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The Message Which López Obrador Should Take to Trump: A World Summit of Nations Is Urgently Needed to Address the Crisis

Statement by the LaRouche Citizens’ Movement of Mexico

July 3 — The opportunity has arrived. On the eve of the upcoming July 8 meeting between the Presidents of the United States and Mexico, Donald Trump and Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a number of international statements and developments have occurred which highlight the world importance of that meeting, in particular because of the role that Mexico will play as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, starting on Jan. 1, 2021.

At the beginning of 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed that a summit be held of the five permanent members (P-5) of the U.N. Security Council (Russia, China, United States, France and the United Kingdom) to address the grave crises which the entire planet is facing, and which require immediate joint action. These urgent crises include:

* The coronavirus pandemic;

* The collapse of the physical economy and the total bankruptcy of the Wall Street and City of London speculative financial system, a collapse worsened – but not caused – by the pandemic.

* The need to create a new international security architecture, in order to prevent a Third World War from being unleashed. The recent article by President Putin on the subject of the origins of the Second World War is an important contribution in that regard.

Such a summit must be held as soon as possible, based on the same approach that the great American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) set forth in his New Deal and Good Neighbor policies.

That is the central message which President López Obrador should communicate to his counterpart President Trump at their upcoming meeting.

Both Presidents, whose presidencies share a common origin — which is that their respective populations were fed up with the old system of looting –, also share a background of fighting to make their campaign promises a reality. But they have also been bogged down by the burden of ferocious attacks coming from a deafening campaign by the media and certain political circles to prevent them from taking any action. On the eve of their meeting, a new wave of collective hysteria has launched protests, which are being joined by congressmen and governors on both sides of our common border, demanding that the upcoming presidential meeting be cancelled.

It is not hard to imagine the fear of political and media circles tied to the current bankrupt system, at the prospect that the two presidents might reach agreements regarding the benefits that would come from joining their efforts to the call issued by the Presidents of Russia and China, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping
respectively, to govern relations between nations on a new basis, such as the kind of approach taken by the U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt during his long terms of office.

Recently, even British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated on June 30 that he will orient his government along the lines of FDR’s New Deal policies. “It sounds like a New Deal, and all I can say is, that if so, then that is how it is meant to sound and to be, because that is what the times demand — a government that is powerful and determined and that puts its arms around people at a time of crisis.”

In response to that statement, Schiller Institute founder and President Helga Zepp-LaRouche stated:

“If, however, Boris Johnson would be serious about it [the New Deal approach], and he would immediately agree to participate in the summit called by Putin, and would insist that the New Deal in the tradition of Franklin D. Roosevelt is being made the subject of such a P5 summit, then it could be taken seriously and would actually be a useful contribution.”

Why we emphasize Roosevelt

Russian President Putin has called for a new, global security architecture, such as in his famous 2007 speech at the Munich Security Conference, shaped around FDR’s approach: “It is well known that the field of international security goes well beyond issues of military and political stability. It involves the stability of the world economy, overcoming poverty, economic security, and the development of a dialogue among civilizations. This all-encompassing, indivisible character of security is expressed in its fundamental principle, that ‘the security of each is the security of all.’ As Franklin Roosevelt put it in the first days after the outbreak of the Second World War, ‘When peace has been broken anywhere, peace of all countries everywhere is in danger.’ These words remain topical today.”

As for Chinese President Xi Jinping, he told a Seattle business group during a visit to the U.S. in 2016: “In my younger years … I was interested in the life story and thinking of Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and other American statesmen.”

President Trump has also turned directly to FDR on numerous occasions, including in his victory speech the night of the 2016 election, stating: “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”

President López Obrador, throughout his campaigns, has emphasized the historical importance of FDR. In mid June, he instructed Juan Ramón de la Fuente, Mexico’s representative before the United Nations, where Mexico was elected to serve as a non-permanent member of the Securtiy Council, to promote “the fulfillment of the four fundamental freedoms proclaimed by President Roosevelt,” freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear, and freedom from want.”

López Obrador also state that, in terms of sustainable development, “the rich nations and international financial institutions [should] support poor peoples and governments in combatting hunger, epidemics, avoiding racism, classism, sexism, xenophobia and discrimination; help with investments and regional development programs so that no one, no human being on this Earth is forced to emigrate from the place of their birth due to a lack of opportunity to work or because of violence.”

Finally, he said the Security Council must be guided by the principle of Mexico’s great President Benito Juárez, that “among individuals as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace.” López Obrador said that “in no conflict shall force be used and in no case shall the hegemonic force of the powers be imposed.”

For these reasons, we issue this call for President López Obrador to be the messenger of peace and take President Trump a message of unity, so that a world summit be carried out under the guidelines set forth by Roosevelt, whether that be under the aegis of a Four Power Summit (Russia, China, the U.S. and India) as Lyndon LaRouche repeatedly proposed, or one initiated by the P-5, as Putin has called for – so long as the summit’s mission is to construct a new paradigm of world peace based on universal economic development, and that the summit be only the beginning of an international association open to all nations on the planet.

We believe that only an institutional force on such a scale as this can lead the world away from the current social and health crisis, which stems from the pandemic and the economic collapse, and orient the path of nations towards a new paradigm of general welfare for all.

China Deserves Praise and Cooperation in the Fight against the Coronavirus

By Helga Zepp-LaRouche

The name of the German weekly magazine “Der Spiegel” actually means in English, “The Mirror.”  And indeed what you see this week on the cover page of the print version of Der Spiegel—a person with a gas mask, goggles, earphones and a hoody⁠—is the mirror image of the ugly face of the racism of its editors. The caption “Corona-virus Made in China” should actually be “The ugly face of the racist monster Spiegel.”

This piece of yellow trash journalism was so bad that the Chinese embassy in Germany issued a formal complaint on their website. The notorious Jylllands-Posten of Denmark had an equally disgusting so-called cartoon putting the corona virus on the Chinese flag. Various American so-called mainstream media use the abominable racist term “The Yellow Peril.”  What all of these portrayals demonstrate is the ugly reality of an obviously deep-seated racism under a very thin varnish of “western values.”

The reality of the matter is, that the Director General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has praised China repeatedly for the excellent handling of the epidemic, noting that China has set a new standard of dealing with such problems. That the Chinese government had published a full genome-mapping of the new variants within days of the outbreak made it easier for scientists in other countries to start working on possible vaccines, but also that China has made significant breakthroughs in the biological sciences over the past 15-20 years. Other health officials stated that the response of the Wuhan regional government and the dissemination of information was “state of the art“ and that an extremely impressive quantity of new information contained in their daily updates had been published since December 31st/January 1st.

To call any virus a “Chinese” virus is as silly as to say that it is someone’s fault if he catches the flu or gets sick in general. It can happen anywhere in the world and it can happen to every person on the planet. The lesson from this recent case of the reaction to the outbreak of the coronavirus is that it shows who in the international community is capable of responding to dangers that threaten all of humanity, and who is a troglodyte, and who is not.

If  Europe and the US want to be credible in talking about “human rights” and “western values” then they should join hands with China and cooperate on the fight to defeat the coronavirus. The coronavirus and the fact that every year 100,000s of people get killed by the influenza shows how urgent it is to make new breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of living processes to overcome what are today, life threatening diseases.  Europe and the US should also cooperate with the most future oriented vision on the international agenda, namely the extension of the BRI into south west Asia and Africa and the international cooperation in the Space Silk Road.   

For sure we should reflect on the actuality of the judgment of Gottfried Leibniz who said:

“In any case it seems that the situation of our present conditions in light of the growing moral decadence is such that it almost seems necessary that Chinese missionaries are sent to us, who could teach us the application and practices of natural theology….I therefore believe, that if a wise man would be elected not to judge about the beauty of goddesses, but about the excellence of peoples, he would give the golden apple to the Chinese.”

I think Leibniz was a lot wiser than Der Spiegel, Jyllands-Posten and New York Times. 

Schiller Institute Seminar on Strategic Implications of the Impeachment Battle in the U.S.

The very same day that the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump was started in the U.S. Senate, EIR and the Schiller Institute gave a 2.5-hour background briefing in Berlin, featuring Harley Schlanger and former NSA Technical Director Bill Binney, the latter by video.

The participants from various nations and institutional backgrounds heard an extensive briefing by Schlanger about the strategic implications and history of the impeachment battle in the U.S. and the all-encompassing need to establish cooperation among the U.S., Russia, and China in the present strategic escalation, as Helga Zepp-LaRouche called for on January 7.

Schlanger described the British Empire’s role in bringing about regime change wars, the Blair doctrine of maintaining the failing “rules-based world order” of geopolitics and the bankrupt financial system of globalization. He contrasted those failures to the newly emerging paradigm of economic and political cooperation. It became clear to the participants that all of this was set up to end Trump’s explicit intention to stop the regime change wars and re-establish good relations with Russia — the nightmare for the Empire. Therefore, the impeachment question is of strategic importance for the whole world.

In the extended discussion period, questions included: Why is the British Empire still so important in all of this? If Trump is so peace-loving, why does he surround himself with war-hawks? Why did Gen. Michael Flynn not realize that he was under surveillance? What would happen if the Senate votes to convict Trump? How can the confrontation between Iran and the U.S. be stopped, and what role is this going to play in the U.S. elections? What was the role of then French President Sarkozy in eliminating Qaddafi?

The overall response by the participants demonstrated a growing demand to understand the full strategic picture, its historical dynamics, and above all the solution.

Iran-Iraq-Syria Plan to Move Ahead on Historic Transnational ‘Land-Bridge’ Railroad

In November 2018, Iran, Iraq, and Syria reached a provisional agreement to build a “land-bridge” railroad and highway corridor extending from the Persian Gulf in Iran through Iraq to the Mediterranean port of Latakia in Syria, a distance of 1,570 km (975 miles). In combination with the Belt and Road Initiative, it could transform the intervening three nations. The construction of the first phase of the project is soon to begin.

The first phase is to build a 32 km railroad between Shalamcheh in southwestern Iran on the Iraq border, and Basra, Iraq. This involves building a few sections of rail line that are needed, and a bridge that would arch over the Arvand Rud/Shatt Al-Arab, a marsh-influenced waterway below the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

The second, longer phase of the transport corridor would build the railroad, and some sections of highway, from Basra, 1,545 km to the Syrian port of Latakia on the Mediterranean.

The northern (red) and southern (green) routes of the land bridge. The southern route has upper and lower branches that pass, respectively, through al-Qaim/Albu Kamal and al-Tanf. Source: Adapted from map by Franc Milburn in Strategic Assessment (Israel) and updated by Hussein Askary.

