U.S.-China Cooperation, 2017: Helga LaRouche Keynote
Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche's keynote address to the April 13-14th conference, "U.S.-China Cooperation on the Belt & Road Initiative," exploring the corresponding ideas in Chinese and Western thought.
HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Dear friends of the Schiller Institute, when we designed the title of this conference — and I hope I am not mistaken, because you gave a different name — I had the title of "Whither the United States? Nuclear War or New Silk Road?" We did not have exactly an inkling at that time that the seed of both options would be condensed in the two-day summit between President Trump and President Xi Jinping in Florida just a little while ago. But the first day of this summit was very positive. It was reported that the chemistry between the two Presidents was very good; President Trump called it an outstanding relationship and "lots of possibilities to get rid of potentially bad problems," hoping that they will go away. President Xi Jinping, for his part, said that he received a very warm reception; that they had an in-depth communication, and he stressed the unique importance of the U.S.-Sino relationship. And, which is very important, he offered to the United States to join the Belt and Road Initiative, the New Silk Road. As many of you may know, I had called earlier that we must have a nationwide mobilization in the entire United States, that the United States must join in this fantastic new project.
Obviously, what happened is not yet totally clear. Trump did not say anything explicitly; he didn't take up the offer. But if he does, and I said this a little while ago, people were actually quite shocked to hear me say that; and I still say that despite what happened in the recent days. If he can convince President Trump to take up the offer to join with China and the other nations in the New Silk Road, he can become one of the greatest Presidents in the history of the United States.
In light of what happened with the air strikes against Syria, many people may wonder why I'm still saying this; but I'm absolutely convinced of it, because if we can get the United States to join and cooperate — and later I will elaborate what that will mean — it would mean to overcome geopolitics, which has been the source of two world wars in the last century. The United States would join what President Xi Jinping all the time calls a community for the shared future of mankind; and it would indeed begin a new era of mankind, and eliminate the danger of nuclear war.
The first day went very positive, but then during the night to Friday, the United States launched the military strike into Syria under the pretext that the Syrian government would have used chemical weapons in the province of Idlib; which caused the deaths of civilians, babies. But no proof was presented. It was immediately contradicted by many ex-intelligence experts, saying this was a typical false-flag operation. Fortunately, President Xi Jinping maintained his countenance; he did not leave. They stayed for the second day and concluded a whole bunch of agreements to have a new Cabinet-level framework for negotiations and continue a dialogue on four pillars: First, a diplomatic and security dialogue; then a comprehensive economic dialogue; a law-enforcement and cyber-security dialogue; and then a dialogue concerning social and cultural issues.
Now this was obviously not our demand, but it opens the door. As we have seen in recent phone calls between the two Presidents, especially as a consequence of these strikes against Syria, the North Korean crisis is flaring up in a very dangerous way. At least the two Presidents got on the phone; and at times like this, this is extremely important.
What happened is a de facto coup d'état inside the United States, which has two elements. One is the false flag operation in Syria, combined with what one could call a palace coup inside the administration. This coup — and I will elaborate on that also — is a British intelligence operation; and it must be recognized as such in order to liberate President Trump from this great danger. If you look at the chronology of what happened, on the 30th or March, both Secretary of State Tillerson and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said very clearly that is no longer an option of the United States to oust President Assad; our priority is to fight terrorism and ISIS. One day later, the American Secretary of Defense Mattis was in London and gave a press conference with the British Defense Minister Michael Fallon, where he praised the British global role worldwide and threatened Russia; saying they are responsible for manipulations of the elections in the United States and Europe. On the same day, British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, who already in December had called for a joint U.S. military attack on Syria, had to admit that the U.K. investigation about Russian interference in the election had produced no result.
