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Uzbekistan Delegation Meeting with Taliban Promotes Infrastructure and Aid

A delegation from Uzbekistan’s government, led by Investment and Foreign Trade Minister Sardor Umurzakov, met with the Afghan delegation led by Abdul Salam Hanafi, deputy prime minister of the Taliban’s provisional government in Termez (in the southern portion of Uzbekistan) on Oct. 16, for a one-day conference.

In a statement from Uzbekistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Yusup Kabulzhanov told TASS on Oct. 16: “‘At the meetings, representatives of a number of ministries and agencies discussed trade and economic cooperation, border security, cooperation in the fields of energy, international haulage and transit.’

“The talks are reported to have focused on the implementation of infrastructure projects, which include the construction of the Surkhan-Puli-Khumri transmission line and the Termez-Mazar-i-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar railway,” TASS reported.

The Afghani English-language online daily 8AM also reported that “In the meeting, the two sides have appointed a joint technical team to provide instructions for the implementation of projects. After 10 days, the team is supposed to complete strategy and instructions on how to implement these projects and present them to the officials of both sides.”

Termez is becoming a hub for humanitarian aid. The UN High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) said this week that three consignments of humanitarian aid would be airlifted to Termez in the near future before entering Afghanistan by truck.

Radio Free Europe reported that last month, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev told the UN General Assembly that his country has resumed the supply of oil and electricity to Afghanistan. “It is impossible to isolate Afghanistan and leave it within the range of its problems,” RFE quoted him as saying.

In related news, AFP reported that acting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi met in Ankara on Oct. 14 with Turkey Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu: “Cavusoglu called on governments to unfreeze Afghanistan’s foreign accounts to ease the growing humanitarian crisis but said Turkey was not yet ready to recognize the group.”


Hungary To Become Regional Logistics Hub, as Rail Project Proceeds

At a stone-laying ceremony in Kiskunhalas for the Hungarian section of the modernization of Budapest-Belgrade railway on Oct. 15, the Hungary Minister of Innovation and Technology László Palkovics said: “Railways will clearly be in the focus of Hungary’s transport development efforts in the next 10-15 years, with the upgrade and capacity expansion of the Budapest-Belgrade line as one of the priority investments.” Palkovics attended the ceremony, as did Serbia’s Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Tomislav Momirovic, and Chinese Ambassador to Hungary Qi Dayu, and via video, Ning Jizhe, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission.

Palkovics elaborated that with the renovation of the Budapest-Belgrade railway, Hungary will offer the fastest transport route for Chinese goods between Central and Southeast Europe, extending from Budapest to Belgrade, into Skopje, North Macedonia, and extending to Athens. He also thanked the Chinese people for their help in supplying medical and other equipment to Hungary, as it was hit by COVID-19.

Xinhua reported today: “For his part, Ning said that the railway project will promote the connectivity between Hungary and Serbia and other European countries, help the two countries build a regional transport and logistics hub, give a strong boost to European infrastructure and economic growth along the route, and enhance the well-being of the European people.

“The project is also of great significance for the connection of the Belt and Road Initiative to European development strategies and the deepening of mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Europe, Ning added. ‘It could be said that the railway is beneficial to our three countries, to Central and Eastern European countries, and to the entire Europe,’ he said.”

Kiskunhalas, Hungary is about 20 miles north of the Serbian border, and is 122 miles from Belgrade. During July 2021, Hungary celebrated the 175th anniversary of the Hungarian Railways. A short clip of the ceremony was posted by “Built by China”


Sergei Glazyev: The Future Is Being Created Through Eurasian Development

Oct. 6 (EIRNS)—Interviewed by an editor of the Russian newspaper Zavtra on August 18, Russian economist Sergei Glazyev spoke optimistically of the entirely new world economic order taking shape around the growing economic integration between the countries of Eurasia, in contrast with the disintegrating Western speculative financial system, whose imposition of “pure usury” is creating “genocide” in countries like Ukraine. The October 2 publication in full of Glazyev’s interview on Spain’s El espía digital website, reflects the growing recognition in Western nations that the high-tech cooperative development model evolving in Eurasia offers some crucial lessons about what works.

