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Helga Zepp-LaRouche

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Shanghai Daily Interviews Helga Zepp-LaRouche

EDITOR’S Note: Helga Zepp-LaRouche visited Shanghai for the first time in the summer of 1971. In 1977 she married American economist Lyndon LaRouche, and the couple have since worked together on development plans for a just new world economic order. Zepp-LaRouche founded the Schiller Institute in 1984, a think tank devoted to the realization of these plans and a renaissance and a dialogue of classical cultures. In 1991 she was a coauthor of a study The Eurasian Land-Bridge/ The New Silk Road and in 2014 of the study The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge, which has been translated into Chinese, Arabic, German and Korean. She is an expert in European humanist philosophy and poetry, Confucius, and history. After attending the recent Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, she visited Shanghai, where Shanghai Daily reporter Wan Lixin interviewed her.


Q: In what way do you think the Belt and Road initiative is significant for the world and China?

A: I think the Belt and Road initiative signifies a revolutionary move to a new epoch of civilization. The idea of having a win-win cooperation among nations is the first time that a concrete concept has been offered to overcome geopolitics. Since geopolitics was the cause of the two world wars, I think it is a completely new paradigm of thinking where an idea proposed by one country has the national interest basically in coherence with the interests of humanity as a whole. This has never happened. This has instilled tremendous hope among developing nations that they have the chance to overcome poverty and underdevelopment. And I think this is an initiative that will grow until all the continents are connected through infrastructure and development.

Q: What do you think are challenges confronting the world today?

A: I think the biggest challenge is that the trans-Atlantic financial system is in jeopardy, because the G7 countries did nothing after the financial crisis of 2008 to remedy the root causes of this crisis. The danger today is that we are going to have another financial crisis much worse than that of 2008. In this light I think the financial system associated with the Belt and Road Initiative, like the AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) and similar institutions, which are focused on investment in the real economy, are an anchor. Hopefully the Western nations will rethink their orientation of high risk speculation and eventually go back to the banking system represented by AIIB. U.S. President Trump announced that he will go back to the American economic system of Alexander Hamilton, and that’s potentially the kind of reform that makes the United States fit to cooperate in this new financial system. The second challenge is naturally terrorism. This requires international cooperation, and there I think the Belt and Road could offer a lasting solution by extending the initiative to Southwest Asia, and build up the economy in that part of the world that had been destroyed by wars which were based on lies. Why did you have to solve the problem of terrorism militarily first? You have to have an economic perspective so that people in the regions have hope for the future. So I think ending terrorism would require the Belt and Road Initiative and the reconstruction of the Southwest Asia and Africa.

Q: There has been evolving perception about globalization. How do you think the Belt and Road Initiative is reshaping this perception?

A: The old globalization really went entirely in one direction. First of all it made the deregulation of the markets and high risk speculation easy. And this increased the gap between the rich and the poor in an intolerable way in many countries. This mode of globalization is being rejected, as you can see by the Brexit and the rise of many right-wing movements in Europe. So this model has clearly failed. I think the new Silk Road, the win-win cooperation as proposed by China, has developed in incredible speed in the less than four years since President Xi proposed it. This new model of globalization is based on the common good of all participating countries. This is the more attractive form of globalization and this is why so many countries have joined it.

Q: What do you think are some of the factors that need to be considered when it comes to implementing the Belt and Road initiative across different cultures?

A: The Schiller Institute has organized hundreds of seminars and conferences on the New Silk Road for 26 years. We have always made the point that for this New Silk Road to succeed in the tradition of the old Silk Road, which was also an exchange of ideas and cultures, not just products and technology, you have to combine economic cooperation with dialogue between cultures. This dialogue must be on the highest level, so each culture has to present examples of the best of their culture, like Confucianism, Italian renaissance, the German classical period, and present the best works of arts in music and poetry, paintings and other forms of art. Our experience is that when people get into contact for the first time with expression of such high culture from another culture, they are surprised by its beauty. And this beauty then opens the heart and souls of the people. And this is the best medicine against chauvinism, xenophobia, and prejudice, and it opens the way for the love of other cultures. This is in conformity with Confucian teaching that all activity must be combined with strengthening of love for the mankind, because without that cultural component, that New Silk Road will not flourish.