Then on the 3rd of April, there were the first reports about the bombing attacks on Idlib province with chemical weapons. The next morning, President Trump received his daily intelligence brief, and this brief said it was an attack with chemical weapons by the Syrian government. And as evidence, they showed photographs and videos of the person dying apparently from chemical poisoning; and the source of this was an organization called White Helmets. The following two days, there were National Security Council meetings in Washington, and at the same day, the House Intelligence Committee chair, Congressman Nunes recused himself from the investigation into the two narratives: one narrative being that Russia had helped Trump to become President; the other narrative being that the Deep State in the United States has been leaking classified information about Americans being spied on. These two narratives are in a showdown, and Nunes was on the right track, because he had received in the Old Executive Building, proof that there was such cooperation with the British intelligence on this matter. So, he was accused by the Committee for Responsibility and Ethics complaining to the Ethics Committee that he had not briefed Adam Schiff first, but the President. In any case, he thought he had to recuse himself. It turns out that this Committee for Responsibility and Ethics is financed entirely by the British; George Soros, among others. Then the next day, on the 5th of April, Bannon — the campaign advisor of Trump — was removed from the National Security Council. It is generally known that he opposed the attack against Syria. On the 6th of April, in the middle of the summit with President Xi, when the decision was taken to attack the Syrian airbase with 60 Tomahawk missiles, Michael Fallon — the British Defense Minister — bragged that he was in constant communication with the United States on all levels; before the strike, after the strike, discussing the options. So, this was immediately bringing the world to the verge of a serious showdown with Russia. Many security experts, including Scott Ritter — who is a senior chemical weapons inspector who had denounced the White Helmets in the past many times, saying that the White Helmets are associated with al-Qaeda — refuted this immediately.
This organization, the White Helmets, was founded by a retired British military officer, James Le Mesurier; it receives $30 million from the British Defense Ministry, but also from the U.S. State Department. They have quite a portfolio of $100 million, and they have been seen in videos assisting al-Qaeda in the execution of Syrian soldiers. The idea that this evidence that it was the Syrian government who did that, was refuted two days ago by a very prominent nuclear weapons expert — MIT Prof. Ted Postol; who was the single person who, in 2013, proved that the apparent use of chemical weapons at that time was not done by the Syrian government, but by rebel groups. He responded to a 4-page memorandum by the White House, claiming that they had absolutely undebatable proof that it was the Syrian government. He published a 14-page paper in which he used Google Earth material and photographs [Fig. 1] that are generally made available to say that by analyzing the pipe out of which the so-called chemical gas came, it could not have been dropped by an airplane, but it had been delivered by other ways. Here he shows some more technical details [Fig. 2]. This is now a situation where yesterday Foreign Minister Lavrov and President Putin met with Secretary of State Tillerson; they had five hours discussion, with President Putin two hours discussion. The White House maintained the story that they have the proof that this was the Syrian government; the Russian government said no, we need an international investigation immediately, because you cannot condemn somebody where the evidence is so absolutely ludicrous.
The site where the [chemical] attack occurred was held by an organization called Liwa al-Aqsa; and the Syrian government and also the Russian government maintain that the object which was hit was a storage place for chemical weapons that are produced by the rebels. The logic of the whole thing is also clear. Remember that in 2013, there was a tremendous intervention with Russian help; the Syrian government agreed to dismantle their entire chemical weapons ammunition. It was destroyed. Eight of ten production places were destroyed, and two remained in the area where the rebels are. The Syrian ambassador to the United Nations put out a statement yesterday saying that he sent 80 letters to the UN Security Council, giving them data on where the rebels were using this; where it came from — even Turkish intelligence helped. So why would President Assad, who is presently — with the help of Russia — winning the battle on all fronts, why would he risk this very favorable situation by using chemical weapons against a military target which is of no military use whatsoever? Why would Russia, who has put a lot of political investment in getting the Syrian government to dismantle their chemical weapons, why would they idly sit by and allow this to happen? It just does not make any sense at all.
There is no evidence. If there would be evidence, the U.S. would have presented it already; but the latest statement from the United States is that they have to protect their "methods and sources." To take pictures like that from the air, from satellites, is not such a secret thing. This is now a serious problem, because there are many experts — including top Mideast experts in Europe — who say that this military strike was completely illegal; it had no UN mandate, it had no Congressional legitimization, it had not the article of legitimate self-defense according to Article 51 of the UN Charter. If there are further attacks — and President Putin has warned already that the U.S. attack encourages other rebel groups to do other such operations in order to lure the United States more into this conflict; which could then bring a showdown with Russia in the short term.
