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Zepp-LaRouche Interviewed by Kirk Meighoo on BRI and New Paradigm

Kirk Meighoo in Trinidad & Tobago, a former Senator and a notable academic and political figure in the country, has done a beautiful 1-hour podcast with Helga Zepp-LaRouche as his guest. The podcast centered on the issue of the Chinese role in development around the world, as part of the global New Silk Road (Belt and Road Initiative, BRI). Zepp-LaRouche reviews 45 years of initiatives from her husband, Lyndon LaRouche, and herself, for the kind of American System economics embedded in the BRI, and evaluates how the United States can be brought aboard.

 


Malaysia’s Dr. Mahathir Has Renegotiated the East-West Rail Development with China

Another prime case of the “debt trap” lie, used to demonize China, has been blown away by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad in Malaysia. From the beginning of his return to leadership in 2018 (after having retired as Prime Minister in 2003 after 22 years in office), he openly declared that the problem with the rail (and other) contracts with China negotiated by the disgraced former government under Najib Razak was not China’s fault, but was due to the corruption of Najib. This didn’t stop the China bashers from declaring Malaysia a case of China’s supposedly evil use of debt to take over nations.

On April 12th, Dr. Mahathir announced that he and his long-time economic collaborator Daim Zainuddin had renegotiated the East-West Railroad construction contract, reducing the price by about one-third, while also cutting off a 40 km stretch along the east coast. The rail line will still connect the west coast to the east coast (the east coast is less developed than the west), over a 648 km line.

Dr. Mahathir was one of the first heads of government to announce that he would attend the Second Belt and Road Forum in China at the end of this month.


Sri Lanka Opens Chinese-built & Financed Railroad

Sri Lanka, which has been used by the China-bashing mob as the primary example of China’s evil “debt trap” diplomacy, doesn’t seem to have gotten the message. Instead, they continue to look to China as a leading source of funds and technical support to develop their country.

The Sri Lankan government on April 8 opened a new railroad connecting two southern cities, Matara and Beliatta, financed by the Export-Import Bank of China and constructed by China Railway Group 5 (CR5) and Sri Lanka’s Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau (CECB). The 26.75-km long railway was proudly declared open for the public by Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga in the presence of Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera and other parliamentarians.

This is the first railroad to be built in Sri Lanka since 1948, the year of their independence from the British! It includes the longest and second longest railway bridges of 1.5 km and 1.04 km, respectively, and the longest railway tunnel and the most modern railway station buildings in the country.

Debt trap? In spite of all the talk about Sri Lanka’s Chinese “debt trap” in the Western media, which EIR showed was a complete hoax (see: Why China’s ‘Debtbook Diplomacy’ is a Hoax), Sri Lanka and China continue to cooperate around new infrastructure projects, like this railway. How could a poor country, burdened with IMF and World Bank debt, come out of this trap and end its poverty without modern infrastructure (transport, power, water management, education and healthcare)? This should be self-evident for any American, German, Swede or Frenchman who knows anything about their country’s history. Forward with the Belt and Road!


Webcast: Success of New Paradigm Requires Full Expose of Russiagate’s British “Character”

In reviewing the leading events of the week, Helga Zepp-LaRouche came back repeatedly to the unbridgeable divide between the imperial nature of the collapsing system, which is driving the world toward war, and the emerging New Paradigm, which has been brought into focus over the last fifty years by Lyndon LaRouche. This can be seen explicitly in the pro-war activities of NATO leader Stoltenberg, in his efforts to induce Trump to attack Russia and China—which Trump did not do—and his ravings later to the Congress, which was received enthusiastically by depraved Congressmen, in contrast with numerous signs of increasing collaboration by the emerging 4-Power alignment: for example, the progress of the BRI, President Xi’s recent visit to Italy and the upcoming Putin trip there, and in space cooperation, including Trump restoring a Moon-Mars mission for the U.S.

Helga pointed to several ironic juxtapositions to elaborate: Trump working for a trade deal with China, while the war party in the U.S. escalates its anti-China push; the call for Europe to become the “New Empire”, by French Finance Minister LeMaire, as the EU is facing a series of existential crises, from Brexit, to collapsing production figures just released in Germany, and hopelessly bankrupt financial institutions.

And as the anti-Trump coup plotters continue with their efforts to remove the President, with endless investigations, Helga emphasized the importance of exposing the “British character” behind Russiagate, as the most efficient means of making the nature of this fight evident, and to bring more citizens into the organizing process.


Philippines’ Former President Calls China ‘A Partner, Not a Threat’

Former President of the Philippines and now Speaker of the Philippines Assembly Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, speaking at the March 26-29 annual Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) at Hainan, said:

“China has given us the lesson that there is just not one path for development, because prior to China’s experience, it was thought that the only way to development is the Western-style model of Jeffersonian democracy and coupled with a free market,”

the Manila Bulletin reported yesterday. It was at the same conference that Arroyo said that China is a partner, not a threat to the Philippines, despite the apprehensions of some about China’s involvement in development projects in the country. Arroyo, now in her second year as a board member of the BFA, said that developing countries such as the Philippines should further boost their relationship with China, GMA News Online reported.

