Portugal’s Foreign Affairs Minister Augusto Santos Silva announced Oct. 20 from Macau, China. He did not give details, but he emphasized the role which Portugal’s deepwater port on the Atlantic, Sines, can play in the Belt and Road, because of its strategic location for connecting with the continents of Africa, the Americas, and Eurasia. Sines is Europe’s closest port to the now-expanded Panama Canal, he pointed out in making the announcement.

At the same time, Santos Silva announced that President Xi Jinping’s long-planned state visit to Portugal is now set for Dec. 4-5. He did not say whether the MOU will signed during that visit, but Portugal is eager to get to work on the project. Today, in meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing, Silva Santos emhasized that Portugal “is willing to work with China, ready to further implement China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and become a hub linking Europe and Asia through land and sea,” CGTN reported.

Portugal’s Foreign Minister is visiting China from Oct. 19-23, accompanied by the Secretary of State for Internationalization, and other top officials. Their trip has taken them from Guangdong, to Macau, and now Beijing, where they will meet with Wang Yi, senior diplomat Yang Jiechi from the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC’s Central Committee, and Commerce Minister Zhong Shan, and take part in the tenth Joint China-Portugal Economic and Trade Committee Meeting.

Interest is also growing in Portugal’s neighbor, Spain. President Xi Jinping will visit Spain for talks with government officials Nov. 27-28, Spain’s Foreign Ministry announced in September.


AIIB Builds Its Lending Levels for Growth

Oct. 21 –The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has been building up its loans to fundamental infrastructure investment throughout Asia, during the past 20 weeks.On Sept. 28, the AIIB approved new loans totalling nearly $1 billion to finance projects in Egypt, India, and Turkey. The three loans include the AIIB’s first to the Egyptian government, which consists of a $300 million investment to improve rural sanitation services in the country, co-financed by the World Bank, the bank said on Oct. 19. The Beijing-based bank board of directors also approved a $455 million loan to improve all-weather rural roads in Andhra Pradesh in southeast India; and a loan of up to $200 million to the Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (TSKB) to finance energy projects.

In September, the AIIB said it was considering $541 million in loans for three propposed infrastructure and power projects in Bangladesh, according to BSS news agency. This includes the Mymensingh Kewatkhali Bridge project, which is part of the Dhaka-Mymensingh-India border corridor; the Sylhet to Tamabil Road Upgradation Project; and a power system upgrade and expansion project for the Chittagong region.

In June, the AIIB approved $1.2 billion in loans for infrastructure construction in India.
The AIIB has made about $5.8 billion in loans since its formation in December 2015. The World Bank has about $61 billion in loans outstanding. But the AIIB’s loans have no conditionalities, and are for real development. The AIIB’s development thrust, and buildup in the speed of its lending from a low level represents the direction of a transformation in the world.


Symposium on China-Japan Projects

Oct. 14 – Senior Chinese and Japanese government officials began a two-day symposium Sunday in Tokyo – the 14th Annual Tokyo-Beijing Forum- at which the degree of Japanese
participation in the Belt and Road Initiative great projects program of China, is again the subject, reported {Japan Times}.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Oct. 25-27 will make the first state visit to China by a Japanese leader since 2011; this was announced by the Chinese Foreign Ministry Oct. 12. At
the Tokyo meeting, Wei Jianguo, vice chairman at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, revealed that during Abe’s visit, about 1,000 people will attend a signing ceremony for more than 60 joint projects involving Japanese and Chinese firms.

“Those projects are all designed to jointly develop `third-country’ markets in countries outside of China and Japan,” reported {Japan Times}. “During the symposium, Chinese officials repeatedly urged Japan to jointly promote third-country development projects in what is seen by some as a push by Beijing for Tokyo to join its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, which is centered on massive infrastructure projects in Central Asia, Europe and the Indo-Pacific region.”

“Right now, the China-Japan relationship has a forward-looking momentum. High-level contacts have been maintained and exchanges in various areas have been strengthened,” Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua told the symposium.


China Will Integrate Belt and Road with African Development Plans

Sept. 4, 2018  — The second day of the FOCAC Summit in Beijing consisted of a round-table chaired jointly by  President Xi Jinping and President Cyril Ramaphosa, and a series of side forums dealing with individual issues. Speaking at the concluding press conference of the summit, President Xi Jinping underlined the motif: “We will synergize China’s Belt and Road Initiative with African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the national development strategies of African countries.”

Xi said, “Together we will better uphold the common interests of China and Africa, boost the strength of developing countries, and make the world a more balanced and better place for everyone to live in.”

Xi also had words of wisdom for other “international partners” of Africa. “We hope that Africa’s international cooperation partners could learn from each other, leverage their respective strength, build synergy, and jointly contribute to peace and development in Africa,” Xi said. He thanked President Ramaphosa for his close cooperation over the last few months in preparing for the summit, and welcomed President Macky Sall of Senegal as the new African co-chair of FOCAC. President Ramaphosa reiterated his strong support for the BRI: “…[t]he China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative provides the African continent with great opportunities. African countries all collectively accept and praise the initiative, hailing it a best way to address Africa’s challenges.” He pointed out that China and African countries agreed to work more closely together and share technologies and achievements, and listed a series of projects, including the China-Africa cooperation center for ocean science and blue economy, the China-Africa research center for the development of green agriculture, the China-Africa energy technological cooperation center, and the China-Africa geo-science cooperation center.

President Sall, in turn, expressed that he is “happy” over being able to co-chair FOCAC, and said he saw “great prospects” in coming years with more engagements with the private sector. “We will push our relationship to a higher level,” he said, calling the present period of China-Africa relations, a “golden age.”