It also has relevance for NATO. There was a judge of a federal court in Germany who made the point that if it would come to a military confrontation between the United States and Russia over this issue, NATO members could not be asked to come to the defense of the United States according to Article 5 of the NATO Charter; because if a force reacts to an aggression, this article does not apply.
So, it's a very hot situation. But one of the most incredible things is that the same international corps of neo-cons and neo-liberals who immediately after the election victory of Trump, used the most inciting words for Trump — calling him a fascist, a hate preacher, an unstable sociopath, an incompetent monster, they are suddenly saying he is a great commander-in-chief; he did everything right. Mrs. Merkel and President Hollande said they are full of understanding for what Trump did; which is incredible! How can heads of government, who supposedly hold up democracy, human rights, who are the defenders of Western values; how can they condone something which is so apparently illegal?
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson insisted that an ultimatum should be put to Russia to give up support for President Assad; which naturally and predictably, President Putin refused.
There are many people who are warning that if Trump gets lured further into a direct conflict with Russia, that will lead to nuclear war. We are still, despite the effect of Tillerson's mission, on red alert.
What is going on? After Congressman Nunes had been presented in the Old Executive Office Building evidence that there was invasive electronic surveillance of Trump and the Trump team, two former high-ranking intelligence officials wrote an article with the headline "The Surveillance State behind Russia-Gate." It was Ray McGovern and Bill Binney. They said the fact that this evidence about this surveillance has now been documented, presents Trump with "the unwelcome but unavoidable choice to either confront those who have kept him in the dark about such rogue activities or live fearfully in their shadow," and capitulate to them.
Now, this is hopefully not yet a finished question, but his choice, what Trump will do in the future will decide whether there is a future for this constitutional republic, if the human species exists or not. Now earlier in the year, in the The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists they wrote that already with 90% of the world nuclear weapons at the ready in the United States and Russia, that in 2017, tensions could lead to a thermonuclear conflagration, that it is two and a half minutes to midnight, the clock is ticking. And after the U.S. military attack, Prime Minister Medvedev said the relationship between the United States and Russia are now completely ruined, the U.S. is on the verge of a military clash with Russia.
This was a little bit toned down yesterday, but President Trump said yesterday that the meeting with Tillerson in Moscow went better than expected, but the relationship with Russia is still very bad.
So, what happened with that Donald Trump who won the election on the basis of promising to improve relations with Russia, to collaborate with Russia, to defeat ISIS, to end the policy of regime change and interventionist wars, all these policies mentioned by Trump represent a direct threat to the British Empire. People are completely mistaken to think that the British Empire no longer exists. What happened is that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the efforts went under way by Great Britain and the neo-cons in the United States to establish a unipolar world. One can also say it's the same thing as globalization: it's an attempt to establish a world empire based on the Anglo-American relationship; prematurely Fukuyama declared the end of history, meaning the whole world would be turned into democratic states, and they came up with such things as the "right to protect," "humanitarian intervention," "regime change"; color revolution against any government that would not submit.
And just for the record, the Ukraine crisis was entirely the fault of the West. It was not the fault of Russia, because when the EU tried to have Ukraine in the EU Association Agreement, and President Yanukovych refused that, that is what triggered the Maidan which was financed by NGOs, by Victoria Nuland, by people who are clearly fascists, in the tradition of Stepan Bandera — they made a coup, and Russia reacted each step, including the situation in Ukraine, including the vote in Crimea, which was not an annexation, but a vote of the people of Crimea that they wanted to be again with Russia.
So the narrative about Ukraine has to be straightened, and I would urge all of you help us to disseminate the documentation we have made about this case. Because this is the cause for the demonization about Putin and Russia in general.
