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The World Land-Bridge

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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}.


President Trump’s Asia Trip and The New Paradigm

SCHILLER INSTITUTE ANNOUNCEMENT: HELGA ZEPP LAROUCHE WEEKLY WEBCAST
Thursday, November 16
6 PM CETNoon EST

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.


Zepp-LaRouche Addressed Diplomatic Seminar in Yemen

Nov. 8, 2017

Helga Zepp-LaRouche, President of the Schiller Institute, addressed (through video message) a seminar in the war-defying capital of Yemen on November 7. The seminar, titled “From Sana’a to Beijing: The First Diplomatic Seminar,” was addressed and sponsored by Foreign Minister of Yemen Hisham Sharaf and hosted by The Institute of Diplomacy in Sana’a. The theme of the seminar was China’s Policy Paper on the Arab World, and how Yemen would join the Belt and Road Initiative.

Fouad Al-Ghaffari, Chairman of the Yemeni Advisory Office for Coordination with the BRICS, spoke at the seminar, too, introducing Mrs. LaRouche as the “New Silk Road Lady.” The banner of the event featured a major map of the World Land-Bridge as designed by EIR. Foreign Minister Sharaf reviewed the friendly and productive historical relations with China, including many infrastructure projects that China contributed to modern Yemen in the past decades before the outbreak of the Saudi war on Yemen in 2015. He expressed Yemen’s full readiness to join the Belt and Road Initiative and to protect the Maritime Silk Road at the Bab El-Mandab Strait and the Red Sea. He urged China to play a constructive role in the political solution for the war in Yemen. He also urged China not to take steps that could lead to the further splitting of the country between south and north. Sharaf was referring to the allegations of a recent contract signed between Chinese telecom giant Huawei and the government-in-exile, to build a mobile telephone system in areas in southern Yemen controlled by U.A.E.- and Saudi-backed armed groups.

The Chinese government does not recognize the government in Sana’a, of which Foreign Minister Sharaf is a member, and instead recognizes the government of deposed President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is in exile in Saudi Arabia, who has little or no control of matters in Yemen. China claims that it is following UN Security Council Resolutions. However, the legitimacy of Hadi is questioned inside Yemen, as his term had already expired in September 2014, when the combination of Houthi rebels and forces of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh took power in the capital and put Hadi under house arrest. Hadi is also not popular among the people, because he sanctioned the Saudi campaign of bombardment against his own people, as negotiations where underway to find a political solution between the new and former governments of Yemen. The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued the China Arab World Policy Paper in January 2016, a few days ahead of the visit by President Xi Jinping to three key nations of the Southwest Asia: Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran. President Xi expressed during his visit the same points raised by the policy paper, which is the importance of settling the conflicts of the region through a spirit of cooperation and dialogue, and that China is ready to extend the policy of the New Silk Road to the region and help rebuild the economies devastated by wars and conflicts in recent years, and offering cooperation in infrastructure, nuclear power, and agriculture to all the nations of the region.

Yemeni official news agency Saba and other newspapers covered the event. Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche’s video statement can be viewed here:


New China-Europe `Silk Road’ Line Inaugurated in Azerbaijan

Oct. 30 — There was great enthusiasm in Baku, Azerbaijan today as the head of state of that country, Ilham Aliyev, was joined by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili in a ceremony to inaugurate the new 826 km. Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway, which was set to take off on its maiden trip to Europe. According to {The Daily Sabah}, the BTK is a “key link in the modern Silk Road Railway” that will carry goods between Beijing and London. Initially, it is expected to carry almost one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of freight annually, but aims to transport up to 50 million tons a year when it reaches its full potential.

Also present at the ceremony was the U.S. ambassador Robert Cekuta, who noted that the BTK railroad is an important part of the New Silk Road, the Azeri news service APA reported.
President Erdogan, who is also in Baku for a two-day visit commemorating the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan, said at the ceremony that “Baku-Tblisi-Kars is part of a big Silk Road and it’s important that we have implemented this project using our own funds,” most of the $1 billion of which came from Azerbaijan’s state oil fund. Erdogan emphasized that the project will bring “peace, security, stability and prosperity and will contribute to the development of our countries.”

The {Daily Sabah} points out that, as “one of the land routes in the scope of China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative passes through Turkey, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia, the railway projects being launched in the context of the `Iron Silk Road’ have gained significance as they are connecting the regions.” The transportation from Georgia to Turkey is provided via a border tunnel, some 2,375 meters of which are within Turkey’s borders, while 2,070 meters are on the Georgian side. Thanks to the railway network linking the Middle East to Europe via the 13.6 km Marmaray rail connection, “transportation between Turkey and Asia, the Caucasus and European countries will be easier,” {Sabah} predicts.

The new line will reduce travel time from China to Europe to 15 days, twice as fast as the sea route, at half the cost of air freight. Trains can depart from Chinese cities, cross into Kazakhstan at the Khorgos Gateway, be transported across the Caspian Sea by ferry to the new port of Baku and then be loaded onto the BTK to head for Europe. President Aliyev said that several European countries are interested in the project and that his government is in talks with them. Kazakhstan is very interested in transporting goods via the BTK line.


Portugal Signs Action Plan with China on Maritime Silk Road

Nov. 1, 2017 -Portugal’s Minister of the Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino, accompanied by representatives of 39 Portuguese port and related companies and industries, is in China for a busy, eight-day visit (10/28-11/4) to concretize Portugal’s participation in the Maritime Silk Road. That includes hopes for some $2.5 billion in Chinese investments in expanding container and other facilities in the Portuguese ports of Sines (towards the south), Lisbon (in the center), and Leixoes (towards the north), as well as in areas of “blue biotechnology,” oceanic aquaculture, and marine industry. The first of two planned high-level seminars took place in Beijing on Monday, with representatives of 86 Chinese companies present. Vitorino’s Chinese counterpart, State Oceanic Administration Director Wang Hong, there spoke of maritime cooperation as an “essential part” of Chinese-Portuguese cooperation, and discussed China’s overall view of the “ocean as an important doorway for China to embrace the whole world.”

