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World Food Program Head Praises China, as Greatest ‘Success Story’ in Ending Hunger

David Beasley, the Executive Director of the World Food Program (WFP)— the food-assistance branch of the United Nations and the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security—was interviewed on Jan. 24 by CCTV on the sidelines of the Davos Forum. He said:

“When you look where the world has gone in the last few decades, [there are] a lot of success stories around the world, but there’s no greater success story than China. China has reduced the number of people that are hungry by 800 million people in the last 40 years. And it needs to be replicated, modeled and using that experience in other parts of the world. We would like to have your expertise and involvement, and engagement in addressing hunger in countries around the world. So China has gone from being a beneficiary country to now a donor,” said the WFP executive director.

He further stated: “China is a global superpower. China has a role to play in helping the world move in a more peaceful, stable direction. And I think the quicker that the West and China can find that path to work together, I think the world will benefit from that.”


Czech President Endorsing New Silk Road

Czech President Milos Zeman said he supports his country’s companies to participate in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and he firmly hopes it would help boost the country’s industries such as railways and real estate. He made the remarks in an interview with Xinhua in Prague on Jan. 24. He said he has a dream that the “New Silk Road will lead through the Czech Republic to Western Europe.” Praising the Belt and Road as a “wonderful initiative,” Zeman said courage is needed for such a project.

As for China’s development, Zeman said China is a major country both politically and economically. He said China has been successful in increasing the standard of living of its people, and the middle class is growing in the country. He also stressed that his country adheres to the one-China policy.


Switzerland Clearly Opts for New Silk Road

Swiss President Ueli Maurer said, after a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan ahead of the Davos World Economic Forum, that he views the Belt and Road as offering many good opportunities for Swiss industry. In contrast to substantial restrictions which the EU has imposed against Chinese direct investments into European companies, the Swiss, which are not part of the European Union, will not do so.

Maurer pointed out that the Swiss economy has greatly benefitted in the past from unrestricted access to other countries, therefore the Swiss do not fear Chinese investors and will welcome them, rather than impose restrictions on them. Maurer hinted during a state visit to China last April that he will sign a far-reaching agreement of cooperation with the Chinese.

Wang Qishan turns out to be very interested in the history of Switzerland, particularly its relations with, and independence from, the House of Hapsburg—the Wilhelm Tell paradigm. The Chinese official was given a tour of the original Hapsburg castle in Aargau, yesterday, and at a reception there, exchanged views with local officials on the history of the Hapsburg Empire and the relation to the Chinese Empire 500 years ago, along the old Silk Road by land and by sea, which connection is currently revived with the New Silk Road.


Philippines Case Proves China ‘Debt Trap’ Is Fake News

A serious study of Philippines debt compared to the development of the real economy by a doctoral student in the U.S. has provided powerful proof that the hysterical campaign against the Belt and Road Initiative in the West—centered on the lie of China creating debt traps aimed at taking over nations around the world—is unreconstituted organic fertilizer.

Alvin Camba, a PhD candidate at Johns Hopkins University, has conducted in-depth research on the Philippines economy for several years. On Jan. 18 he published some of his findings, titled “Examining Belt and Road Debt Trap Controversies in the Philippines” on the Jamestown Foundation website. After reviewing the many articles claiming the Philippines is a model of China’s debt trap, he counters: “In the case of the Philippines, the country possesses economic fundamentals that mitigate against the danger of excessive indebtedness. Between 1999 and 2014, Philippine debt increased from $51 to $77 billion. However, at the same time, the country’s external debt to GDP ratio (in percentage) decreased from 61.6% to 27.3%. The total amount of the country’s annual debt service during those years ranged from $6.5 to $7.5 billion, but the percentage of debt service decreased from 14.6 to 6.2%, indicating that less of the country’s GDP has been used for servicing debt.”

Even more important, Camba writes that the opponents of the BRI “ignore the likelihood that projects that generate internal demand could successfully contribute to economic growth.” He points to the rise in overall productivity created by, especially, the two rail lines being constructed by China in Luzon.

He also states that China is not the only investor in Philippine infrastructure, but that “more than half of developmental infrastructure projects in the country are funded by the Japanese International Corporation Agency and the Asian Development Bank.”


Schiller Institute Interviewed About Arctic Sea Shipping Routes

Swedish Schiller Institute Board Member Hussein Askary was recently interviewed by an representative of the “EurAsiaAz” (a non-profit organization focused on cooperation among the Eurasian nations, and a strong supporter of the Belt and Road Initiative). The coverage begins,

“Ice melting in the Arctic has drawn more attention to the Northern Sea Route – a maritime corridor which allows shipping between Europe and Asia considerably faster than through the Suez Canal. NSR’s advantages are lack of pirates and queues, and the new nuclear icebreakers will make the route navigable the whole year. China and countries of Northern Europe are looking at this project with great interest whereas the USA insists that NSR should be open for everyone as an international transport corridor. Hussein Askary, Southwest Asia Coordinator in the Schiller Institute, former Chairman [SIC] of the Swedish branch of the Schiller Institute (2008-2018) has told “Eurasia.Expert” in detail about the development of this project…”

Read the full interview: The competition among the global players in the Arctic is rising – expert

 

Image credits: Author: Marcusroos; https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Icebreaker_Fennica.jpg


Greece and China Signs Collaboration Memo for Belt and Road

Aug. 28  — Speaking at a press conference following their meeting in Beijing, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and is Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi announced the signing of a memorandum of collaboration in the framework of China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative.