Now, this idea of regime change, that 2004 to the Orange Revolution before in Ukraine, to the Rose Revolution, to the attempted White Revolution against Russia, they attempted a Yellow Revolution against China with the yellow umbrellas in Hongkong, which fortunately all didn't go anywhere, this was the basis for the regime change policy in Iraq, Libya, Syria. It left much of Southwest Asia in ruins. It is the cause for the refugee crisis, and it was the rejection of that policy combination which had a military side, turning the Middle East into a Hell; it had an economic side by making the rich more rich by deregulation of the banks and making the poor more poor; and it was the rejection of this policy paradigm which was the reason for the Brexit, which was the reason for the election of Trump, it was the reason for the "No," of the Italians to the referendum by then Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, and it will continue if the injustice which is associated with that paradigm is not going to be cured. And since we have a couple of very important elections in Europe to come, you may have some more surprises along these lines.
It was that empire, not a nation, not Great Britain, but the idea that you can run the world as an empire by an oligarchy, which regarded the Trump election and the Trump campaign promise as an existential threat. This is why immediately after Trump was elected, the British paper Spectator openly said that he will not stay in office for long, he will be removed, either by assassination, impeachment or a coup d'état.
And the role of British intelligence in creating the "dodgy dossier" by Christopher Steele, a former MI6 agent, is also very clear. And the entire story that Trump on won the election because of Russian interference comes not only from the Hillary Clinton campaign, but with the help of British intelligence, this was concocted.
So President Putin correctly said what happened against Trump is a color revolution, is a Maidan, and that anti-Russian hysteria, targetting one of the more efficient members of the Trump administration, General Flynn, and then Sessions, this all created a McCarthyite hysteria, where just talking to a Russian diplomat is already something which makes you a stooge, an agent. It is the business of diplomats to reach out to the people of the country where they are and have contact! So the mainstream media are completely uniform in lockstep and they are continuously putting out fake news to control the narrative.
On the other side, when President Trump did something really beautiful and good, like making a speech in his Weekly Address about renewing the space program, using beautiful pictures from the Hubble Telescope, or saying he wants to revive the American System of economy, quoting Alexander Hamilton, Henry Clay and Lincoln, there was not one word in the mainstream media.
So the big question is, can this coup be reversed? Well, it requires a comprehensive national and international effort. First of all, we have to mobilize Trump's base, who must understand that what is happening is a British operation. If they are just disappointed and turn away this is not good enough, because then the efforts to control Trump will escalate and the danger is small attacks against Syria, a clash with Russia, — who knows what will happen in the North Korea crisis, which is extremely hot and may get hot towards the weekend.
Remember that the American War of Independence, that which created the United States, was made against the British Empire, and the British Empire never gave up the idea to reconquer the United States. The first time they did that was in the War of 1812; then the British Empire allied with the Confederacy. If you go to the battlefield of Gettysburg, you can actually see the traces and if you study this matter, the British banks financed the Confederacy in this war through their affiliates in Boston and Philadelphia, and so forth.
The British Empire totally got upset when Trump announced that he wants to go back to the American System of economy, Alexander Hamilton, Henry Clay, Lincoln, and you should just re-read what Henry C. Carey wrote about the difference of the British Empire economy, which makes people poor, and the American System of economy, which is concerned about the wellbeing of the labor force, raising the living standards and so forth.
We need people to become conscious against about the American history We need an immediate UN investigation into these chemical substances; we should distribute the work of the former intelligence people who are already on the move issuing open letters to President Trump trying to correct this story. The fight for Glass-Steagall must be accelerated; the bill in the House and the Senate must be amplified.
Then, we should push and mobilize that President Trump, who at the meeting with President Xi Jinping accepted the invitation to China early this year, should be accelerated, and Trump should actually participate in the next month's meeting: On the 14 and 15th of May, there will be an historic summit, the Belt and Road Forum. This will be the confirmation of the New Silk Road initiative, where already about 20 presidents of countries, 150 leaders of international organizations, and 1200 scientists, economists, businessmen, have agreed to participate and discuss further how to develop the idea of the Belt and Road Initiative.
