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Flurry of Diplomatic Activity Around SCO Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Takes Up Belt and Road Projects

July 16 (EIRNS)—There continued to be a flurry of diplomatic activity around the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) ministerial and SCO Afghanistan Contact Group, which met July 13-14 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Before heading to Dushanbe, on July 12-13, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi stopped in Ashgabat to meet with Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and other officials. China’s Foreign Ministry reported that during the meeting Wang Yi said, “the two countries should sign as soon as possible documents on the alignment of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative with Turkmenistan’s  development strategy to revive the Great Silk Road,” and  formulate a five-year plan for all-round cooperation.” This included China’s “cooperation  with Turkmenistan across the whole industrial chain of oil and gas.” On July 15-16, after the SCO conferences, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan travelled to Uzbekistan, to meet with President Shavkat  Mirziyoyev.

The two leaders discussed cooperation in fighting COVID-19. Their “Joint Declaration on the Establishment of Strategic Partnership between The Republic of Uzbekistan and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan” emphasized: “The leaders stressed the importance of regional integration and connectivity as a cornerstone of economic development and progress. In this regard, they welcomed the exchange of high-level visits in the areas of trade, railways, transport and aviation.

“The two leaders reiterated their support for the Termez-Mazar-i-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar railway project as an important initiative to create a rail link from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea through Afghanistan and the Pakistani seaports of Karachi, Gwadar and Bin Qasim….

“The two leaders also recognized the immense potential of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor for the benefit of the entire Central Asianregion and beyond entailing greater connectivity and trade linkages through a network of transport, fiber optic cable, energy pipelines, and investment opportunities in its SEZs [Special Economic Zones].”

Over July 15-16 Uzbekistan President Mirziyoyev hosted the “Central and South Asia: Regional Interconnectedness. Challenges and Opportunities” with Prime Minister Khan and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, as well as Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov, Wang Yi, and the other participants in the SCO Foreign Ministers’ Council, representatives of the U.S., Israel, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Japan, EU and UN.

Meantime, Afghani researcher Ahmad Bilal Khalil wrote in “Afghanistan the Shanghai Cooperation Organization,” in the July 14 issue of The Diplomat that Afghanistan’s development lies with the nations that comprise the SCO, for which he advocated Afghanistan having full membership. Khalil explained, “Afghanistan … has close economic and trade ties with most of the SCO member states…. According to the Afghan Statistical Yearbook, in 2017-18, more than 87% of Afghanistan’s total imports were from SCO countries; and more than 57% of Afghanistan’s total exports were destined to SCO member states.”


South African Riots Are Major Destabilization of this BRICS Nation

South African Riots Are Major Destabilization of this BRICS Nation

July 14 (EIRNS)—The opposition parties in South Africa are united in blaming (with varying emphases) President Ramaphosa, his government, and the ruling ANC at large, taking no account of the intense undermining of the country by London/Wall Street centered finance—for example, through destroying South Africa’s electric power development. Will no one stand up and tell Ramaphosa that it is his London/Wall Street patrons that are the problem?

As for this immediate destabilization, one interesting voice has been heard. Bantu Holomisa, MP, leader of the minor United Democratic Movement, said on SABC-TV, “We note the curious absence of the police in some areas. There has been radio silence from the top police echelons for two days. They are the ones who usually keep us [meaning, members of Parliament] informed. Are some intelligence people and police behind this?” That is now being investigated, but by whom, and with what end in view? Stay tuned.


South Africa’s DIRCO Posts ‘China’s Shared Future for Mankind’

South Africa’s DIRCO Posts ‘China’s Shared Future for Mankind’

May 17 (EIRNS)—A lengthy op-ed from March 29 for the Independent Online (IOL) website, highlighting the benefits to Africa from its recent relationship with China was posted on March 30 on South Africa’s website for the Department for International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), the country’s foreign ministry. The op-ed is by DIRCO’s Deputy Director-General for Asia and the Middle East Anil Sooklal, who holds the rank of ambassador. He is South Africa’s Sherpa to the BRICS, the G20, and IBSA (India-Brazil-South Africa), and the IORA (Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation). The article is headlined “China’s Shared Future for Mankind.”

