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China’s Overview of the Program of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation

China’s Overview of the Program of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation

Aug. 18, 2022 (EIRNS)–The FOCAC (Forum on China-Africa Cooperation) Coordinators’ meeting to follow up on FOCAC program implementation, took place Aug. 18. In anticipation of the meeting, Li Zhigang, Chargé d’ Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in South Africa, wrote an overview of these programs, which appeared in the Independent Online (IOL) Aug. 17.

One project of especial interest: “The two sides have set up a China-Africa RMB [renminbi] center to explore RMB settlement for China-Africa trade, logistics, and industrial cooperation.”

The nine broad points are presented here in brief:

The medical and health program: China has provided more than 250 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Africa, covering almost all African countries, and launched joint production of COVID-19 vaccine in Egypt, Algeria and Morocco. China has made constant efforts to pair up Chinese and African hospitals for cooperation, and the African CDC headquarters project (Phase I) is expected to be completed in early 2023. China has also been helping with control of malaria, schistosomiasis and AIDS.

Poverty reduction and agricultural development program: China has provided emergency food aid and other humanitarian assistance to the Horn of Africa and other regions. China has offered locust control insecticides, irrigation equipment, and technical assistance. The first four “China-Africa joint centers for modern agrotechnology exchange, demonstration and training” have been set up to train professionals in the fields of tropical crops, aquaculture, biomass energy and dry farming.

Trade promotion: From January to June this year, China-Africa trade volume registered U.S. $137.38 billion, up by 16.6% year-on-year, of which China’s exports to and imports from Africa increased by 14.7% and 19.1% respectively. China has opened “green lanes” for faster export of African agricultural products to China. As a result, products such as Rwandan stevia, South African fresh pears and soybeans, and Zimbabwean citrus have gained access to the Chinese market. China has signed agreements with Togo, Eritrea, Djibouti, Guinea, Rwanda, Mozambique, Sudan, Chad and Central Africa, among other LDCs, on expanding the scope of zero-tariff treatment to 98% for products exported to China, covering 350 kinds of African products.

Investment promotion program: From January to June this year, China’s industry-wide direct investment in Africa amounted to U.S. $1.74 billion, growing by 1.5% against all the odds. The turnover of Chinese enterprises’ contracted projects in Africa amounted to U.S. $18.32 billion, an increase of 8.4% year-on-year. The two sides have set up a China-Africa RMB center to explore RMB settlement for China-Africa trade, logistics and industrial cooperation. China has continued to provide aid in the form of grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans to help African countries achieve independent and sustainable development.

Digital innovation program: To expand Silk Road e-commerce cooperation, China and Africa have jointly made a success out of the “Quality African Products Online Shopping Festival” to market African products in China. Fifteen China-Africa science and technology cooperation projects have been initiated.

Green development program: China has completed the construction of hydroelectric power stations, photo-voltaic power stations, and water supply projects. China participates in the “Great Green Wall of Africa” initiative, and strengthens cooperation with Africa in desertification control.

Capacity-building program: China provides vocational skills training for local youths where there are Chinese enterprises in Africa, and give the graduates jobs in these enterprises. China helps African students who have completed study courses in China to find jobs in Chinese enterprises in Africa.

People-to-people exchange program: The first Conference on Dialogue Between Chinese and African Civilizations and the 11th Meeting of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum were successfully held, contributing to the building of a China-Africa community with a shared future.

The African Film Festival project: It has introduced well-made African films and TV shows to the Chinese audience. The “2022 China Culture and Tourism Month” has served as a window for African friends to learn and understand more about China.

The peace and security program: At the second China-Africa Peace and Security Forum, the two sides agreed to maintain strategic communication, strengthen cooperation in equipment and technology, expand maritime exercises and training, and enhance exchanges in professional fields. Chinese peacekeeping troops to Africa have performed to satisfaction, and the 25th batch of Chinese peacekeeping troops sent to the Democratic Republic of Congo was awarded the United Nations “Peace Medal.”

The full text of Li Zhigang’s article is here.