This means four weeks to escalate the mobilization in the United States, that the United States must join the Silk Road.
Now, this initiative, which was announced three and half years ago by President Xi Jinping has in the meantime, developed a gigantic dynamic. It's the biggest infrastructure program in history. It's already 12 times bigger than the Marshall Plan; it involves already 70 nations, 30 international organizations. And it involves six economic development corridors and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The first such corridor is the one from China to Central Asia and West Asia, going potentially into Afghanistan. when President Xi was in Iran last year, President Rouhani already agreed Iran will cooperate. It can be extended to Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Egypt and Europe.
One of the next corridors is China-Myanmar-Bangladesh-India, which is right now a little bit in trouble, because India is not yet totally convinced, because they are still are a little bit in the old geopolitical view; but it would mean the first express highway between China and India.
You have the China-Western Europe route, which is developing incredibly quickly. It goes from Chengdu, Chongqing, Yiwu, Lianyungang, to Duisburg, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Lyon, Madrid, and it reduces the travel time of cargo and people from five weeks by ocean to two weeks by land. And it has by now eight routes and there is now a daily train leaving Chongqing to Western Europe.
Then you have the Mongolia-China-Russia corridor, which involves 32 projects. You have the China-Pakistan corridor which is huge: It is already creating 700,000 jobs in Pakistan; it produces 10,400 kW electric power; China has invested 46 billion into that corridor.
This project is developing a big attraction, because it offers a "win-win cooperation" to do what China did in the last 30 years, to make the biggest economic miracle in history, by lifting 800 million people out of poverty, and the countries which are now cooperating simply will have the same advantages.
For example: The 16 plus 1 group, these are the Central and Eastern European countries which officially are most of them in the European Union, but because the European Union is having an insane austerity policy and is not investing in infrastructure, many of the East European countries are now with the New Silk Road. Greece, Serbia, Hungary, the EU opposes a fast train connection between Budapest and Belgrade, which is completely crazy because China is financing it and Serbia is so happy that for the first time they're getting real investment in infrastructure, and so President Nikolic, who was just on a state visit in China, said that the Chinese help in building the infrastructure is showing the greatness of China because they have done something which no other country did for Serbia. [applause]
But also the Swiss are absolutely happy about the cooperation with the New Silk Road. The Swiss President will go to the Beijing forum; also Italy, who has a huge problem with the refugees; Spain, Portugal, — all the Portuguese-speaking countries.
But the real fantastic development is the change the New Silk Road is causing in Africa. There is a completely new spirit, where African leaders who for many years were completely desperate about poverty, famine, wars, they are now saying there is a complete chance to overcome poverty and underdevelopment with the help of China. Just a couple of weeks ago, the first railway between Djibouti and Addis Ababa was opened. This is extremely important, if you want to transport, for example to these famine-stricken areas. Also a new railway is being built between Rwanda and Congo. China is the leading job creator in Africa, they have created 30,000 jobs in the last two years, 40,000 Africans will be trained in China. The China-Africa cooperation is upgraded from a trade relationship into an industrial relationship focussing on manufacturing, energy, maritime economic development. And many Africans have told me and others that they see in the Belt and Road Initiative the possibility to realize the African Dream of poverty reduction and elimination.
China has pledged 75 billion funding to Africa, especially for small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). The Rwanda situation is actually a showcase for the Chinese model of assisting African growth. Rwanda, as you know, was struck by terrible genocide in '94, and with the help of China it is now on a completely new path, becoming one of the fastest-growing economic areas in Africa. It's landlocked, it has almost no raw materials, and the Chinese are training the local population. They already are building the Rwanda segment of a 2,000 km northern corridor, between Kigali, Rwanda, and Mombasa, via Uganda.
The Chinese Export-Import Bank is giving a $1.2 billion loan to fund the Rwanda section which starts this year. This means that for the first time, there will be a railroad from the coast to the heart of Africa, something the colonialists never did.