Glazyev is no mere commentator, but a man who understands that “ideas rule the world.”  He is the Minister for Integration and Macroeconomics for the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), the executive body for the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the common market established by Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, which is coordinating projects with the Chinese-led Belt and Road Initiative. He is also very familiar with that “titan of thought,” American statesman Lyndon LaRouche, and his “realistic school of economic thought,” as Glazyev describes him, having spoken many times with LaRouche and his wife Helga Zepp-LaRouche over the past two decades, both privately and publicly.

The EAEU has completed the first phase of forming a common market, and is now working on how to “saturate” that market with “new infrastructure, information, and cultural ties, and joint economic projects” in order to bring about “accelerated development,” Glazyev reported.

Unlike the previous world order, which “had an imperial character, in which the principal centers of development, the US and the USSR, dictated their will upon the other countries which fell in their area of influence … the new world economic order is not monocentric,” he emphasized. “In our new world economic order, there is mutual respect for the sovereignty of different countries, both large and small; cultural diversity is preserved; interference in internal affairs is not attempted; and cooperation is based not on the zero-sum principle within the framework of liberal globalization, but rather on the search for a combination of competitive advantages to achieve a synergistic effect, in order to raise the social well-being of all the countries which participate in integration processes….

“This is what unites our approach with the Chinese approach in the framework of building a complete new world economic order.”

Glazyev stresses the great importance of the Chinese model of development, which in the last 30 years achieved three times greater growth than the United States, by combining strategic planning by the State with markets and private entrepreneurship. Under this dirigist model, if a private corporation tries to destabilize or manipulate the market to gain super-benefits, the State can shut it down. This system has proven to be “extremely effective,” and many countries are introducing such measures, following China’s path, which is widely known through the Belt and Road Initiative, he argued.

This, he emphasizes, is how a new world economic order is emerging, accelerating economic development, not only in Asia, but in other continents, such as Africa. Yes, we have problems and differences, he said, but “the logic of history, … the logic of development, the objective interests of the countries participating in the transition to a new technological world economic order allows us, despite all the obstacles, achieve positive results in order to advance, step by step.” [All quotes are translated from the Spanish translation of the original Russian.]


Iran-Kyrgyzstan Rail Corridor Discussed

Sept. 25 (EIRNS)–During a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week in New York, Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Kazakbaev congratulated Amir-Abdollahian on his appointment as Iran’s top diplomat, and proposed a direct flight between Bishkek and Tehran. Kazakbaev also expressed willingness to use the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas’s capacity for transit cooperation.

The Kyrgyz Foreign Minister said his country’s internal conditions are better than ever for the presence of Iranian economic activists, calling for the two countries to work together on cooperation within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union. He also said Kyrgyzstan is ready to cooperate in the construction of a railway corridor between the two countries.

The Iranian government has already proposed some time ago to Central Asians, the value of making effective use of Iranian ports and the development of the Uzbek-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman transport corridor. This could connect to the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway line being built, as well as to the Uzbekistan-Afghanistan-Iran corridor. A part of this latter project, there are connections for the Afghan cities of Mazar-i-Sharif and Herat with the Iranian port of Chabahar. 


Schiller Institute Internet Dialogue — ‘Need Creative Genius of the World to Bear on Haiti and Afghanistan’

Sept. 25 (EIRNS)—Today the Schiller Institute held an international webinar titled, “Reconstructing Haiti—America’s Way Out of the ‘Global Britain’ Trap. The two-and-a-half-hour discussion featured elements of a proposed development outline for Haiti, as well as immediate emergency action required, and brought together experts, with ties to Haiti, in engineering, medicine and development policy. Today’s deliberations stand in stark contrast to the events of the week, which included the U.S. forced deportation of thousands of displaced Haitians from the Texas-Mexico border, back to Haiti, to disaster conditions from the August earthquake and before.  