The northern (red) and southern (green) routes of the land bridge. The southern route has upper and lower branches that pass, respectively, through al-Qaim/Albu Kamal and al-Tanf. Source: Adapted from map by Franc Milburn in Strategic Assessment (Israel) and updated by Hussein Askary.

With this as a backbone, goods and people could move from Iran, northward by the North-South corridor; from Iran eastward to China and the Pacific; or from Latakia, Syria westward to the Atlantic. This is especially important for the peoples of these three nations, who have been ravaged by war for decades. A tripartite meeting in July 2019 among the three nations’ transport officials confirmed “that the goal of the negotiations is to activate the Iranian-Iraqi-Syria load and transport corridor as a part of a wider plan for reviving the Silk Road.”

This transnational railway meshes perfectly with the plan that Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi signed during his signed Sept. 19-23, 2019 visit to Beijing, to set up an Iraqi-Chinese Reconstruction Fund, into which Iraq could deposit the revenues of 300,000 barels of oil/day, against which Chinese banks will issue credit to Chinese companies to reconstruct Iraq.

The financing for the transnational railway project was lined up when on Sept. 18, 2019, with the announcement that Iran’s Mostazafan Foundation, which is a large semi-Hamiltonian organization that runs hundreds of factories and commercial enterprises, would advance the majority of the financing.

A difficulty is that one of the Mostazafan’s companies, the Sina Bank, has been sanctioned by the United States, and it is not clear if the sanctions announced Jan. 10, 2020 by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will block even more of the Mostazafan Foundation’s activities, which could blow up the entire transnational project.

This leads to a higher point: the relentless attack on this region is the British Empire venom against the Belt and Road Initiative, the development of this region, and the world. Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s proposal to convene a three Presidents summit is urgent to raise the world to a higher dimensionality of thinking.

Call for Presidents Trump, Putin & Xi to Convene Emergency Summit to Address Danger of War

If the world is to escape a spiral of retaliations and counter-retaliations in the wake of the the killing of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units Deputy Commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis , the Presidents of the United States, Russia and China must convene an emergency summit to address the current crisis in Southwest Asia and the solutions to that crisis.

Seventy-five years ago, the United States, Russia and China were joined together in the global fight which defeated fascism, and today, these Presidents must act in concert to save the peace.

On January 3, Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche issued an emergency statement which concluded,

“It is clear, that among the three presidents, President Trump—who promised to end the endless wars and has already taken several steps in that direction—and Presidents Putin and Xi, there is the intention and the capability to outflank the maneuvers of the war-mongers and to establish a higher level of cooperation. That potential is the reason that the coup—Russiagate and now the Impeachment—are orchestrated against Trump. It is now the time for those three outstanding leaders to fulfill the potential that historical providence has bestowed upon them.”

The Crisis

Every world war and major war of the past century has been triggered by the British Empire’s geopolitical policy of permanent warfare, throwing nations against each other to maintain their power as a global elite.

Nowhere have the effects of that evil imperial policy of pitting nations, peoples, religions and factions against each other been more evident than in the Mideast, where that policy was codified by the Sykes-Picot Treaty established by the British and French imperial powers after World War I.

Understanding that history, Lyndon LaRouche, in a speech delivered 15 years ago, provided the framework in which to understand and act on today’s crisis.

“And when you look at the possibilities for this region, like Southwest Asia, the only chance will come, not from inside Southwest Asia. We will do, and must do, what we can, for that area, to try to stop the bloodshed, the agony, to prevent the war. But we will not succeed, until we change the history, change the world in which this region is contained.”

The Solution

Therefore, we call on President Trump to meet with Presidents Putin and Xi to not only address the immediate danger of war in Southwest Asia, but to do so with permanent effect by creating a New Paradigm for the world—to change the world, as LaRouche said.

Such a paradigm must be based on the principles of the Treaty of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years War in Europe. Warring nations broke the cycle of retribution and revenge and acted for the “advantage of the other.”

Such a paradigm must end geopolitics and imperialism, and establish a new financial and strategic architecture for the world, based on defense of the sovereignty and cultural integrity of all nations.

The U.S., China, Russia and other nations such as India, must act to establish a joint plan for the economic development of the entire region, informed by policies put forward by Lyndon LaRouche and Helga Zepp-LaRouche over the decades, and now given life by China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Such a policy will realize LaRouche’s vision: “There is a solution, a solution in principle. And the solution is: End this blasted imperialist system! And understand that we, as a people, must develop our spiritual culture; that is, the creative powers of mankind, to carry further the development of mankind.”

A PDF of this call to action can be found here.

Webcast—An Emergency Trump-Putin-Xi Summit Is the Only War-Avoidance Solution

Helga Zepp-LaRouche reiterated her call for an emergency summit between presidents Trump, Putin and Xi to diffuse tensions in the Middle East and create a comprehensive peace plan for the region. While the shock of the U.S. drone strike killing Iranian Gen. Soleimani put the world on the path towards a much greater conflict, it also provided a sobering moment which made unambiguously clear that a comprehensive peace plan must be the priority, and that can only happen with the collaboration between the U.S., Russia, and China.

Helga refers to Patrick Lawrence’s latest article in Consortium News where he calls the drone strike a “palace coup” by members of the State and Defense Departments. Read his full article here.

Zepp-LaRouche in Xi’an: How to Help the West Better Understand the Belt & Road Initiative

by Helga Zepp-LaRouche

Presented at the 2019 Euro-Asia Economic Forum, which took place in historic Xi’an, China, bringing together over 1,000 people, representing more than 58 nations from Europe and Asia, for two days of presentations and discussion. Helga Zepp-LaRouche gave this speech as the keynote presentation to the Forum’s “Think Tank Meeting” on Sept. 11. 

For most Chinese, it is very difficult to understand why so many institutions in the West are reacting so negatively to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI, or New Silk Road), and why an anti-Chinese mood has been stirred up recently; why in the USA, for example, Chinese scientists and 450,000 students are suspected of being spies, which is reminiscent of the worst days of the McCarthy period, while in Europe, some security authorities are making similar allegations. It is difficult to understand, because the Chinese people experience the reality of the BRI from a completely different perspective.

For the people of China, the experience of the last 40 years of reform and opening-up policy since Deng Xiaoping is an incredible success story. From a relatively poor developing country—as I myself experienced it in 1971, when I was in China for the first time—China has developed into the second, and in some categories even the first national economy in the world. Eight hundred million people have been freed from poverty; a wealthy middle class of 300 million and soon 600 million people with a good standard of living has developed. The pace of modernization is unparalleled in the world, as is demonstrated, for example, by the expansion of a 30,000-kilometer high-speed railway system that will soon connect all the major cities.

Schiller Institute founder, Helga Zepp-LaRouche addresses the 2019 Euro-Asia Economic Forum.

Schiller Institute founder, Helga Zepp-LaRouche addresses the 2019 Euro-Asia Economic Forum.

Since President Xi Jinping put the New Silk Road on the agenda in Kazakhstan, in September 2013, China has also made cooperation with the Chinese model of success available to all other states for “win-win” cooperation. In the mere six years that have passed since then, there has been an incredible response to the BRI, which now has 130 nations and more than 30 large international organizations cooperating with it. This, the largest infrastructure project in human history, has launched six major corridors, built railway lines, expanded ports, built industrial parks and science cities, and for the first time offers developing countries the opportunity to overcome poverty and underdevelopment.

From the very beginning, the BRI has been open to all the countries of the world. President Xi Jinping has not only explicitly offered cooperation to the USA and Europe, but has also said in countless speeches, that he is proposing a completely new model of international cooperation among nations, a “community for the shared future of mankind.” In doing so, he has proposed a higher conception of cooperation, unprecedented in history, which overcomes geopolitics and replaces it with a harmonious system of development for the benefit of all. In this sense, the BRI is the absolutely necessary economic basis for a peace order for the 21st century!

While in many countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, and even some in Europe, the New Silk Road is welcomed as the greatest vision, as a concept of “peace through development,” as Pope Paul VI had formulated it in his encyclical of 1967, Populorum Progressio (On the Development of Peoples)—yet its adversaries call the same policy a “competition of systems.” Many Chinese do not understand why this violent reaction, fuelled by geopolitical motives, is taking place. Meanwhile, the West has begun to habituate itself to the changes that have fundamentally altered its political orientation and its scale of values over almost the last 50 years.

The crucial point is that a paradigm shift has taken place in the West since 1971, leading in the opposite direction from the path that China has taken.

Toward a New Fascism

When President Nixon triggered the dissolution of the Bretton Woods System on August 15, 1971, with its fixed exchange rates and gold reserve standard of the dollar, he set the course towards an increasing renunciation of a policy oriented toward the real physical economy, in favor of a policy aimed at the monetary profits of the financial economy, which was increasingly oriented toward maximizing those profits.

This tendency was reinforced by the abolition, in 1999, of the Glass-Steagall banking separation system, and the accompanying complete deregulation of the financial markets, which led to repeated financial bubbles, and finally to the crash of 2008. Yet the central banks have done absolutely nothing to remove the causes of that crash, but on the contrary, have promoted speculation in the casino economy at the expense of the real economy, through continued quantitative easing, zero interest rates and now even negative interest rates. As a result, the trans-Atlantic financial system, today, faces the danger of an even more dramatic crash than that of 11 years ago.

The late American economist, Lyndon H. LaRouche, JR. , 2018

The late American economist, Lyndon H. LaRouche, JR. , 2018

The American economist Lyndon LaRouche, my recently deceased husband, farsightedly warned in August 1971, that a continuation of Nixon’s monetarist policy would lead to the danger of a new depression and a new fascism—if it were not replaced by a new world economic order.

In 1972, LaRouche also opposed the Malthusian-inspired thesis of the Club of Rome, that the “limits to growth” had supposedly been reached; a false doctrine on which the entire environmentalist movement is still based today, and which has led to a “greening” of a large part of the political party spectrum of the West.

LaRouche replied with his book, There Are No Limits to Growth, which emphasizes the role of human creativity as the engine of scientific and technological progress, which is the factor that defines what a “resource” is. At the same time, he also warned that the shift in values towards a rock-drug-sex counterculture associated with this neo-liberal economic policy, would, in the medium term, destroy the cognitive faculties of the population, and thus not only cause a cultural crisis, but also ruin the productivity of the economy.

Unfortunately, this is exactly where we are today.