Q: What do you think such high profile events like the recent summit suggest about China’s role in world affairs?

A: I think it a great honor for me to participate in this Belt and Road Forum, and I was deeply impressed by the speech of President Xi Jinping. Among all participants I spoke with there is consensus that we are actively participating in the shaping of history. All this means that China is right now leading the world in terms of providing the perspective for the future. I think this has been recognized by many countries in Latin America, in Africa, in Asia, and even some European countries start to recognize it is in their best interests to ally with that initiative. So I think it has made clear that China is the only country right now that offers a positive perspective to overcome the strategic bottleneck of our present times.

Q: In the past, the quest for prosperity invariably led to competition, strife, or wars. Is this avoidable?

A: Concerning the question of competition, strife and war, I think this must be replaced by joint development. Here I would like to quote from Pope Paul VI who said that “Development is the new name for peace.”

Q: How do you think the West responds to the Belt and Road Initiative?

A: The responses have been mixed, because you have those who want to stick to the old geopolitical thinking, to the status quo of their power, and to their understanding of their power position. I think this is an outdated way of thinking. Many think-tanks of the West are still publishing reports along these lines. But there is a wind of change. Many European countries have realized the potential of collaborating with the Belt and Road, which includes Greece, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Switzerland. So I think this tendency will increase. Those countries which are more reserved — like Germany — will have to change. But I think German industries, particularly those middle-sized industries, are absolutely in cooperation with China in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Q: Say something about your China experience.

A: I was first in Shanghai 46 years ago in 1971, after traveling on a cargo ship. Although it was not the best time to be in China, it had awakened my love for China. The city has changed completely. Except for some buildings on the Bund, I couldn’t find anything in my memory. I could not think of any other countries in the planet that have seen such gigantic changes. I think the Chinese people are much too modest. They should feel more confident about what they have accomplished. They have created the biggest miracle of the world, even bigger than the post-war German economic miracle. They should be very proud to be Chinese. The decision by Moody’s Investors Service to cut China’s sovereign ratings is insane. In German we have a saying: People should touch their own nose first before they made a stupid criticism.

(source: Shanghai Dailyhttp://www.shanghaidaily.com/opinion/chinese-perspectives/Belt-and-Road-initiative-instills-hope-for-peace-and-development-among-nations/shdaily.shtml

 


Zepp-LaRouche Addresses a Forum at Largest Publishing House in China

In a major address to an audience of between 100 and 200 people at the Phoenix Press Publishing Group at their headquarters in Nanjing, China, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the president of the Schiller Institute, gave a report-back from her attendance at the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing.

“The Belt and Road has injected optimism into many countries,” Zepp-LaRouche said, “and the momentum is unstoppable,” but bringing it fully to fruition “will not be easy.” Immediately after the summit, she continued, the attacks against the Belt and Road escalated, combined with attacks against President Trump, who had sent a high-level delegation to the BRI Summit. “The attacks were based on the absurd charges of collusion with Russia in the election,” she said.

“After the Cold War, the British and their American allies wanted to create a unipolar world,” she said. “And in doing so they have destroyed the Middle East and left it in a shambles.” And this precipitated the refugee crisis, the general reaction against “globalization,” and the rise of right-wing movements. “The Belt and Road,” she said, “will bring about the creation of the World Land-Bridge, which will connect all continents. And this is something we have been fighting for, for over 40 years,” she said.

She then described the fight of her and her husband, Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., to build a new world economic order: LaRouche’s call for an International Development Bank, the fight for the African development plan, and the Ibero-American initiative in the same direction in collaboration with Mexican President Jose Lopez Portillo, and the hundreds of seminars on five continents held by the Schiller Institute calling for a Belt and Road development.

“Transforming the Belt and Road to a World Land-Bridge will realize politically for the first time a real future for all the people living on this planet and will establish forms of governance for the world.” But to fully realize this, she said, “you must also study the ideas of my husband on the question of economics.”