The six panelists were Richard Freeman, co-author of “The Schiller Institute Plan To Develop Haiti,” which EIR will publish this week for its Oct. 1 issue; Eric Walcott, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Institute of Caribbean Studies; Firmin Backer, co-founder and President of the Haiti Renewal Alliance; Joel DeJean, engineer and Texas activist with The LaRouche Organization; Dr. Walter Faggett, MD, based in Washington, D.C., where he is former Chief Medical Officer of the District of Columbia, and currently Co-Chairman of the Health Council of D.C.’s Ward 8, and an international leader with the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites; and moderator Dennis Speed of the Schiller Institute. 

Freeman presented both the dimensions of both the extreme underdevelopment forced for decades on Haiti, and also the essentials of a development program for that nation, in the context of development of all the Island of Hispaniola, and the Caribbean. He presented a map of proposed rail, nuclear power sites, safe water systems and other vital infrastructure. He showed maps of proposals that Chinese firms had made in recent years, but which fell into abeyance.

Firmin Backer pointed out that the USAID has spent $5.1 billion in Haiti over the 11 years since the 2010 earthquake, but what is there to show for it? Now, with the latest earthquake on Aug. 14, we can’t even get aid into the stricken zones, because there is no airport nor port in southern Haiti to serve the stricken people. We should reassess how wrongly the U.S. funding was spent. Firmin reported how Haiti was given some debt cancellation by the IMF years back, but then disallowed from seeking foreign credit! 

Eric Walcott was adamant, “We need the creative genius of the world to bear on Haiti and Afghanistan.” He said, “leverage the diaspora” to develop Haiti. There are more Haitian medics in New York and Miami than all of Haiti. He stressed that Haiti is not poor; the conditions are what is poor. But the population has pride, talent and resourcefulness. Walcott made a special point about elections in Haiti. He said, “Elections are a process,” not an event. He has experience. From 1998 to 2000, Walcott served as the lead observer for the OAS, for elections in Haiti. 

Joel DeJean, an American of Haitian lineage, was forceful about the need to aim for the highest level in that nation, for example, leapfrog from charcoal to nuclear power. He advised, “give China the opportunity” to deploy the very latest nuclear technology in Haiti—the pebble-bed gas cooled modular reactor. We “don’t need more nuclear submarines, we need nuclear technology!” He called for the establishment of a development bank in Haiti, and other specifics. 

Dr. Faggett summed up at many points, with the widest viewpoint and encouragement of action. He served in the U.S. military’s “Caribbean Peace-Keeping Force,” and was emphatic about taking action not only in Haiti, but worldwide. He referenced President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, saying that “you can tell a lot about people, by how they take care of the health of their people.” He reported that, at present, aid workers in Haiti, are having to shelter in place, because of the terrible conditions. 

But, he said, we should mobilize. Have “vaccine diplomacy,” and work to build a health platform in Haiti, and a health care delivery system the world over. He is “excited about realizing Helga’s mission,” referring to Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Chairwoman of the Schiller Institute, who issued a call in June 2020, for a world health security platform. At that time, she and Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former U.S. Surgeon General, formed the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites


Russia Revives Witte Plan for Siberian Development

Russia Revives Witte Plan for Siberian Development

Sep. 6 (EIRNS) — Russia seems prepared to resurrect the Sergei Witte plan for the economic development of Siberia and launch a new program for Siberian development with a proposal by Minister of Defense Gen. Sergei Shoigu, himself a Siberian, for building a new city between the Siberian cities of Krasnoyarsk and Bratsk. This would create the type of city-clusters which have proven so successful in China. Shoigu had earlier put forward a proposal for moving the Russian capital from Moscow to somewhere in Siberia. Shoigu has also proposed giving “Siberian mortgage loans” to settlers willing to move to the new city. He proposes building three to five new cities in Siberia. His proposal has been accepted by the Kremlin and he has been assigned to work out a plan of development.


