Friday Webcast, October 20, 2017
Join us live at 7:00 pm eastern for our weekly Friday webcast with your host Matthew Ogden and special guest Bill Jones.
MATTHEW OGDEN: Good evening. It's October 20, 2017. My name is Matthew Ogden, and you're joining us for our LaRouche PAC Friday evening webcast. As you'll see, I'm joined in the studio by Bill Jones, who is the Washington correspondent for Executive Intelligence Review and is an expert on the situation that's unfolding in Asia. We have a very exciting situation in terms of developments with China that I've invited Bill to discuss with us today.
But before I ask Bill for his input on what's just happened, some very exciting things out of the Party Congress, including President Xi Jinping's keynote address, let me just emphasize to you that we are still in our countdown. We are 14 days now from the first Asia visit of President Trump; where he's going on his grand tour of the Asian countries in the context of the ASEAN summit. Included in that grand tour is his first official state visit to China. So, that trip is occurring exactly two weeks from today; two weeks from this current moment, President Trump will be departing en route to Asia. So, we are in a 14-day countdown. I think what will become obvious to you is that this is a very dynamic moment in history, and we are, indeed, as Helga Zepp-LaRouche said in her webcast yesterday and in multiple interviews in which she's been featured in Chinese media over the last few days in the context of the Party Congress; she emphasized that we are at a crossroads of history. A lot depends on what happens here in the United States over the next two weeks, including lifting this attempted coup that's currently being run against our Presidency from inside the institutions of the United States. There have been major developments on that front, including a letter from 19 Congressmen demanding an investigation of Robert Mueller. And also a continued acknowledgment of the countdown, the urgency of the financial crash, as we see it bearing down on us. Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the fabled Black Monday from 1987; and a lot of people realized that there are a lot of parallels. In fact, the situation is far worse now than it was at that point.
Before we begin, let me just bring to your attention a couple of very important points that President Xi Jinping made in his keynote speech on Wednesday at the much-awaited 19th Party Congress in China. I'm going to let Bill just elaborate a little bit on these. But just for your edification, here's Xi Jinping in his own voice. One of the major aspects of his speech was just focussing on the extraordinary rate of development and alleviation of poverty that China has been able to accomplish over the last five years, and accelerating the rate at which they intend to continue to lift the Chinese people out of poverty over the next five years. The goal is by 2020 to have lifted, fully eradicated poverty from China all together. What he said is that with the Belt and Road Initiative which is now the premier policy initiative of the Chinese government, he said "The dreams of the Chinese people and those of other peoples around the world are closely linked." He said China is striving for the "common destiny for mankind and enduring peace and stability." His other emphasis was that the only job of the Chinese government is to promote the happiness and well-being of the Chinese people. And it's through this commitment to development, to science, to technology, and to the eradication of poverty that the Chinese government and President Xi Jinping intend to do that.
So, I think that lays the basis and creates the context for what could be a very positive visit by President Trump in two weeks' time to China and his next summit meeting with President Xi Jinping. So, Bill Jones has recently been interviewed on CCTV and some other Chinese media, and they've consulted him for an analysis of what's happening and what can be expected out of China with the advent of this state visit. I'd like to just ask Bill to sort of lay out what's going on in China with the Party Congress and what we can expect.
WILLIAM JONES: Sure, Matt. It's a very interesting situation, these two meetings that are coming so close together. On the one hand, China is in the process of choosing a new leadership, so you'll have a new array of people who will be in the party leadership between now and the time that President Trump arrives. President Xi, of course, as well as Premier Li Keqiang have five more years to go; they're really halfway through their terms, so they're going to be in charge well down the road for the next five years. What the Party Congress is doing, however, is kind of in one sense rallying the troops around the policy that had been initiated primarily by President Xi when he came into power. It is said that he had a meeting at the National Museum of China shortly after he became General Secretary of the party, and there was an exhibition on the 100 Years of Humiliation; that is, the 100 years between the beginning of the Opium Wars until the creation of the People's Republic of China. He made very clear that the task of his administration would be to reverse that situation in a definitive way, and to create what he had called the Chinese Revival or the Chinese Rejuvenation. We've seen the development of China over the last 30 years, and people have really been thunderstruck by the rapidity in which it has been developed; especially during the last five years with the development of high-speed rail, with the development of their nuclear industry, and with this major initiative launched under President Xi's leadership to bring that development to the other countries of the world. China has always had a special relationship with the other developing countries; namely because it was a developing country for so many years, really because of that 100 years of repression during the colonial era. So, there was a certain amount of sympathy and understanding, and that has remained to this very day. So the fact of the Chinese development being brought over through the Belt and Road to the other countries has created a tremendous amount of optimism throughout the world.