Kotzias told the press that “our main goal is to deepen our political cooperation,” and announced he has extended an invitation to Wang Yi to visit Athens. They will hold further talks on finalizing the next five-year action plan in economic cooperation in the meantime, reported various Chinese and Greece media.

For his part Wang Yi called Greece a “natural partner of China” and said the two ministers discussed linking infrastructure, promotion of trade, financial cooperation and collaboration between the peoples of the two countries in tourism, science and technology, education and culture, sports, youth and local government.

Earlier in the day Kotzias met with officials of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) and today he will meet with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and CPC Politburo member and also State Councillor Yang Jiechi, and deliver a speech at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on Greek-Chinese relations on the way forward. In the evening he will travel to Shanghai for further meetings.


Schiller Institute Representative Addresses High Level Conference in Beijing

On Oct. 29, Hussein Askary, Southwest Asia Coordinator of the Schiller Institute, addressed the Belt and Road International Food Industry Conference, sponsored by China People’s Daily, Global Times and China Food News and supervised by the official state Belt and Road Portal. The conference addressed the impact of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and China's development model on food security in China and globally. The main panel was opened by such senior officials as former Director of the State Council Office of Poverty Alleviation Liu Jian, who also earlier served as deputy Agriculture Minister. He was followed by the former spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and member of the Public Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sun Yuxi, who is currently Member of the Public Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Hussein Askary, in his speech, first outlined the past 24 year' efforts of the Schiller Institute to promote the global connectivity now associated with the New Silk Road and the Eurasian-African Land-Bridge. He expressed his and the Schiller Institute’s gratitude to President Xi Jinping for launching the BRI in 2013, which has “already changed the world, ushering in a new set of international relations based on economic cooperation and mutual development, which will have great implications for food security in the world.” That would not have been possible, Askary stressed, “without China’s amazing industrialization process of the past three decades.”

He went on to review the immense positive changes in the living conditions of the Chinese people, including the increase in food production and consumption, with a more diversified diet for the people. However, this new diet, with greater emphasis on proteins, is a more capital-intensive process. “You can expect that this process will be replicated in every country and part of the world that the BRI reaches, with the increase in living conditions and, consequently, in food consumption.” Askary reviewed the UN-produced “Hunger Map of the World” showing that 800 million people lack adequate food today. However, the most hungry nations, especially in Africa and West Asia, are now joining the BRI to alleviate this terrible situation, and "we have to imagine how much land and technology will be required to achieve this goal". With the world population poised to double by 2050, only such massive initiatives as the BRI can address this challenge, Askary concluded. The conference, including Askary’s speech received wide coverage in Chinese media, including postings of Askary’s speech in full on several websites. According to China Daily, the “Belt and Road” Food Industry International Summit is a world-class food industry conference with the participation of the food industry and the food industry related trade associations, industry associations, well-known enterprises and social organizations.” (The official website of the conference, that of The Belt and Road Global Chambers of Commerce and Associations, is http://www.msdnba.com/topics?id=15.html)


President Xi Stresses the Belt and Road Initiative as a New Form of Global Governance

Aug. 27, 2018 -Speaking at a symposium on the Belt and Road Initiative as we approach next month, the fifth anniversary of its inception, President Xi Jinping underlined its importance as the basis of a new type of global governance.

“In the past five years, the ‘One Belt and One Road’ has greatly improved the level of China’s trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and promoted China’s open space from the coast, along the river to the inland, along the border, forming a new open pattern of land and sea linkage, east and west mutual aid,” Xi said. “The trade volume of goods with the countries related to the Belt and Road has accumulated more than $5 trillion, and the direct foreign investment has exceeded $60 billion, creating more than 200,000 jobs for the local economies. China’s foreign investment has become an important factor driving the growth of global foreign direct investment.”

Xi pointed out that the world today is undergoing a period of great development, great change, and adjustment.

“We must have a strategic vision and establish a global outlook. We must have both a sense of risk and a sense of history, and we must have a sense of historical opportunity to work hard in this century-old change. … Building a community of human destiny with the ‘One Belt and One Road’ as a platform for practice, is proposed from the perspective of China’s reform and opening up, and long-term development. It is also in line with the Chinese philosophy that the Chinese nation has always upheld, in line with the Chinese people’s concept of harmony under heaven and occupies the commanding heights of international morality. Building the Belt and Road is not only a means of economic cooperation, but also an important way to improve the global development model and global governance and promote the healthy development of economic globalization,” Xi said.

