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Russian-African Network University Established at V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University

Russian-African Network University Established at V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University

Aug. 27, 2022 (EIRNS)–The V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University, which was established on the basis of the Tauride University, set up in Simferopol, Crimea by Vladimir Vernadsky in 1920, will host the Russia-African Network University (RAFU), holding classes from Aug. 29-Sept. 9. Crimean Federal University was one of the initiators in the creation of this network, so they were given the opportunity to coordinate the summer university project with the participation of African students. 

RAFU Summer University is implemented on the platforms of 10 universities located in Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Republic of Crimea, Rostov-on-Don, and Astrakhan. In total, the international educational project will bring together more than a hundred African students.

According to the press service of the university, students of the RAFU Summer University project will be trained in two additional educational programs of medical direction: reproductive medicine and laparoscopic surgery. “The endoscopic surgery program will include training on the equipment of our simulation center. The work on special simulators—endoscopic workstations—fully simulates the course of laparoscopic surgery.” They will also visit leading clinics in Crimea and will have the opportunity to visit Crimea’s sights as part of a cultural leisure program.


Successful Flight of Chinese Sub-orbital Space Rocket

Aug. 28, 2022 (EIRNS)–China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC) announced on August 26 that China’s reusable sub-orbital space carrier made its first successful repeated-use experiment flight on Friday.

The suborbital vehicle launched vertically from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert on Friday, Aug. 26 Beijing time (Aug. 25 Eastern), according to CASC, China’s main space contractor. It landed stably at an airport in Alxa Right Banner in North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region after finishing a flight in the sub-orbit as planned, according to the announcement. The short statement provided neither images of the craft nor information such as time, duration or apogee of the launch.

CASC’s statement declared the complete success of the flight test, and represents a leap in the development of China’s space transportation technology from single-use to reusable.

Song Zhongping, a space analyst and TV commentator, told the Global Times that sub-orbital carriers, which are used for sending payloads to about 100 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, could serve a variety of purposes such as ferrying satellites. The lifting-body and sub-orbital characteristics mean that the carrier has aerodynamic design and can conduct operations in sub-orbit. Such craft have more lifting power, Song explained.

Technologies required for reusable sub-orbital flights are very demanding, as the craft had experienced both the environment in space and that under the Earth’s atmospheric influence, experts said.

The latest successful repeated-use flight means that both materials and engine system of China’s domestic reusable sub-orbital vehicle can be reused, which is a great technical breakthrough and remarks a technical milestone, Song said. In a statement the CASC provided to the Global Times, the CASC said that it was working on a series of reusable space launch and transport systems, which will greatly boost the country’s space shuttle capability, lowering costs and empowering future development in this domain.


China To Increase Its Humanitarian Assistance, Engagement with Afghanistan

China To Increase Its Humanitarian Assistance, Engagement with Afghanistan

Aug. 18, 2022 (EIRNS)—China’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Wang Yu, has announced that China intends to step up its engagement with Afghanistan, “as Afghans are good neighbors, brothers and partners.” China he said, “will stand firm on the concept of community with the shared future for mankind,” ToloNEWS reported him saying today. He underscored that he was not speaking about diplomatic recognition, because there are still certain criteria Kabul must meet for that, including becoming “stable, peaceful, pursue a moderate policy and meet expectations.”

However, the ambassador said, China will “substantially enhance bilateral cooperation in all areas” guided by Xi Jinping’s Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative. One priority will be to assist with the grave humanitarian crisis, adding to China’s already substantial contributions of food and other vital necessities. China has provided $8 million in assistance to families affected by the recent earthquake in Afghanistan, in addition to 6,000 tons of rice worth $8 million, with aid provided to 34 provinces.

Ambassador Wang spared no words in addressing the devastation wrought in Afghanistan by 20 years of U.S. occupation and war. “The U.S. pursued its own interests only,” he said. The U.S.’s 20-year occupation “did not help the country realize its social development…war has destroyed its infrastructure, leading to more difficulties in its economic development and people’s livelihoods.” The U.S. military intervention has produced a “deep disaster” for the Afghan people, he added. The U.S.’s irresponsible withdrawal a year ago “has created more problems for Afghanistan,” he elaborated. And, he continued, not only did the U.S. ignore the disaster facing the Afghan people, but it also refused to return the assets belonging to them, which were illegally seized. Those funds should be returned, he said.


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.