Now, I'm sure everybody within the Party and the government were not always in agreement with that, and much of what's going to happen is that there will be a stronger and a firmer commitment to the direction that has been initiated by President Xi during his time in office, to realize the Belt and Road; which is a multi-generational program. This is going to last over two generations in order to be completely successful in eliminating poverty in the world and bringing development to all the countries of the world. So, there has to be a continuity of leadership that's committed to that. I think we're going to see some of that coming out of the Congress this month.
Secondly, you have had — of course people have seen in the media — the anti-corruption campaign has been launched. Of course, when you have a party which has about 90 million people, obviously there's discrepancy happening. When you're an oppressed party fighting for the good of the people, generally people are extremely idealistic when they go to fight because they're putting their lives on the line. But of course, when you become a successful party, there are many people who simply join and try and make a career out of it. So that has resulted in a number of problems which he has intending to deal with, and is dealing with. He also indicated, with all the lauding that he had of how far China has come, he also sent a message of caution with regard to the difficulties and the dangers that the country faces; both because of the internal situation — still 70 million people in poverty. There's going to have to be major measures taken in order to change that situation. And there's also been a discrepancy in the difference between rich and poor as the country developed. We know we've had that in the United States after the Civil War, when we had the rapid development of industry; it led to the Gilded Age in which many fortunes were made. Other people who were not so well off saw that this discrepancy led to many problems; and we had a reaction to that in what was called the Progressive Era to try and get things back on track. Much of that is happening now with this anti-corruption campaign.
The speech itself, if you looked at the reaction on the people in the audience; of course, they had, there's much more transparency in what China is doing these days than we've ever seen before. They put all their cards on the table. They want people to know what they're doing, because during the course of the Cold War, all the prejudices that existed there about the danger of Communism and Communist China and Communist Russia still exist in people's minds. They don't understand basically what's going on. So, there was a tremendous amount of transparency, and what you saw on people's faces at that time was a tremendous happiness that something was going to happen; the country was going to move forward. In fact, he shortened the period of what previously was the case, that they were looking at this great centenary when it would be 100 years since the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 2049; there's going to be a great celebration. That's when everything has to be in place. What President Xi said is that the modernization of China will be accomplished by 2035; that is, halfway between the period between 2020 and 2049. Then after that, of course, there will be an expansion and a flourishing in all the areas of the arts, the sciences, social life, and the like. So, it's going much more rapidly than people thought, and he had people committed to working for this, and I think they were very happy to hear his words at the conference.
OGDEN: In the webcast that Helga LaRouche did yesterday on the Schiller Institute channel, she was very emphatic that it's the model of what China has been able to accomplish that other nations around the world should measure themselves against. You can see, first of all, what China has done for countries that have been — up to this point — undeveloped, and have been denied development. She emphasized the example of nations in Africa which are now having rail development, power stations and everything else. She also mentioned the case of Greece in particular, because she said there's been now new confidence given to the nation of Greece; because no longer do they see themselves as at the fringes of Europe, but they see themselves as at the center of Eurasia and really the crossroads of the New Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road with the investment that China has made into the Port of Piraeus and rail lines and otherwise. You could see this new-found confidence shining through with Alexis Tsipras' state visit to Washington this week, in the context of which President Trump surprised the Wall Street hedge funds once again by saying maybe we should just write off Greece's debt. So this is a new pattern; first Puerto Rico, now Greece.
