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Kasia McGee

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Seminar in Geneva: Stop Genocide in Yemen

March 15, 2018— During the present UN Human Rights Council Session in Geneva, Elke Fimmen of the Schiller Institute addressed a seminar on „Human Rights in Yemen: Sanctions“ on March 13th in Geneva. The seminar was sponsored by the Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV) and jointly organized with INSAN for Human Rights and Peace.

The 1.5 hrs seminar was chaired and moderated by Dr. Hassan Fartousi, researcher in international law at the Universiyt of Geneva. Speakers included human rights activists Mohammad Abo Taleb and Abdullah Alkebsi from INSAN, who showed the horrible effects of the illegal , Saudi-coalition imposed sanctions for the population, including the impossibility to seek medical care abroad, with the internal health system being destroyed. Andrew Feinstein, executive director of Corruption Watch UK, called for an end to the illegal arms supply by the UK (BAE etc.) and the USA.

Elke Fimmen, who was introduced as representing the LaRouche-Movement in Germany, spoke about the genocidal and illegal sanctions, imposed on top of the original UN Resolution #2216 of 2015 for weapons embargo against a few individuals, which has been used as a pretext for a full war of aggression and blockade of airports such as Sanaa and the important ports like Houdeidah, through which food, fuel, medical and others crucial items are imported, on which Yemen is fully dependent. The guarantee of full humanitarian assistance and safety of individuals as demanded in the original UN-resolution has been fully violated.

Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis have paid with their lives during the three year war of agression, led by Saudi-Arabia, the UK and USA and there will be complete catastrophe, if this is allowed to continue, as clearly stated in the January 2018 UN Humanitarian Response Plan on Yemen.

The report presents in shocking detail the deteriorating situation in all sectors, and concludes that the lack of basic goods, particular fuel by further blockade of commercial imports will result „in a crisis of dimensions that would be beyond the humanitarian community’s response capacity“, if the ports cannot be opened for all imports. So, nobody can claim, he or she „didn’t know“.

The sanctions, killing the Yemen population have become an integrated part of the military operations by the Saudi coalition and are used as warfare tactic with the use of hunger and epidemics. To deliberately destroy a people’s past, present and future, thus denying its existence in human history, fulfills the definition of genocide as the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Elke cited the November 2017 Schiller Institute Bad Soden resolution on Yemen, which had called for an immediate ceasefire, the lifting of the blockades, the return to the national reconciliation process and dialogue for a political solution (without interference by outside forces, but under the UN umbrella and with sponsorship of Russia, China and the United States as guarantors of its implementation); and most importantly, to assist Yemen in „a rapid and large scale reconstruction process focussed on infrastructure projects to regain the livelihood of the nation, and the integration of Yemen into the Belt and Road Initiative“ to create a future.

The seminar was attended by around 40 participants and was transmitted live TV-stream to Yemen.

The same morning, another seminar had adressed the situation of journalists in Yemen, and reported that another effect of the blockade is that any foreign journalists, who had been invited to come to Yemen , cannot travel there and report the truth of the ongoing genocide there. This Thursday, there will be another event on the Human Rights situation in Yemen, concluding three weeks of interventions in Geneva.

Now Amsterdam is Connected by Rail to China’s East Coast

Mar 8 – On March 7, a block train departed from the Port
of Amsterdam on its 11,000-kilometer journey to Yiwu on China’s
east coast. It will travel through through Germany, Poland,
Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan, and will reach its destination on
March 23, Rail Freight.com reported today. Thanks to this new
train connection, the Netherlands is now connected to the One
Belt, One Road project.

“We are proud to add Amsterdam to our Chinese railway
network, in addition to our existing connections between China,
Russia and Germany. Amsterdam is the largest European port after
Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg, which makes it an important hub.
The new connection will make it even easier for operators,
retailers and brand manufacturers in the Netherlands to do
business with and from China,” Erwin Cootjans, CEO of Nunner
Logistics told Rail Freight.com. The Belt and Road’s
international cross-border rail network has so far connected 35
Chinese cities with 34 European destinations over the past six
“The new train connection is an initiative of Nunner
Logistics. This logistics service provider noticed the increasing
demand for goods transportation from and to China. The need for
this new kind of transportation increases now that cargo ships
sail slower in order to save fuel. Transport by train is a faster
alternative compared to sea transportation, and the costs are
much lower compared to transport by airplane,” wrote Netherland’s
Hong Kong Business Association in its website.