Greece and China Signs Collaboration Memo for Belt and Road

Aug. 28  — Speaking at a press conference following their meeting in Beijing, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and is Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi announced the signing of a memorandum of collaboration in the framework of China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative.

Kotzias told the press that “our main goal is to deepen our political cooperation,” and announced he has extended an invitation to Wang Yi to visit Athens. They will hold further talks on finalizing the next five-year action plan in economic cooperation in the meantime, reported various Chinese and Greece media.

For his part Wang Yi called Greece a “natural partner of China” and said the two ministers discussed linking infrastructure, promotion of trade, financial cooperation and collaboration between the peoples of the two countries in tourism, science and technology, education and culture, sports, youth and local government.

Earlier in the day Kotzias met with officials of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) and today he will meet with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and CPC Politburo member and also State Councillor Yang Jiechi, and deliver a speech at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on Greek-Chinese relations on the way forward. In the evening he will travel to Shanghai for further meetings.


Indian Scholar: The Belt and Road Came from Lyndon and Helga LaRouche

Aug. 28 -Mahmud Ali, an Indian scholar currently at the Institute of China Studies at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, posted an article on LinkedIn titled “America’s Foundational Contributions to China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI)” on Aug. 27. He ridicules the “disdain” from Western officials and media towards the Belt and Road Initiative, and stating that the slanders are “repeated {ad nauseam},” especially in the U.S. But, he continues, the concept “originated in America, with U.S. visionaries envisaging, promoting and advancing the cause of a united Euro-Asian economic space, as early as the late 1980s, before politicians and their assorted advisors had begun considering the possibility of the collapse of the Soviet Union, or the end of the Cold War. It was that American intellectual spark, nurtured by a few farsighted men and women, which illuminated the new world of possibilities. Without it, and direct intervention by governments and multilateral agencies based in America and its allies, there would probably be no BRI today.”

Then, under the subhead “American Prophets Imagine a New Silk Road,” he writes that despite the geopolitical thinking of most people in the West, based on the concepts of Halford Mackinder, “Western thinkers operating outside state-funded national security establishments envisioned a non-competitive, indeed collaborative, vision of the future. One of them, the U.S. politician and co-founder, with his wife Helga LaRouche, of the Washington-based Schiller Institute, Lyndon LaRouche, promoted such a vision, with some success in influencing segments of trans-Atlantic opinion. In October 1988, LaRouche briefed the media in West Berlin on ‘U.S. Policy Toward the Reunification of Germany,’ prophesying the collapse of COMECON economies, and urging food-support to Poland so that a majority of Germans on both sides desired reunification. In December, he assigned a group of Schiller Institute specialists to examine prospects for establishing a Paris-Berlin-Vienna productive triangle. In January 1990, Schiller Institute published LaRouche’s book on a proposed 320,000 sq.km. European economic area comprising a population of 92 million concentrated in 10 large industrial areas, from which he envisaged infrastructural corridors, linked with high-speed railways, radiating in all directions, providing a basis for upgrading living standards across Eurasia.”

Ali goes on to describe Schiller Institute conferences and {EIR} articles between 1991 and 1996 (noting that LaRouche was then in prison), when Helga Zepp-LaRouche presented her speech at the May 7-9, 1996 “Symposium on Economic Development along the New Euro-Asia Continental Bridge” in Beijing on May 8, 1996, titled “Building the Silk Road Land-Bridge: The Basis for Mutual Security Interests of Asia and Europe.”

Then, he writes: “In January 1997, Lyndon LaRouche addressed a Washington conference, urging the Clinton Administration to sponsor a New Bretton Woods system, reorganizing the world economy to prevent disruptive boom-bust cycles, and recognize the global merit of the Eurasian Land-Bridge program. Reinforcing and explaining her husband’s persistent thematic refrain, Helga LaRouche published a commentary titled, `Eurasian Land-Bridge: A New Era for Mankind,’ which was widely circulated across the Atlantic by the Schiller Foundation [sic].” He adds that Helga LaRouche addressed a second conference in Beijing in November 1997. “By then,” he continues, “railway connectivity between coastal China, Central Asia and Russia was a reality; Europe beckoned.”

He next reports on a conference in India organized by Schiller representative Ramtanu Maitra, with leading figures from Russia, China and India, where they “established a Triangular Association with the goal of promoting Indo-Russian-Chinese cooperation in forging a shared vision of Eurasia’s post-Cold War future of peace, progress and prosperity. The effort failed for a combination of distractions and difficulties: fallout from the Asian Economic Crisis, the September 2001 al-Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington and America’s subsequent Global War on Terrorism, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and then, the Great Recession. Nonetheless, seeds had been sown in the febrile post-Cold War intellectual hotbeds. Ideas analysed at Schiller’s many conferences and events began gelling into policy-frameworks in early 21st century.”

Ali then reviews other Western interventions into Central Asia, including a number of “bilateral investment treaties” the U.S. signed with coutries in Central Asia and the South Caucasus, aimed at capturing the energy resources and breaking them away from Russia and China, and the so-called “New Silk Road Initiative” sponsored by Hillary Clinton (based on keeping Central Asia out of Russia and China influence), and the Lower Mekong Initiative, also by the U.S. State Department.

However, Ali makes a point that the U.S. initiatives were both “much more modest” than the LaRouche plans, or of Xi Jinping’s plan announced in September 2013, and that the U.S. “more candidly advertised their geopolitical drivers.” On the other hand, he concludes, “Beijing emphasized its economic, indeed geoeconomic focus.”


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