Go back to the Transaqua [slide]. This is one of the most promising projects for the future of Africa, the Transaqua Project for which we in the Schiller Institute have fought for 30 years: It's the idea to take the water from the tributary rivers of the Congo, at a height of 500 meters, and bring it back through a system of rivers and canals to Lake Chad, refill it, and it would help 12 countries to have irrigation, hydropower, and have a modern navigation for ship cargo.
Now, given the starvation crisis going on in South Sudan, Somalia, where 8 million people are in danger, and in Yemen, where half the population is about to die because of the Saudi blockade, China has said that because of the refugee crisis in West Asia and North Africa, it is now the time for China to expand its humanitarian assistance and more deeply engage in the global refugee governance. That since the Western countries decided to decrease contributions to the refugee crisis, and in the United States, even impose a travel ban on some people from these countries, China, given its increasing strength will play a bigger role to help to solve this problem.
Now, if you compare that with the despicable policy of the European Union, which knows nothing better than to build fences, get [the EU border patrol] Frontex to push people back, to have intern camps in Turkey; they tried to do it in Egypt and Tunisia, but fortunately the Presidents did not go along with that, you can see that the way to go is, that if the United States, and hopefully some European countries would join hands with Russia, with China, we can rebuild the Middle East from its war-torn condition, we can overcome poverty in Africa, and solve the refugee crisis in a human way.
In terms of investment volume, China the largest in railway, but people don't know that Africa, right now has the highest growth rate in new railway construction due to Chinese investment. The Japanese monthly Sentaku attributed the miraculous growth in Africa to the Belt and Road Initiative, connecting the ancient trade routes in China to Europe and to Africa. And the five biggest railway projects are currently built in Africa with Chinese participation, and Chinese investment is huge! They invested 75 billion in 1,700 projects between 2000 and 2011; it has gone up since then, and in 2016 alone, they invested another 75 billion.
Now, why am I saying that the wellbeing, happiness and likely existence of mankind depends on the United States accepting the offer by Xi Jinping to join the Belt Road Initiative? Because if the United States would leave geopolitics and cooperate in a "win-win" mode it reverses and eliminates the danger of a geopolitical confrontation. And there are many, many areas of possible cooperation, bilateral but also concerning third parties.
Now, Trump has promised to invest $1 trillion in the reconstruction of U.S. infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers has said the requirements are actually $4.5 trillion, and at a recent conference in Hongkong, some Chinese scholars made the point that the actual need is $8 trillion. Now, having driven by car yesterday from Washington to New York, I would say the need is $20 trillion at least! [applause, cheers]
So the Belt and Road cooperation could use the Chinese experience to build up U.S. infrastructure. And China has done miracles — if you go to China and you go on the fast trains, they go 350 kph, they're smooth, no noise, they don't rattle, and China has already built 20,000 km of such high speed, and they want to have, by the year 2025, some 50,000 km of high-speed trains connecting all major cities of China.
But this would also be very boosting to U.S. manufacturing: It would create jobs, revitalize the U.S. economy. Because of the outsourcing of the previous free trade agreements, the United States has no more middle-level industry. So they don't have a complete upstream and downstream industrial chain. China, on the other side, has a complete industrial chain, and a relatively low cost of production. China is also the second-largest holder of U.S. Treasury bonds, and these bonds have been offered by China already to be used for infrastructure financing in the United States. My husband, Lyndon LaRouche, has long made a proposal to create a National Bank in the tradition of Alexander Hamilton, which Trump recently has talked about based on the American System. Now, this National Bank could become a vehicle to move those Chinese holdings into productive investments in the United States.
So what the United States needs, both in terms of experience in infrastructure building, but also in terms of financing, China could provide. And I think that this kind of financing will be important, because many people who want to make 25% per year, will hesitate to invest in infrastructure, because infrastructure does not yield a direct profit, but it creates the environment for the economy to grow.
Also, which I think needs to be discussed much more: The American model of economy is actually much closer to what China is doing than people know, and since we have tomorrow a day to discuss these matters, this will also become more clear.