But she implored the American people and the people of the collapsing economies of Europe to measure the despair and the kind of desperation growing in the trans-Atlantic over the last 5, 10, 15 years versus the kind of happiness and optimism and confidence in the future and confidence that your life has a meaning and that there's reason to exert yourself to become a scientist or an astronaut as you see this now in China with this commitment to the future. So, with what Xi Jinping has done now, accelerating that timeline even more so, America has everything to gain from joining in this New Paradigm of development. The campaign that we've waged in the lead up to President Trump's state visit there, there are, despite the media attempts to try to drive a wedge between the United States and China in every form; there are clear indications that at least on a personal level, President Trump is very much inclined towards a warm working relationship with President Xi Jinping.
I don't know in terms of what's happened since their last state visit, since their last summit with the Mar-a-Lago visit, certain developments have taken place, including the Belt and Road Forum that you and Helga LaRouche attended. But in terms of the actual machinery of diplomacy continuing to move forward, what can we expect in terms of the parameters for this state visit?
JONES: Well, I'm cautiously optimistic, because the Chinese of course really do want a good relationship with the United States. They have said it time and time again. This is really their most important relationship. What they are looking for is to be treated as what they call a major relationship with the United States. They haven't had that until now because China didn't have that role to play until this point because of the 100 Years of Humiliation. But now they are in a situation where they're becoming a decisive element in the course of history, and the Belt and Road has changed the direction of history. This has now created a trajectory of development which did not exist until China made that commitment. Of course, this is beneficial also to the United States because the United States can be a part of that. We haven't had much development in the last 20 years ourselves; and you can see it in the state of the conditions of the general population and the state of insecurity that still exists. President Trump is trying to deal with this in his own way, but it's also a possibility, an option that exists of trying to use what China has accomplished in order to bring that to bear also on the United States itself. It could be in the form of foreign direct investment. This, of course we're putting up all kinds of barriers against China in building high-speed rail here in the United States. It could also be in the form of direct investment in structures which are geared for building infrastructure; it doesn't have to be direct ownership of anything. The Chinese have millions of dollars in Treasury bills; they're getting 1% interest in that. We could create an infrastructure fund or an infrastructure bank where they could get 2% or 3%, still a low rate of interest, and it would go directly to building railroads and highways, things like that. They would be happy to do that. There are solutions to these problems in which the United States and which President Trump himself can realize his program which otherwise is very difficult to realize. He's not going to get it from private industry; private industry has never built railroads in the United States. It's always been state supported.
Look at the space program. The space program was always a government program. Private industry came in there to the extent that there was a directing hand ready to move in that direction. That's the kind of thing we have lost; we have to get back to that. But if we do that, we have a means of even better cooperation with China than we have today.
The Chinese have their own model; they are not going to change that. That model involves the directing role of the Communist Party of China. They've done a pretty good job with it, and you don't fix what ain't broke. This is definitely not broke. However, there is an awareness, and it was an awareness that was also expressed by President Xi that the direction of what the Party is doing has to do on the one hand with the development of productive forces in the country; but the primary goal is the happiness of the people, the well-being, the people's welfare as we would call it. This is what governs everything. He said that the problems that China has is with what he called unbalanced and inadequate development contrasted with the growing needs, the growing desires of people for being able to expand their own lives and be the authors of their own destiny. He knows that that's going to be the case, and he also has called upon the other parties in China — and people don't realize that there are other parties in China and they have a consultative role — but they are advisors, they do put forward proposals. Those proposals are discussed, there is a discussion on that. President Xi has said that we must expand this; we must get the other parties, non-party individuals must contribute to China's rejuvenation. The whole fact of this China dream, and the importance with President Xi is that he had a dream; and you wouldn't have this China dream unless he himself had internalized what he knew from the difficult periods that he underwent during the last few decades of Chinese history before the reform and opening up. He is intent on realizing that dream and rejuvenating Chinese society and transforming it into a modern nation that plays a major role in defining the course of human history. They will get to that point; there is that determination, there is that leadership. It's a question of leadership, and it works fine.
