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Putin Will Join the Two Koreas in Big Projects

TASS reports today that South Korean President Moon Jae-in telephoned Russian President Vladimir Putin and the latter welcomed the results of the inter-Korean summit.

“While exchanging their opinions, the two sides positively assessed the agreements reached at that meeting. Special attention was paid to the intention to secure the non-nuclear status of the Korean Peninsula enshrined in the Panmunjom Declaration through its total denuclearization. It was affirmed that coordinated measures to develop inter-Korean cooperation will also contribute to the region’s advancement towards peace and stability,” the Kremlin specified.

Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed Russia’s intention to further contribute to the development of cooperation between North and South Korea. “Russia’s intention to further contribute to the development of practical cooperation between the Republic of Korea and the D.P.R.K., in particular through the implementation of large trilateral infrastructural and energy projects, was confirmed. Vladimir Putin highlighted the importance of continuing efforts by all parties concerned for a politico-diplomatic solution of the Korean Peninsula problems, including with regard to milestones contained in the Russia-China roadmap,” the Kremlin press service said.

The South Korean news agency Yonhap reported today that the South Korean Transportation Ministry is reviewing a set of measures to prepare a potantially full-fledged implementation of criss-border economic projects. Officials said that inter-Korean cooperation can be discussed, as the two Koreas are expected to hold working-level talks to execute the railway construction projects to connect them.


Xi and Modi Agree to Joint Economic Project in Afghanistan, and Other Actions

While the two-day “Informal Summit” of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping did not issue formal, official dispatches, results have been made known, which include commitments of major importance. {The Hindu} reported these today in a summary way.

The two nations will undertake a joint economic project in Afghanistan, the first ever such collaboration.

There will be stepped up military-to-military collaboration between the two nations.

The “Closer Development Partnership” between China and India will be strengthened, involving economic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges.

In economic relations, there will be a push in bilateral trade and investment, for more balance between the nations, by taking advantage of economic complimentarities.

Each nation will appoint a Special Representative to play a role in these functions.

There will be stepped up cooperation against terrorism.

Both leaders concurred on the value of the “Informal Summit” format and will continue to hold more such dialogues. Modi has invited Xi to India for a similar occasion in 2019


Modi and Xi in Wuhan — The Launching of an Asia Century

April 27, 2018 -On the same day as the historic Summit between North and South Korea’s leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping met today in Wuhan for an “informal meeting,” which, although there will be no communique or press conference, could presage the launching of an “Asian Century,” and a new paradign for mankind. The tension between China and India, over the military confrontation on the border in Doklam and over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (which passes through an area contested between Pakistan and India) has held Modi back from participating in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Reports that Modi might have campaigned in the next election on an anti-CHina platform (which was certainly being encouraged by the Brits and the neocons) is now a thing of the past. The visit to China was not long planned, but a recent decision to change the course of relations to the better.
Modi tweeted before arriving today: “President Xi and I will exchange views on a range of issues of bilateral and global importnace. We will discuss our respective visions and priorities for national development, particularly in the context of current and future internation situation.” They will have two long discussions, and four other events.
       Among the events was was a visit today to the famous museum of artifacts discovered only in 1978 in the tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng, burid in 433 BC, which included the incredible Bianzhong
Bells — a set of 65 bronze bells which produced a twelve tone scale tuned to C=256, with 2800 characters inscribed on the bells — a “music manual” form the 5th Century BC. Both Xi and Modi
played the bells.
Modi noted that as Chief Minister of Gujarat, he had been so impressed by the construction of the Three Gorges Dam that he had visited Wuhan and spent a day at the dam. “The speed with which you constructed it and the scale inspired me,” he said. He said that “India and China acted as engines for global economic growth for 1600 years out of the past 2000 years,” clearly intending that this relationship should continue and expand.
Xi said that he had accepted an invitation to hold another such informal meeting in India next year.
A China Daily article today noted that Deng Xiaoping told Rajiv Ghandi when he visited China in 1998 that, if there were to be an Asian Century, it would require close and sustained cooperation between China and Russia. It appears that time is finally at hand.

Webcast: The British Empire is Now Fully Exposed!