German Farmers Will Take to the Streets Again

German Farmers Will Take to the Streets Again

Aug. 8, 2022 (EIRNS)–Farmers in Germany are expected to take to the streets again, protesting against their own government’s and EU’s policies. A big national rally will be staged in Berlin on August 26. Organizers regard it as a “365 day” demonstration, if nothing is done. Among farmers’ key issues, is the one pointing to the lethal mix of green policies, and the EU and government’s inaction against the ongoing fertilizer/diesel price inflation, a main cause for the drop of grain harvest by 60 (!) percent in Germany this Summer. A lot of shelves in the supermarkets right in the middle of Europe will be empty this coming Winter season. 


First Ship in UN-Turkey Grain Deal Leaves Odessa with Corn for Lebanon

Aug. 1 (EIRNS)—This morning, the Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni, carrying 26,000 tons of corn (maize), left the Ukrainian port of Odessa destined for Tripoli, Lebanon. It is the first ship to leave Odessa under the auspices of the UN/Turkey-brokered deal signed with Ukraine and with Russia on July 22 by which Ukrainian grains will be shipped to world markets. Turkey’s Defense Ministry announced today’s departure, reporting that the Razoni will arrive in Istanbul on Aug. 2 where it will be inspected before passing through the Bosphorus Strait and heading for its destination. It was escorted out of Odessa by Ukrainian ships.

TASS reports that the joint grain export coordination center, based in Istanbul, will use satellites to monitor the passage of ships. According to the Associated Press, there are 16 more dry cargo ships in Odessa in line to ship out under the program. Today’s departure was welcomed by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who said he hoped this would be first of many Ukrainian ships to leave the port carrying urgently needed grains to “bring much-needed stability and relief to global food security especially in the most fragile humanitarian contexts.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov welcomed this “very positive” development. “Let’s hope that all the agreements will be implemented from all sides and that the mechanism will work effectively,” TASS reported him as saying.


Chilean Farmers Toss Out Produce To Protest Miserable Profits, High Cost of Inputs

Aug. 1 (EIRNS)—Tomato farmers in the northern Chilean city of Arica protested the high price of fertilizer and other inputs by tossing their tomatoes all over Route 5 North highway on July 11, cutting off all transit on the road for several hours. Producers told ADN radio that between what they have to pay for inputs and the low price they receive from merchants, it’s impossible to earn a decent profit. So, they reasoned, they wouldn’t be losing much by tossing the tomatoes onto the highway and blocking traffic.

There is generalized discontent among Chilean farmers, as seen in testimony given by several producers who addressed the Senate Agriculture Commission on May 16 to document their situation. Drought is a huge problem for farmers, compounded by the high price of inputs, lack of fertilizer, etc. In many drought-stricken areas, producers are forced to fire their workers and stop exporting because production of quality produce is impossible.

One producer, who had farmed for 30 years, warned the Senators that Chilean agriculture is facing a crisis, and that the nation’s food security is in jeopardy. And, he said, the problem isn’t just national, but global. This is an emergency, he stressed.


Zepp-LaRouche on CGTN Radio: Immorality of Sanctions & Import of Russia-Ukraine Grain Deal

Found here is a segment of Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s interview with Ge Anna at CGTN World Today done July 25 in which Zepp-LaRouche insists on the immorality of sanctions for all countries. This segment was Tweeted out by Ms. Ge Anna which can be heard at the link.

In the longer interview with Ms. Ge Anna, Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche also takes up the multi-layered importance of the just concluded Russia-Ukraine grain deal which can be heard here in the second segment start minute 15:12″ to 26:58″ using the play button at the left.


R-CALF USA Sent Support to the Dutch Farmers Against Global, Green Cartels

July 23, 2022 (EIRNS)–R-CALF USA, the largest association of independent cattlemen in the United States, on July 21, issued a statement of support to farmers in The Netherlands, protesting against the impossible green government mandates, to cut nitrous emissions and run-off by 2023. Bill Bullard, R-CALF USA CEO, stated, “Dutch farmers are facing an immediate threat to their livelihoods, liberty and independence. America’s cattle farmers and ranchers are on the cusp of suffering the same fate, which is why R-CALF USA supports the Dutch farmer-protestors who are fighting on the front line.” He said that the Dutch government is disregarding “any concern for reductions in food production almost certain to occur under the mandate.”