We have to again think in those terms too. If our leaders did that, we'd be in much better shape if people in Congress would say what is the people's welfare? What are they going to benefit from this? OK, then we got to focus on that. But no; they think in the short-term. The amazing thing about President Xi's speech is that he was looking 50 years ahead. What politicians today, when they give speeches, what are they looking 50 years ahead? They're looking 2-5 years; 5 is whenever the next election is. That's the problem we have to overcome. We have to return to a sense of this country, the destiny of our country, the destiny of our nation. It's an important nation; it was established on very important principles. We should be proud of those, but we should have the realization that we have to do something, that we have to do something for our people. To the extent that that is the intention — and I think ultimately that is President Trump's intention is to benefit the people; to improve the people's welfare so that when he goes out of office, people will say "My life is much better than it was when he came in." That's the best thing that a real politician, a real statesman — let's put it that way — can achieve. And President Xi is looking at that for China; he's also looking at that for the world. And President Trump, if he orients to that and understands what his counterpart is moving towards, I think they will find that unity, that comity, and that common purpose of moving forward on this. They already have a good chemistry. I think they both like each other, and that's important; that's really the basis, because if they like each other, and they say there's a certain bond of trust, all these other issues — which are going to be contentious issues — trade, and the Korean peninsula; all of that's going to be issues that are going to be difficult. But if you have that element of trust, I think you can overcome these. More importantly, if you can find those common interests in which both parties will benefit and in which there is this "win-win" cooperation, and usually geared to the benefit of others outside of the two parties that are involved in this, this can be the key to establishing a firm relationship which will determine the course of human history.
OGDEN: That image that you just gave of President Xi thinking in terms of 30-50 years ahead, and what is the current policy doing for posterity; it reminds you of the attitude that we used to have in the United States. There was a speech, I think President John F Kennedy gave it at the TVA; he gave a speech on the anniversary of the Tennessee Valley Authority. So that had been 30 years since President Roosevelt initiated the TVA. Kennedy said if he hadn't done that then, we wouldn't be here today. So, what we have to think of, is what are we going to initiate today that will then, 30 years from now, be giving that kind of future to the people who are looking back at what we have done. He gave similar speeches in Pueblo, Colorado I think was one, where he was talking about the necessity of great water projects in the West and so forth. But it's that kind of attitude that you see coming out of China with this multi-generational Silk Road policy; and it's severely lacking in the United States or Western Europe.
One thing I wanted you to respond to is, in the lead-up to the Party Congress and also just trying to saturate the airwaves with the lead-up to President Trump's trip, all you've seen from the media is profiles of President Xi which are completely out of this world; totally different from what you get when you actually read his speech or look at what he's done. The Washington Post called him the Stalin of China, and these kinds of just vitriol. But then you see what Helga LaRouche said about him yesterday, that if you really look and study his personal approach to government, he is a Confucian in a very real way, and places himself in this 2000-year history of Confucianism in Chinese history and a philosophical idea of what is the role of government in terms of bettering the welfare of its people. There's definitely a cartoon image of President Xi that's being projected for the American people in the lead-up to this summit.
JONES: Well, that's absolutely the case. In fact, I get the impression that people write the articles before he gives the speech, because they know what they're going to say. But they don't read what the person says, this is the problem. And they really don't care, because they've got this idea that we're going to tear this thing down because we don't like it. That's what we've been fighting for so many years now. We ourselves have had the effect of that in the press that's been written about us over the period of 30 years, ever since we became engaged in the fight for this New World Economic Order with other Third World countries at the United Nations. That's really what's being realized now. The same people who opposed it then, and their children, are opposing it now, because they don't want to see this happening. So, that's really what you have to cut through. President Trump is quite accurate in talking about the fake news, because most of what we read in the mainstream media is also fake. It has to do not only with regard to President Trump and what they write about him, but more particularly what they write about other world leaders. They have a need to have some kind of enemy image in order to sell their newspapers. When something good happens, they don't want to write about it. I tell people all the time, I'm an avid reader of the New York Times because they have so many of these international articles, I find it necessary; but I've read now for many years. I have not found one article that's positive about China; not one. Every day there's something, but not one single positive article on it. So, you can't trust that; which is why the alternative media, what we're doing here and what other well-intentioned people are trying to do is extremely important.