China took the opposite path in 1978. It replaced the anti-technology policy of the Gang of Four, with a dirigist real economy, based on innovation and financed by a state credit policy.

What is not understood in the West, is that the Chinese economic model is identical, in its basic principles, to the American System, as developed by the first Secretary of the Treasury of the young American Republic, Alexander Hamilton, and his concept of the National Bank and sovereign credit creation. This concept was elaborated by the German economist Friedrich List, who is very famous in China; it was the framework of Lincoln’s economic advisor Henry C. Carey, and it influenced the economic policies of Roosevelt’s Reconstruction Finance Corporation, with which he led the U.S. out of the depression of the 1930s. The Reconstruction Finance Corporation was later the model for the Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau, with which Germany organized its post-war reconstruction and the German economic miracle.

So today, China is doing the same thing that was the basis of the economic success of the USA and Germany, before they turned away from this policy and replaced it with the neo-liberal model, whose “success” can be seen today in the  example of the world’s largest derivatives trader, the bankrupt Deutsche Bank.

Cai Yuanpei and Aesthetic Education

An extremely important aspect of the success of the BRI, which is insufficiently understood in the West, and, in my view, not sufficiently emphasized by China, is the basic cultural orientation of the 2,500-year-old Confucian tradition of Chinese society, which was only interrupted during the ten years of the Cultural Revolution. In China, thanks to this tradition, the common good plays a greater role than individualism, which has acquired a greater significance in the West since the Renaissance, but which, to some extent, has taken on a life of its own with today’s liberal change in values, and has degenerated into “everything is permitted.”

The Confucian tradition also implies that the development of the moral character is the highest goal of education, which is expressed in the term junzi, which roughly corresponds to Friedrich Schiller’s concept of the “beautiful soul.” It has therefore been taken for granted in China, for more than two thousand years, that respect for public morality and the fight against bad qualities in the population are the prerequisites for a highly developed society.

In the West today, with the abolition of the Humboldt educational ideal—the core of which had also been the development of the “beautiful character”—the idea of the necessity for moral improvement goes completely against the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the times. It is therefore only from the point of view of the liberal system, that someone could call China’s an “authoritarian system,” but by no means from the point of view of China’s own cultural history.

Italian economist Nino Galloni, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Solidarité et progrès head Jacques Cheminade, and his wife, Odile Mojon.

Four participants of the 2019 Euro-Asia Economic Forum, Italian economist Nino Galloni, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Solidarité et progrès head Jacques Cheminade, and his wife, Odile Mojon.

Anyone who wants to understand Xi Jinping’s intentions must consider his letter in reply to the request of eight professors of the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), about a year ago, in which he emphasized the extraordinary importance of aesthetic education for the spiritual development of China’s youth. Aesthetic education plays a decisive role in the development of a beautiful spirit; it fills the students with love, and promotes the creation of great works of art.

Confucius had already understood that the study of poetry and good music should have a decisive role in the aesthetic education of man, but a master key to the understanding of Xi Jinping’s vision, not only of the “Chinese Dream,” but of the harmonious development of the entire human community, is the scholar who created the modern Chinese educational system—the first Minister of Education of the Provisional Republic of China, Cai Yuanpei. During his travels in search of the best educational systems of his time, Cai finally, in Leipzig, came across the aesthetic writings of Baumgarten and Schiller, and, through the writings of the philosophical historian Wilhelm Windelband, became aware of Wilhelm von Humboldt’s educational concept. He was totally enthusiastic about the affinity of Schiller’s aesthetic education to Confucian morality, and recognized that Schiller influenced the spirit of German Classicism with “great clarity.”

Cai used these ideas to modernize the Chinese educational system, and created the new term meiju, for aesthetic education. This strengthened the idea, already found in Confucius, that the refinement of character can be achieved by immersion in great classical art, so that in this way, a bridge can be built between the sensual world and reason. In an essay of May 10, 1919, Cai formulated thoughts that could also build a bridge for today’s problems in the West:

“I believe that the root of our country’s problems lies in the short-sightedness of so many people who want quick success or quick money without any higher moral thinking. The only medicine is aesthetic education.”

Is the Good No Longer Conceivable?

Many people in the West today, find it hard to believe that China could be serious about its idea of win-win cooperation, because they have become too accustomed to the paradigm shift already described, with its axiom that all human interactions must be a zero-sum game. But we in the West should remember that the Peace of Westphalia of 1648, which ended 150 years of religious war, established the principle that a lasting order of peace must take into account the interests of others. It was the Peace of Westphalia which established international law and laid the foundations for the UN Charter.

It is the West, and not China, which has moved away from the principles laid down therein, such as absolute respect for the sovereignty of all states—adopting instead concepts such as the alleged R2P (right to protect), so-called “humanitarian” wars of intervention, and regime change through color revolutions, as we are currently witnessing in Hong Kong.

Xi Jinping’s vision of a “community of a shared future of humanity” corresponds to the Confucian notion of a harmonious development of all, a tradition to which Cai Yuanpei also contributed essential thoughts. He designed the dream of a “great community of the whole world” (datong shijie), which would be harmonious and without armies and wars, and which could be achieved through the dialogue of cultures, comparing the partaking of a culture by the culture of other peoples, with the breathing, eating and drinking of the human body, without which it can not live. Indeed, a look at history shows that any higher development of mankind has always taken place through involvement with other cultures.

It is significant that hardly any real analysts or politicians in the West have responded to Xi Jinping’s idea of a “community of destiny for the future of mankind” in any significant way. If it is mentioned at all, it is only in passing, as if it were not worth regard as anything other than communist propaganda, and as an announcement of China’s intention to play a leading role on the world stage in the future. But what Xi said at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2017, was that by 2050, at about the 100th anniversary of the founding of the PRC, the people of China should have democracy, human rights, a developed culture and a happy life. And, not only the Chinese, but all peoples on this planet.

This implicitly poses the question—and answers it positively—that should occupy all philosophers, scientists and statesmen and stateswomen, in view of the many chaotic developments on our planet: Can the human species give itself an order that guarantees its long-term survival, and is appropriate to the specific dignity of humanity as a creative species? Xi’s concept of the one community of a shared future, very clearly presents the thought that the idea of the one mankind be put first, and only then can national interests be defined in agreement with it.

West Must Return to Cusa, Leibniz, Schiller

In order to be able to keep up with the discussion on this level, of how to shape this new order of “reformed international governance,” we in the West must  return to the very humanist traditions that we have pushed aside with the liberal system. Corresponding ideas can be found in Nicholas of Cusa, who considered a concordance of macrocosms possible only through a harmonious development of all microcosms. Or in Gottfried Leibniz’ idea of a pre-stabilized harmony of the universe, in which a higher order is possible, because with higher development, the degrees of freedom increase and therefore we live in the best of all possible worlds. Or in Friedrich Schiller’s idea that there need be no contradiction between the citizen of the world and the patriot, because both are oriented towards the common good of the future of mankind.

In conclusion: China must help the West to understand the concept of the New Silk Road. China must not react defensively to the anti-Chinese attacks, but should instead emphasize the brilliant periods of its own history all the more proudly and self-confidently: the depth of Confucian moral theory, which inspired Benjamin Franklin to his own moral philosophy; the profundity of Chinese poetry; the beauty of Literati Painting. And China should challenge the West to revive its own humanistic traditions, of the Renaissance, of Dante, Petrarch and Brunelleschi; of classical music in the culture of Bach, Beethoven and Schiller; and of republican traditions in politics. Only when the West experiences a great “rejuvenation,” reviving the ideas of Alexander Hamilton, Friedrich List and Henry C. Carey, can the problem be solved.

Leibniz was very enthusiastic about China, and he tried to learn as much as possible about it from the Jesuit missionaries. He was fascinated that the Kangxi Emperor had come to the same mathematical conclusions as he had, and concluded that there are universal principles accessible to all people and cultures. He even thought the Chinese were morally superior. He wrote: “In light of the growing moral decay, it seems to be almost necessary that Chinese missionaries be sent to us, who could teach us the application and practice of a natural theology. I therefore believe: that if a wise man were chosen, to judge not the beauty of goddesses, but the excellence of peoples, he would give the golden apple to the Chinese.”

The German middle class and the German small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and cities such as Genoa, Vienna, Zurich, Lyon, Duisburg and Hamburg, and many more, have long since come to realize the potential that lies not only in the expansion of bilateral relations, but above all in the expansion of  cooperation in third countries, such as the industrialization of Africa and Southwest Asia.

The enthusiasm that is evident in international cooperation in space travel—the ESA cooperation in the projects of the Chinese Space Agency, the idea of international cooperation on the future Chinese space station, the construction of an international moon village and the terraforming on Mars—underlines that Xi Jinping’s vision of the community of a shared destiny for the future of mankind is within reach.

The Necessity of Redefining “Sustainable Development” as “Sustained Development”

The Belt and Road and Apollo Program: Sources of Inspiration

By Hussein Askary and Jason Ross

In just a few days, world leaders will gather in New York for the 74th U.N. General Assembly summit, whose theme this year is “Sustainable Development.” The gathering is expected to attract developing nations’ leaders who are eager to see the implementation of the prioritized UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG2030). The priority goals are the eradication of poverty (Goal 1), eradication of hunger (Goal 2), providing good healthcare (3), quality education (4), clean water (6), available and affordable energy (7), economic growth (8), and infrastructure and industrialization (9). Despite the very real urgency of achieving these goals, the US, the EU, and the UN bureaucracy itself will likely place the greatest emphasis on Goal 13 (Climate Action)!

Wealthy doomsday prophets from Western countries will be descending on the UN building in New York, flying in planes, sailing on yachts, or crawling on the ground to preach the prophecy of the “end of the world” through the collapse of Earth’s climate—caused, they say, by continued economic growth and industrial development. They are joining a growing group of powerful financial and banking interests in the Western world who intend to enrich themselves through what they call “green growth” and “green finance.” The intention is to stop real economic growth and technological and scientific progress on a global scale to “save the planet.” In the meantime, the aspirations of poor countries and developing nations will have to take a back seat, because, obviously, there are more urgent matters than eliminating poverty and hunger, providing healthcare, education, and clean water and electricity to billions of people.

During the colonial period, the people of colonized nations were told that they were inferior beings, for whom poverty was the natural condition. In the post-colonial period, they were told that their poverty was the natural result of having corrupt leaders. Today, developing nations are told they are poor because the greedy, greedy industrial world caused climate change, and that they should never ever attempt to emulate the industrial world. Instead, they will get “climate-change mitigation” aid and handouts. Following this outlook would make poverty permanent (sustained) for generations. 