Zepp-LaRouche then went through the all-important cultural aspects of the Belt and Road and the need for all of the different cultures involved to bring out their finest achievements, in order to use these to create a dialogue of cultures among the nations on the Belt and Road. She then went through the importance of Friedrich Schiller in German and Western culture and the importance of Confucius in Chinese culture, making a concrete comparison of the works of Schiller and Confucius and showing the close similarity in the ideas of these two great thinkers which were separated in time by almost 2000 years .

Zepp-LaRouche was followed by Bill Jones, the Washington Bureau Chief of EIR, who showed a power point presentation describing the struggle of the LaRouche organization from the time of Nixon’s abandonment of the Bretton Woods system. He described the 1970s attack of the Club of Rome and the publication of “Limits to Growth,” which was intended to transform the culture of progress into the culture of death with the international push for Zero Economic Growth and Zero Population Growth. He outlined the reaction of Lyndon LaRouche and the LaRouche organization to the Zero Growth movement, LaRouche’s call for the International Development Bank (IDB), and the subsequent call for the IDB and a New World Economic Order at the Colombo meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1976, and by Guyana’s Foreign Minister, Fred Wills, at the U.N. General Assembly.

Jones described the struggle waged by LaRouche to bring President Ronald Reagan, who had adopted LaRouche’s concept of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) as a peace proposal with the Soviet Union, into a working relationship with the progressive leaders in the developing sector, such as Mexican President Lopez Portillo and Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. These efforts then led to a reaction by the people around Vice President George H.W. Bush, who connived to have LaRouche and several of his associates incarcerated on trumped-up charge. The election of President William Clinton brought LaRouche out of prison and back into an advisory role, with President Clinton’s attempts, albeit unsuccessful, to move in the direction of a new financial architecture. The creation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) represent, therefore, the type of structures that LaRouche and his movement have been trying to bring about for over four decades, Jones explained.

This was followed by Professor Bao Shixiu, a professor of military science, who outlined the strategic importance of the Belt and Road for China, showing how it will allow the country to overcome the traditional difficulties it has had with other countries, including India and Japan. Professor Bao underlined the seminal role of the LaRouches in bringing this initiative to the forefront, and the ongoing struggle of Lyndon and Helga LaRouche to overcome the opposition to it from the London-New York financial elites. Professor Bao also laid out both the economic and strategic implications of the Belt and Road for China, which would help ensure a harmonious climate in the region and in the world, which would allow it and all other countries to continue to develop.

There was a great deal of interest exhibited by the audience, particularly in Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s call for the dialogue of cultures and a heightened degree of interest in the work of Friedrich Schiller among the Phoenix staff, some of whom seemed to have had a rather extensive exposure to the works of German culture.


Belt and Road Forum

May 14 – 15, 2017, Beijing, China

Belt and Road Forum page >>

 

 


Interview by Sputnik with Helga Zepp-LaRouche

Listen to the interview on Sputnik >>

April 5, 2017 — This is a transcript of an interview by Sputnik with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, regarding the upcoming summit between Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump:

Q: What will the tone of the meeting be?

HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Oh, I think it will be actually cordial. The Western media who are usually wrong are trying to reduce this whole question to some geopolitical conflict, but I think both sides have prepared this meeting very well. I think when Secretary of State Tillerson was in Beijing last month to prepare the visit, he said that the U.S.-China relationship in the Trump Administration would be a very positive relationship, built on no confrontation, no conflict, mutual respect, and always searching for a “win-win” solution. And that was exactly the formulation that was used by Xi Jinping in 2012 when he called for building a new type of major country relationship between China and the United States. Now, this was rejected by President Obama at the time. But the fact that Tillerson is now using the exact, same formulations shows a very positive signal. And I think that since China has put the New Silk Road policy on the table — or the Belt and Road Initiative, as it’s called now — since 2013, and has been building this New Silk Road, with the idea that the United States should join it, too, I would not be surprised at all, if something like that would be discussed, to the big surprise of many.