Implement LaRouche’s 2010 Rebuilding Program in Haiti Now: The 2021 Earthquake Can Not Be Allowed To Be A Further Descent into Hell!

Had American statesman Lyndon LaRouche’s program to rebuild Haiti been implemented, in response to the devastating Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake, which killed between 250,000 and 300,000 people, this impoverished nation would not be suffering the level of death and destruction so far wrought by the August 14 earthquake that measured 7.2 on the Richter scale. And the carnage will become much greater as a series of tropical storms hit, which are expected to be rolling in, perhaps one after another. 

As of August 17, reports are that 1,900 people are dead, 10,000 injured, and 37,000 homes have been destroyed. Homes, schools, supermarkets, and roads were leveled in the southern and western parts of the country. People are terrified. They have once again been abandoned by the United States and its international partners, left to perish in extreme poverty, disease, and misery.

Lyndon LaRouche immediately responded to the 2010 earthquake by calling for an emergency reconstruction program for Haiti, to which, he said, the U.S. had a special responsibility. He called on the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to first deploy to rescue and relocate up to 1 million homeless Haitians from Port-au-Prince to higher ground before the rainy season arrived and unleashed a dangerous health and sanitation crisis for these destitute citizens; he then proposed a comprehensive program to focus on building infrastructure—for sanitation, water management, irrigation, earthquake-proof housing, transportation, agriculture, etc.

LaRouche also recommended that the U.S. sign a 25-year treaty with Haiti, “a treaty agreement to reestablish the efficient sovereignty of the nation of Haiti, after the destructive effect of this and preceding difficulties. We make a contract with the government, as a treaty agreement, between the United States and Haiti, to assure the rebuilding of their country, in a form in which it will actually be a functioning country which can survive.” Those proposals are available here.

President Barack Obama rejected LaRouche’s proposals, and instead removed crucial economic and military aid, encouraging what became known as the “Republic of NGOs” — a large unwieldy network of foreign NGOs that had a lot of money to throw around but did nothing of any real substance. 

Years later, in 2017, when China’s Southwest Engineering Municipal Design Research Institute joined with the Haitian firm Bayti Ayiti to propose a $30 billion program to completely rebuild Haiti, with $4.7 billion to rebuild the capital, Port-au-Prince, with sanitation infrastructure, housing, and transportation, the IMF reportedly stepped in—EIR was told at the time—to make sure the proposal went nowhere.

On March 10, 2010, EIR published a 20-page package which detailed the programmatic solutions Haiti required and identified those monetarist political forces committed to keeping in place the Malthusian economic policies that had made Haiti so vulnerable to disaster, and which remain in effect today. That package is available here.