Possible Reestablishment of Vatican-China Relations

Vatican Bishops’ Praise of China Foreshadows Possible Reestablishment of Vatican-China Relations

Feb. 9, 2018 –The statements by Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, the chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, who, speaking to {Vatican Insider} after a visit to China, characterized the country as extraordinary, raised some hackles from anti-China circles in the Catholic Church. “You do not have shantytowns, you do not have drugs, young people do not take drugs,” Sanchez Sorondo had said after visiting China. “Instead there is a positive national consciousness.” “Right now, those who are best implementing the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese,” he said.

While he praised China for upholding the Paris climate agreements, he also obviously, during the course of his visit to China, received more of an insight into what China is doing to advance the lives of their people. Sanchez Sorondo’s visit to China was part of an ongoing round of diplomacy between the Vatican and China, which is aimed at resolving the key issue of the appointment of Catholic bishops, a major point of dispute between the Vatican and China. Sanchez Sorondo’s statements has been heavily criticized by some conservative Catholic circles, including Hong Kong’s retired cardinal, Joseph Zen. But it is strongly supported by Pope Francis, who would like the Vatican to assume full legal responsibility for China’s estimated 13 million Catholics. Zen has also said that if the Pope comes to some arrangement with the Chinese government, he will also fall in step with the arrangement.

The diplomatic activity of Pope Francis has been receiving regular coverage in the Chinese press, including the more conservative {Global Times}, to whom Archbishop Sanchez Sorondo had also spoken. Just recently Pope Francis made the unusual decision to retire two bishops in China who had not previously received the approval of the Chinese government, which has also raised an outcry by church conservatives, covered extensively in Breitbart News. The Breitbart coverage was attacked today in a {Global Times} editorial by Ai Jun, who called Sanchez Sorondo’s statements “the perspective of an authoritative religious figure” which were helpful “in contradicting misunderstandings of China.” “The overwhelming majority of Catholics in China have full access to freedom of religion while abiding by Catholic doctrine and China’s rule of law,” Ai Jun writes. “Chinese Catholics are no different from Catholics in other countries simply because they live in a socialist nation, which reflects the fact that the Chinese government respects their religious freedom and provides them with enough room for religious activities.” Most of the Catholic bishops now in China have been accepted by the Chinese government and the Vatican, but there are still many exceptions in the “underground church”.

Negotiations are ongoing as to the procedure of the appointment of bishops. But a resolution of the issue could lead to the re-establishment of relations between Beijing and Rome which have been broken for the last 70 years.


Egypt: Fresh Vegetables Grown in the Desert

Chinese company, Sinomach Heavy Industry Corp., is building what is described as the world’s largest greenhouse complex in the Egyptian desert. The site is within two hour’s drive from Cairo, CGTN reported yesterday. The complex, which when complete will consist of about 3,000 greenhouses, will grow vegetables and fruit, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, and peppers. This was decided in consultation with Egyptian agricultural experts, Hou Huicong, the deputy project manager explained. The water for the crops will come from a sub-branch of the Nile River, and ditches will be built to divert water to the greenhouses.

Components for the greenhouses have been produced in 80 factories in China that have been working on the project since July. On this ambitious schedule, operation of the greenhouses is expected this year. This accelerated timetable can be met, said Sun Guiding, purchase manager for the project, because, “We mobilized almost all resources producing agricultural appliances in China. Many are working around the clock.”

The $400 million project is the product of an agreement signed with the Egyptian government last May.

 


Pakistan PM Abbasi — BRI More Than Infrastructure

Pakistani Prime Minster Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, speaking at the Davos World Economic Forum (WEF) Wednesday, praised the quality and scope of the BRI.

“We strongly recognize the vision of China and President Xi Jinping…. We believe the Belt and Road Initiative is perfectly in sync with the WEF theme of creating `shared future in a fractured world.’ It is much more than just a partnership on infrastructure and it will cause significant improvement in lives of people from different countries.” He said half of humanity lives in the region of the Silk Road. He said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has started to show results in Pakistan with a major increase in manufacturing and exports. “The key principles are financial stability and lessening of environmental impact and Pakistan being a more responsible global citizen,”


Wang Yi to China-Celac Summit: BRI Cooperation is the “Golden Key that Unlocks a Brighter Future for Both Sides

Jan. 25 -In his opening speech to the Second Ministerial Summit of the China-Celac Forum, held in Santiago, Chile on Jan. 22, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi laid out an exciting perspective for the future of relations between these two regions of the world: China and the Latin American and Caribbean nations (LAC), the latter grouped in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac).