But it's different in China. People talk about the controlled media; this is the controlled media. The truth doesn't get out, but at least they report the news about what people are saying and what is happening. There's much more of a debate in the Chinese press than there really is here; and it's a rational debate because they're talking about real problems. They're not trying to tear down somebody or make a political point. In one sense, there's a much more vibrant political debate in China than there is here in the United States. People have got to break with this idea that you're working with this monolith and everything is steered from the top. It's interesting in the discussions at the Party Congress as well, is that there was so much back and forth among — and none of this really goes out to the press because it's open and everything. People who are there covering it write about it, but it doesn't get into the New York Times or Washington Post, that all of the various delegations from all these diverse cultures that exist within China, from the northwest with the Uighurs to the south, the various nationalities. There's a tremendous discussion on how we go forward in this direction. It's not simply that word is getting out that some proclamation is made and everybody has got to follow that. But the statements that are made, like the work report which hasn't been published yet; President Xi presented it in his own words, but there will be document of the work report which will give you an idea of what has gone on over the last five years, and also the direction that he indicated with a little more detail. That's being discussed and debated and worked on, and they will come up with a solution for it. Because they have that kind of debate, they can create a policy which has allowed them to bring 700 million people out of poverty. We can't do that, even if we intended to do that; and I question whether the intention is really there at all. But if we intended to do that, unless we've got some kind of sanity into our political system where people could talk across the aisle and across states and across different occupations, we couldn't have that kind of a policy.
So China is a model in one sense. As the Chinese have said, every country and every nation has to find their own model; you can't impose the so-called democratic revolutions. We tried that in the Middle East; we saw how that went — not so good. Because cultures are different; they work differently and they have different mechanism that have to be taken into consideration if you want to bring about change. The Chinese are aware of that, and they have their own model and that model is changing. They asked me about the Chinese model in an interview just recently, and I said look over the five years; you've seen a tremendous change in the model of China between what it was five years ago. Because there is this discussion because they are oriented towards resolving the problems that have to do with the people's livelihoods, with the people's welfare.
JONES: ...with the people's livelihood, with the people's welfare. And things come up, people complain — on the internet, the netizens in China are the most active group in the world! They'll you if something's wrong, they'll say it. One guy, at an interview, a Chinese friend of mine who said, if you have a wristwatch, something that's a little expensive, you've got to take it off, because if somebody sees that on the news, they say, "Hey! We don't have that!"
It's an active and vibrant society which is grappling with major problems and doing it very successfully. And they have a leadership which is understanding of that and therefore they're moving in the right direction. And because they're doing that, it's infectious. And I think it's also in the United States as well: We've been kind of been in a stalemate, a miasma over the last few years with regard to our space program, our industries, with regard to the development of our nuclear industry, which has really gone down the tubes.
All these things that we were great in, has kind of disappeared, because there has not been this leadership. And we thought, well, we're on top of all of this, because we are number 1 — but that's now questionable. And the issue is, can what China's doing help ignite a similar development here in the United States? Not in the sense of a competition, but in the sense of, "yes, we really should be doing these things. This is what mankind should be committed to: Developing a society for its people." And I'm confidence that something like that is going to happen.
What I'm concerned about, and of course what I tell people also among my Chinese friends, is to create a clear understanding among the leadership of the United States, that we are in this together. President Xi said it himself, "we're all in the same boat."
OGDEN: Right, he calls it "a common destiny for mankind," "the dreams of the Chinese people and the people around the world are closely linked," or something.
JONES: Yeah, he also made the statement "we're in this together," right? So we've got to stick together. And I think that's the message he will bring to President Trump, and I think it's also a message that President Trump will understand. Because his problems are really not with China. His problems are more with the U.S. Congress, or President Obama or whatever, but also, seriously, his problems are with creating stability in the Middle East. We've kind of gotten control of ISIS, so-called; nothing's going to happen, and it's all going to come back, unless we can change the nature of life in the Middle East. And the same thing goes for places like Africa, where you also have the terrorism in Nigeria and Somalia: Those things can only be resolved if we have a major program of developing those economies. And the United States can play a major role there, because we are still a very important, very powerful power. We could do something if we set our minds to it. And the Chinese are there, and they're very active, in fact, more active in Africa, than we have been for years, and would be willing to work with us on this. They do not see this as a "winner take all"; they do not see this as a zero-sum game. And they would want more than anything else, the United States involved in it, because they would feel much more confident in going forward with their own program.