Xi explained how the BRI has won support throughout the world for the benefits it has brought, and that the key now was to proceed to expanding and deepening its influence. Xi said that
in the past few years, the “One Belt, One Road” project has produced the general layout of the project, and that a “‘large freehand brushwork’ has been sketched out.” Moving forward, he said, it is a matter of “filling in the ‘more delicate lines’ and achieving an exquisite ‘Chinese brushwork painting.'”

“We must work hard to open up the market, build more trade promotion platforms, guide powerful enterprises to carry out investment cooperation with the countries along the Belt and Road, develop new trades and new modes of cross-border e-commerce, and pay attention to trade balance. We must work hard on financial security, speed up the formation of financial support and build a `One Belt, One Road’ policy system, promote the internationalization of the RMB in an orderly manner, guide social funds to jointly invest in national infrastructure and resource development projects along the route, and provide foreign exchange funds for enterprises going global.

“It is necessary to promote the vigorous exchanges in the fields of education, science and technology, culture, sports, tourism, health, archaeology, etc., and carry out effective ‘people’s livelihood assistance’ around the ‘One Belt, One Road.’ It is necessary to standardize corporate investment and business operations, conduct legal and compliant operations, pay attention to protecting the environment, fulfilling social responsibilities, and become a model ambassador for the joint construction of the `Belt and Road’. It is necessary to attach great importance to the prevention of overseas risks, improve the security risk prevention system, and comprehensively improve overseas security and risk response capabilities.”


El Salvador Prepares To Get On Board the Belt and Road

Aug. 21 – El Salvador’s President Salvador Sanchez Ceren told a national TV audience last night that El Salvador had broken diplomatic relations with Taiwan and established relations with the people’s Republic of China, in order to fulfill the government’s promise to secure a dignified life for all citizens, and create a future for new generations. He reported that a delegation of three high-level officials, led by Foreign Minister Carlos Castaneda, were in Beijing, and had just signed a Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with China.

The President did not mention the Belt and Road Initiative in his speech, but Panama’s eager participation in the BRI, after its decision to break with Taiwan in June 2017, has sparked discussion throughout Central America on prospects for increased integration and actually crushing poverty, drugs and violence. In point of fact, El Salvador’s move in the direction of the BRI is the single most important action it could have taken to stop the scourge of drugs and Satanic gang violence which, along with Wall Street looting, has driven over 20% of 1st generation Salvadorans to emigrate desperately to the U.S.

El Salvador has been looking for some time for international assistance to relaunch its container port at La Union in the Gulf of Fonseca on the Pacific, and China has expressed interest in the project. The initial concept for the La Union port was to turn the Gulf into a development hub with Nicaragua and Honduras, which also border the Gulf, and to connect it to the Caribbean through a railroad across Honduras. At the same time, the high-speed railroad in Panama which China has agreed to build has sparked active discussion in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Honduras, minimally, of building a regional railroad, {EIR} has learned.

El Salvador’s decision increases the potential for other Central American countries–Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala, in particular–to also leave the “Taiwan Gap” and enter the future. President Sanchez Ceren had met with the Presidents of Honduras and Guatemala earlier in the day, on the occasion of his nation joining the Customs Union which those two nations had created, bringing the 32 million people in those three countries — 73% of all of Central America’s population — closer together.

“I am speaking to you on this occasion to make public a decision which will have a profound impact on the present and future development of our country,” President Sanchez told the nation. When he was inaugurated, he explained, he promised to create the conditions needed to transform the nation towards securing a decent life for each one and their families, and after analyzing the domestic and foreign situation, we have made the decision to break relations with Taiwan and establish relations with the P.R.C., he explained.

This is a decision which will bring “great benefits to the country and offer extraordinary opportunities on the personal level to each of you. The People’s Republic of China is the second economy in the world, in continuous development, and whose development achievements in diverse fields has enabled it to position itself among the most successful countries,” he said, citing China’s promotion of “shared development … in countries such as ours through South-South cooperation.”

Sanchez reported that dialogue will immediately begin between the two countries to identify “potentials and concrete actions in the areas of trade, investment, infrastructure development, scientific, economic and technical cooperation, in health care, education, tourism, and support for micro and medium-sized companies,” as well as coordinating immediate humanitarian aid for Salvadoran farmers affected by drought.


Webcast: Use Trump’s Victory to Build Momentum for the New Paradigm

Forget what the pundits and anti-Trumpers say.  The midterm election was no victory for Democrats, but changes, for the better, the situation in the U.S.  Helga discusses this, with its implications for U.S. politics, and for Europe, in this week’s webcast.  Ironically, as a result of Trump’s success, he will be coming to Paris this week in a stronger position than either Macron or Merkel!

She also identified the enormous potential of the Shanghai expo, with its implications both for resolving trade problems between the U.S. and China, but also to move towards a New Bretton Woods.

Speaking of Paris, Helga emphasized the urgency of using the Nov. 11 commemoration of the end of World War I, to learn the lessons of why the era of British geopolitics must be brought immediately to an end.

She called on viewers to study Xi’s speech in Shanghai, as an example of what Lyn has spoken about for years, on how creativity and innovation must be a continuous process, for the betterment of mankind.

 


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