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China's 'Project of the Century' Is Launched; What's Our Responsibility Now?

May 14, 2017
At the start of the One Belt, One Road international forum. Photo: kremlin.ru

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.

President Xi's urgency can be heard:

"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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

SUPPORTING MATERIAL


Schiller Institute Head Helga Zepp-LaRouche Attends Belt and Road Forum

Helga Zepp-LaRouche attended the Belt and Road Forum summit in Beijing Sunday and Monday, as the head of the Schiller Institute. The Schiller Institute, one of the key think-tanks involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, had been invited to participate in the conference discussions.

The Chinese press agency Xinhua interviewed Zepp-LaRouche, well-known in China as the "Silk Road Lady" for her conceptual advocacy over 30 years of what is now the Belt and Road. The interview is datelined Berlin, May 14. A week earlier, China Daily interviewed Zepp-LaRouche May 6 on her organization's mobilization for U.S. participation in the May 14-15 summit, and titled its interview "Trump Encouraged To Attend Belt-Road Forum."

CGTN Live interviews Helga Zepp-LaRouche in Beijing on the significance of the Belt and Road Summit.

Now, Xinhua's Belt and Road page, marked "Latest," featured an article on the Zepp-LaRouche interview as of mid-day EDT Sunday.         

"'China's Belt and Road Initiative will continue to grow and become a true world land bridge,' Helga Zepp-LaRouche, president of the Schiller Institute think tank, has told Xinhua.

"'The Belt and Road Initiative is the most important strategic initiative on the planet,' she said. `It not only brings economic prosperity to all participating countries, but also serves as a true basis for a peace order for the 21st century.'

"'At first some countries thought the initiative would bring advantages to China only; then they realized it was about win-win cooperation among all participating countries,' she said. `For Africa and other developing countries, it is the first time they have been given access to advanced technologies in the framework of the initiative to fight poverty and boost development,' said the expert.

China Daily also featured Helga Zepp LaRouche in Belt and Road Coverage in "Initiative Is Gaining Incredible Momentum," China Daily's English-language edition also featured the assessments of Schiller Institute founder and chair Helga Zepp-LaRouche at the Belt and Road Forum (BRF).

Zepp-LaRouche called the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) "a new dynamic that is gaining incredible momentum. The people who said the Belt and Road Initiative would collapse have been proven wrong, because the statistics now show it has become the new engine of growth for the world economy — in fact, the only one."

In the boldest statement, Zepp-LaRouche characterized the shape of the initiative: "China has had an unbelievable economic development in the past 30 years, and in a certain sense, what the Belt and Road Initiative does, is allow China to export that miracle." And, she said, "the Initiative has changed the dynamic around many of the world's crisis spots already."

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shared that insight in his keynote address, when he stated that "This [bri] is going to be the kind of initiative that will put an end to terrorism."

Helga Zepp-LaRouche emphasized to China Daily the demonstrated Chinese world leadership in high-speed rail systems, of which it will have 40,000 km by 2025 from a standing start in 2006. She noted the poor condition of U.S. transport infrastructure, and that Chinese expertise could help the United States emulate such a high-speed rail network. She noted "positive signs" at the Trump-Xi summit in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, "and while Mr. Trump may not be at the Forum, an early trip is planned to China," she said.



Xi Jinping on Next Steps with 'Master Key To Solve All Problems'

China's President keynoted his own Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation by stressing the next steps necessary for this "project of the century."

In one of several similar forecasts of the need for coordination of the development thrusts China has set off, so that the growth initiatives succeed to the maximum extent, Xi said:

"These four years have seen deepened policy connectivity. I have said on many occasions that the pursuit of the Belt and Road Initiative is not meant to reinvent the wheel. Rather, it aims to complement the development strategies of countries involved by leveraging their comparative strengths. We have enhanced coordination with the policy initiatives of relevant countries, such as the Eurasian Economic Union of Russia, the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, the Bright Road initiative of Kazakhstan, the Middle Corridor initiative of Turkey, the Development Road initiative of Mongolia, the Two Corridors, One Economic Circle initiative of Viet Nam, the Northern Powerhouse initiative of the U.K. and the Amber Road initiative of Poland. We are also promoting complementarity between China's development plan and those of Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Hungary and other countries. China has signed cooperation agreements with over 40 countries and international organizations and carried out framework cooperation on production capacity with more than 30 countries. During the forum, a number of cooperation agreements on policy connectivity and action plans will be signed. We will also launch Belt and Road cooperation initiative on trade connectivity together with some 60 countries and international organizations. Such policy connectivity will produce a multiplying effect on cooperation among the parties involved."

