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French Dailies’ Supplement on Belt and Road Covers Schiller Institute Dossier

The major French dailies Le Figaro and Le Monde published a full-page paid supplement on the Belt and Road Initiative last week which includes three articles: a larger one entitled “BRI: Soon Six Years of Implementation”; a second one entitled “One China-Europe Link Is Already on a Good Track,” and one last article, about one fifth of the page, on the Schiller Institute’s book-length dossier “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge,” headlined “Everything You Want To Know about the ‘World Land-Bridge.'” The three articles are written by People’s Daily journalists.

The first two articles are full of updates on the ongoing great Silk Road projects; the third, on the Schiller Institute and its dossier, was written by Ge Wenbo, who has already several times covered our work in Africa.

The articles are a paid supplement, published in both papers. The articles are shorter in Le Monde, in particular on our dossier, which became a small box with the same title.  The translation follows:

“All You Need To Know about the ‘World Land-Bridge'”

“Last year, on Nov. 6, the Schiller Institute, an international think tank, published the French version of its dossier ‘The New Silk Road, a World Land-Bridge To Bring Geopolitics to an End.’ The presentation, which took place in the Paris 5th arrondissement municipality, recommends countries to take part in the Belt and Road Initiative.

“Contrary to the analysts on the other side of the Atlantic, often prisoners of the ‘geopolitical’ software in which the winner always wins to the detriment of the loser, we try to show here that a new win-win paradigm is not only possible but indispensable.  Whereas the New Silk Roads must be known because of the major opportunity they represent for international trade, above all they must be known, explains this dossier, as a multilateral alternative to financial globalization, a true leverage to restart growth and a chance for peace. Helga Zepp-LaRouche, president and founder of the Institute, affirms that since its launching in 2013, the BRI has shaped the world. The Chinese initiative will have a growing influence over more and more countries and improve the future.”

A photo of a container ship at berth accompanies the article with a following caption: “Container ship CSCL Star, with thousands of containers onboard, sailed from Shanghai and reached France’s port of Le Havre a month later. That port plays an important role in the implementation of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.” 


China Ambassador: “Why U.S. Shouldn’t Sit Out the Belt and Road”

Under the headline above, China’s Ambassador in Washington Cui Tiankai wrote a column in Fortune magazine on the eve of the Second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. “Don’t miss all the winning” involved in the Belt and Road, Cui admonishes, perhaps referring to one of President Donald Trump’s favorite phrases.

The ambassador starts with a very direct challenge:

“Imagine the potential of China and the United States, the world’s two largest, most vibrant economies, collaborating on the most ambitious development project in history. The scenario is no fantasy: China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which kicked off almost six years ago, will eventually connect a vast swath of the world, creating huge yields in economic activity, and wiring the world together as never before. However, the United States remains on the sidelines, and this has implications not only in terms of missed opportunities for growth in the U.S., but for the cause of global development which needs the ingenuity and the industry of the U.S.”

Cui gives many arguments for the BRI which reflect those of Xi Jinping. He cites total benefits to the 126 countries now in relationship to it: $6 trillion in total trade, $80 billion in direct investment by China; 300,000 new “local jobs” in those countries; Kazakhstan’s first-ever access to the Pacific Ocean; 6,000 new jobs in Europe’s largest inland port, Duisburg; Kenya’s beginning of economic development and industrialization; and so on, with citations from national leaders.

“So where is the U.S. amid all of this winning?” he concludes.

“There are countless opportunities to U.S. corporations available through BRI projects. Honeywell International is already working with partners to further oil and gas development along the Belt and Road. General Electric has signed a number of deals with partners of the BRI which will help to provide reliable power and energy to critical regions across the world. Caterpillar is working with China’s initiative to help solve Pakistan’s severe power shortages. Meanwhile, Citibank is actively providing financing for projects through the markets along the Belt and Road. We certainly welcome more taking part…. My suggestion is that the U.S. embrace this opportunity.”


Costa Rican Ambassador Endorses Belt & Road as a Confucian New Paradigm for Development

Costa Rica’s Ambassador to China, Patricia Rodriguez Holkemeyer, enthusiastically endorsed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), describing it as a New Paradigm for global development which embodies Confucius’s thought.

