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The World Land-Bridge

Category Archives

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


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.

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.

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