Later he continued, "we should build the Belt and Road into a road of prosperity. Development holds the master key to solving all problems. In pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative, we should focus on the fundamental issue of development, release the growth potential of various countries and achieve economic integration and interconnected development and deliver benefits to all.

"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....

"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."

Xi ended by making commitments on China's part to the next cooperative actions necessary:

"China has reached practical cooperation agreements with many countries on pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative. These agreements cover not only projects of hardware connectivity, like transport, infrastructure and energy, but also software connectivity, involving telecommunications, customs and quarantine inspection. The agreements also include plans and projects for cooperation in economy and trade, industry, e-commerce, marine and green economy. The Chinese railway authorities will sign agreements with their counterparts of related countries to deepen cooperation on China-Europe regular railway cargo service. We will work to launch these cooperation projects at an early date and see that they deliver early benefits.

"China will scale up financing support for the Belt and Road Initiative by contributing an additional RMB100 billion to the Silk Road Fund, and we encourage financial institutions to conduct overseas RMB fund business with an estimated amount of about RMB300 billion. The China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China will set up special lending schemes respectively worth RMB250 billion equivalent and RMB130 billion equivalent to support Belt and Road cooperation on infrastructure, industrial capacity and financing. We will also work with the AIIB, the BRICS New Development Bank, the World Bank and other multilateral development institutions to support Belt and Road related projects. We will work with other parties concerned to jointly formulate guidelines for financing the Belt and Road related development projects.

"China will endeavor to build a win-win business partnership with other countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, enhance trade and investment facilitation with them, and build a Belt and Road free trade network. These efforts are designed to promote growth both in our respective regions and globally. During this forum, China will sign business and trade cooperation agreements with over 30 countries and enter into consultation on free trade agreements with related countries. China w



President Vladimir Putin Calls Belt and Road Initiative a 'Civilization-Wide Project'

Russian President Vladimir Putin's speech at the opening of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation Sunday in Beijing began with a reference to the history of the "Silk Road" connecting "great civilizations of the region ... engaged in trade for centuries," and concluded with a call for a new alliance to become "a civilization-wide project for the future of mankind."

"The historical experience of cooperation and mutual understanding over centuries" is "just as important to us in the 21st century, when the world is facing very serious challenges and threats," Putin said. "We have exhausted many former models and indicators of economic development. In many countries, the concept of a social state, coined in the 20th century, is now in crisis." It is "not only unable to ensure the steady growth of people's wealth, but can hardly maintain current levels of growth," Russia's President stated.

Putin attacked "protectionism and illegitimate restrictions, including how technology is supplied and distributed..." He said "Poverty, lack of financial security, and the massive gap in the level of development between countries and regions all fuel international terrorism, extremism, and illegal migration. We will not be able to tackle these challenges unless we overcome this stagnation in global development.... None of the old approaches to conflict resolution should be used to solve modern problems. We need fresh and stereotype-free ideas."

Putin continued, "By proposing China's One Belt, One Road initiative, President Xi Jinping has demonstrated an example of a creative approach toward fostering integration in energy, infrastructure, transport, industry, and humanitarian collaboration.... We would welcome the involvement of our European colleagues in this partnership." Putin elaborated, "It is necessary for integration to eliminate infrastructure restriction — mainly by creating a system of modern and well-connected transport corridors," emphasizing the need for all of the regional blocs — EAEU, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), ASEAN, the SCO — to work together to build these links.

"We expect newly established financial institutions like the New Development Bank and AIIB to offer a supporting hand to private investors, and the interaction between universities and business schools must be strengthened. My invitation remains open for joint work within major scientific centers and research projects, including the development of large international research facilities and laboratories for collective use."

"I would like to stress," Putin concluded, "that Russia does not simply view the future of the Eurasian partnership as the mere establishment of new ties between states and economies. This partnership must shift the political and economic landscape of the continent and bring peace, stability, prosperity, and a new quality of life to Eurasia.... Greater Eurasia is not an abstract geopolitical arrangement, but, without exaggeration, a truly civilization-wide project looking toward the future." 


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

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