The continued drumbeat for ending economic development is not new, but it has reached a hysterical level threatening both industrialized and developing nations. The vague discussion of “sustainable development” is partly to blame. The authors of this article are inclined to believe that there is a fundamental contradiction and discrepancy between how this term is propagated in the West and how it is perceived in China and other developing nations. In China and other developing countries, it is read “sustainable development” (with emphasis on “development”), while in the West, the emphasis lies on “sustainable.”

The Main Premise: Limited Resources! 

The term “sustainable development” was formally codified by the United Nations through the 1987 Brundtland Report. (footnote 1) It is usually associated with promoting the use of so-called “renewable” sources of energy, such as solar and wind power, and is generally concerned with alleged adverse impacts of human activity on the environment. The referenced report states that “sustainable development” is defined as sufficient development to cover the “basic needs” of poor societies, i.e., the bare minimum to ensure survival, as well as extending to all nations and peoples the opportunity to fulfill their aspirations for better living standards.

However, the report states that many people in modern societies “live beyond the world’s ecological means, for instance in our patterns of energy use,” and warns that “sustainable development requires the promotion of values that encourage consumption standards that are within the bounds of the ecological possible and to which all can reasonably aspire.” How are these bounds determined? The report concedes that “the accumulation of knowledge and the development of technology can enhance the carrying capacity of the resource base. But ultimate limits there are, and sustainability requires that long before these are reached, the world must ensure equitable access to the constrained resource and reorient technological efforts to relieve the presume.” But are there truly ultimate limits for irreplaceable resources? Are the limits fixed by nature, or are they determined by our discoveries and inventions? 

The notion of limited natural resources and the so-called “carrying capacity” of the ecological system are not applicable to human society, since it is the level of scientific and technological progress which defines the range of “resources,” rather than an a priori “natural” limit. Therefore, adopting the “sustainable development” goals determined by such notions as are presented in the Brundtland Report poses a great obstacle to eliminating poverty and providing higher living standards and quality of life for all individuals and nations. What is needed is either a new definition of these notions, or the adoption of completely different concepts.

China has proven that the way out of poverty and onto the path of progress is through fast-track “industrialization” and large-scale development projects, including mega-projects, using the full range of resources, whether scientific, human, or natural. For example, all useful sources of energy, such as coal, oil, gas, hydropower, and nuclear power, must be used. While it is imperative that the sources of power with a greater energy-flux density, like nuclear fission and fusion, should replace the less dense sources, it is neither reasonable nor moral to ask poor nations to avoid the sources of power that enabled the United States, Europe, Japan and others to become modern industrial societies. The speed of power expansion required necessitates the use and construction of hydrocarbon power sources, while the needed nuclear industrial base is developed and scientific advances for fusion are made.

China’s economic miracle is based on implementing sound policies that seem to be the opposite of those demanded by such international institutions as the World Bank, the IMF, international environmental organizations, and financial consulting corporations and think tanks. China has followed a policy which was, ironically, the policy that made the US the greatest economic power on earth by the end of the 1940s, and made a ruined Germany the second greatest industrial power in the post-World War II world.

China’s is a dirigist policy of centralized, state-financed development of infrastructure and industry through national credit for long-term development, by using the latest technological and scientific innovations and developing new ones.

This discrepancy—between the proven successful methods of development, both current and historical (as in industrialization of the United States and Germany, for example) on the one hand, and what is now being promoted by international institutions on the other—must be addressed and eliminated. The new paradigm of development spearheaded by China and the BRICS nations is a key element in this process.

It is therefore necessary to state in clear terms, here, in this context, that the definition of the term “sustainable development” should mean the ability to maintain a process of providing ever higher levels of productivity and standards of living, both physically and culturally, to whole societies through scientific creativity and technological innovation. “Sustainable development” should not be used to mean the adaptation by society to an ever-shrinking base of fixed resources, because there is no such a thing as limited resources! What puts a limit to growth is the lack of cultural, scientific and technological progress.

China: The epitome of a developing nation

Between 1981 and 2018, China lifted 800 million of its citizens out of poverty—as attested by such institutions as the World Bank—by investing in urban and rural infrastructure projects, by completing mega-projects in transportation, water, and power, and by building an industrial and scientific capacity unparalleled in world history. The only close example of such rapid industrialization is the 1930s and 1940s New Deal and WWII mobilization under U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This unparalleled achievement can be replicated, in its outline, by all developing nations, although with different dimensions and characteristics. Over the past forty years, China built more water management projects than the United States had done in a hundred years. Another metric that emphasizes the immense magnitude of the undertaking is the fact that China used more cement in the three years 2011–2013, than did the United States during the entire 20th century! The Chinese 20,000 km high-speed railway network has already surpassed the combined networks of the Western European nations. China has 37 operating nuclear power plants (70% of which were built in the past decade alone), and a further 20 plants are under construction.

Enter the BRI 

The announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by Chinese President Xi Jinping in late 2013, (footnote 2) which was a breakthrough for the New Silk Road policy adopted by China since 1996, transformed China’s development policy into a global strategy, an all-inclusive initiative for all nations, without exception, to join and to shape. The BRI hinges on the construction of infrastructure mega-projects whose scale has not been seen in the world since the U.S. New Deal before World War II, the post–World War II reconstruction of Germany, and the U.S. space program of the 1960s.

The 6 Corridors of the Economic Belt of the New Silk Road (A-F) and the Maritime Silk Road (F) which were announced by President Xi in 2013. The other global transcontinental corridors were envisioned by the Schiller Institute as early as 1992. Credit: Belt and Road Institute in Sweden (BRIX)

The 6 Corridors of the Economic Belt of the New Silk Road (A-F) and the Maritime Silk Road (F) which were announced by President Xi in 2013. The other global transcontinental corridors were envisioned by the Schiller Institute as early as 1992. Credit: Belt and Road Institute in Sweden (BRIX)

The BRI is based on the solid foundation of China’s own economic miracle in the past few decades, and is backed by the entirety of the massive financial, technological, human resources base, and political power of China. It has evolved from a national Chinese project of economic development and industrialization into a massive intercontinental initiative for connectivity and economic cooperation, an initiative that more than 120 nations have joined so far. The BRI is already becoming the biggest economic undertaking in the history of mankind. The developing sector nations, many of which enjoy massive geographical advantages and human and natural resources, are poised to reap major benefits from this global initiative.

The fact that China is sharing its amazing experience of industrialization and development of the past three decades with the rest of the world is a key element of success. 

Through the BRI, China is offering the rest of the world its know-how, experience, and technology, backed by a $3 trillion financial arsenal. This is a great opportunity for West Asia and Africa to realize the dreams of the post–World War II independence era, dreams that have unfortunately been sabotaged for decades. The dramatic deficit in infrastructure both nationally and inter-regionally in West Asia and Africa can, ironically, be considered in this new light as a great opportunity. Although many other industrial nations in Europe, Asia and the Americas have technological and labor capabilities similar to those of China, they lack the vision and political will to apply these capabilities and to finance their use. Since West Asia and Africa are such strategically important areas for both East and West, it is, therefore, a perfect place for bringing the capabilities of the nations of the world into one concrete project of peaceful cooperation and development.

Encouraging signs have simultaneously emerged from African nations that have realized the importance of joining and benefiting from the new paradigm of development based on industrialization and large-scale infrastructure projects. Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Kenya, for example, have all designed impressive national development plans that are being implemented in rapid steps. But even here, China’s role is decisive.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)—the most compact and well-defined BRI project—is revolutionizing Pakistan, a nation which until a couple of years ago was indebted and broken, economically. Now, Pakistan is bustling with optimism and its economy being transformed by all the power, water, transport, and logistics projects being undertaken at breathtaking speed under the CPEC. The industrial base of Pakistan which was mostly shut down in the past few years due to lack of electricity, is poised to reemerge now. Pakistans ports, like Gwadar, are in the process of moving from an isolated and abandoned fishing village to world-class maritime transport and logistics hub. China’s investments in Pakistan are reaching USD 60-70 billion from the originally planned level of $45 billion. 

Before the CPEC projects came to fruition, Pakistan’s economic development was stymied by the lack of electricity, which lack prevented the needed growth to escape the actual debt trap related to a lack of development. As a result of its large trade deficit, Pakistan’s growing foreign debt reached $95 billion in 2017. It has been running a yearly trade deficit of over $23 billion for the past few years. Pakistan’s main export items are raw materials and staple foodstuffs, and its main manufactured export is textiles. Staple food and raw materials suffer from price oscillations, whereas the textile sector’s competitiveness is crippled by the unreliable and inadequate energy supply. And it is precisely the crucial energy sector and transportation, that are the main focus of Chinese investments in the CPEC.

Pakistan’s energy imports have contributed significantly to its trade imbalance and indebtedness. Over the fiscal year 2017–2018, imports stood at $60.86 billion, 2.6 times the $23.22 billion of exports, resulting in a historically high trade deficit of $37.64 billion. Nearly a quarter of Pakistan’s imports were energy (oil and gas), amounting to $14.43 billion. (footnote 3) These energy imports constitute nearly half of the annual deficit! On August 3, 2018, the Pakistan Express Tribune reported that the British Standard Chartered Bank was to extend a $200-million commercial loan (at 4.2% interest rate) to Pakistan to finance LNG imports. The SCB is one of Pakistan’s largest lenders, with $1.1 billion in loans in 2016–2017 alone. This is how a nation walks into a debt trap.

Before the full completion of CPEC power projects, Pakistan’s total installed electrical capacity was 25,000 MW (2017), with the average demand being 19,000 MW.

Installed capacities, broken down by production type, was as follows: 1. Hydrocarbons (thermal) 14.7 GW, comprising 64% of installed capacity, 2. hydropower 7.1 GW (31% ), 3. nuclear 0.7 GW (3%), 4. wind, solar, biogas 0.4 GW (2%). (footnote 4)

Considered in terms of actual electricity production, the figures are as follows: (1) hydrocarbons (thermal) 58.5 TWh, comprising 60% of electricity production, (2) hydro 32.9 TWh (34%), (3) nuclear 5.0 THw (5%), (4) wind, solar, biogas 0.8 TWh (0.8%).

In the decade preceding the CPEC, Pakistan’s annual electricity consumption lingered in the range of 70–80 TWh, approximately 50 watts (or 440 kWh/yr) per capita. With the completion of a portion of the CPEC power projects, the nation’s electricity consumption rose to 100 TWh in 2018, bringing the average up to 500 kWh capita. This growth is good, but the figure is still far too low, and tens of millions of Pakistanis do not yet have access to grid electricity.