Striking a very non-combative but distinctly pro-China tone from the start, Ambassador Sooklal begins with the story of China’s “idea of a community with a shared future for mankind,” from their first appearance on the world scene in 2013, with the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative, writing, “The concept, or what is now considered as a vision, calls for the fostering of international relations based on mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.”

China recognizes that this vision of “shared future” runs across the grain of the existing uni-polar order, the ambassador says, and they have not chosen confrontation, but rather doubled down on the multi-polar vision. “While there is greater convergence among countries and regions, there is also a worrying trend towards increasing political divergence in the international community. This does not augur well for the promotion of global peace, security, economic growth and development, and hence for China, working with the major players and other countries has become all the more important towards sustaining economic globalization, maintaining the system of global governance and ultimately promoting a community of shared future, based on equal opportunity and access to economic wealth, development and growth.”

The foreign ministry’s posting of the ambassador’s op-ed contributes to South Africa’s internal discussions and orientation as it struggles to emerge from the pandemic. Watching from their cockpit at the “top” of the African Global South, its decision and direction will have a major effect on the entire Sub-Saharan third of the huge continent. In the month since it was written, the explosion of the Mozambique terror has shaken the region, and in the days following, South Africa announced that it would order COVID-19 vaccines from China and Russia. The appearance of Sooklal’s article on the foreign ministry website is an indication of the internal fight currently raging, and also an indication of which way many would like to see it go.


Linking Up Scandinavia and Europe to the Belt and Road via Pakistan

STOCKHOLM, April 29, 2021 (EIRNS)–The Zoom webinar meeting of the Belt and Road Institute in Sweden, together with the Embassy of Pakistan in Sweden, and the Embassy of China in Sweden, was an extraordinary success. More than 130 participants were present at the height of participation. The first part of the program was moderated by the Commercial Counsellor of Pakistan for Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland. The focus was on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the tremendous potential for European and Scandinavian business interests to invest in Special Economic Zones (SEZ) that are connected to the current industrialization phase of CPEC.

There were welcoming remarks by the Ambassadors of Pakistan to Sweden and Denmark, and by the Ambassador of China to Sweden. The Chinese-language website of the Foreign Ministry the next day highlighted the BRIX event, printing the greetings of Chinese Ambassador Gui Congyou at the event.

There were several leading governmental agencies from Pakistan, like the Board of Investment, as well as regional officials, who outlined the great potential for investments and business in all areas when the basic infrastructure, especially electric power, is built. There were also important presentations from Business Sweden, Innovation Norway, and the Trade Council of Denmark to welcome and provide support and help for Scandinavian businesses that are ready to invest in Pakistan. The significance of Pakistan’s cooperation with China on the BRI was highlighted, and many business interests from China also participated.

The second part of the webinar was focused on the importance of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and how the work of the Belt and Road Institute in Sweden continues to present truthful and accurate information on BRI, despite deliberate distortions by Western media and other institutions.

This section was moderated by Stephen Brawer, the Vice Chairman of the Belt and Road Institute in Sweden, and the responsible leader of BRIX for webinars and seminars. His preliminary remarks summarized three of the most important points on the BRI as a global development policy, open to all nations, and the necessity of eliminating extreme poverty worldwide as has been achieved in China in 2020. He also noted the importance of the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, as a principle for cooperation, in which the interests of the other are primary, as opposed to only serving your own interests, i.e., geopolitics.

There were four speakers in the afternoon session. Professor Michele Geraci of Italy pointed to the primacy of commercial relations behind the much discussed and dramatic geopolitical controversies. Mr. Henry Tillman of the UK reported from his own investigations the meteoric rise of the Chinese pharma industry in just one year, showing how China and India are now the main suppliers of vaccine to the world, as the USA and Europe have limited their deliveries to their domestic markets. In the UK the entire vaccine production has been kept 100 percent for the British people.

Dr. Maria Sultan of Pakistan situated the CPEC in the global landscape of container trade and digital transmissions, showing the tremendous growth in the Asia-Europe and Asia Pacific corridors with the Pakistani ports of Karachi and Gwadar in the crossroads. Hussein Askary of the BRIX highlighted the Health Silk Road as the only possible approach to counter the current and future pandemics, providing the necessary infrastructure needed for a modern health system.