“But China has shown the world that you can have your own model of development using your own historical experience, especially China in the last 40 years. Since the opening of China 40 years ago, it has transformed itself, it is the world’s leading growth, unmatched in history, 400 million [sic—800 million] people lifted out from poverty. China is on the verge of becoming the largest economy in the world,” she said.

Arroyo said she had a “valuable” meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, along with other officers of the Boao Forum for Asia. She said that their discussion with Li centered on the direction China is taking in its 40th year of reforms and its ties with the rest of the world. The Bulletin reported that Li’s meeting with the BFA officers was one of the highlights of the BFA Annual Conference 2019.


Webcast—Collapse of Russiagate Exposes the British Hand Behind Attempted Coup in USA

As I’m sure you’re now aware, special counsel Robert Mueller’s so-called Russiagate report admits there was no evidence of collusion by President Trump or his campaign with Russia (leaving no legal basis for any charge of obstruction of justice).

This has forced many to raise the key questions: who was behind it, and why?

In his tweets last week, Trump identified the British role in launching Russiagate, correctly stating that the intention was to stop better relations between the U.S. with Russia and China. The release of the Mueller report has opened a “time of reckoning.”

It is clear from the response of the anti-Trump forces that they will not stop. In today’s webcast Helga Zepp LaRouche pointed to the escalation against the government of Venezuela as “a continuation of the coup against Trump, in different colors.”

However, Helga insists, this will not stop the emergence of the New Paradigm, as the trip of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Europe this week demonstrated. The Italians stood up against the bankrupt would-be dictators of the EU, while French President Macron and German Chancellor Merkel were forced to acknowledge that the momentum is on the side of China.

Since Lyndon LaRouche’s life’s work is being realized in the advance of the New Paradigm, his exoneration would provide a crucial impetus to bring the U.S. into the mobilization to realize the common interests of mankind.


Italy and China Sign Groundbreaking MOU on Belt and Road Initiative

Italy and China have signed the famous Memorandum of Understanding on Belt and Road cooperation Friday, together with 10 economic agreements and 18 institutional agreements (19 with the BRI MOU). The MOU is a milestone and is said to already be being studied by other countries that want to follow Italy.

The MOU says at the outset that

“The Parties will work together within the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to translate mutual complementary strengths into advantages for practical cooperation and sustainable growth, supporting synergies between the Belt and Road Initiative and priorities identified in the Investment Plan for Europe and the Trans-European Networks, bearing in mind discussions in the EU China Connectivity Platform.”

With the MOU, Italy is the first large industrial economy to join the Belt and Road, as Chinese media proudly stress. The signature of the MOU occurred in spite of trans-Atlantic pressures and open hostility by Italy’s “partners” in the EU. Italian Minister for Economic Development Luigi Di Maio, who signed the MOU together with his counterpart He Lifeng, chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, stated that

“today is for us a very important day, in which the Made in Italy is winning, Italian firms are winning. We made a step to help our economy to grow. Italy came first with China.”

The economic agreements include: a strategic partnership between the Italian Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and the Bank of China to finance Italian firms in China; a MOU between the Italian oil company ENI and the Bank of China for explorations in China; Ansaldo Energia signed two agreements, one to develop gas turbines with UGTC and another one for the supply of a turbine to Shanghai Electric and Benxi Steel; the Port Authorities of Trieste and Genoa signed an agreement with the construction giant CCCC. Cassa Depositi and the natural gas utility Snam signed a deal with the Silk Road Fund for investments along the Silk Road; the Institute for Foreign Trade signed a deal with Suning to create a platform to promote Italian lifestyle in China; and the Danieli group signed a contract with China Camc Engineering for the construction of a steel plant in Azerbaijan.

The institutional agreements, besides the MOU on the BRI cooperation, include cooperation on innovative startups and electronic trade, as well as cooperation between the two space agencies, agriculture and culture, health and media.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella told the business leaders that, once again, there is a “culture of growth.” He said, “we can have confidence in both countries” that there will be development. The Memorandum of Understanding has been worked on since last September, and the cooperation between Italy and China will not only facilitate our own development, but will “enable global growth.” He said that ‘the globalized world needs more consultations” between nations, in all areas, especially trade, space and culture.

In an interview with Chinese journalists, Italian President Mattarella spoke at length about the ancient bonds between Italy and China and the future perspective for cooperation. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries, and this partnership is “built on solid foundations, inspired by natural convergences between two very ancient civilizations,” Mattarella was quoted by Xinhua.

Mattarella underscored the “growing and fruitful interaction between our peoples, who are so similar in terms of industriousness and creativity.”

Xi’s visit is an expression of the “solidity of the bond and the mutual respect” between Italy and China, he said.

After some lip service to transparency and openness, Mattarella said that on the cultural front, the heritage of both Italy and China “arouses admiration everywhere in the world,” and this heritage could be a great development driver. He referred to the mechanism of forging twinning relationships between the two countries’ World Heritage Sites.