Posted today to the Chinese Foreign Ministry website, the speech, entitled “Join Hands Across the Ocean in a New Era,” describes, among other things, the essential points of the final 2019-2021 Action Plan, whose text is not yet available. He emphasizes that “China stands ready to share in the development dividends with all other countries and achieve common prosperity together with fellow developing countries… The consensus we will reach on Belt and road cooperation at this meeting will be reflected in a special declaration…. As we see it, China and LAC countries are well placed to take full advantage of the BRI.”

The mission of China’s diplomacy, he said, “is to work with all other countries to forge a new form of international relations, featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation… The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China is aimed at providing the world with public goods… {Geopolitical contest or zero-sum game is neither our purpose nor our practice.} We invite all countries, big and small, to discuss the BRI as equals…” [emphasis added]

Wang outlined five key areas that will be the basis of cooperation between China and the LAC countries, emphasizing that Belt and Road cooperation “will be a `golden key’  that unlocks a brighter future for both sides… I think it would be appropriate to compare China-LAC cooperation to a fruit tree. If we can nourish it with Belt and Road cooperation, it will be more exuberant and bear more fruit, both bilaterally and collectively…” The five areas include:

1) building a transportation network connecting lands and oceans, emphasizing China’s support “in building the bioceanic railway and bioceanic tunnels, and open more sea routes and direct air links… China also stands ready to conclude Belt and Road agreements with more LAC countries, and launch more Belt and Road projects with a view to reaping an `early harvest;’

2) fostering a large market that is open and beneficial to both sides;

3) developing competitive and sovereign home-grown industries, based on the most advanced technologies. “China has the equipment, technology, funding and training opportunities you need. Our two sides may speed up industrial cooperation, work to build logistics…  broaden financing channels… and explore establishment of a consortium of development financial institutions, and build more industrial parks and special economic zones;”

4) “seize the opportunity of innovation-driven growth. Enhance coordination between the Belt and road Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation Action Plan and development strategies of LAC countries, and build a China-LAC online Silk Road and a digital Silk Road. Both sides “may advance cooperation in the emerging areas such as aerospace and aviation… China is ready to help train more researchers from LAC countries through the China-LAC Science and Technology Partnership and the China-LAC Young Scientists Exchange Program.”

5) Extensive exchanges, especially in cultural and people-to-people areas. “China is ready to share more governance experience with LAC countries, enhance… exchanges between our political parties” and other national organizations of media, youth, etc. as well as establish more culture centers in each other’s countries and more Confucius Institutes in LAC countries “to deepen mutual understanding and friendship.”

Wang concluded: “As a Chinese poem reads, `True friends value their promises to each other and will travel a thousand miles to be together.’ Let us make this meeting a new starting point in our relations, seize the opportunity offered by the Belt and Road Initiative, and join hands across the ocean to open a splendid new era of China-LAC relations.”


The U.S. Must Join China’s Belt and Road In Developing The Caribbean and Central America

 

Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche made the following comments on Jan. 16, 2018.

Concerning the controversies around what President Trump did or did not say, we absolutely have to remain on the high ground, which means emphasizing Lyndon LaRouche’s “Four Laws” and that the United States must join the New Silk Road. 

Now, what that actually means is that it should be obvious to anybody that you cannot solve the problem of immigrants in the United States, or the drug epidemic, without bringing development to the Central American and Caribbean countries in particular. There are many places which are not “shitholes,” but they are hellholes.  For example, according to the FAO the level of chronic undernourishment, ie hunger, in Sub-Saharan Africa is 22.7% of the total population, which is the worst in the world. The second worst region is the Caribbean, where it averages 17.7%. But in Haiti}, an absolutely unbelievable 47% of people have permanent hunger, and 80% are living in poverty. And the whole Caribbean is very far from being a luxury cruise paradise: for the people living there, it’s a complete hellhole, as is most of Central America. [See Figures 1 and 2, which compare select physical-economic parameters of Haiti and El Salvador with Spain.]

Figure 2

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 2

The only way you can address that is, obviously, what China is already actively doing with their Belt and Road Initiative, for example in Panama, where they are now building a high-speed railroad from Panama City to the border with Costa Rica.  And China is also the only country which is seriously helping Haiti, announcing a $5 billion plan to rebuild Port au Prince, the capital of Haiti.