Xi Jinping in Hong Kong To Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Its Return to China

June 30, 2022 (EIRNS)—Chinese President Xi Jinping spent the first of a two-day visit to Hong Kong today to help its citizens celebrate the momentous 25th anniversary of July 1,1997, the date on which Great Britain returned Hong Kong to China. Imperial Britain occupied Hong Kong on July 25, 1841, during the Opium War and following China’s defeat in that war, it was forced to cede the territory to Britain in the Treaty of Nanking on August 29, 1842. The anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China carries great political and emotional significance for the Chinese people.

Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, arrived by high-speed rail at Hong Kong’s West Kowloon train station in the afternoon today, where they were greeted with much fanfare by the police brass band, flag-waving citizens, and a lion dance. In a short speech after his arrival, Xi stated that he and the central government have always felt concern for Hong Kong and held its compatriots in their hearts, understanding that it has had to overcome many difficult challenges and tests. He emphasized that as long as the principle of “one country, two systems” is always upheld, Hong Kong will have a bright future and will make great contributions to China’s rejuvenation.

Prior to attending a banquet at the official residence of Carrie Lam, the outgoing chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)—Hong Kong’s government—Xi met at the local convention center with 160 officials, including senior government officials, heads of law enforcement agencies, and members of the chief executive’s cabinet. He also visited the city’s very impressive science park, which is home to 1,000 high-tech companies. Also attending the banquet was John Lee, Carrie Lam’s successor, whose inauguration tomorrow Xi will attend. Xi spoke very highly of Carrie Lam, praising her for firmly implementing the “One country two systems” and China’s Basic Law in Hong Kong and for guiding it through a period of chaos in 2019-2020 when violent “pro-democracy” protesters sought regime change in the HKSAR, and overseeing its transition to the current period of peace and order.


South African Foreign Minister Tells Blinken: We’re Sovereign, and We’ll Do Things Our Way

Aug. 9, 2022 (EIRNS)–Americans, and others in the West, could take a lesson from African leaders, who are not taking orders from arrogant elites demanding capitulation. South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor told reporters on Monday, with Secretary of State Tony Blinken sitting next to her, that she objected to “patronizing bullying” coming from the West: “Because when we believe in freedom – as I’m saying, it’s freedom for everybody – you can’t say because Africa is doing this, you will then be punished by the United States…. One thing I definitely dislike is being told `either you choose this or else.’ When a minister speaks to me like that … I definitely will not be bullied in that way, nor would I expect any other African country worth its salt to agree to be [so] treated.”

Blinken is on a three-nation trip to Africa, a trip widely billed as aimed at countering Russian and Chinese influence in the area. Playing “Mr. Nice Guy” did not score Blinken points in South Africa. In the joint press conference given by Blinken and Pandor after holding the first U.S.-South Africa Strategic Dialogue in nearly eight years, Pandor made three key points, in addition to her refusal to join geopolitical blocs:

On China and Africa: “Countries are free to establish relationships with different countries. African countries that wish to relate to China, let them do so, whatever the particular form of relationships would be. We can’t be made party to conflict between China and the United States of America, and I may say, it does cause instability for all of us, because it affects the global economic system. We really hope that the United States and China will arrive at a point of rapprochement, where all of us can look to economic development and growth for all our countries, because that’s extremely important for all of us. These are two great powers, the two biggest economies in the world. They’ve got to find a way of working together to allow us to grow.”

On Blinken’s push for “democracy,” one of the four U.S. priorities in the administration’s “Sub-Saharan Africa Strategy,” Pandor recommended:

“If your tactic is to approach African countries and say that, `listen, you must be democratic either and use our model, it works,’ I think it’s bound to lead to some failure.” All countries and peoples deserve the right to exercise their civil and political rights, but how that should be approached is the issue,” she said. She noted that “there has been a lot of external interference in Africa [which] has fueled conflict in many African countries, has fueled instability and supported opposition groups against liberation fighters and so on,” much of that stemming from foreign interest in “Africa’s rich mineral wealth.”

And, Pandor spoke eloquently against the war and “apartheid” in which Palestinians are forced to live, as an example of the double-standard often played by those who say they are defending the principles of the UN charter: “Just as much as the people of Ukraine deserve their territory and freedom, the people of Palestine deserve their territory and freedom. And we should be equally concerned at what is happening to the people of Palestine as we are with what is happening to the people of Ukraine.”


Sanctions Crippling the Syria that Was Once Proudly and Steadily Growing

Aug. 9, 2022 (EIRNS)—The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released a study, “Syrian Arab Republic: Access to Electricity and Humanitarian Needs,” in March 2022, documenting meticulously, respecting Syria, what Helga Zepp-LaRouche contends in her July 12, 2022 statement, “Lift Sanctions Against Russia Immediately!”: that sanctions are a “brutal form of warfare” that kill, and must be lifted everywhere they are currently enforced.