`The Place Where These Rivals Can Work Together’: Afghanistan

`The Place Where These Rivals Can Work Together’: Afghanistan —

July 18 (EIRNS) – An interesting statement by Pakistan’s ambassador to China, Javid Ahmad Qaem, was quoted in Global Times July 17. “The only place,” the Ambassador said, “where the U.S., China and India could really cooperate, and at least there could be a starting point to cooperate between these rivals, if I can call them that, is Afghanistan.”
            The same Global Times article which quoted Qaem made clear that China has proposed the Belt and Road Initiative – the Eurasia-wide infrastructure corridor development plan it initiated in 2013 – as the basis for cooperation in shifting Afghanistan from the theater of endless war and poverty to a nation developing and a contributor to stability. At the July 15-16 conference of 40 nations’ representatives in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on “stability and connectivity” in the region following the NATO withdrawals, “China urges Central and South Asian countries to forge a closer regional connectivity partnership through high-quality cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),” Global Times reported, not implying U.S. participation. A White House readout July 18 said only that A high-level US delegation led by Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the international conference in Uzbekistan and discussed the evolving security situation in Afghanistan and the US support for the Afghan defense forces.”
            The impression is given by many media accounts (leaving aside those that forecast the Taliban overrunning Kabul this week) that China and Russia are working with the Taliban on new regional security concepts while the United States and India try to meddle. Russia at least is, according to an Asia Times report July 15, preparing to move at the UN for the Taliban to no longer be designated as supporting terrorism, if that movement maintains peaceful relations with the Central Asian Republics and does not support either al-Qaeda or the East Turkistan Independence Movement (ETIM, Uiygur separatist terrorists). The Taliban have proposed friendly relations with China.
            But the Afghan government has also made moves toward economic reconstruction potentials for the region, in anticipation of the NATO troops getting out. In February it agreed with Pakistan and Uzbekistan on a rail corridor from Peshawar, Pakistan to Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan to Tashkent, clearly linking to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and to the main Eurasian Land-Bridge rail corridor. It also discussed with Pakistan a highway in the same corridor but branching to Dushanbe, Tajikistan. And the Ghani government has started a 50 km gravel and asphalt road through the formidable Wakhan Corridor to the 5,000 meter-high Wakhjir Pass; it continued beyond it would be a rugged but short and direct route to China through Xinjiang Province.
            Afghan consultant to Ghani’s office Shokrullah Amiri, writing in Global Times July 18, says that the Afghan and Chinese governments have been consulting since May on the Wakhan  Corridor also becoming part of the Belt and Road Initiative (it was a part of the 12th Century Silk Road). This, said the Asia Times July 15 report, was why the Ghani government began on the road. Amiri has much more to say about the potential development of Afghan minerals and Afghan-China trade as a result.  For more details, go here.


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.”


Helga Zepp-LaRouche Briefs China Plus ‘World Today’ Program—‘The New Name for Peace Is Development’

July 13 (EIRNS)—Helga Zepp-LaRouche gave the following interview to China Plus radio’s World Today broadcast today. China Plus is the official English website of China Radio International. The interview is the second news story starting at 12:55 minutes

CRI: Welcome back. The United Nations Human Rights Council has passed China’s resolution on the contribution of development to the enjoyment of all human rights, at the 47th session, which emphasizes the right to development and that the aim of development is to improve the developing of the people. For more, we are now joined on the line by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder of the Schiller Institute, a Germany based economic and political think tank. Thanks for joining us Dr. LaRouche.

HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Yes, hello! How are you?

CRI: I’m good, thank you. So, the resolution stresses that development and the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. How do we understand those?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: First of all, let me express my congratulation. I think this is an excellent development, because hopefully this will inspire a very productive discussion everywhere around the world, what is the right definition of human rights. And I think the interdependence between development and human rights and freedom, you can see best if you look at the lack of development. Because then you have poverty, and you have still on the planet, 2 billion people who have no access to clean water, more than 800 million are and you have no freedom if you have all day to try to get a little bit of water and a little bit to eat, just to try to stay alive, so you have no freedom under these conditions. So therefore, I think development is very clearly the precondition for both human rights with freedom.

CRI: Yes, but that is very different from the Western explanation for human rights, which all starts with the ballot box and has everything to do with individual freedom. How did it get the different priorities when it comes to the human rights issue?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well first of all, I think one has to see that the label isn’t always consistent with the content. Many things which have the label “democracy” and “human rights” have quite some different content, and in the case of the Western parliamentarian system, or unfortunately even the presidential system in some countries, is more a plutocracy, where the money of the multinationals and the big banks determine who gets a seat. Also, I think if you look at the overemphasis of individual freedom it has degenerated into a notion, everything is allowed, and the common good is regarded as a suppression of these individual freedoms.

Now, if you have a crisis, like in the case of COVID-19, you can see what the consequences of this is. China and some other Asian nations took strict measures for the common good, and it worked well, and then also the individuals profited because they were rid of the pandemic earlier; while in the West you had a back and forth, people were even protesting against having to wear masks, regarding that as an intrusion in their personal freedom, and they had to pay a much, much bigger price.