Q: I see. Now, earlier Trump had accused China of raping the U.S. economy. He called the country a currency manipulator, and even threatened to impose high tariffs on Chinese imports, though, with that said, what reaction should we expect from the Chinese leader? What positions will they be taking?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I don’t think that Xi Jinping will react to the campaign tone of the candidate Trump, because now Trump is President. And I think if they put on the table the idea that China would invest in the infrastructure in the United States, Trump himself has announced the need to have a $1 trillion program to reconstruct the American infrastructure. There was recently a conference in Hongkong where Chinese economists estimated that the real requirement is $8 trillion. Now, the way how to reduce the trade deficit is if there would be direct Chinese investment in infrastructure, maybe not immediately, but indirectly; maybe one would have an infrastructure bank, where China could put its investments in, or some solution like that. But I’m convinced that they will absolutely come out of this summit with results beneficial to both countries.

Q: It’s interesting that you talk about a positive solution the trade deficit, that you just mentioned, with China could possibly create a special investment bank, but is there anything else that Trump could do to somehow reduce this trade deficit? Or is there any way that President Trump could somehow improve the relations between the countries, and improve the trade between the countries?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, Trump has recently mentioned several times that he wants to go back to the American System of economy, the system of Alexander Hamilton, of Lincoln, of Henry Clay, and it is actually that system which made the United States great following the War of Independence. And that was a highly protectionist system. Alexander Hamilton created the United States by creating a National Bank, a credit system, and for example, the German economist Friedrich List pointed to the difference between the American System of economy and the British System of economy, meaning that the American System which was created by Hamilton basically says the only source of wealth is the creativity and productivity of the labor force; as compared to the British System which says you have to buy cheap and sell expensive, and control trade, and keep labor costs as little as possible. So, if you actually look at what China has been doing with the Chinese economic miracle of the last 30 years, it is much closer to the philosophy of Alexander Hamilton, than it would be to the system of globalization and so-called “free trade.” Because I think that the Chinese system of free trade is not exactly the same one what the British and the Americans under the Obama and Bush administrations have been thinking about. So, if Trump says, OK globalization led to an outsourcing productive jobs and I want to recreate the American economy, well, that’s the way how to reduce the trade deficit, because the reason why there’s a trade deficit is because many of the products in the last 16 years of the Bush and Obama administration became increasingly less competitive, for example the car industry. The reason why you have more cars imported, from Japan, Korea, Germany, than the other way around, is because these cars are better than American cars. And what America has to do, what President Trump has to do — and I think that’s what he intends to do — is to reconstruct the American economy on the highest productive level. The infrastructure is only the precondition, but then there will be other areas, like in the nuclear fission, but especially the development of fusion technology, space cooperation with other countries, so there are many areas where you can leapfrog into the most productive areas in the economy, and I think that’s what Trump intends to do.

Q: It’s interesting that you talk about that, and I really like that you mention that subject. Unfortunately we’ll have to do that at a different time. Apart from the issue that we’ve already discussed, are there are other issues that will be on the table between the Chinese leader and the U.S. President?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, obviously, the North Korea issue will be very high up on the agenda, given the recent missile tests by North Korea. But there, one has to understand that North Korea is doing this, not because they intend an aggression against South Korea or Japan, or the United States. They are doing it in reaction to the deployment of the THAAD missiles, which both China and Russia have also said are security threats to their own national security; and, North Korea is reacting to the very big maneuvers involving the United States, Japan, and South Korea, which are ongoing right now. So the way to reduce that, and that would be my guess, that they will get an agreement to re-propose the Six-Party talks, to try to find a solution, or even have maybe Five-Party talks, to try to really work out a real solution one could offer to North Korea. But it is my conviction that the only way how this conflict can be solved forever, is to extend the New Silk Road into Korea, have a unification of South and North Korea, and then develop together, the North, obviously, with the sovereignty of North Korea being taken into account; but I think the idea of overcoming the terrible economic hardships and using the high-skilled labor you have in North Korea! People don’t know, that there is actually a highly developed labor force in North Korea. So I think the New Silk Road Belt and Road Initiative, even in the short or medium term, would be the framework with which to solve the North Korea problem forever.

Q: All right. Well on that note I would like to thank you very much for joining me today, Helga. It was a pleasure having you here, and I’d love to have you back in the future.

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: OK, thank you.


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