The CPEC energy projects will play a significant role in expanding electricity access in Pakistan. (footnote 5) This can eliminate the energy deficit and prepare the economy for a further surge in industrial activity. The breakdown of the investments that are completed, under construction or negotiation is as follows: Coal plants: 8,580 MW; Hydropower: 2,700 MW; other thermal plants (natural gas): 825 MW; Solar power plants: 900 MW; wind farms: 350 MW. (footnote 6) The expected total new electricity generating capacity is 13,355 MW. And the total cost of all these power generation projects (including mining of coal and electricity transmission lines) is estimated to be $23-30 billion, which is approximately the cost of two years’ imports of oil and gas, and less than the annual trade deficit.

To tell Pakistan today to stop the coal power plants amounts to telling its people to commit collective suicide. 

Pakistan was never enabled, or allowed, by its Western “friends”—who needed the country to fight the Soviet army in Afghanistan throughout the 1980s and the Taliban since 2001—to fully develop its clean and “carbon-free” nuclear power. This is poised to change, since China and Russia are fully capable of assisting in the construction of nuclear power plants. The choice of coal power at this moment is due to the fact that Pakistan has the raw material in abundance, because it takes a relatively short time (18-24 months) to construct a modern coal power plant, and because the necessary skills, equipment, and planning to produce them in large numbers currently exist. Nuclear power plants are complicated in both time and physical requirements. While coal may not be an ideal choice over the long term (30-40 years), the only reasonable alternative is nuclear power, for which the necessary construction capabilities must be geared up worldwide. For the Pakistani nation and economy to reach the platform of being able to build or participate in building its own nuclear power plants, its economy needs to be revived and developed now.

The attempt to supply the energy needs of Pakistan—or nearly (footnote 7) any nation, for that matter—by so-called “green” or “renewable” technologies for electricity production, would be an exercise in extortionately expensive futility, leading to real human suffering.

Chinese President Xi’s Philosophy of Development: “Make the cake bigger!”

Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Chinese President Xi Jinping.

By carefully reading the speeches and writings of the Chinese President Xi Jinping without ideological prejudice, we conclude that what Xi means by “sustainable development” is not what politicians and economists in the West mean by that term.

In his speech to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on October 18, 2017, Xi thoroughly describes the goals of development set out by him and the party, and clearly explains his understanding of the “Scientific Outlook on Development.” According to him, this is one of the key five guiding principles of the Communist Party of China (besides Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of the Three Represents). In point four of his speech, “Adopting a New Vision of Development,” Xi said: “Development is the underpinning and the key for solving our country’s problems.” He emphasized: “We must pursue a model of sustainable development featuring increased production, higher living standards, and healthy ecosystems.” 

Rather than focusing on “limited resources” and how to divide them, Xi often uses the metaphor of “rather than fighting over a small cake, make the cake bigger” when urging his party comrades to think outside the box. Most indoctrinated so-called experts in the Western world would see this today as a contradiction of terms, because they believe that increased production and raising the living standards cause ecological problems and will inevitably hit the wall of limited resources.

Even more provocative to Western observers are Xi’s repeated calls for the industrialization of Africa. In his speech at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Johannesburg, South Africa in December 2015, Xi said the following: 

“Industrialization is an inevitable path to a country’s economic success. Within a short span of several decades, China has accomplished what took developed countries hundreds of years to accomplish and put in place a complete industrial system with an enormous production capacity…

“It is entirely possible for Africa, as the world’s most promising region in terms of development potential, to bring into play its advantages and achieve great success…. The achievement of inclusive and sustainable development in Africa hinges on industrialization, which holds the key to creating jobs, eradicating poverty and improving people’s living standards.”

President Xi did not say this as a provocation to the West, but because he truly holds this view, which is completely in sync with China’s own fantastic feat of development in the past three decades. 

The most transparent and scientific definition of “sustainable development” according to Xi is described in a speech titled “A Deeper Understanding of the New Development Concepts,” which he delivered on January 18, 2016 at a study session of the implementation of the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee. The term “coordinated development,” he says, has acquired new features. In the usual Chinese philosophical manner that is not fearful of contradictions that lead to solutions, he stated: “Coordinated development is the unity of balanced development and imbalanced development. The process from balance to imbalance and then to rebalance is the basic law of development. Balance is relative while imbalance is absolute. Emphasizing coordinated development is not pursuing equalitarianism, but giving more importance to equal opportunities and balanced resource allocation.”

Xi continued: “Coordinated development is the unity of weakness and potential in development. China is in a stage of transition from a middle-income country to a high-income country. According to international experience, this is a stage of concentrated conflicts of interest, in which imbalanced development and various weaknesses are inevitable. To pursue coordinated development, we should identify and improve our weaknesses, so as to tap development potential and sustain growth momentum.” (footnote 8) 

No state of equilibrium: Breaking the boundary conditions

In this speech and other speeches on the concepts of development, Xi has emphasized that the way to overcome such contradictions is to pursue scientific and technological creativity and innovation. It is very clear that Xi realizes that there is no such a thing as a “state of equilibrium,” but rather there is a process of progress and sustained growth, although he emphasizes that the goal is growth that is qualitative, rather than merely quantitative.

People in the West hear every day that the modern civilization has hit the wall, that limits of growth and technological development have been reached, that Earth’s carrying capacity has met its limit, and that the solution is to slow down, roll back industrialization and reduce the world population, because we cannot sustain growth indefinitely. 

The proponents of zero-growth base their theories on a fictitious “state of equilibrium” in nature between limited natural resources and the biological needs of all species, humans included, on this one and only planet! Life itself, the biosphere and the human species have proven that there is no such a static state of equilibrium, but that there is a process of progress and development. But that process of development usually bumps into certain boundary conditions, because a previous key “natural resource” is depleted. However, creative and revolutionary technological leaps break that boundary condition and brings life to a new and more intensive platform of progress. In other words, when a society hits a wall, it has to build a ladder and climb the wall to come to the new, but higher platform of economic development. That ladder is scientific and technological progress.

Human Creativity: the Greatest — and Infinite — Natural Resource

In a discussion of the role of science as a driver for the development of any nation, President Xi stated in a speech delivered to the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee on October 29, 2015, “Innovative development focuses on the drivers of growth. Our ability to innovate is inadequate. Our science and technology is not fully developed, and is unable to create momentum to support economic and social development. This is the Achilles heel for such a big economy as China.” (footnote 9) Concerning the primacy of human creativity to so-called natural resources, Xi stressed: “So we must consider innovation as the primary driving force of growth and the core in this whole undertaking, and human resources as the primary source to support development. We should promote innovation in theory, systems, science and technology, and culture, and make innovation the dominant theme in the work of the Party, and government, and everyday activity of in society.” (footnote 10)

This chart of human population over historical time reflects the unique characteristic of human life among all life known to us. Our species continually breaks the limits to its growth, by developing new knowledge that opens up new resources and increases the productive powers of labor.

This chart of human population over historical time reflects the unique characteristic of human life among all life known to us. Our species continually breaks the limits to its growth, by developing new knowledge that opens up new resources and increases the productive powers of labor.

Elaborating on the history of the impact of scientific progress since the Renaissance on the industrial development of Europe and later the United States, Xi informed his Party comrades: “In the 16th century, human society entered an unprecedented period of active innovation. Achievements in scientific innovation over the past five centuries have exceeded the sum total of several previous millenia… Each and every scientific and industrial revolution has profoundly changed the outlook and pattern of world development… Since the second Industrial Revolution, the U.S. has maintained global hegemony because it has always been the leader and the largest beneficiary of scientific and industrial progress.” (footnote 11)

Xi is not expressing frustration and envy over the fantastic past progress of Europe and the United States, but is urging his people to learn from those successes. As Confucius said in the Analects: “He who learns but does not think is lost. However, he who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.” 

President Xi’s thoughts are clearly in harmony with those presented by American Economic Lyndon LaRouche, who has defined and treated economics in a scientific manner the same way physics is treated. LaRouche, the pioneer of Physical Economics, defined the process of progress of society as the building of new economic platforms.

The LaRouche View of Economics:  Successive Economic Platforms!

Following his service in World War II, economist and statesman Lyndon LaRouche tackled a central problem to understanding economic growth: the seeming impossibility of representing the incommensurable value of scientific revolutions. To give an example of the difficulty involved, consider the initial development of steam power. This new technology transformed the power of coal, which had been used as a source of heat, into a source of motion, making it tremendously more valuable than it had been. The ability to separate the process of production both from the muscle power of people and beasts, and from a reliance on such local peculiarities as the availability of wind or flowing water, transformed the economic geography completely. The power of an individual worked increased by an order of magnitude. Goods that previously were created by hand by artisans and were consequently available only to the wealthy, could now be produced efficiently in larger numbers, making them available to a broader population. How can these varied benefits — in changing resources, increasing productivity, and altering the importance of geography — be understood?

Lyndon LaRouche (1922-2019) speaking at a live webcast in 2010.

Lyndon LaRouche (1922-2019) speaking at a live webcast in 2010.

LaRouche begins his theory with a consideration of the most important metric of human economy, the potential population density that can be achieved by a given society’s cultural and scientific development, adjusted for the conditions of geography (including man made improvements to that geography). This metric, potential relative population density, gives a rough understanding of the economic power brought to bear by a civilization. True economic value exists in those processes and developments that act to increase this metric.

As an additional metric, LaRouche insists that the intensity of power applied by a society — at the point of production as well as more broadly considered per capita and per land area — must increase with economic growth. This metric, energy flux density, involves both the quantitative increase in power available, and also its qualitative nature, as expressed in its intensity. For example, a laser uses a greater density of energy than does a metal cutting device, yet it may be able to cut a metal part using less total energy. This is a reflection of the greater energy flux density embodied in the laser. A similar example is the increasing ratio of energy use specifically as electricity — a more concentrated form of energy — to total energy use in an economy.

In addition to the concepts of potential relative population density and energy flux density, add another: the concept of the economic platform as a superior concept to that of infrastructure.

Mankind Creates

As we progress, we rely increasingly on an improved environment. Rather than walking on paths made by herds of animals or floating on natural rivers, we use roads, rail lines, subways, sidewalks. We increasingly work in illuminated buildings and enclosed vehicles, safe from the ravages of weather, rather than unprotected outdoors. The substrate upon which we depend, this built environment, is often considered as an accumulation of pieces of “infrastructure.” LaRouche takes a fresh approach to this concept, as in a 2010 paper:

We should then recognize that the development of basic economic infrastructure had always been a needed creation of what is required as a “habitable” development of a “synthetic,” rather than a presumably “natural” environment, for the enhancement, or even the possibility of human life and practice at some time in the existence of our human species. . . .