World Land-bridge: Creating a Human Future

Schiller Institute author, Hussein Askary, speaks to Nigerians: Africa will become the workshop of the world.

On Feb. 4, Hussein Askary, a Schiller Institute member and co-author of its special report, Extending the New Silk Road to West Asia and Africa – a Vision of an Economic Renaissance, spoke to a webinar in Abuja, Nigeria. The event, sponsored by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), focused on critical need for railway development across Nigeria. The country’s Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, was unable to attend but sent his remarks, declaring the Buhari administration is looks to build a “functional and industrial transportation backbone [to] aid economic growth.”

Askary broadened the event’s focus stressing the need for African wide transport network integration. This, he said, would lead to what Lyndon LaRouche called for, i.e. development corridors spiraling outward from the rail lines. He showed China’s critical role in nurturing this development and debunked so-called “debt trap” charges. Askary painted Africa’s future, with its young population, as bright, and if given the tools of progress, one in which it will become the breadbasket and workshop of the world. Here is his 15 min. presentation.

To learn more visit our World Land-Bridge page: https://schillerinstitute.com/our-campaign/build-the-world-land-bridge/


BRICS Group & Russian National Committee on BRICS Research Publish Article on Possible US/BRICS Cooperation

As part of the continuing impact of Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s October, 2018 address in Moscow at the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a lengthy article, based on her address, was published this week on the official websites of both the BRICS organization and of the Russian National Committee on BRICS Research. The article by Richard A. Black of The Schiller Institute is entitled, “The Trump Presidency: A New Opportunity for the BRICS?”

The Russian National Committee on BRICS Research was set up in coordination with the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It conducts on-going scientific research on strategic policy for Russia, in her role as initiator, in 2006, and as a leading member of the BRICS. The article discusses the surprising potential for US collaboration with the BRICS, beginning, first, with space exploration joint work, and it features Lyndon and Helga LaRouche’s “new ordering principle” for world affairs as proposed by Helga LaRouche at the Institute, in October.

 


Russian President Calls for World Order Where Each “Unique Civilization Supplements and Enriches the Others”

Nov. 2, 2018 -In a major address to the 22nd World Russian Peoples Council, organized under the aegis of the Russian Orthodox Church for the past 25 years, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized the basis for peaceful global coexistence among nations and cultures–perhaps providing a preview of topics that will also be on the table in his upcoming meeting with President Trump on Nov. 11. He said mankind must organize its affairs so that each “unique civilization supplements and enriches the others,” specifying the role to be played by Russia, “India, China, Western Europe, America and many others.”

Putin began by praising the World Russian Peoples Council: “You never set narrow ethnic or other limits and are always open for an interethnic, intercultural and interfaith dialogue. These traditions–the traditions of mutual understanding–have always strengthened our large family, the people of Russia.” He counterposed such an apporach to the fact that “efforts are being taken today to `reformat’ the world and destroy the traditional values and the cultural and historical spaces that have been forming for centuries. The goal is to create various bleak `protectorates,’ because it is easier to rule peoples who are disconnected, have no national memory and are turned into simple vassals, and to use them as bargaining chips. Crude nationalism and anti-Russian sentiments are also used.”

Putin then presented his view of the alternative: “These issues are undoubtedly very relevant today. It is now being decided how the world will look in the future, in the coming decades. Will this be a world of monologue and the rule of force, or a world of dialogue and mutual respect? How well will technology combine with ethical and moral values? There are more questions than answers so far. But there is one thing I am certain about: the voice of Russia will resound with dignity and confidence in the future world.

“It is defined by both our tradition and internal spiritual culture, our identity and finally, by the history of our country as an authentic civilization, a unique one, but one which does not assertively and aggressively claim its exceptionalism. Because it is impossible to imagine the history of humanity without such unique civilizations as India, China, Western Europe, America and many others. It is really a multifaceted complexity where each facet supplements and enriches the others.”


