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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.

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


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.

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.

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,”

China and Eastern and Central Europe Summit on BRI Cooperation

Nov. 27 -Joint cooperation through the global Belt and Road Initiative was the leading topic at the Sixth Summit of the China-Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC), also known as the “16+1 Cooperation,” which opened today in Budapest.

The Hungarian and Chinese Prime Ministers, Viktor Orban and Li Kequiang, kicked off this discussion in their addresses to over 1,000 entrepreneurs from China and the CEEC member countries attending the opening of the Economic and Trade Forum connected to the summit, according to a Xinhua report. The meeting of all 16 heads of government followed.

“If Europe shuts itself in, it loses the possibility of growth. We 16 have always been open and would always like to remain so. We always saw cooperation with China as a great opportunity,” Orban stated at the outset. “European resources are in themselves insufficient. For this reason we welcome the fact that as part of the new economic world order, China sees this region as one in whose progress and development it wants to be present.”

He referred to the Chinese role in the planned reconstruction of the railway line between Budapest and Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, as the “flagship project” of China’s increased presence in the region, asserting that the rail line could become  the fastest transport route to Western Europe for China’s New Silk Road. Hungary announced today the public procurement tenders for the reconstruction of that railway line, which is being financed mainly by China.

“We see the Chinese president’s One Belt, One Road initiative as the new form of globalization which does not divide the world into teachers and students, but is based on common respect and common advantages,” Orban said.

Chinese Premier Li laid out an aggressive program for increased China-CEEC cooperation by “docking” the Belt and Road Initiative with the development strategies of the CEEC, in the words of Xinhua. “Our aim is to see a prospering Europe,” he said, adding that the closer ties with the 16 countries, which includes 11 European Union members, will “usefully complement” EU-China relations.

Li pressed for the building of connectivity projects such as the Hungary-Serbia high-speed railway to be accelerated; proposed production capacity building be expanded, through the joint
building of “economic and trade cooperation zones and creating an industrial chain, value chain and logistics chain featuring closer integration, stronger drive and wider benefit;” and called for cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises to be promoted, according to Xinhua’s report.

Li estimated China’s imports over the next five years should total $8 trillion, as it has moved from a phase of high-speed growth to high-quality growth, which “will surely create opportunities for all countries in the world… We hope the central and eastern European countries find their place in this volume and expand their presence on the huge Chinese market.”

Financial resources for all this, were also addressed. Li announced that the China Development Bank will provide $2.4 billion (2 billion Euros) for the China-CEEC Inter-Bank Association being inaugurated on Monday, and that China will provide another $1 billion for the second phase of capitalization of the China-Central and Eastern Europe Investment Cooperation Fund, most of which will be channeled to CEE countries.

China Myanmar Corridor Progresses

Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw, following his meeting with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Myanmar’s capital, Nay Pyi Taw, today, said Myanmar appreciates the proposal of building a China-Myanmar economic corridor, and intends to actively integrate with the Chinese over the project, Xinhua reported.

In this context, China has advanced a well received proposal in Myanmar, for a three-phase plan of action, so that Myanmar refugees in Bangladesh can return home. The International Organization for Migrations says that more than 610,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh.
Speaking of the BRI China-Myanmar Economic Corridor, Wang pointed out that “China regards Myanmar as an important cooperative partner on the joint implementation of the Belt and
Road Initiative, and is willing to discuss the building of China-Myanmar economic corridor based on Myanmar’s development guidelines and practical needs, so as to promote common development of the two countries.” Wang further said, the Chinese side believes the Myanmar government has the wisdom and capability of pushing forward its domestic peace process, and China will continue to offer support at Myanmar’s request, reported Xinhua.

„The economic corridor will start in China’s Yunnan Province, extend to the central Myanmar city of Mandalay, and then east to Yangon and west to the Kyaukpyu special economic zone, forming a three-pillar giant cooperation pattern,” Wang said at the press conference on Nov. 19th., reported {Global Times}.

Webcast: President Trump’s Asia Trip and The New Paradigm

Thursday, November 16

To say that President Trump’s Asia trip was an historic success may be an understatement!  Though the highlight was his visit to Beijing and meetings with China’s President Xi Jinping, his meetings with other leaders, including his exchanges with President Putin, were productive.  In every event, he made explicit that the days when the U.S. acted as the enforcer of a unipolar empire are over.

Don’t be depressed or confused by the honking of the geese of the old establishment, with their lies and slanders against Trump and those who met with him.  These are only the hysterical squawks of those whose  collapsing world order is in its death throes.  They cannot succeed in stopping the momentum of the new dynamic unleashed in the world.  Let them squawk — we have to do our job, to ensure that they are defeated, and that the New Paradigm fully emerges.

What now?  Where do we go from here? Join Helga Zepp LaRouche on this week’s webcast, as she will provide an update on the strategic significance of Trump’s trip, and outline where we go from here.

If you missed last weeks webcast be sure to watch it.

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