Lake Chad Conference: Water Transfer Is Not an Option, It Is a Necessity

March 1  — The official outcome of the Feb. 26-28 International Conference on Lake Chad  in Abuja, Nigeria is an unequivocal statement of support for the Transaqua project, calling for the transfer of water from the Congo River basin to Lake Chad. It clearly states:

*There is no solution to the shrinking of Lake Chad that does not involve recharging the lake by transfer of water from outside the basin.

*That Inter-basin water transfer is not an option, but a necessity.

*The Transaqua Project, which would take water from the right tributary of River Congo, conveying the water 2,400 kilometers through a channel to Chari River, is the preferred feasible option.

Furthermore it was officially announced by Italian Ambassador to Nigeria Stefano Pontesilli, during the High-LevelSession of Presidents of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, that Italy will contribute EU1.5 million for the feasibility study of the Transaqua project, declaring that Italy was ready to partner with the proposed “Transaqua Project” to see the success of the water transfer. The feasibility study is planned to be carried out by the Italian engineering firm Bonifica and construction company PowerChina.

China’s Success Throws Free Market Ideologues Into Crisis

Feb. 13 — In the Jan. 29 issue of {Bloomberg Businessweek} magazine, an article titled “What if China Really Is Exempt from the Laws of Economics?” very aptly captures the consternation/ constipation imposed on the intellectually impoverished proponents of standard academic economics by the astounding development of China. Author Michael Schulman gets far more points for candor than he does for historic insight. He seems thoroughly oblivious to the simple fact that the U.S. industrial base was built entirely by economic dirigism, never mentioning Alexander Hamilton. He devotes zero attention to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

However, what he does say would be hilarious, if the consequences of his outlook were not so dire: “But recently, my faith in the corpus of collective wisdom has been shattered. By China.” He elaborates: “The more I apply my rules of economics to China, the more they seem to go awry. China should be mired in meager growth, even gripped by financial crisis, according to my maxims. But obviously, it’s not. In fact, much of what’s going on right now in that country runs counter to what we know–or think we know–about economics. Simply, if Beijing’s policymakers are right, then a lot of basic economic thinking is wrong—especially our certainty in the power of free markets, our ingrained bias against state intervention, and our ideas about fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Schulman bemoans the fact that the role of the CPC in the Chinese economy is more central than ever, but, even worse (for his ilk), that no disaster, but only sustained real growth has resulted from that top-down intervention. He inserts some politically correct caveats and qualifiers, to the effect that maybe some catastrophe is lurking off stage, but pretty much admits that he can’t discern it.

So, it’s therefore time to overhaul your failed axioms, right? Sorry, like Linus, Schulman isn’t ready to ditch the security blanket just yet: “I’m clinging to my maxims…but thanks to China, I’m prepared to edit them.”

A more open admission of intellectual bankruptcy would be hard to imagine.

The whole article:  www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-24/what-if-china-is-exempt-from-the-laws-of-economics


China’s Poverty Reduction Even More Impressive

Feb. 13 – Wan Guanghua, the principal economist at the Asian Development Bank’s Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, said that more impressive than China’s remarkable economic growth is its successful campaign in reducing poverty. “It is reasonable that China’s success in poverty reduction is usually attributed to its rapid economic development in the past three decades, as without economic growth, Chinese people’s poverty situation cannot be alleviated,” said Wan, reported {People’s Daily Online} yesterday.

Economic growth alone, however, is not the main cause of the poverty alleviation, Wan said, since many countries that have a high rate of growth do not necessarily see poverty significantly reduced. China’s poor people benefit a lot from the country’s economic growth due to strong support from the Chinese government, active promotion of industrialization and urbanization, as well as great importance attached to infrastructure establishment in poor areas, Wan said. They had set up the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation, encouraged rural workers to come to the cities to find better paying jobs, and built infrastructure in poor areas, such as roads, communication, and electricity facilities, thus narrowing the gap between rich and poor.