And so, in one sense, it's really our job to pull together an understanding within the U.S. administration of how important this thing is, and Helga's doing it in her own way with the numerous conferences and speeches and things she has; and we'll have another conference soon on the situation in Africa, which will emphasize the importance of this Belt and Road, not as a Chinese policy, but as a program that is geared towards the wellbeing of mankind, and something that the United States, the U.S. industry and U.S. government should be involved in in trying to promote.
We should have on the Belt and Road, a task force — President Trump should set up a task force at a high level, with maybe a couple of cabinet officials, which are liaisons to the Belt and Road, to try and work out, OK how do we work together with this? How do we have U.S. industries involved in it? They are already, many of them, Caterpillar, General Electric, have made clear statements on this. But there has to be a government support for that, in order to get people to understand that this is not a dangerous, or a leery project; this is something has the support of the United States.
And then we could get something moving, then this would become a reality. Because unless China and the United States can begin to see eye-to-eye on the Belt and Road and to work together on that, it's going to be problematic for everybody. It'd be problematic for China, and also really a disaster for the United States, if that were not to happen.
So I think we have a very good opportunity, since we have a President who understands the reality, the need for economic development here, and who also has a good relationship with the Chinese President, and I think a very high respect for him, as well. So, I think we've got a good opportunity going into this meeting in November.
OGDEN: What you said about a high-level governmental task force, I think that's a good point, and actually, we know that President Trump sent Matt Pottinger from the State Department to the [May 14-15] Belt and Road Forum, and President Xi said he was very pleased with that, and gratified that there was high-level U.S. representation.
One thing I wanted to ask you about, I thought that the appointment of [former Iowa Governor] Terry Branstad to be U.S. ambassador to China was very well advised, because of his personal relationship with Xi Jinping, the involvement that China has had historically with his state, Iowa, in terms of agriculture and other means, and I thought that that was a very good indication that there's a seriousness on a high level, in terms of OK this is a constructive, diplomatic relationship. I don't know if you know any news about what Terry Branstad's activities have been.
JONES: No, I don't follow it so closely, but it was obviously an attempt by President Trump to establish a good, working relationship with the Chinese President, which he knew from the get-go.
What they have done, I do know, is that they have — this is interesting, because China can also take lessons from the United States in some respects, in terms of agriculture, for instance. China still has a certain problem with agriculture: You have small landowners, they have small plots of land which they lease — land in China is state-owned and it's leased out to farmers — and many farmers go into the city, but they like to keep their plot there, because if things don't go well in the city, they want to go back to the plot, so sometimes that remains fallow. And they're working various schemes on trying to extend these leases so that farmers who are going to be in the city for a year can lease out to somebody else who will work the land, things like that.
But what you had most recently, including with this Chinese delegation that we hosted up in New York, was that they're looking at American agriculture to see if there are things they can take there which would be beneficial for increasing productivity in Chinese agriculture. And one of the farmers in Iowa — his name is Kimberley — who was also had a certain relationship with Xi when he was there studying Iowa agriculture, who has a large farm, very modernized, all the most modern equipment, they have set up that type of a farm in China, as a model for what possibly might be done, so that Chinese farmers and also scholars involved in agriculture can come and take a look at that. I doesn't mean they're going to start this big, U.S.-style family farm there; but it does mean that they will look at it, and they will take what they feel is adequate and of use for them.
So there are lot of these fields. If we have a good relationship with China in this respect, that we can help them in going more quickly to their goal, and in a sense, help ourselves by creating this relationship; not least of all in terms of space.
Now, China has gone so far in space on their own steam, and they could do it on their own steam as well; but if you could get a collaboration in the space program, we could revive some of our capabilities, we could do it much more quickly, and we could do it together. We did that with the Soviet Union. We did that with the Soviet Union in the midst of the Cold War: So why can't we do that with China? The Cold War is over, why can't we work together with China on human space exploration? China has the only program that invites all countries to participate! We do it with all countries — except China!
And so, they're more inclusive in that respect, and inclusiveness also is a key work for President Xi. And we should learn from our mistakes, and not try and back off from this, but try and have an open hand, because we can also help them along the road, and help ourselves in trying to get our economy moving, and breaking down some of these barriers which are also a hindrance to Chinese investing in the United States.