CRI: Well, representatives from countries including Venezuela, Cuba, and Pakistan also made speeches to appreciate China for delivering those draft resolutions and stressed that development should be the focus of every country, especially developing countries. But why is the resolution getting support from these countries?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, it’s very simple: Because in the entire post-World War II period, the IMF conditionalities prevented real development in the developing sector. They were told, you have to pay your debt first before you can invest in infrastructure or health, and the result was a blatant underdevelopment and incredible poverty. So, China, even before the Belt and Road, invested in railways in Africa and other infrastructure, but especially with the Belt and Road Initiative and the COVID crisis, it became very clear that these countries regarded the help from China—which was denounced as “vaccine diplomacy” by some Western media—but these developing countries regarded the attitude of China as a life-saver for them. So, it’s no surprise that they would support it.

CRI: And I think you earlier mentioned about what should be the right definition of human rights. And another question is who gets to pick what the most basic human rights should be? And have you got a feeling that this has been heavily guided by a small number of mostly Western nations which has led to a general bias in favor of the civil, political liberties over economic, social, and cultural rights?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Yes. You can see that right now very clearly in the case of the so-called “identity policy.” For example, between the EU Commission and countries such as Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, there is a big tension right now, whereas in the East, they have rejected the effort by the EU Commission to impose the values of the Western liberal European countries.

So, I think what needs to be put up front again, is the Five Principles of peaceful coexistence and the idea of non-interference in the different social systems, because they are, due to customs, traditions, cultural heritage and these must be respected.

CRI: In 2019 a study by the Center for New American Security—that is a Washington-based think tank—says that China’s actions in the UN were part of this effort to redefine how such institutions are run and shift away from Western concepts of democracy and human rights. What is your thought on those?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, China has been the leading nation for centuries, and only in the 18th and 19th centuries, because of the colonialist attacks and Opium Wars by the British, you know, that that was diminished. But now, China is again the second largest economy in the world. The lifting of poverty of 850 million people represents a tremendous civilizational contribution, and therefore, I think, it is absolutely correct that China should have a major role in this discussion.

CRI: OK, but do you feel the widespread back and forth surrounding human rights issues around the world currently has been highly politicized? And sometimes it has even been used as a tool for political purposes and sometimes as an excuse to put pressure on other countries or even invade other countries?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Yes. These notions, human rights and democracy, have become like a two by four: You can smash any argument into the ground. So, I think this double standard needs to be corrected. Those people in the West who support sanctions under conditions of the COVID-19 crisis against such countries as Syria, Yemen, Iran, Venezuela—I think altogether 30 countries—I mean, this is a violation of human rights if you ever have seen one. Or, if you look at how Assange is treated, or what happened to Snowden, all these people just did the right thing, and they have been treated in an absolutely horrible way. So, this double standard should be stopped.

CRI: What are the consequences of such double standards or politicizing such human rights issues? Is it like shifting our focus away from the real human rights problems?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Yes, it poisons the atmosphere, and it degenerates the idea of human rights, which is actually a beautiful idea, and makes it a victim to geopolitical reasons.

Now, the Schiller Institute is upholding this concept of the “New Name for Peace Is Development.” This comes originally from Pope Paul VI in 1967 in his Encyclical Populorum Progressio, where he coined that idea that the “new name for peace is development.”

And this is very important right now, concretely in Afghanistan. Look, for example, NATO spent there 20 years for absolutely nothing, and now the question is what’s to come out of Afghanistan? Will you continue the geopolitical war? Or, will you have an agreement among all neighbors, like Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, and have real development? The real development would mean to extend the New Silk Road, the Belt and Road Initiative into Afghanistan, but also into Iraq, Syria, Yemen, the whole region. And then you can have peace. So this is not an abstract academic notion, this is an extremely actual issue, that the idea that real peace does require development, that that is a precondition without which nothing will function.

CRI: OK, thank you Dr. Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder of the Schiller Institute, a Germany-based political and economic think tank.


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