Now, building up U.S. industry would mean the United States can export more to China. China has a growing middle class, and because of the structural reforms initiated by President Xi Jinping, they want to build up their domestic market; which means potentially a huge market for U.S. exports. But the United States and China could also join hands and have joint ventures in third markets. The United States has more experience in investment in some countries, and then China and the United States could be complementary in their efforts. In 2016 the bilateral trade volume was $519.6 billion. The bilateral investment grew to $170 billion in the same year, but in the last ten years, U.S. exports to China grew 11%, but Chinese exports to the United States, only grew 5.6%.
Now, with the Belt and Road, this potential would totally go up tremendously. Now, if the United States which has right now, almost no train system worth speaking of, would have such a system of infrastructure development you could solve all problems, you could revitalize the rust belt, you could reindustrialize Detroit, you could have water management systems along the West Coast; you can build beautiful new cities. This is the model of a Renaissance city, and when we build new cities, they must not look like Houston. They can be based on the Golden Mean in architecture, they can be beautiful and they can become research centers, science cities where international scientists work together, students are being educated.
Next [slide]. When we designed the World Land-Bridge which is actually the product of 26 years of work by the Schiller Institute, and it's really a plan for the reconstruction of the world economy; it's the idea that you will have fast train systems connecting the southern tip of Latin America, Argentina, Chile; you go up by a fast train system through Central America, North America, connect through the Bering Strait to the Eurasian transport system; and we can really move to bigger things in the future.
If you reflect, how much mankind has progressed in the 10-20,000 years, which on the scale of universal history is a very, very short moment: you had first human infrastructure development by people settling at the rivers and the oceans; then they started to build roads going inland; then you had shipping, then people started to build canals — the first one in Europe promoting this idea was Charlemagne. And a gigantic jump in human development was made with the railway system. You had transcontinental corridors, and that process will grow into the World Land-Bridge, where you will have a connection between all continents through tunnels and bridges, you will have future generations of maglev systems, tubes where you can at 1 Mach being very quickly anywhere in the world. This will change completely the character of civilization.
And the next phase of human development which already has started is the industrialization of space, the Moon, and with fusion technology, we will soon have interplanetary travel. This will change and improve the character of our species again and again, because human beings are limitlessly perfectible. Just think about the incredible upward development of the last 10,000 and then think what we will do in 10,000 years from now? And that exponential development we can only have as a hypothesis.
Should we ruin this optimistic vision of the future by having a nuclear war, which will end civilization? At the sidelines of the annual National People's Congress in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed the importance of China, the United States and Russia working together, by emphasizing that it is the relation among these three that makes the difference. It must not be a see-saw game, not a zero-sum outcome but that the healthy collaboration means the joint responsibility for world peace.
The President of the United Nations General Assembly Peter Thomson, recently said that the Chinese initiative of the New Silk Road Belt and Road Initiative is the only future for mankind. And I fully agree. Because it elevates the collaboration among nations to a higher level of reason, to what Nikolaus of Cusa would call "the coincidence of opposites," where the One has a higher existence than the Many. And it must be accompanied with a dialogue of the best traditions of the cultures of all nations of this world — and that will be the subject for tomorrow.
But I want to remind people, that one of the founding fathers, if not the founding father of America, Benjamin Franklin, discovered at a certain point the writings of Confucius, and he was so excited about Confucian teaching that says only through self-improvement can you progress and have peace, in the family, in the state, and finally among the nations. So he used the moral teachings of Confucius to shape the becoming of the United States. And the most important about Confucian teaching, is the idea that you must have one thing above everything else, and that is, love for mankind.
Now, Confucius said, you can love at will, if you decide to love, you can do it instantly. So I think this we should keep in mind and have that love for mankind right now, because I think mankind is the most beautiful in the world, and it's in mortal danger. But the horizon, what mankind can become if we go to a new epoch, the New Paradigm of working together, of developing each other's creativity, it's limitless. So, let's mobilize such a love. [ovation, applause]