Man as a creator in the likeness of the great Creator, is expressed by humanity’s creation of the “artificial environments” we sometimes call “infrastructure,” on which both the progress, and even the merely continued existence of civilized society depends. (footnote 12)

LaRouche reconceptualizes the history of human development from the standpoint of a succession of economic platforms. The earliest human civilizations were limited in their movements to land and to the oceans and rivers. And this water transportation itself required the technologies of ship-building and navigation. The sky itself served as an infrastructure platform, its stars providing a means of finding one’s way. The construction of new rivers, in the form of navigable canals, marked the next great stage of human advancement, providing a new platform upon which to develop. The land itself changed in value, as areas that were previously quite distant from the seas and rivers were brought within its reach, including through supplementary road networks. The railroads — rivers of steel — were the next great platform, utilizing the scientific knowledge of metallurgy and of the steam engine to transform our relationship to the land, and to space and time themselves. Distances that were traversable only in weeks could now be crossed in days.

Connectivity grew and the economic potential of land increased by the availability of rail transport.

The next great platforms upon which human civilization will be based, will rely on new technologies of greater energy flux density. With the realization of nuclear fusion, building on the gains already achieved through the control over nuclear fission, our relationship to travel and to resources will be fundamentally altered. Processing of ores, which today requires the use of coke produced from coal for its chemical transformation, could be achieved in a much simpler way. The value of high-level concentrations of mineral deposits will decrease, as lower concentrations will be economically viable to use. Our relationship to water — a precious resource required in great quantities — will take on a new form as we use nuclear fusion to use the plentiful water in the world’s salty seas. Our power over space will grow exponentially as nuclear-powered rockets propel us quickly through the solar system, and move asteroids that might strike the Earth onto safer orbits!

In all of this analysis, money itself plays a secondary, although important role. Money, being a scalar value, cannot be used to assign a value to the steam engine, to the development of railroads, to the 1960s Apollo mission to the Moon, or to the coming breakthrough of nuclear fusion. While money can measure more of what existed previously, the benefits of these leaps is that they allow us to accomplish more than we could before. In each of these cases, the potential population density of the human race is increased, processes of higher energy flux density are used or unlocked, and a greater platform of created environment upon which other activity unfolds is born.

LaRouche has consistently urged the creation of economic and political systems that cohere with the laws of physical economics. This means national and international credit systems under which long-term credit can be provided for projects that increase the physical productivity of the nation or society, including in the many circumstances that such investments would not be financially profitable to a private investor. Instead of suffering under economic “laws” that have no universal validity, the financial system itself must be subjected to the creative will of man, and brought into coherence with the long-term goals of the species.

Key in upgrading our potential is the conquest of space, that great domain lying always over our heads, beckoning us to look up and to think big! From space, there is only one Earth, populated by a single human race. From space, the overwhelming potential of that beautiful, creative species becomes manifest. It is for this reason that many of the greatest space visionaries and engineers have developed profound reflections on the human race itself. The German-American Krafft Ehricke is one such example.

A species not Earth-bound

Space visionary Ehricke, whose scientific contributions made the Apollo Program possible, strongly disputed the “limits to growth” philosophy, and his arguments in opposition to it were informed by his deep relationship to science and technology. In a 1984 speech, Ehricke said: “If you have a no-growth philosophy and if you regress into the Middle Ages, then you create an environment in which that, what you are asking the human being to do — namely to live with less and being very modest … and not to grow — is impossible, because a dog-eat-dog fight is bound to break out under those conditions. We’ve come too far. We have to go on. Life shows us that technological advances are the road to go. But based on those technological advances, must come the advances of the species and the advances of our civilization.” (footnote 13)

Ehricke argued that in the process of evolution on Earth, organic matter faced this crisis and overcame it: “Earth was like a gigantic flower, which soaked up solar energy and also utilized other energy to establish basic organic compounds, and amino acids. And when life began to stir here, there lived, of those fossil assets, Haldane’s famous ’soup that ate itself up,’ or something similar to that, and of course, eventually the resources ran out. And the first great crisis of life on this planet occurred, because they were living off previously generated organic substances… It was then, that we saw for the first time, two things: That what seemed to be an absolute limit to growth, was no limit to growth. It was a hindrance, that had to be overcome, and was overcome by technological advances — incredible technological advances, namely photosynthesis.”

The “first industrial revolution” is how Ehricke termed this advancement whereby organic matter found in outer space a new, extraterrestrial resource—solar radiation—for its continued development and survival.

Ehricke called for the human species to do the same, by going to outer space to explore and tap the unlimited resources that the solar system and the universe offers us: “This goes far beyond that… Information metabolism transcends planetary limitations, and is the metabolism on which life moves now over into space itself.”

Krafft Ehricke summarized his philosophy of astronautics in three laws, formulated in 1957:

First Law: Nobody and nothing under the natural laws of this universe impose any limitations on man except man himself.

Second Law: Not only the Earth, but the entire Solar system, and as much of the universe as he can reach under the laws of nature, are man’s rightful field of activity.

Third Law: By expanding through the Universe, man fulfills his destiny as an element of life, endowed with the power of reason and the wisdom of the moral law within himself. (footnote 14)

In a stark contrast to the mantra frequently repeated respecting environmental concerns that “there is no planet B,” the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the July 20, 1969 moon landing by the US Apollo 11 mission (Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins), has spread a new wave of optimism across the world, because it is such groundbreaking achievements that remind people of their true mission in life, on Earth and the universe — the mission to be creative, to discover and explore new frontiers of knowledge, science and technology while at the same time resolving a myriad of issues and conflicts that stem from the pessimistic and cynical view that the nature of humans is egoism and the characteristic of nations is to undermine each other and fight over purported “limited resources.”

A science city on Mars, as proposed by Lyndon LaRouche. In 1988, he wrote that “If the United States follows the approach I have proposed, we shall have our first permanent colony on Mars by the year A.D. 2027. During a few years following that, that colony will grow into an increasingly self-sustained community, the size of a medium-sized city on Earth. Long before A.D. 2027, the average U.S. taxpayer will have gained an enormous personal profit from the earlier, preparatory stages of the program as a whole.” The development of new scientific breakthroughs and technologies allows us, uniquely among known species, to transform our relationship to nature by improving the productive powers of labor. This creative potential, common to all people, is the basis for international collaboration in space, science, and culture, to advance the common aims of mankind.

A science city on Mars, as proposed by Lyndon LaRouche. In 1988, he wrote that “If the United States follows the approach I have proposed, we shall have our first permanent colony on Mars by the year A.D. 2027. During a few years following that, that colony will grow into an increasingly self-sustained community, the size of a medium-sized city on Earth. Long before A.D. 2027, the average U.S. taxpayer will have gained an enormous personal profit from the earlier, preparatory stages of the program as a whole.” The development of new scientific breakthroughs and technologies allows us, uniquely among known species, to transform our relationship to nature by improving the productive powers of labor. This creative potential, common to all people, is the basis for international collaboration in space, science, and culture, to advance the common aims of mankind.

“A community of shared future for mankind,” the concept pronounced by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the UN General Assembly in September 2015, should no longer be Earth-bound, but rather encompass everywhere human civilization reaches in the Solar System and the universe beyond. The fruits of space exploration by any nation should be celebrated and shared by all nations. This idea is shared by the best of the US and European astronauts and space scientists. When Armstrong set foot on the surface of the moon, he said this was “one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” He did not proclaim it a “giant leap for the US,” but for all mankind, because he understood the full implications the achievement.

In a recent intervention at a George Washington University event titled “One Giant Leap: Space Diplomacy, Past, Present, and Future,” Buzz Aldrin called for the creation of an “international space alliance” where the U.S. would cooperate with the space programs of China, Russia, Europe, Japan and India. He correctly argued that colonizing the Moon and making it a launchpad for manned missions to Mars cannot be achieved efficiently by one nation. In addition to the technical necessity, cooperation is also a means to achieve global peace, and to advance scientific and technological cooperation which should eventually include every nation in the world.

Harrison (“Jack”) Schmitt, one of the astronauts on Apollo 17, which made the last human landing on the Moon, and who is perhaps the most insightful spokesman for the space program, told the Daily Telegraph (footnote 15) that “Moon and Mars settlement is extremely important for the dispersal of the human species throughout the Solar System, and possibly beyond.” Harrison Schmitt envisioned the “100th anniversary of Apollo,” saying that at that time “there will be settlements on the Moon, people living there permanently, producing the resources of the Moon… Settlements on the Moon are going to be a piece of cake.”

The Moon’s status as a launchpad to further space dreams arises from its physical characteristics. The lunar regolith (soil) harbors unique resources, its small mass allows for easy takeoffs, and its proximity to the Earth makes it a convenient location.

One of the Moon’s unique resources is related to power. The best designs for nuclear fusion power require nuclear reactions without neutrons (uncharged particles, which cannot be controlled electromagnetically), and the ideal fuel for these reactions is helium-3. This special isotope of helium is almost non-existent on Earth, but is constantly emitted by the sun. Because the Moon lacks a magnetic field (or an atmosphere), this fuel source flung generously by the sun is caught in the lunar soil, where millions of tons exist today. This helium isotope, the best fuel for nuclear fusion power, can serve humanity both in space and on Earth, to meet the needs of all nations for probably hundreds of years to come.

There are several other benefits of Moon industrialization. Water on the Moon can be broken down into hydrogen and oxygen, which can be used as fuel for rockets. Metals can be mined to set up local manufacturing on the Moon. This manufacturing will benefit from the Moon’s small size. As a result of the weaker gravitational attraction on the Moon, less than one-tenth as much power is required to a payload from the surface of the Moon to Earth orbit as would be required to bring the same payload from the surface of the Earth to Earth orbit. And since the Moon is relatively close by, the journey time is not long.

Schmitt emphasizes these benefits of lunar development:

“Not only will that assist a Mars mission, but helium-3 is an ideal fuel for electric power generation because it creates no radioactive waste and demands for electrical power are not going to decrease; civilization depends on it [electrical power], and this is one of the major potential and long-term sources.

“The Moon’s debris layer provides the opportunity to produce water, hydrogen and oxygen as fuels. It’s also very fertile, so if you want to produce food, that’s achievable. Settlements on the Moon are going to be a piece of cake.”