Speaking of how the Italy-China partnership contributes to a better and more stable world, the President said that Italy is committed to safeguarding peace and rules-based multilateralism, and is pleased to see the two sides have consensus on that.

The Italian press agency ANSA reported that Mattarella expressed the wish that, with the visit of President Xi, “agreements, ideas, projects can come out, in which the Italian-Chinese partnership could develop further, including for a larger benefit of the collaboration between Europe and Asia, which needs an ever bigger volume of sustainable investments in infrastructure, to ensure a future of well-being and peace for all peoples of the two continents.”


Italian PM Conte Outflanks EU in Parliament Speech on China Policy

In the foreign policy debate in the Chamber of Deputies Tuesday morning, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte judoed all critics of the upcoming agreement between Italy and China on the Belt and Road by describing the upcoming MOU as so pro-European that it complies with EU guidelines and principles and values as “nobody has so far done in Europe.”

Conte said that the EU “will be strengthened by the Italian approach.” The MOU is not a treaty but a “programmatic agreement outlining targets in the framework of the BRI, which is a large project of international connectivity that Italy has expressed interest for, already back in 2016.” Italy’s interest “is legitimate” and responds to its “national interests.” Italy wants to increase its export in a “market of giant dimensions,” increase investments in infrastructures and “enjoy the natural economic advantages of the New Silk Road.”

The negotiations for the MOU have lasted many months and the text is “fully in line with the EU strategy.” Furthermore: “Nobody in the EU has done as much as we have” to advance EU policy vis-à-vis China. The MOU promotes European principles of mutual advantages, reciprocity, intellectual property, level playing field, etc. “Our approach to the BRI is the most far-sighted and effective ever adopted in the EU.”

In his reply, after a debate in which the opposition distinguished itself in hysteria, infantilism and incompetence, Conte reiterated the “finalities” of the MOU with China:  “First, balance trade relations. Our exports to China are far behind exports of our partners in the EU. Second, the BRI is a big project of infrastructure connectivity which offers opportunities to our companies. We have leading companies in know-how and technology which will be able to participate. Third, the BRI is of such a significance as to redefine major trade routes and we don’t want to miss any chance to be part of them. Fourth, protecting our strategic infrastructure is a primary, non-negotiable objective.”


Feasibility Study for Panama High-Speed Railway Released

President Juan Carlos Varela presided over a ceremony Friday for the release of China Railway Design Corporation’s feasibility study on the Panama City-David high-speed railway line agreed upon as part of Panama’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative. The study found that building the proposed 391.3 km railway from the capital to David, a city near the Costa Rican border, is economically and, as the President emphasized, socially viable—and that it is feasible to extend it into Central America.

hsr-panama

The railroad will provide “unprecedented integration of the country, and will empower the country’s logistical platform,” Varela said at the ceremony. The study took into consideration its future extension into Costa Rica, which would “facilitate trade of products between our [Central American] countries, which face great challenges in the area of logistics,” he stressed.

“Such a railway has been the dream of Panamanian leaders for 100 years, and therefore I hope that future leaders will take it up and make it a reality, always thinking of Panama first,” Varela added.

Panama will elect a new President on May 5, and Varela had previously announced that it will be up to his successor to undertake the project. By ensuring the feasibility study was released with proper promotion now, Varela is placing Panama’s participation in the Belt and Road, with the great potential it represents for transforming the country’s poorer regions, at the center of that campaign. (He cannot run again because of term limits.)

The CRDC, assisted by Panamanian government agencies, universities and private consulting companies, estimates that it will take six years to complete the railway, at a cost of $4.1 billion, involving 6,000 employees, direct and indirect, to build it, and 2,900 to operate and maintain it once built.


Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Jacques Cheminade Interviewed on China’s CCTV-13

Interviews with Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Jacques Cheminade appeared on a newscast by CCTV-13 reporting on U.S. reactions to the just-concluded National People’s Congress. CCTV journalist Wang Guang reported on the reaction of U.S. think tanks to the ideas presented during the Two Sessions with regard to U.S.-China trade and the Belt and Road Initiative.

The broadcast then shifted to an interview done with Helga at the Morristown Schiller Institute conference. Zepp-LaRouche said:

“I personally think it is the most important strategic initiative, because it is a concept with which you can overcome geopolitics. Geopolitics has been the cause of two wars in the 20th Century, and the idea that you can not have blocs of countries or nations against nations, but that you have what Xi Jinping always calls the ‘community of the shared future of humanity,’ that you put the one humanity first, is a strategic concept which allows you to overcome the divisions which existed in previous centuries.”

This was followed by Cheminade, who said,

“The Chinese way is to a world integration through common development, what President Xi Jinping calls a ‘win-win’ system. So that is a future. The Chinese want a world development. They don’t want to impose their model, but they don’t want the other models to impose upon them.”

Helga’s clip was also aired on CCTV Plus, an English-language CCTV site, on a program entitled “Foreign Experts Applaud Development Concepts.”


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