R-CALF USA, based in Montana, stands for Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America, and they have led the charge in recent years, fighting in the courts, Congress and public arena, against the Big Four cartel of meatpackers which dominates 85% of U.S. beef processing—Tysons, Cargill, JBS, and Marfrig.

R-CALF USA has also exposed how the “green” agenda is used as a cover for attacking cattlemen, and cutting the food supply, as in the case of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. R-CALF USA leader Tracy Hunt, a rancher and attorney in Wyoming, has exposed the GRSB as a front group for the likes of the World Wildlife Fund, cartels, and those who want depopulation.

Bullard denounced the Dutch government for trying “to whip many or all of its nation’s farmers into submission. We urge all Americans to join with us in admonishing the Dutch government’s action and to stand in support of Dutch farmers.”

Bullard has stressed the particular point that his rancher group has long opposed allowing beef imports into the U.S. from The Netherlands–a big beef-exporter–or other export source nations for the world meat cartels, but R-CALF USA supports the Dutch farmers. He said, “This isn’t about trade policy. The Netherlands is ground zero for a globalized effort to control the food supply and those who produce it.” 

Bullard issued a video statement on the Dutch farmers’ protest this last week, which is linked from his July 21 statement, which now is also circulating in German in Europe.


People First – Defend the Farmers Against Green Policies and Speculators!

July 11, 2022 (EIRNS)–Alf Schmidt, a sheep producer and farm leader from Thuringia, addressed the Bueso national convention on July 2 in Frankfurt with a hard hitting, extensive insight on the insanity and deliberate destructive agricultural policies, which are perpetrated in Germany by current “Green” leader Cem Özdemir, Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, as well as by government leaders in The Netherlands and all over Europe. 

Schmidt started his remarks by asking “Why were there no greenies in East Germany [GDR]?” The answer? “Education was mandatory.”

His presentation title was “Özedemir’s Agricultural Policies – Food as a Weapon.”  With many examples and frightening anecdotes, he showed how agricultural production in Germany is being further and further destroyed and ultimately made completely impossible – by increasingly crazy legal requirements and regulations imposed in the name of animal, environmental and climate protection. 

The speech was a very shocking eye-opener for the audience, and made clear how urgent it is to create international alliances between farmers, entrepreneurs, and all other citizens, for the common good, before vital productive activity in all areas is completely ruined, and the basis for human existence has vanished.

Some examples: As a sheep farmer, Schmidt has recorded around €1.2 million in damage caused by the return of wolves. The demanded reduction in the use of fertilizers, would reduce the quality of the grain so much that it can be used only as fodder, but no longer as bread grain. Large areas of land would be taken away from agricultural production for insect protection and water protection. The stricter regulations for animal transport would be practically impossible to meet. 

In the end, agriculture in Germany would be shut down and Germany would become completely dependent on food imports from abroad. The independent farmers would be ruined, and the land would be bought up by large companies. He said that it was already becoming apparent that food production would decline drastically.

 Finally, he showed a video statement by Sieta van Keimpema, press officer of the Farmers Defense Force and chairwoman of the European Milk Board, who explained for a German audience the reason for the farmers’ protests in the Netherlands: the government had decided on drastic conditions aimed at forcing one third of all farmers to give up their farms.

Alf Schmidt spoke at the international Schiller Institute conference Nov. 14-15, 2021 in the panel on physical economy.


Indian Farmers Prepare for Action Again

Indian Farmers Prepare for Action Again

July 11 (EIRNS) – There are signs that Indian farmers, who were first to stage a sustained – and apparently successful — national protest against the cartelization of agriculture, in 2021, are ready to join in what has now become an international wave of farmers’ protests against inflation and restrictions on their ability to farm. Several Indian English-language publications in India, including The Federal are reporting the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) is getting ready to come out on tractors again after a year in which their producer prices have skyrocketed and BKU says the Modi government has been trying to sabotage the Minimum Support Price agreed as a result of the last farmers’ strike.