The industrialization of the Moon could become the joint development project of the world. Not only does it open the frontiers of space, but it also breaks the pessimistic and unscientific ideology of limited resources. One of the important objectives of the Chinese lunar mission is to gather the helium-3 that is uniquely abundant on the surface of the Moon.


Lyndon LaRouche has been famous for his promotion both of nuclear fusion and of a fully developed Moon-Mars program, which would serve for decades as a driver of new scientific and technological breakthroughs. His 1988 campaign for U.S. President included a thirty-minute video, The Woman on Mars, which detailed his program to the general audience of American voters and thinkers worldwide.

In a presentation he gave in 2010, LaRouche put forward the motivations for humanity to reach into the heavens: (footnote 16)

Therefore, we have to go to Mars, not because we want to get there, but we don’t want to fail to get there! … We’re going to a new conception of basic economic infrastructure, which started with the space pioneers in the 1920s, and into the United States. We began to realize that mankind needs a new dimension, beyond railroads, beyond old water systems, needs a new dimension for the expression of humanity in the Solar System.

This is not just for “getting there.” This is for giving man a mission, a natural mission for mankind, on which we will base the culture which increases mankind’s options, and also the security of humanity. That is, by developing ourselves, instead of sitting on one planet and depleting that planet and doing nothing else, and becoming fat and lazy—instead of that, let’s take on a mission!

Let’s look ahead 75 years, three generations. And let’s take what we have now, with these—we’ve got young people under 25 who are in a disastrous state of education in life. They’re going no place, unless we do something for them. We’re going to have to give them a mission, and an opportunity, which inspires them, so that their children will not be so damned stupid. And therefore, by three successive generations of development … I’m satisfied that we could develop the scientific and technological capabilities, in three successive generations—all the time, bringing our people up to a higher level of productivity—to make up for what we’ve lost, and to go beyond that…

We know we have to develop the Moon, which is accessible to us, readily, with technology already developed by us. We know we can develop an industry on the Moon, because you don’t want to take off from Earth, and lug a lot of things up from Earth; there’s just too much effort involved. Go to the Moon, take your technology to the Moon, develop industries on the Moon: You can build the spacecraft and other things you need to go to Mars!

The lunar regolith (soil) includes many of the basic elements required for industrial production of rocket components and fuel. And its helium-3 is an ideal fuel for nuclear fusion, surpassing anything economically available on Earth. Once components are built on the Moon, they can be easily brought to Earth orbit. In fact, bringing payloads from the surface of the Moon to Earth orbit uses less than 10% of the energy required to bring them from the surface of Earth to Earth orbit! LaRouche continued:

Why do we go to Mars? Because it’s the nature of man to do so: The nature of man is expressed by the fact that we are not a fixed species, with fixed behavior. We’re a species that must develop, as mankind has developed, despite all the setbacks. Mankind has greatly improved, since our first evidence of what mankind was on this planet. Improved through technology, through intellectual development, stimulated by technology; by improvements in culture, especially Classical culture.

And the purpose of man, is to find his place in the universe.

Don’t worry about what the destination is. We’ve got to find our place in the universe: We must develop! Mankind is creative. Mankind must create! Mankind must develop!

And if we do that—the space program, as we would develop it—my estimate is, that it will take three generations to develop the capability to actually put human beings safely on Mars. To solve the problem of gravitation in interplanetary flight and that sort of thing. We can do it! We don’t have a population which is trained, yet, to undertake that mission. But we have a population, which is ready to be uplifted from despair, now, and plan that the grandchildren of people today, of young people today—the grandchildren of young people today will solve that problem! And it should be our mission to dedicate the United States, in particular, and the planet as a whole to that mission, to give mankind a sense and a determination of a future which should belong to mankind.

Mankind was put in this universe for some purpose. We’re not always too sure what that purpose is. But we’re sure of one thing about that purpose: It requires, as history has shown us, the development of the intellectual powers of mankind, the intellectual powers of man’s progress. The future, if it means anything to have children and grandchildren, is to ensure that the children and grandchildren have made an upwards step, beyond what’s impossible now. And to do as we’ve done before, from our past experience, in making the kind of progress, the changes in behavior, and progress, and increase in the power of mankind, to solve great problems, problems of disease, all kinds of problems.

What is the greatest focus for this human mission? LaRouche answers:

Therefore, we have to put a name on it, and the name we put on it for the short term, is the Mars Mission. And we say, that within three generations, we’ll take this wretched nation, this poor, broken-down, ruined, betrayed nation, and, in cooperation with other nations on this planet, we will develop a technology and the people capable of carrying it, which will, step by step, bring man to his true dignity, to recognize the place of man in the universe. Not to what we’re going to do in the universe, ultimately, but to know we’re there!

And we need that.

You know, people talk about immortality and so forth—what’s it mean? Just another person being produced, to replace the one that died? No. Immortality is the certain understanding, that you are living today, because you are doing something, which is going to lead to the development of man’s power in the future. Your immortality lies in your grandchildren, and your great-grandchildren beyond that. Your immortality, your purpose of your life, is what comes out of it! That you’re a permanent part of the universe! Because, by developing within the universe, you’ve demonstrated that you’re not just a drop on the planet: You are part of the universe, forever!

And that should motivate you.

It is from this greatest of mission-orientations that we can draw inspiration for developing the necessary platforms of economic development to enable people from all nations of the world to live lives allowing us to meaningfully aspire to contribute something of enduring value to all of human history.

The endless pursuit of that goal is the only process of development that can truthfully be called sustainable.


1. Former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland headed the UN-appointed World Commission on Environment and Development, which released the report “Our Common Future,” also known as the Brundtland Report, in 1987:
2. President Xi Jinping announced the creation of the “Economic Belt of the Silk Road” in a speech in the Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan in September 2013. The Belt is a land-based economic corridor extending from eastern China to western Europe and engaging 69 nations in its path. One month later he announced, from Jakarta, Indonesia, the intention to launch the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road together with other nations. This includes building numerous ports on the sea lanes of the Pacific and Indian Oceans and the Mediterranean. The two projects complement each other and together make up the BRI.
3. “Pakistan’s Trade Deficit Stands at $30.19b” Salman Siddiqui, The Express Tribune, Aug 14, 2018
4. Figures from Pakistan’s National Electric Power Regulatory Authority, “State of Industry Report 2015”
5. For detailed description of the energy projects involved in the CPEC, consult the project’s official website
6. Since the expected capacity factor of solar and wind would be no greater than 30%, the energy generated by these systems should be estimated as being at most one-third their official capacity. These projects, by dint of the low intensity of their power sources, are also expensive. Considering both their cost and their likely capacity factors, the (intermittent) electricity produced by these projects will cost several times more than coal or large hydro.
7. There is a temporary exception of those few nations capable, by virtue of their geography, of utilizing large hydro plants and geothermal energy. Iceland is currently such an example, although future development will require energy beyond what can be supplied by these means.
8. Xi Jinping, The Governance of China II, pp. 226-227. (emphasis added)
9. The Governance of China II, Page 217. Speech titled “Guide Development with New Concepts”.
10. Ibid. Emphasis added.
11. Ibid.
12. Lyndon LaRouche, “What Your Accountant Never Understood: The Secret Economy” EIR, May 28, 2010.
13. “Lunar Industrialization and Settlement — Birth of Polyglobal Civilization” Presented at the October 1984 Conference of the National Academy of Science, on “Lunar Bases and Space Activities of the 21st Century”
14. Cited in Marsha Freeman, How We Got to the Moon: The Story of the German Space Pioneers (Washington, D.C., 21st Century Science Associates, 1993), p. 297.
16. Transcript available as “Change is a’Comin’” EIR, July 16, 2010

The writers are the authors of the Schiller Institute Special Report “Extending the New Silk Road to West Asia and Africa”. Both are long-time members of the International Schiller Institute founded in 1984 by the German thinker Helga Zepp-LaRouche. 

authors Hussein Askary and Jason Ross

Hussein Askary, Iraqi-Swedish citizen, founding board member of the Belt and Road Institute in Sweden (BRIX).

Jason Ross, American citizen, Editor in Chief of the 21st Century Science and Technology Magazine. 


Schiller Institute Seminar: The Role of the Belt & Road in Peace and Stability in West Asia & Africa

The Schiller Institute hosted a high-level seminar in Berlin, Germany on August 29 to provide a report on the true significance and substantial progress of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), especially regarding developments in Southwest Asia and Africa. Forty-five people attended, including representatives of Germany’s Mittelstand (small and medium-sized industries), the diplomatic community, and other institutions. A visiting delegation of scholars from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), an important academic organization and research center, presented papers on the role of the BRI in stabilizing the region through economic development. A common theme of virtually all presentations was that for peace to be achieved in this region, a commitment to real economic development is necessary, centered on advances in science and application of new technologies.

Moderator Stephan Ossenkopp of the Schiller Institute opened the event by emphasizing that there is an urgent need for a “rational dialogue” on what the Chinese are actually doing, as opposed to the negative reports in the western media. The BRI is not a unilateral, imperial project, but one which is comprehensive and inclusive.

Zepp-LaRouche Keynote

The keynote, from Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the Chairwoman of the Schiller Institute, expanded on this theme, noting that the BRI is “the most important strategic policy on the agenda.” The speed of its growth in the last six years has been amazing and it is of particular importance for rebuilding the war-torn nations of southwest Asia, and overcoming the suppression of nations in Africa, where Europe could have contributed to the industrialization of Africa, but has not.

Founder of the international Schiller Institute, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, delivering her keynote address.

Founder of the international Schiller Institute, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, delivering her keynote address.

Instead of allowing the opponents of development to turn China into an “enemy,” the truth of what China is doing needs to be more broadly known and understood. The Belt and Road Initiative is necessary for peace and stability, and should be joined by western governments, especially the United States.

Reviewing the present strategic crisis, which has worsened due to the unleashing by the British empire of destabilizations around the world, including against China, and Iran, Zepp-LaRouche said that Europe has an important role to play, if leading nations are to free themselves from their geopolitical strategic orientation.

She spoke of the tremendous potential for German Mittelstand companies to engage in joint ventures in third countries, noting that the policies of the present government do not favor that potential. She emphasized that key to creating change in the Trans-Atlantic region is to inspire optimism, to particularly emphasize the potential unleashed by the new initiatives in space exploration. We must think at least fifty years ahead, she said, and reject the pessimism that is being spread by the Greenies and the financiers who back them.

Chinese Presentations

There were five speakers from Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). Prof. Tang, the leader of the delegation, spoke on “China’s Concept on Security and Middle East Security,” providing a broad view of the BRI approach to the subject.