In an interview with CGTN TV on April 21, Amb. Rodriguez described the BRI as a project which is creating “a new paradigm for development … [which] may be as important perhaps as Bretton Woods was after World War II.” China is calling “upon the whole world to design together what the New Paradigm is going to be,” she said.

Rodriguez rightly identified Confucius’s teachings as the basis for China’s concept of the Belt and Road. As she explained, Confucius taught that a person’s welfare depends on their family’s welfare, and the family’s welfare depends on the community’s welfare, and the community’s welfare depends on the province’s welfare, and so on, in concentric circles.

“Thus China wants to develop in order to provide happiness to its own people, and cannot make it alone; it has to be done jointly with the whole world,” she explained.

But when the Ambassador asserted that “this new paradigm could not have been conceived by a Western mind, but only by, I would dare to say, by a Confucian mind,” she really missed the boat.

Not only did the “Western minds” of Lyndon and Helga Zepp LaRouche develop and fight for the concept of the New Silk Road/Eurasian Land-Bridge decades ago, but the Confucian values expressed in the Belt and Road are universal, and can be found at the highest moments of every great culture. The case of Benjamin Franklin is only one such example. As the works of Plato, Nicholas of Cusa, Gottfried Leibniz, Friedrich Schiller attest — to name only a few — the best of the paradigms developed by the West are a far cry from today’s dominant British empiricism, egoism and materialism. And that is very good news! 


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!


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.


Schiller Institute Becomes Founding Member of CGTN Think Tank

China’s English language international media organization, CGTN (China Global Television Network), founded on Dec. 4 the “CGTN Think Tank” as part of the third annual Global Media Summit, with over 300 people attending from the world’s political, business, media and technology circles. The new think tank will have “cooperative relationships with 50 renowned think tanks worldwide, with goals to offer insights on world development and promote communication among different cultures,” according to a statement from the network. Here is a short video of the launching ceremony.

Among the founding members at the event was Helga Zepp-LaRouche, as the “Founder and President of the Schiller Institute.” Other prominent members include the heads of associations dedicated to a dialogue of civilization, Chambers of Commerce, and other similar institutions.

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Helga Zepp-LaRouche addressed the first panel at the event, focusing on the rapidly unraveling Western financial system and the urgency of a new Bretton Woods conference to establish a new system coherent with the spirit of the New Silk Road. She stressed the necessity for the United States and Europe to cooperate with the Belt and Road Initiative in the industrialization of Africa and in the reconstruction of Southwest Asia. Extending the BRI into a global World Land-bridge conception, she explained, would also lay the basis for replacing NATO. “Not only is NATO ‘braindead’, but it is obsolete, because it does no longer express the self-interest of its member countries. Now, once we have a global Belt & Road Initiative cooperation, we can also create a new international security architecture. And while people may think that this is a Utopian conception, it is the only way out an existential crisis for all of humanity.”

She also was interviewed by the English-language China Radio International (see below).

Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche reported how upset her Chinese interlocutors are, about deteriorating relations between the U.S. and China, and the vile attacks on China from the United States, fearing that relations are not likely to be restored for a long time. Although they are aware of the impeachment drive against Donald Trump, most have no sense of the coup being carried out. Nor are they generally aware of the severity of the financial crisis and the looming crash, she added. Therefore, she focused on those issues in her interview with CRI.

China Radio International Interviews Helga Zepp-LaRouche

The interview, recorded for the hour-long “World Today” program China Radio International/China Plus on Dec. 5, features Schiller Institute president and founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche for 12 minutes. She makes the point that the main problem in present U.S.-Chinese relations is the neo-cons in both U.S. party leaderships; that President Donald Trump is under extreme pressure by the attempt to overthrow his presidency and therefore is not quite acting towards China the way he would like.

Trump wants good relations with Russia and China, Zepp-LaRouche told the program. Once this cabal is defeated, she said, U.S. relations with China will improve. The Chinese model of economic development, particularly the elimination of poverty, is building a new paradigm which is the constructive alternative to the doomed Western system, and China is actually doing what the United States did in the period after the American Revolution. In Xinjiang, China has a positive approach that the Western media have taken no notice of; and in Hong Kong, the British role is the key factor, HZL stressed.


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