So this requires the whole Belt and Road Initiative, not just one project or two. China has proposed on the highest level for Spain and Portugal to be bridges for the Belt and Road to Ibero-America and the Caribbean, and both Iberian governments have already agreed that they do not just want to be the western end of the New Silk Road, but they want to actively be the bridge to the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking nations in Ibero-America and also in Africa.

We are working right now on writing up this whole question of extending the New Silk Road into all the Americas, as part of our updated global study on “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge:” to build a high-speed railroad from the southern tip of Ibero-America, Chile and Argentina, all the way through the Darién Gap and the Bering Strait, connecting with the Eurasian infrastructure program (see Figure 3).

Figure 3

Figure 3

Now, one of the big problems there, is a geopolitical leftover that a number of Central American and Caribbean countries still have diplomatic ties with Taiwan and not with the People’s Republic of China. Panama recently switched that and agreed to support the One China policy, and obviously this is a big concern for the Chinese, who are constantly confronted with efforts to not recognize the One China policy. As a matter of fact, they recently complained that Marriott Hotel and other firms are talking about Macau and Hong Kong and Tibet as “other countries,” as if they would not belong to China.  So this is a question of accepting the sovereignty of China, which obviously has a lot to do with how they respond.

The situation is economically so severe that you cannot just try to build up from below, but you have to leapfrog and get the productivity level of this whole region up by orders of magnitude. There are obvious angles. For example, you have in French Guiana, which is actually not a sovereign country but a colonialist department of France to the present day, the European Space Agency’s launch site in Kourou, which is very close to the Equator. But then you also have the Brazilian Space Agency’s launch site, in a place called Alcantara, which is even closer to the Equator. These situations are not without problems, but they already represent a very important scientific capacity, and that could be made into a regional project, a science-driver for the entire Caribbean Basin region (see Fig. 4).

Figure 4

Figure 4

Then you have the expanded Panama Canal, the planned Nicaragua Canal, and, as Lyndon LaRouche has often stressed, if you build all of these canals, including the Kra Canal in Thailand, you are really talking about a single world ocean, which would eliminate many of the geopolitical chokepoints of the British.

So we have to really push this, that the United States must join the New Silk Road. This would include building major projects in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, including in Ponce on the southern coast of Puerto Rico, which could become a major port and shipping point for the Maritime Silk Road. Building a deep-water port there would open the whole transport corridors into the Gulf and East coasts of the United States. Connected with that, the Maritime Silk Road would do something similar in Mariel, Cuba, where there is also the plan to build a deep-water port. And since this is very close to the United States, it should all really be integrated into one big project.


One-Third of Global GDP Growth Past Year Occurred in China, According to UN Report

The Chinese economy alone contributed about one-third of global growth in 2017, as measured in GDP monetary terms, according to the “World Economic Situation and Prospects 2018” released last month by the United Nations.

The UN report points to the transformation which the Chinese economy has undergone, from the former global leader in cheap mass-producted exports, to an increasing producer and exporter of
high-value goods:

The first half of 2017 witnessed a surge of 93.4% in exports of drones, for example. There was a rise of 32.5% in automobile exports, and a considerable increase in the export of other high value-added products such as mechanical and electronic equipment for manufacturing. By providing medium and high-end products of high quality at reasonable prices, China is delivering larger dividends to the world. In recent years, many foreign media have paid attention to China’s advances in science and technology. World-leading technologies, including the mobile internet, artificial intelligence and Big Data, are serving not only as new drivers of China’s growth, but also contributing to global scientific and technological progress. Meanwhile, China’s telecommunications, computer and information services are being exported, creating new miracles of economic development in other developing economies including those of Africa.

On the other hand, China’s vast market and economic vitality have created huge demand for the goods of other countries—which is important, the UN report states, because world economic growth remains “sluggish” (sic) and de-globalization keeps growing. The Belt and Road Initiative and other public goods, offered by China to the world, have greatly promoted international trade and investment and, at the same time, provided new guidance for economic globalization, the said United Nations report documents. In 2017, China announced an additional 100 billion yuan investment in the Silk Road Fund, and, in the first 11 months of the year, China invested more than $12 billion in countries along the Belt and Road, making an important contribution to world economic development.

The Central Economic Work Conference recently held in Beijing stressed high-quality development, sending a clear message that China continues to be a main driver powering world economic growth and stabilizing world economic development, sharing the dividends of China’s economic development with the rest of the world.


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