The economist stated that China’s practices and experiences in poverty alleviation can be studied by other countries in order to help them do the same. He further said that with development of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and China’s State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation, China will continue to pass on its valuable experience in poverty reduction to other countries, help other developing countries to strengthen their infrastructure, advance industrialization, and contribute more to the international cause of poverty alleviation.

Ukrainian Opposition Party Fights for Democracy

February 14, 2018—The open letter below was sent by the Central Committee of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine from its meeting on February 9, 2018, in advance of a court hearing scheduled for February 20. The context of the hearing, and this appeal, is the following:

On July 6, 2017 the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine (PSPU) went to court, seeking a judgment that the decisions of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine with respect to the PSPU are in violation of the law. The decisions in question are a refusal to make formal acknowledgment of the Charter, Program, and composition of the governing bodies of the party, adopted at its XXXI Extraordinary Congress (March 18, 2017). Prior to that decision, two earlier congresses of the PSPU (in 2015 and 2016) were likewise ignored by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine. As a consequence, full-fledged activity on the part of the PSPU has effectively been halted since 2015. Consideration of this matter by the court has been postponed twice. The next session in the District Administrative Court of the City of Kyiv is scheduled for February 20, 2018.


European Commission for Democracy

through Law (Venice Commission)


Defend democracy in Ukraine!

Defend the rights of an opposition party!


of the Central Committee

of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine

February 9, 2018

The Central Committee of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine appeals to you, the members of an authoritative international organization, which regulates and affirms the fundamental values of European democracy, and European values, to review and evaluate the actions of the Ukrainian authorities in regard to the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, a Ukrainian political party.

The Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine (PSPU) was established in 1996, and is one of the few Ukrainian parties to have won seats in Parliamentary elections. The PSPU twice nominated its leader, Natalia Vitrenko, as a candidate for President of Ukraine. The party also won seats in local elections and had its representatives in the self-government bodies of many regions of Ukraine.

Since its founding, the PSPU has acted in full compliance with the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, the norms and principles of international law, and in accordance with the PSPU Charter, voted up by a congress of the party. During the entire period in which the party has been active, government supervisory agencies have made no complaints against us, neither against the party’s activity under its charter, nor against the activity of its regional organizations. Throughout these years, our party’s activity has been monitored, as required by law, by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine and the Central Electoral Commission of Ukraine. The PSPU’s report-and-election campaigns, regular and extraordinary congresses, and procedure for the election of the party’s governing bodies have always been acknowledged as legitimate. The party’s candidates for deputies of the Supreme Rada of Ukraine, local self-government agencies, and the Presidency of Ukraine have always been acknowledged as legitimate and lawful, and have taken part in electoral campaigns, exercising their rights to run for office.

Unfortunately, at the present time the Ukrainian authorities, in the person of law enforcement agencies and the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, are conducting a policy of discrimination against our opposition party, which is unacceptable in a democratic society; it extends to informational and political harassment, and physical terror, directed against the party’s leaders and activists. The party’s activity has effectively been halted. It is kept out of the broadcast media, and its peaceful public actions are impeded by the dispatch of neo-Nazi bands against our supporters, with acts of physical violence against them as members of the PSPU.

We believe that a policy of discrimination, forbidden by both Ukrainian laws and the norms and principles of international law, is being conducted against our party. This discrimination hinders members of our party from exercising their political rights and freedoms in Ukraine, guaranteed under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (articles 10, 11, 14), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (articles 19, 22, 26), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights articles 19, 20), the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights (articles 12, 21), the 1990 Document of the Copenhagen Conference on the Human Dimension (point 7), the Guiding Principles for the Legal Regulation of the Activity of Political Parties, documents of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and documents of the OSCE/ODIHR and the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission).

We believe that the Ukrainian government is failing to fulfill its obligations to the citizens of Ukraine who have associated within the PSPU, with respect to the guarantees, under the Constitution and conventions, of freedom of association in a political party, the right to freedom of speech, and the right to participate in democratic elections. As a consequence of the actions of government agencies, the activity of the PSPU has now been effectively shut down for three years, and the rights of the party’s members are being grossly violated. This is confirmed by the following.