While a protest demonstration (without tractors) has already been underway for three days in Haryana State in India, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said on July 10, “Yes, I did ask (farmers) to keep their tractors ready, since one doesn’t know where one needs to go now. However, a tractor is needed on the fields … or any other place…. The movement will go on. Farmers’ expenses are going up. Unemployment is getting worse. The government doesn’t want to address these issues.”


Farmers Stand Up Throughout Europe

Farmers Stand Up Throughout Europe

July 8, 2022 (EIRNS)—Many of them inspired by the Dutch insurgency, farmers in other European nations are standing up. The Italian Twitter site Radiogenova is covering Dutch, German, Polish, Italian and Spanish farmer actions. They covered Spanish protests July 1 and they covered Polish protests yesterday: “Polish farmers also rise up in Warsaw: ‘That’s enough! We won’t let ourselves be robbed!’ They accuse the political class of destabilizing production by raising interest rates, which does not stop inflation: ‘We workers cannot pay for the crisis created by the politicians!’”

Several independent regional farmers associations have started protest actions in Italy. On July 6, farmers in Calabria, supported by colleagues from Sardinia and Latium, staged a tractor demonstration in Lamezia Terme (Calabria), under the slogan “Stop the Speculators Who Bring Down Farmers.” A press release by the “Movimento Territorio e Agricoltura” (MTA) explains that the action is against “the politicians” who, “instead of listening to producers’ demands,” are protecting those who want to turn Italian agriculture “into a big trading platform in the hands of financial speculation.” Italian farmers cannot survive under the current production costs, especially gasoline, but also fertilizers, seeds, etc. The statement says the Lamezia Terme demonstration will be followed by similar ones throughout Italy.

On its Facebook page, the MTA blasts established trade unions as well and looks at the mobilization of Dutch farmers. They posted several videos and comments such as “This is a revolution!”


Chinese Scientists Discover Genes to Make Rice More Heat-Resistant

Chinese Scientists Discover Genes to Make Rice More Heat-Resistant

June 19 (EIRNS)–According to a study published in the journal Science on June 16, researchers from the Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Shanghai Jiao Tong University have discovered two genes in rice that can make the staple crop more heat-resistant, providing a new way to breed highly thermotolerant crops, reported CGTN News today.

The scientists discovered a mechanism by which the rice’s cell membrane senses external heat-stress signals before communicating with chloroplasts – the organelles in which photosynthesis occurs.

Chloroplasts are tiny bean-shaped membranes (1–2 μm (1 μm = 0.001 mm) thick and 5–7 μm in diameter), which in turn contain even smaller structures (thylakoids), which are shaped like discs and stacked like hamburgers within the chloroplasts. This is the workhorse of the plant where photosynthesis takes place.

Too much heat can damage these membranes, and if over a long duration can cause a crop to fail.

CGTN reported, “The researchers identified a locus with two genes: Thermo-tolerance 3.1 (TT3.1) and Thermo-tolerance 3.2 (TT3.2). They interact in concert to enhance rice thermotolerance and reduce grain-yield losses caused by heat stress.

The researchers found that accumulated TT3.2 triggers chloroplast damage regarding heat stress, but, in that scenario, TT3.1 can serve as a remedy.

Upon heat stress, TT3.1, a potential thermosensor, will remove the cell membrane from the cell to degrade the mature TT3.2 proteins, according to the study.

“The study elucidates a fresh molecular mechanism that links plant cell membranes with the chloroplast in responding to heating signals,” said the paper’s co-corresponding author Lin Hongxuan with the Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology.

Then, the researchers used hybridization to translate the TT3 locus of African rice into Asian species.

The field test has shown that the new species is more heat tolerant. It can withstand heat at 38 degrees Celsius without crop failure, while the output of normal species would be reduced above 35 degrees Celsius, said the researchers.

The newly-found gene might also be used in other plants, including wheat, maize, beans, and vegetables, to cultivate heat-tolerant strains, according to the researchers.” 


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