In 2011, the European Union enforced sanctions against Syria with the intent to overthrow the country’s President, Bashar al-Assad, following the Bernard Lewis Plan overthrow and eventual killing of the leaders of Iraq and Libya. Britain, the U.S., and other nations joined the sanctions regime, and the range of sectors of the Syrian economy against which they were applied was expanded. The U.S. and other nations carried out military intervention in Syria in 2011, first using proxy terrorist groups, then directly.

Syria’s electricity sector was brutally targeted. The OCHA study reports, “Two of the country’s 13 major power plants were fully destroyed: the Zeyzoun Power Plant in Idlib governate (487 MW installed capacity) and the Aleppo Thermal Power Station (1,065 MW installed capacity).” The World Bank reported that six other power plants were partially destroyed.

“As a result of this damage, the country’s electricity generation capacity fell from 5,800 MW in 2010… to 4,000 MW in 2018.”  The further tightening of sanctions caused Syria’s installed electricity generation capacity to fall to 2,000 MW in 2021, a collapse of 63%! Obtaining replacement parts and maintaining the surviving plants, due to sanctions, has become even more acute. Whereas, in 2010, “93% of the country had access to electricity,” that is sharply down today. Compared to 2010 standards, today’s Syrian population consumes 85% less electricity per capita, twelve years later. Thirty percent of Syria’s population has access to electricity for only 2 hours per day. That slashes electricity to industry, and households, and all the equipment that goes with that.

But electricity is the source for powering all other features of society. Around 2010, “access to safe drinking water in Syria was estimated at 92% in rural communities and 98% in urban centers. Seven major water systems serve the country’s eight largest cities…. However,” the study emphasizes, “by 2019 annual public water production in Syria had fallen by 40% relative to pre-crisis levels (from 1,700 Mn cubic meters in 2010 to 1,020 Mn cubic meters in 2019.” But to use water from groundwater and springs, or most rivers, requires continuous electricity to pump water and distribute it, a commodity Syria now lacks as the study highlights.

The lack of electricity (and water) also means there is sometimes insufficient power to run medical facilities and health clinics. Because of damage to infrastructure, Syria runs its schools on two shifts. In the second shift, in particular, often there is no clean water in the bathrooms, and not enough electricity to heat the schools. Some students study at home by candlelight.

The OCHA’s ReliefWeb website reported March 12, 2022, “this year, 90 percent of Syrians live below the poverty line, and more than 80 percent are food insecure. Families say they are eating less, cutting meals, and going into debt to meet their basic needs.” {Emphasis added.}

As Zepp-LaRouche says in her July 12 statement, sanctions “are a brutal form of warfare against the respective populations of the sanctioned states with the aim of making their living conditions so intolerable that they rise up against their respective leaderships, and overthrow them. But the victims are always the people.” It is past time to lift them in Russia, Syria, and everywhere.


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. 


Helga Zepp-LaRouche on Pakistani TV – Security Depends on Development

EIRNS, June 23–Pakistan’s PTV World program Views on News, hosted by Faisal Rehman who spoke with Helga Zepp-LaRouche and other guests concerning security and development issues facing the new Pakistani government. Zepp-LaRouche’s theme was that there must be peace and development for Afghanistan. She asked, “How long do you want to keep fighting? The grievances of the past are not the starting point for defining the future.” Mrs. LaRouche called for the integration of Afghanistan with the Belt and Road initiative.  The full program can be viewed here.


Modi Declares India Will Be a Developed Nation In Next 25 Years

Modi Declares India Will Be a Developed Nation In Next 25 Years

Aug. 15, 2022 (EIRNS)–Speaking on the occasion of India’s 75th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a strong push for the development of his nation. “By the 100th year of Independence, we have to work with the vision of accomplishing what our freedom fighters dreamt of,” Modi declared. He called on youth in particular to devote themselves to this goal, saying “We must resolve to work towards a ‘Viksit Bharat’ (Developed India) and remove any vestiges of colonialism from any corner or in our hearts.”

“In the coming years, we have to focus on ‘Panchpran’ (5 pledges). First: to move forward with bigger resolutions and resolve of developed India; second: to erase all traces of servitude; third: be proud of our legacy; fourth: the strength of unity; and fifth: the duties of citizens that also includes the PM and CMs,” Modi noted, referring to the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers. “We will work towards the development of the entire humanity. That is the strength of India,” he added.

The Prime Minister also referenced the freedom fighters of India’s past, including Gandhi, Bose, Ambedkar, Savarkar, and others. “When the dreams are big, hard work is important. It needs to be inspired by the pledge and the determination of freedom fighters who dreamt of a free India,” Modi said.


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