1. On Oct. 28, 2016, the central office of the PSPU and the editorial office of the party newspaper, Predrassvetnyye ogni, were illegally seized by force. For more than 10 years, both the PSPU and the editorial board of the newspaper had rented, on an entirely legal basis, non-residential premises from Siver Ukraina LLC, where their offices were located and they conducted their lawful political activity there. Without any court order or notification to the party or the newspaper’s editorial staff, after the forcible seizure of the offices the Security Service of Ukraine conducted a search of the premises, and confiscated archival material, computer equipment (including hard disks from desktop computers), party documents containing the personal data of PSPU activists, party letterheads, documents on financial operations and bookkeeping reports, party symbols, and the personal property of PSPU leaders Natalia Vitrenko and Vladimir Marchenko, including their personal libraries and laptops.

The illegal, forcible seizure of the premises and property of the party and the editorial offices of the newspaper Predrassvetnyye ogni led to the opening of criminal cases under articles 170 and 171 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (Impeding the Lawful Activity of Political Parties, Impeding the Lawful Professional Activity of Journalists). Investigations related to these cases have been ongoing for more than a year. Thus, the lawful renters and owners have not been permitted access to the party and editorial offices, or to their party and personal property.

2. The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine refuses to acknowledge or register the amendments to the Charter and Program of the PSPU and changes in the party’s governing bodies, adopted by legitimate and competent congresses of the party, which amendments and changes the party was required to make, in accordance with new versions of the Law of Ukraine “On Political Parties in Ukraine” and the Law of Ukraine “On the Condemnation of Communist and National-Socialist (Nazi) Totalitarian Regimes and Prohibition of Propaganda of Their Symbols.”

Three times, on September 8, 2015, June 25, 2016, and March 18, 2017, the PSPU, in complete accordance with the party’s Charter, held the XXIX Extraordinary Congress, the XXX Regular Report-and-Election Congress, and XXXI Extraordinary Congress of the party. Three times, we submitted a complete package of required documents from these congresses to the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, and three times the authorized officials of the Ministry, in violation of the aforementioned norms and principles of international law, refused to acknowledge and register the decisions adopted by the PSPU’s congresses.

They are thereby interfering in internal party relations, insofar as, by interpreting the norms of the party’s Charter as they wish, they are giving illegal, tendentious evaluations of the legitimacy of the party’s congresses, and are failing to carry out the responsibilities they bear by law, to conduct an expert legal evaluation of the PSPU documents, submitted for purposes of registration.

There have been no instructions on holding congresses or on correct implementation of the legislative norms. It has been impossible to obtain advice from Ministry of Justice of Ukraine staff, concerning their demands with respect to holding congresses and to what, in their view, is the correct application of the norms of the Charter. The PSPU leadership’s numerous requests for clarification of these demands have been met with only one answer from the Ministry: “Find a good lawyer and he’ll write everything for you.”

As a result of this attitude toward the PSPU on the part of the Ministry of Justice, the party has twice been unable to take part in elections to local self-government bodies. The ability of the PSPU to take part in the upcoming Parliamentary and Presidential elections is threatened.

3. Central TV channels have aired direct threats to the PSPU by leaders of government law enforcement agencies (head of the Security Service of Ukraine V. Hrytsak).

4. On March 17 and May 9, 2017, Nazi groups under control of Ukrainian law enforcement physically impeded demonstrations and beat up members of our party who were taking part in legal, peaceful PSPU actions. Criminal cases have not been opened on the basis of these blatant violations of the law, and the guilty parties have not been called to account.

5. Harassment and physical violence continues against the leaders of the PSPU—Doctor of Economics, Academician, People’s Deputy of Ukraine in the II and III convocations, candidate for the Presidency of Ukraine in 1999 and 2004 Natalia Vitrenko and People’s Deputy of Ukraine in the I, II and III convocations, leader of the PSPU caucus in the Supreme Rada of Ukraine, III convocation, Vladimir Marchenko.