Vitorino, for her part, said that “Portugal wants to declare itself a global logistical hub in the Atlantic area,” and “double the value of the blue economy,” to the level of becoming one of the five most sea-related economies in the world. She described Portugal as “a necessary stop on north-south Atlantic routes … [and] a required crossing point in east-west routes.”

That statement echoes Portuguese State Internationalization Secretary Jorge Costa Oliveira’s declarations at the May Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, that Portugal desires that “a maritime route to [the port of] Sines be included, and in addition, that the land rail Silk Road, which already goes from Chongqing to Madrid, also comes to Portugal.”

So far, Vitorino has signed an Action Plan with her Chinese counterpart, outlining collaboration on research and commercial projects as China and Portugal establish an expanded “blue economy” partnership. She met today with the President of the Development Bank of China. Vitorino also reported that agreements had been reached between Portuguese and Chinese companies to form consortia which would compete for various of the planned investment projects. No specific details were given, but the Portuguese businesses represented are leading port operators, construction companies, logistics operators, naval boatyard repair works, engineering, energy, aquaculture, and fish transformation companies, Macauhub reported.


Belt and Road Offers Great Future for Italian Ports and Shipowners

Oct. 27, 2017 -Matteoli, chairman of the Italian shipowners association Confitarma, said that the New Silk Road initiative represents a major o ppMario ortunity for growth mainly for Italian ports, since they become the next preferred gateway for goods coming from Asia into Europe, while today, cargo flows are more often offloaded in Northern Europe before being distributed in Central and Southern Europe.

“The Belt and Road project is of course challenging and scary at the same time,” Matteoli said,”but I think that the Italian players should be aware of this great opportunity mainly because instead of being at the terminus of the belt, we could have an inversion of the tendency of what the flows are now. Many industries in the north of Italy import goods from the ports based in Germany and The Netherlands, but the new infrastructure projects could instead invert the trend, and eventually Italy could become the entry point for the goods to be distributed towards the north.”

Matteoli also addressed  a crucial role of shipowners for mankind, stating that “we, as shipowners, have to participate (in the New Silk Road) in order to grant a better world for the future generations.”


Turkey wants to join the New Silk Road

Oct. 29 – “China is an important country in all respects. It is a country with which we want to develop our relations, and revive the historical Silk Road together,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said yesterday, in a speech in the southeastern city of Sanliurfa, Xinhua reports. He noted that the Silk Road includes many issues, including those of economy and security.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was a prominent participant in the May 2017 Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China; the country’s {Official Gazette} reported two days ago that Emin Onon, described as Erdogan’s “chief advisor” by Turkey Minute website, has been appointed Ambassador to China.

The pro-government newspaper {Daily Sabah} ran a story that same day reviewing the last decade of Turkish-Chinese economic ties, with an eye to how, “having gained momentum in the last decade, Turkish-Chinese cooperation is set to capitalize on further cooperation with additional joint investment projects to unlock the potential offered by the Belt and Road project.”

“Millennia-long ties between the Turks and the nation of dragons, China, have not always been marked with lucrative cooperation,” {Daily Sabah} wrote, but “history tells us that the two nations have enjoyed the benefits of trading on the ancient Silk Road…. China’s willingness to render the Belt and Road initiative as integrated into Turkey’s development strategy, will also help strengthen the exchange between China and Turkey.”

Among the economic cooperation underway or in the works mentioned by {Daily Sabah}, are ongoing negotiations on construction of the Edirne-Kars high-speed railway route, the agreement on China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Corp.’s construction of a third nuclear power plant in Turkey, and promotion of the use of direct renmimbi-lira currency transactions to finance trade and investment by the Chairman Xu Keen of the Turkish branch of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC Turkey).

Xu told {Daily Sabah}, “we will strengthen the market surveys in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region, while acting as the major partner to infrastructure projects including energy power plants, railroads, highways and others, in addition to other projects in Turkey and surrounding regions.”

Likewise, PowerChina (Power Construction Corporation of China) decided at the end of last May to establish its Eurasian regional headquarters operations in Istanbul. PowerChina Deputy General Manager Wang Bin explained, in opening the regional headquarters, that “Turkey is one of the most important countries along the Silk Road and has important regional advantages,”


First Direct Xinjiang-Ukraine Cargo Train Sets Off

The first cargo train linking China’s western-most Xinjiang province with Ukraine pulled out of Urumqi,

Xinjiang today, heading for Poltava in Ukraine with a load of oil drilling equipment, Xinhua reports. Cheng Jingmin, Deputy Manager of Xinjiang Beiken Energy Engineering, which provided the equipment, said the new route, running through Kazakhstan and Russia, will cut transportation time from more than two months by sea to 15 days.

Schiller Institute Chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche, in her Oct. 26 webcast, pointed to the importance of expanding Ukraine’s participation in such Belt and Road projects, thereby creating grounds for ending that dangerous crisis. Noting that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had just met with his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin, and both said that they want to cooperate very closely in the Belt and Road Initiative, Zepp-LaRouche continued: “That is what we have said for years: The only way that you can solve the Ukraine crisis–where the west of Ukraine is Western oriented, Catholic; and the eastern part, is Orthodox, Russian oriented–the only way that you can get back to the unity of Ukraine, is if the Eurasian Land-Bridge, the New Silk Road, is in construction from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and in that way, a higher level of cooperation is implemented, which then solves all of these conflicts. So that is also a very promising development.”


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

 


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