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Sri Lanka Opens Chinese-built & Financed Railroad

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


Schiller Institute Becomes Founding Member of CGTN Think Tank

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

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

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

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

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

China Radio International Interviews Helga Zepp-LaRouche

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

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


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