On May 9, 2017, a group of neo-Nazis blockaded the apartments where N. Vitrenko and V. Marchenko live, smashed their doors, threatened physical assault, and defaced the hallways with offensive graffiti and threats. The police, although called repeatedly, took no action to protect the rights and freedoms of Ukrainian political and state figures N. Vitrenko and V. Marchenko. The police found no provocations in these acts by the Nazis. Court decisions requiring the authorized personnel of the National Police of Ukraine to open criminal cases on the basis of these facts have, in effect, not been implemented by the police. A proper investigation is not being done, and the guilty parties are not being called to account.

Thus the government encourages violence by neo-Nazis against its political opponents.

Analyzing what is happening in Ukraine with regard to our party and the above-described actions of law enforcement agencies and the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, we believe that they are carrying out a general plan of reprisals and political repression against their ideological and political opponents—members of the PSPU.

We ask you to analyze the facts outlined above and to evaluate them from the standpoint of European values and the norms and principles of international law.

Chairman of the PSPU Natalia Vitrenko

GBTimes Interviews Helga Zepp-LaRouche on China’s New Silk Road and Europe

Feb. 16 – GBTimes is a multimedia news site, based in Finland where it was founded by Chinese entrepreneur Zhao Yinong, and which refers to itself as a “bridge between China and the rest of the world.” It published the following interview with Helga Zepp-LaRouche on Feb. 16:

China’s ambitious plan to link itself with Europe and Africa through new Silk Road trade routes has so far received a mixed welcome in Europe. The Belt and Road initiative, the brainchild of Chinese President Xi Jinping, proposes to boost trade and economic integration across Eurasia through over $1 trillion worth of investments in railways, ports, power plants and other infrastructure links. The initiative has been officially endorsed by Central and Eastern European countries, many of which are hoping that Chinese investment could create jobs and improve infrastructure.

But Western European countries have been more cautious, with British Prime Minister Theresa May declining to sign up to the initiative during her recent trip to Beijing and French President Emmanuel Macron warning during his trip to China that the New Silk Road cannot be “one-way.” There are also concerns in Brussels about a lack of reciprocity in trade with China and increasing Chinese investment in critical infrastructure in Europe.

The German-based Schiller Institute, however, has for the past several years been campaigning for the Belt and Road initiative in Europe by organizing hundreds of conferences on the topic. Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the institute’s founder and president, talked to gbtimes.com about the initiative and why she believes Europe should embrace it.

Q: What is the Schiller Institute?

HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: The Schiller Institute was founded in 1984 as a think tank, with the main idea behind it being that peace and order in the world would only function if each nation would relate to the best cultural tradition of the others and vice versa. One of the focuses was to fight for a just new world economic order, something like in the tradition of the Nonaligned Movement, especially inspired by the ideas of my husband, Mr. Lyndon LaRouche, and secondly to fight for a renaissance of classical culture. I gave it the name of [German philosopher] Friedrich Schiller because his image of man was the most noble and beautiful one and I thought such a conception was urgently needed in the political realm.

Q: How did you first get to know China?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I went to China for the first time in 1971 on a cargo ship, which was repaired in Shanghai. So, I had plenty of occasions to visit many factories, children’s palaces, and the countryside. I also went to Shenzhen, Qingdao and Beijing, and that left a very lasting impression on me because this was in the middle of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) and China was very much different then. But it started a deep interest on my side in Chinese philosophy and culture. And then I was also inspired by the changes which took place in China after the reforms of Deng Xiaoping, and I visited China many times in the 1990s and the 2000s, and especially after Xi Jinping announced the new Silk Road. And I could see the dramatic changes and the economic miracle which China has undergone. I feel very privileged that I have sort of personally witnessed the unbelievable transformation of China over almost 50 years.