He was followed by Prof. Yu, who spoke on the topic, “BRI and the Peace Between Palestine and Israel,” emphasizing the importance of economic development for Palestine, which is essential to realizing the two-state solution to the ongoing crisis. Prof. Wang addressed the “BRI in the Gulf Cooperation Council and Gulf Security” and Dr. Wei, “Iraq’s Reconstruction and China’s Role,” in which he highlighted the difficulties in rebuilding a nation subjected to a war that had destroyed much of its infrastructure. Dr. Zhu spoke on “BRI in Egypt and China-Egypt Cooperation,” presenting an optimistic evaluation of how the cooperation between the two states has provided tangible benefits.


Other Schiller Institute speakers were Hussein Askary, co-author of Extending the New Silk Road to West Asia and Africa, a book-length report, who gave an impassioned account of the progress of the BRI in the two regions, and Claudio Celani, whose report on the Abuja, Nigeria conference on Transaqua provided a concrete picture of what is possible with international cooperation—but also the obstacles created by international financial institutions and their geopolitical strategies which must be overcome.

There were questions from the audience after each presentation, evidence of a hunger for real solutions and a desire to draw out more of the thinking of the representatives from the CASS. Several questions were directed to Helga Zepp-LaRouche, including one on Malthusianism, another on the India-Pakistan crisis. A lively discussion continued after the formal proceedings concluded.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche: “The Strategic Implication of the New Silk Road”

Tang Zhichao: “China’s Concept on Security and Middle East Security”

Hussein Askary: “The Belt and Road to Peace and Prosperity in West Asia and Africa”

Yu Guoqing: “BRI and the peace between Palestine and Israel”

Wang Qiong: “BRI in the GCC and Gulf Security”

Claudio Celani: “Why the Transaqua Solution for Lake Chad is a Test of Morality for Europe”

Wei Liang: “Iraq’s Reconstruction and China’s Role”

Zhu Quangang: “BRI in Egypt and China-Egypt Cooperation”


France and the Maritime Silk Road: Past, Present and Future

The July 2 Schiller Institute conference, “France and the Maritime Silk Road: Past, Present, and Future,” held in Nantes, was a major intervention on a hot topic: France has a maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 10 million square kilometers and the world’s second largest maritime economic area. Nantes—a port city of 900,000 on the Atlantic Ocean and the birthplace of the visionary Jules Verne—has a place in France’s “blue economy.”

Schiller Institute booth at the La Mer XXL Exposition in Nantes, France on June 30, 2019.

Schiller Institute booth at the La Mer XXL Exposition in Nantes, France on June 30, 2019.

The four-hour conference with nine speakers was part of an international maritime exposition, La Mer XXL, that drew 38,000 visitors. Several of the speakers at the Schiller event had important institutional roles in France and all of the speakers were passionate about their subjects and conveyed a sense of optimism and mobilization. The creative ideas and science-driver perspective of Lyndon LaRouche, for the common good of mankind, were very much present.

The Expo was organized by one of the largest media groups in France, the Group Ouest-France; the Maritime Credit Bank; and the French Maritime Cluster, a business association encompassing all ocean-related enterprises—ports, transport o and from ports, shipbuilding, fishing, aquaculture, and deep-water research institutions in biology and mining (oil, rare earths).

Odile Mojon at the literature table during the La Mer Expo.

Odile Mojon at the literature table during the La Mer Expo.

For twelve days, June 28 to July 10, the Schiller Institute manned an exhibit at the Expo. At least 200 exhibitors—associations, companies, research institutions—had booths to present their work. Schiller Institute representatives were able to present the full spectrum of the Institute’s activities and the 484-page French edition of the Institute’s World Land-Bridge report released in November 2018. In the months preceding the event, the Schiller Institute had sent out mailings to regional industrialists and companies; French and Chinese engineers and scientists; and its own contact lists, and followed up with personal contact.

The four-hour, in-depth Schiller conference drew 60 people including representatives from the Friends of the Maritime Museum of La Rochelle, and the Maritime Cluster of Luxembourg, who were eager to get copies of the Land-Bridge report. People came from as far as Provence and Switzerland to participate.

Several copies of the Land-Bridge report were sold on the spot and more during the book dedication event set up at the Expo library. A professor from Africa, who attended the conference, when passing our booth the next day, said he was so excited that he persuaded his university to order five copies.

Prof. Michel Cantal-Dupart (left) and Karel Vereycken, two of the speakers at the Schiller Institute Conference in Nantes, France on July 2, 2019.

Prof. Michel Cantal-Dupart (left) and Karel Vereycken, two of the speakers at the Schiller Institute Conference in Nantes, France on July 2, 2019.

The Schiller Institute’s Karel Vereycken, who has studied the maritime domain for several years, was the moderator, and opened the floor to greetings: André Sobczak, a Nantes city councilman and the 15th Vice-President for International Relations of the Nantes Metropolitan Area, warmly welcomed the participants; Anne Lettrée, CEO of China’s Silk Road Business University and co-organizer of the event; two Minister Counselors of the Chinese embassy who were unable to attend at the last minute, and Minghong Chen, Chairman of the French-Chinese Intercultural Center.

Maritime Silk Road: Ancient and Modern

Karel Vereycken speaks on the Maritime Silk Road.

Karel Vereycken speaks on the Maritime Silk Road.

Vereycken presented the idea that the Maritime Silk Road in history—in China and other countries—has always been a space of cooperation and not of confrontation. With images of beautiful pottery, other ceramics, and other artistic or mechanical objects and utensils, he showed how each one, produced in one area, had designs and decorations coming from elsewhere, thanks to trade on the Maritime Silk Road. He presented another example of the high degree of development of that trade, the shipwreck of an Arab vessel made in Oman, from 826 AD, which was discovered recently on the sea floor near Java, Indonesia complete with the 60,000 pieces of ceramics and manufactured goods, including some with Persian motifs.

University Professor Antoine Cid followed, on Zheng He’s maritime expeditions to the Gulf and eastern Africa in the early 15th century and China’s peaceful and diplomatic objectives of cooperation. This activity was not limited to Zheng He, or to that period of time. Prof. Cid hypothesized that the Chinese, in the early part of the 20th century, decided to make this excellent story a positive epic narrative to convey the message that China is not a conquering power, on sea or on land.

Henri Tsiang, a former researcher at the Pasteur Institute, who also played an important role in mediating between France and China after World War II, went through what is happening in the South China Sea, the issues and the actors, and how the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has led to the expansion of other peaceful trade initiatives in the zone, a good way of solving disputes that had been used by geopolitical forces to harass China.

Sebastien Goulard, a public affairs consultant, and founder and coordinator of OBOReurope, countered the fake “debt trap” narrative and other false stories circulated to slander China. He made clear that problems can and do arise here and there, due to changes in political power in participating countries, and due to differing conceptions of investment terms: for the Chinese it’s the long term, while for the West it’s the time of an election cycle.

He showed that the Chinese are quick to find new solutions: The sale of Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port to a Chinese company, with the possibility offered to the state to acquire up to 50% ownership in 20 years, protects that port from political changes created in the country by competitors to China, in this case, India. Chinese investments, he showed, improve competition in a good way. After the Chinese financed the port, the Indians decided to build an airport, which in the meantime has become complementary to the port!

Sébastien Périmony discusses his recent trip to Africa with a conference attendee.

Sébastien Périmony discusses his recent trip to Africa with a conference attendee.

Sébastien Périmony of the Schiller Institute Africa Desk spoke about projects of the African terrestrial and maritime “silk roads,” and reported on his recent experiences in Ivory Coast and Angola. 

Contributions followed from people actively involved in New Silk Road cooperation.

The Silk Road Today and Tomorrow

The next speaker, Professor Mohamed Jebbar, held the audience in rapt attention. He is a professor of microbiology at Brest University, Director of the Microbiology Laboratory of Extreme Environments (LM2E) and co-director of the French-Chinese Laboratory of Deep-Sea Microbiology, called MICROB-SEA, which he fought for several years to establish. The laboratory’s objective is to study the conditions of ocean life at a depth of 5,000 meters—where the total absence of light had led people to believe that life was not possible, or that it was determined by life above those limits. Prof. Jebbar explained that life does exist at those depths, and that it is organized by bacteria that accomplish through chemosynthesis what the Sun accomplishes on the Earth’s surface through photosynthesis. He explained to the audience how this works.

His Franco-Chinese research center collaborates with the astrobiologists of the European Space Agency (ESA) and other space agencies to see what those extreme conditions can teach us about the existence of life in space. The first test carried out in a joint effort between the Chinese and ESA was to see if the microalgae called spirulina, sent in satellites, could grow in space.

Anne Lettrée spoke on “Earth, innovation, technologies, art, nature and health, a whole program.” She is an executive of the Silk Road Business School (Paris and Xi’an) who has become impassioned with China and fully supports the New Silk Road. She is creating a large holistic park, the Garden of Titans, in Normandy, with spaces for research, artwork, and theater, combined with ecology. Jane Han, the official representative in France of China’s largest photovoltaic company, confirmed China’s interest in this park conception.

Two important French figures spoke in the last section on the future of the New Silk Road. Michel Cantal-Dupart, architect, urban planner, and professor at CNAM (Conservatoire Nationale des Arts et Métiers—School of Industrial Arts and Crafts) is engaged in large urban architectural projects and territorial infrastructure—inland waterways, rapid transport—and works with the UN to develop these programs in developing countries. He was clear in his anger at the lack of vision by successive French governments for the  development of France’s waterways and canals—the largest set of inland waterways in Europe, which are all totally disconnected today. Instead of having a system, France has a series of dead ends.

He was followed by Bernard Planchais, the recently retired operational Director General at the National Naval Construction Company (formerly DCNS and today the Naval Group), producing civilian ocean liners and military vessels such as the Mistral and submarines. Planchais presented a “war plan” for France to develop its maritime economy, since France commands, after all, the second largest maritime zone in the world. While at the DCNS, Planchais worked with the nuclear sector to develop Flex Blue, a program using nuclear submarine technology to build small nuclear plants operating on the ocean floor—a great idea which, like many others, was never developed at all by our successive governments.

The conference concluded with Odile Mojon’s presentation of the Schiller Institute’s Land-Bridge report, in the context of the ongoing fight by Helga Zepp-LaRouche today to bring about a just new world economic order.

The organizers of the Expo were impressed by the size of the group gathered for such a four-hour, in-depth conference and requested three minutes of video footage of our event to use in their Expo publicity.

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