Putin: “Russia Will Light Up Africa”

July 27, 2018 -Russian President Vladimir Putin, in addressing the BRICS Africa Outreach Session at the BRICS Summit today, said that the African continent “is in huge need of energy investments, and Russia could become one of its key partners…. I would especially like to note that Russia is planning to step up its assistance in development of national energy in African states.”

According to Putin, as reported in RT, Russia is planning oil and gas projects with Angola, Mozambique and Gabon. He said: “In the field of nuclear energy, where Russia is the technological leader, we offer African partners to build an industry from scratch. These projects are crucial for Africa since about 600 million people on the continent live without electricity.”

Putin added that Russian business was also interested in “working with African partners in a wide range of areas, including agriculture, healthcare, the development of mass communications, geology and subsoil use.”


Sergey Lavrov: BRICS a Stabilizing Factor in Global Affairs; Focus on Africa is Key

July 25–In an article published in South Africa‘s {Ubuntu} magazine, on the eve of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted the symbolism of the BRICS returning to Africa in 2018, on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nelson Mandela, “a prominent political and public figure on a global scale.” Mandela contributed personally to establishing friendly relations between South Africa and Russia, he recalled, making possible today’s “high-level of a comprehensive strategic partnership.”

Lavrov particularly praised South Africa’s leadership in the BRICS, and the “special attention paid by Pretoria to Africa-related issues,” an issue he said has become especially important for Russia’s foreign policy. “We support further strengthening of the sovereignty of African countries, their independent choice of the way of development while preserving national distinctiveness.”

Of special importance, Lavrov added, is the fact that BRICS countries will foster cooperation with other integration associations and consolidate positions in international organizations to present a “united front.” The invitation to Argentina, Indonesia and Turkey, plus other African nations, to attend the July 25-27 summit reflects the BRICS-Plus initiative, he explained. “Thus we will expand the global reach of the Group and establish an outer circle of like-minded countries. In this regard, BRICs has good potential to become a unique platform for linking various integration processes in a flexible way.” Coordination between BRICS and other major international organizations is crucial, Lavrov underscored, since consolidation of efforts “is a key to ensuring world stability and a way to settle serious conflicts.”

He particularly referenced how the BRICS-Africa Partnership has advanced since 2013. At the current summit, “a special outreach session will be held with the participation of the heads of State presiding over regional organizations of the continent in order to focus on its most relevant issues,” he said.


BRICS Could be an Alternative Model of Development to Western Dominance

July 25 -In a July 25 article published on the website of the Valdai Discussion Club, entitled “Brics and the World Order,” Georgy Toloraya suggests that the current BRICS grouping, plus other nations that form part of the “BRICS-Plus” structure (not official members) could offer the world “an alternative model of socio-economic development, differing from that of the West” which is based on “mechanisms of a liberal market or profit gaining…that assumes the dominance of the West.”

Toloraya is the Executive Director of the Russian National Committee for BRICS Research.

He debunks arguments that the BRICS is just a “China-centered structure,” intended only to promote China’s interests or its Belt and Road Initiative. These accusations, he notes, “are very sly statements. The Chinese factor is only one of the BRICS development facets.”

In today’s “turbulent global situation,” Toloraya adds, it is especially important that the BRICS “common denominator” grows. Why? In contrast to the G7, BRICS expresses a “touching unanimity, which is not faked. This is not a mutiny on the ship we see with the G7, when the captain led to one direction while the crew wants to go to another one.” By the time Russia takes over the chairmanship of the group in 2020, he notes, BRICS “could become a united center of the multipolar world…Now BRICS creates its own structure of global governance, and it must
develop in that direction. I do not know, whether that could be accomplished in the context of growing counteraction from the West, but we have to keep working.”

Because the BRICS is a global organization, Toloraya concludes, “these five leading ascendant powers could create a world order that will be more just and balanced than what we see now.” It may not expand yet, but “what we see in the BRICS+ format, which is involving the largest countries that are not the group’s members, but show interest in it, is a significant step towards increasing the BRICS value and making this union a representative of the greater part of humanity.” On the eve of the Johannesburg summit, he concludes, BRICS is not {against}, but {for}: for just economic development conditions, for sustainable development concept to be centered on human beings.”


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