Q: You mentioned President Xi Jinping who proposed the Belt and Road initiative in 2013. The Schiller Institute has been very supportive of this initiative. Why is this?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: First, the Belt and Road initiative is presently the most important strategic initiative on the planet because it proposes what Xi Jinping calls a community for shared future of humanity. The idea of one humanity is a perfect conception for overcoming geopolitics, which was the reason for two world wars and, in the age of nuclear weapons, can lead to a terrible catastrophe just as big. If you look at the incredible progress this initiative has made in the five years since it was announced, you already see a tremendous transformation where the developing countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia, for the first time, have legitimate hope to overcome poverty and under-development. It just happens that the Belt and Road initiative is very much in accordance with proposals my husband and myself have made during the last decades. After the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991 we proposed something that we called the Eurasian land bridge, which was the idea to connect the Eurasian peoples and industries through development corridors. The Chinese government picked up on the proposal to organize an international conference in Beijing in 1996, in which I participated as speaker. Already at that point China considered the development of the Eurasian land bridge a strategic initiative, but this was put on hold due to the Asian financial crisis of 1997. We were then extremely happy when Xi Jinping announced this policy in 2013 — with China’s economic power all these plans can now be realized. Why do you think the Chinese are interested in this idea of bridging the Eurasian continent? China has developed its own economic model of lifting its population out of poverty and it also wants to contribute to eliminating poverty on the world scale. I think that is a very different approach to many other countries. There are now only 30 million poor people left in China. In comparison, there are 90 million poor people in the European Union and more than 50 million people who are officially poor in the United States, but no clear plans to eliminate poverty in totality. So, you are saying China is currently the only major country that has a global vision? Yes. I participated in the Belt and Road forum in Beijing last year and everyone who participated in this conference had a distinct impression that we were witnessing the beginning of a new era of mankind. At the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi promoted the goal of having a fully developed, modern, culturally advanced, happy country by 2050 — not only happiness for the Chinese people, but for all the people in the world. Normally politicians in the West think at best until the next election, and I have not heard from any Western leader a plan on how to uplift the entire human species in the next 30, 40, 50 years. The idea to create happiness for the people as a policy goal was last heard during the American revolution when it was set in the American Declaration of Independence that it is a fundamental right to have life, freedom and happiness. This is a notion coming from Latin [sic — she said Leibniz] and it means the ability of people to develop their full potential. I have seen in China on many occasions that people really think that way. They have the idea that there is no limit to their ability to self-perfect to improve society and relations between nations, and it’s a completely different spirit to what you find anywhere in the West.
Q: All Central and Eastern European countries have officially joined the Belt and Road Initiative, but many Western countries including the U.K., France and Germany have been more cautious about it. Why do you think this is the case? ZEPP-LAROUCHE: When certain politicians in these countries say they want to insist on standards and rules, and that they don’t want the spreading of Chinese investment in Europe, I think it’s a question of geopolitical control. The EU for example could have developed Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, but they didn’t. When China then comes and starts to build the kind of infrastructure that the EU did not build, these countries are happy and want to go with the new Silk Road. And that causes some people who believe in geopolitics to see it as a threat. The present Western system is based not on the common good as a primary orientation, but on monetarist profit-making. This system benefits those who speculate and those who run the banking system. But it leads to such things like the 2008 financial crisis, which was a systemic crisis, and nothing has been done since other than quantitative easing and pumping money.

Q: But do you think China itself has overcome geopolitics?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I know that that is not the view of many politicians in the West, but I think assumptions about China are just people’s projections of what they themselves think. I am not a naive person — I have studied this in depth and looked at it closely — and I do think that China does not plan to dominate the world with its system. The Chinese model is more attractive, and many countries want to repeat what it has been doing, but I don’t think China wants to impose its values. My explanation for this is China’s Confucian tradition. For example, Christians are supposed to win other people over to Christianity, but Confucianism does not do that. Confucianism is perfectly happy to live in coexistence. And if you look at the entire history of China, you never had religious war. You had Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and Christianity all living in a perfect ecumenical harmony. So, I think in Chinese history, you don’t find anything which would give credibility to the claim that China is not doing what they say. I think they are doing exactly what they say they are doing and they mean it.

Q: What would it mean for Western European countries to join the Belt and Road Initiative?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: It would mean that there would be a shift towards the real economy. Right now, you have this money-makes-money philosophy, but if you look at even an advanced country like Germany, there’s a tremendous backlog in infrastructure. There are warnings by some of the logistic organizations that Germany is about to lose its standard as a location for industrial development because of the collapse of the infrastructure. So, if European countries would join the new Silk Road it would mean that they could basically renew their infrastructure like China has done, and to build fast trains among all major cities. With the policy of the Troika [European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund], the industries and the economies of the Southern European countries were destroyed. Now you see that with the advantages that come from Chinese investment in the Piraeus port and other projects in Greece, it’s going upwards. And with the EU, it went downwards. The same is true for Italy, Spain and Portugal. Europe could also participate with China in the reconstruction of Southwest Asia, of Syria, of Iraq, because you must bring economic development to these countries if terrorism is supposed to be eliminated. You have to give young people a future which they don’t have right now. It would mean you could solve the refugee problem in a human way.