OGDEN: Yeah, and I think that really is the key concept and Trump would get it: It's "win-win," this is something we will mutually benefit from. It's a mutually beneficial relationship, and these are benefits that will not come if we don't enter into that relationship. So, it goes both ways, and that's been the model for the New Silk Road; that's been the model for what China is doing in terms of this new paradigm of foreign policy. And this failed paradigm of Cold War geopolitics, — people have got to get the concept: This is more destructive that we hold onto this, and that we refuse to get this go. And these dinosaurs, in terms of our foreign policy think tankers and so forth, they're holding us back, they're preventing us from benefitting, from participating in this new mode of economic and security relationships, which is already spreading across these countries in Europe. Countries are benefitting from it, and we are being denied access to that.
I think probably the paradigmatic moment was when President Xi had an APEC summit in 2014, offered President Obama to be one of the founding members of the AIIB, and to enter into the ground floor in this new, emerging Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and said: You know the United States could be a part of this, you could just be a founding member along with us. And out of the hubris of this anti-China policy, President Obama said no! And he expected that all of the countries of Europe were going to line up behind him, and say, "no, we're sticking with this American hegemony, and we're going to say no." And little did he know, all of these European countries said, "Hmm, actually I think we should probably accept that offer. I think we should probably become founding members of the AIIB."
So that could be an announcement that President Trump makes — full U.S. participation, for example, in the AIIB. One out of many things that we could reciprocate in this visit. Maybe you want to say a little bit more about this idea of "win-win" and a new paradigm, this anti-geopolitics policy that's coming out of China.
JONES: What you really have to understand is that China, of course, has two concerns. One is the concern with China itself. It has come out of this very difficult situation; it's an old culture, 5,000 years old — the works of Confucius you look at that and you see comparisons with Plato, other great thinkers, Nicholas of Cusa. You can find that much earlier with Confucius, who in one sense is more of a figure in Chinese culture than Plato and Nicholas of Cusa are in Western culture. Because it's ingrained, both into the language, into the sayings, into the structure of the language, comes out of this, similar to what Shakespeare did for the English language, Confucius did for the Chinese language. So it's a part of their culture: This notion of harmony, of people's being able to get together, the hatred for warfare and internal strife, the concern over chaos, or "the troubles," that they call "máfan" in Chinese, the state of troubles; this is something that they want to avoid. And you see this expressed very clearly in President Xi's policy: That China has become a major country on the world stage, and will become one of the most decisive world forces in giving a direction to mankind, as we move forward in the next few years. It already is doing that with the BRI with the AIIB, with the economic direction it has given. And they are rightly proud of that and want to assume that role. For a long time they didn't do that, but they are prepared to do this, and they feel it is their responsibility.
But they don't want to do it in contrast, they don't want to make any enemies. As President Xi said, "We don't want to achieve our benefit at the cost of somebody else." And we can't really understand that, because we do still have what Matt said, this old mindset. Some of our political people at CSIS, they should go and be reeducated, because they're really got the wrong paradigm now! They're living in a world that doesn't exist. And you would see this to the extent that one would accept the offers that are being made, on the AIIB, on the Belt and Road.
And until you do that, you don't understand that this is really a genuine offer, and it is because it really is at the kernel of Chinese society. And people have got to come away from this idea that there's this steered, so-called "Communist China." They call it, it's socialism with Chinese characteristics. This is the term that's used. What does this mean? It means that the so-called socialist world that we knew during the period of the Cold War, is all over, the "dictatorship of the proletariat," all of that is down the tubes. China had defined a direction, and the direction was, there was the traditional role of the Communist Party, which has played the absolutely essential role, in bringing not only into unity with the establishment of the P.R.C., but also economic development. It couldn't have been done without that. We'd probably use one of these ourselves if we needed it. We have a different system, we do it differently; but that's what they want to do.
But the idea had to broadened, and what President Xi did, is that he looked back, and because of his own personal ties to the 5,000 years of Chinese history, and said, "This is our basis, this is what we stand for, this is what China is all about." And so, at the same time that there is high regard for the Communist leaders who had created the People's Republic of China, there's also a broader sense of what it means to be Chinese. And that is really the strength of China: That is what propels them forward, and that is really what gives them the ability to reach out to other countries, even powerful countries like the United States, and say, "We want to work together with you, we want to find common interest."
