China's 'Project of the Century' Is Launched; What's Our Responsibility Now?
Chinese President Xi Jinping's keynote to the Belt and Road International Forum, in Beijing Sunday, stressed what next steps must be taken to make sure more than 100 nations benefit to the maximum extent, from what he called the "project of the Century"—the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The attractiveness of this great project of great infrastructure projects, has been established in four years, Xi said, quoting a proverb: "Peaches and pears do not speak, but they are so attractive that a path appears beneath the trees." But with more than $950 billion in investments committed long-term to 900 projects—overwhelmingly, so far, by China's development banks and new funds, which added $115 billion in new commitments at this Forum alone—Xi emphasized the difficult tasks of coordination of project design, economic development planning, and industrial mobilization among the participating countries. And, joint financing by national credits.
The urgent question, is what other major nations, particularly the United States, can and must add to the BRI in order really to join it—given 1 billion people in poverty, threats of famine and mass death in parts of Africa and the Mideast, a the spread of a culture of despair through deindustrialized regions of the United States and Europe.
American System economist Lyndon LaRouche, founder of EIR, whose wife Helga is being featured in Chinese press coverage of the Forum, stressed that now is the time that his movement in the United States and all of its supporters must act, to get the Trump Administration beyond its first steps of cooperation with China.
LaRouche pointed to space exploration, and all its scientific and technological benefits: That is a leading contribution the United States can and must make to this Initiative, cooperating with other space programs that once emulated, and now outdo America's, to create a general leap in human progress.
There must be a "Silk Road in space," monitoring and driving forward new infrastructure corridors on the Earth. President Donald Trump has just begun to look toward really reviving the "Apollo" capabilities of NASA, and the optimism of the American people who once could walk on the Moon.
Ignore "popular opinion" of what is possible, LaRouche said. Above all, get America to act now on this basis: What is the meaning of life for a human being, 50 years into the future? In fact, 30 years ago Lyndon and Helga LaRouche, putting forward the "Eurasian Land-Bridge" policy and international development banks, effectively foresaw the meaning of this weekend's moment in Beijing, and set forth the germ of this moment's Belt and Road Initiative.
"Industries are the foundation of economy. We should deepen industrial cooperation so that industrial development plans of different countries will complement and reinforce each other. Focus should be put on launching major projects. We should strengthen international cooperation on production capacity and equipment manufacturing, and seize new development opportunities presented by the new industrial revolution to foster new businesses and maintain dynamic growth.
"Finance is the lifeblood of modern economy. Only when the blood circulates smoothly can one grow. We should establish a stable and sustainable financial safeguard system that keeps risks under control, create new models of investment and financing, encourage greater cooperation between government and private capital and build a diversified financing system and a multi-tiered capital market. We should also develop inclusive finance and improve financial services networks.
"Infrastructure connectivity is the foundation of development through cooperation. We should promote land, maritime, air and cyberspace connectivity, concentrate our efforts on key passageways, cities and projects and connect networks of highways, railways and sea ports. The goal of building six major economic corridors under the Belt and Road Initiative has been set, and we should endeavor to meet it."
The challenge of this was appreciated by Czech President Milos Zeman at the BRI Forum:
"In all of history, except for the Marshall Plan, there was practically no long-term project, which needs enormous courage. Let me express my gratitude for the People's Republic of China for this courage, and especially, let me appreciate China's president for the courage which is so rare."
Helga Zepp-LaRouche, interviewed by China's Xinhua News Agency, forecast that other countries will be able to
"replicate the Chinese economic miracle of the last 20 years. It will lead to scientific and technological breakthroughs, with international cooperation in thermonuclear fusion technology, providing us with energy and raw material security.
"I am sure it [the initiative] will continue to grow and become a true world land bridge, in a modification of an old slogan: no country will be left behind."
Let's make sure the United States takes a lead, and saves its own future.