Q: But do you think that some Europeans might be cautious about the growing Chinese influence because they think they might have to someday accept the same kind of restrictions on freedoms that China has at home?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Yes, but if people are worried that they may lose some of their hedonistic impulses — well, that might not be altogether such a bad thing. Because what we are seeing right now is a decadent society with all the violence, pornography and drug addiction. You have an opium epidemic in the United States, which is contributing to the fact that life expectancy is going down for the first time. If there is any parameter for the functioning of an economy, it is the life expectancy. If an economy is doing well, it’s increasing and obviously it’s an indicator that there is something fundamentally wrong if it’s going down because of suicide, alcoholism and drug addiction. On the other hand, there was just a poll made in Germany among 42 firms which were taken over by Chinese investors. In all cases, the management and the employees said that it was a positive thing that the Chinese took over, instead of speculators or hedge funds. I think some of these changes that come with more Chinese investment and influence would be beneficial. I would even go so far to agree with Leibniz, who said already in the 17th century that because of the superior morality of the Chinese, one should import Chinese missionaries to teach morality to the Europeans.

Q: So, you are optimistic that the acceptance of the Belt and Road initiative is growing in Europe eventually?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: We have found that all people who do business in China or who have travelled to China or who are married with a Chinese person, are all positive, and they know that what China is doing is a historic transformation of humanity. The Belt and Road initiative is not just about economics; it’s not just about infrastructure from A to B, but it is really a new paradigm. And what I mean by new paradigm is a new way of understanding what is the role of humanity. We are the only creative species who can invent new technologies and sciences and change the mode of our existence. It’s not the nature of man to be greedy, to chase for stock market gains and try to exploit and dominate others. It’s the nature of man to develop our own potential to the fullest so that we can contribute to the development of the human species. And the new paradigm will be that more and more people, as time goes by, will be able to realize their true potential as human beings.


China Is Preparing for Manned Missions to the Moon

Jan. 27 -In 1971, the Apollo 15 crew left a retro-reflector on the Moon. It is a passive instrument, and just reflects laser pulses from Earth back to Earth. The time–very precisely measured–of he return pulse, indicates the distance between Earth and its nearest neighbor. In all, three reflectors were left on the lunar surface during the Apollo missions, and one by the Soviet Lunokhod 2 over. They are still used by scientists for research in astrodynamics, Earth-Moon system dynamics (the Moon is slowly moving away from the Earth), and lunar physics. The technique is called Lunar aser Ranging (LLR), and now Chinese scientists are using the Apollo 15 reflector for LLR experiments, in preparation for their future missions to land astronauts on the Moon.

On Jan. 22, Xinhua reported yesterday, an applied astronomy group at the Yunnan Observatories in Kunming carried out China’s first Lunar Laser Ranging experiment, to obtain precise measurments of he distance between the Earth and the Moon.

While it was an interesting scientific experiment, the technique also has important practical applications. Landing an unmanned vehicle on the Moon requires using detailed orbital photographs to define a safe and interesting general landing region, where the engineers aim the lander. For a robotic spacecraft, the landing ellipse can be a relatively wide area to aim for. But or a manned mission, a more precise targetting is preferable. China can now use the laser ranging technique for its manned lunar program.

Until now, only the U.S., France, and Italy have successfully deployed laser ranging technology. It is reported that on a future mission, China will place its own retro-reflector on the Moon.

Chinese scientists are also studying the human factor itself, and technology to support crew on the Moon. Chinese student volunteers have just completed 200 days in Beihang University’s “Lunar Palace.” The two men and two women are biomedicine students and are the second group to work in the simulated space lab. A main capability needed to live off Earth is regenerative life-support ystems, where waste is recycled, and in the advanced phase, virtaully no materials have to be suppplied from the outside. The “mission” also entailed study of the social interactions and sychological condtion of the crew.

Chief designer Liu Hong said that her team would apply to have a mini-life support system on a lunar or Martian probe, with another system as a ground control. NASA and its partners have used the International Space Station to test closed-cycle life support systems, and the station itself recycles various waste products to reduce the amount of material that has to be delivered from the ground.

Major Breakthrough in China-Japan-South Korea Relations

Jan. 28 -The two-day visit to Beijing by Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono has brought several major developments to the urgent task of uniting the three Asian powers around the concept of peace through development.

At the end of the visit Sunday evening, China and Japan jointly announced that the annual summits among the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean leaders would be revived “as soon as possible,” after having been cancelled since 2015, supposedly over terrritorial issues in the East China Sea. Premier Li Keqiang will represent China at the summit.

In addition, Norio Maruyama, a spokesman for the Japanese delegation, said the summit could set the stage for reciprocal visits by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping — a trip neither leader has made since coming to power in 2012, as Bloomberg pointed out. “What we are envisaging is a visit to China by Prime Minister Abe and after that a visit to Japan by President Xi Jinping,” Maruyama said.

Kono met with Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Premier Li Keqiang, and State Councillor Yang Jiechi. Xinhua reports that the talks were frank, with Li stating that Japan needed to “properly handle sensitive issues related to history and differences between the two sides,” while Wang Yi said: “At present, China-Japan relations are at a crucial stage. There is positive progress, but many disturbances and obstacles remain.”

Kono’s visit came on the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship.

China’s strained relations with South Korea were lessened with China’s agreement to allow their opposition to the THAAD missile issue to be put aside in order to work together on other issues. The Japan-China relationship has been greatly improved by Prime Minister Abe’s announcement last year that Japan will co-finance projects with China in the Belt and Road Initiative.

“Kono said the government was ready to cement political trust and concrete cooperation with China, enhance high-level exchanges and contacts among various levels to promote the full improvement of ties.” Most importantly, the press release by Kono and Wang Yi addressed the East China Sea dispute:  “China and Japan should work together to build the East China Sea into the sea of peace, cooperation and friendship.”

Equally important, in light of the militarist statements coming from the U.S. institutions calling Russia and China “adversaries” and “threats,” Wang Yi asked both sides to build political trust, and urged Japan to treat China as a “partner” instead of “rival,” and view China’s development as an “opportunity rather than a threat.”

Japan Will Pursue Peace with Russia, Belt and Road with China

Jan. 22, 2018 — Speaking at the opening session of the Diet, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his government will pursue a peace treaty with Russia, and will improve relations with China through cooperation on building infrastructure in the context of the Belt and Road policy.

On relations with Russia, Abe said, according to TASS: “Relations with Russia hold the greatest number of possibilities among our country’s relations with other nations. For example, last September former residents of Kunashir and Iturup islands were able for the first time to visit their ancestors’ graves there, using an airliner for that purpose. Our country will deepen its ties with Russia, promoting the joint economic activities on the four northern islands and the eight-point economic cooperation plan. We will consistently, one by one, implement the agreements reached with Russia. The territorial issue will be resolved and the Japanese-Russian peace treaty will be signed on that basis. Based on relations of deep trust with President [Vladimir] Putin, we will build [a] cooperation relationship on various international issues, including the North Korean problem,” Abe stressed.

Abe reiterated Japan’s readiness to push ahead with his “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy,” which pursues stability and prosperity on the basis of an international, rules-based order in the region, according to {Nikkei Asian Review}. While this policy was originally seen as aimed at China’s maritime assertiveness, Abe said Japan will cooperate with Beijing in building infrastructure in Asia, in the context of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative.

The Japanese Prime Minister described the two countries as “inseparable,” and said Japan “will seek to meet the expectations of the international community by developing friendly relations [with China] in a stable manner.”

Finally, regarding the United States, Abe said he has forged a relationship of personal trust with President Donald Trump over the past year. Abe declared that the Japan-U.S. alliance has been, and will be, the linchpin of Japan’s diplomacy and security.

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