So we have got to go back, really, to traditions that we used to have with Franklin Roosevelt, the creation of the United Nations, the idea that countries have got to come together, to talk, so that they don't go to war, so that they can come to a resolution of their differences in a peaceful way. And to the ideals of the American Revolution: To Alexander Hamilton, and to the great thinkers that we have in this country. If we did that, we would be able to meet the Chinese on an equal level. But if we look at it in terms of the zero-sum game that has been so prevalent, over the last 30, 40 years, then we're going to lose, and we're going to lose an opportunity not only for ourselves, but for all of mankind.
OGDEN: Yeah, and you made the point, you have to see that there are problems that are facing the world that cannot be solved without the cooperation between the United States, China and Russia, a great-power cooperation. There was the problem in World War II that couldn't be solved without that alliance, and Franklin Roosevelt recognized we couldn't defeat fascism, without that strong alliance. And we have similar problems today. We've got, as you said, the crisis of ungovernability in the Middle East; the refugee crisis, — none of these will be resolved without development, without a new Marshall Plan type of approach, which China is bringing to the table with the New Silk Road. We see the situation in Europe, as Helga Zepp-LaRouche said: You'll continue to see these kinds of political upheavals, Brexit, the election of the AfD in Germany; this recent election in Austria; the Catalan referendum, all of these are continuing to happen, because we have not addressed the fundamental problems that are at the root of this society, the massive inequality, the underdevelopment, the lack of a sense of future and productive engagement of the peoples of these regions. So, until those are addressed, and they can only be addressed by entering into this new paradigm of great projects and development, which is typified by the Belt and Road Initiative, until those are addressed, you do not have stability, security and peace for the planet.
So, it's a question recognizing the urgency, that we don't have forever to make these kinds of crucial decisions. We do have a crisis of the trans-Atlantic financial system, you have this threat, as I mentioned at the beginning of the show — yesterday was the 30th anniversary of Black Monday in 1987, and a lot of people are beginning now to recognize that in fact there are debt bubbles out there. Even Wolfgang Schäuble warned about this. And there are certain victories that have to be won over the next 14 days, as we continue this countdown to President Trump's trip to Asia and in the days immediately following that.
I guess my final question to you, Bill, is: Helga LaRouche said that she is not even cautiously, but highly confident that a good outcome can come out of President Trump's visit to China, and his relationship with President Xi Jinping. What kind of actions have to be taken over the next 14 days, the next two weeks, to educate the American people, and as you said, this insulated class of pundits and think tankers, they are completely on the wrong page; what can the American people do over the next 14 days, to make this point: In our name, we want the United States to decisively become part of the New Silk Road?
JONES: Fundamentally, I think it's important to get out President Xi's speech, initially.
JONES: That should be translated pretty soon — it's not in English yet, but they sometimes take a while. This would be extremely important, because it gives an idea, a sense of optimism and very dramatic picture of where the world can go, if we really put our minds to it. It also really expresses the intent of China in trying to reach out to the United States, with this policy. And then, in the next few days, we will also see certain statements, maybe even more directly connected to the upcoming Presidential visit.
But people really have to write their congressmen, let them know about the Belt and Road. Look, we have a situation in which American industry is now becoming very vocal on this issue. You had the head of Caterpillar make a statement; GE is involved in this; they have got to play a more active role. They have got to begin to lobby Congress on this issue.
There is a discussion within the U.S. administration with regard to the possibility of creating some kind of a counterpart on the U.S. side with the Belt and Road, that is, in the sense of a liaison group or whatever. That has got to become more public now. And we've got to insist on people in industry, people are concerned about infrastructure, contacts that we have also among the farmers to try and do a lobbying operation, to make sure that we come out of this meeting with some kind of a concrete agreement that can push things forward.
And we have to just create an understanding that this is a key moment: These are the two most important powers in the world, and we stand at the point in which the world can be shifted in a decisive way if they simply come to an agreement that, OK, we're going to work together. They may not have all the details, they may not have resolved everything, but if they have this commitment, and other people are beginning to act to show them what the details are, what needs to be done, how the Chinese can contribute, how the U.S. can contribute to China and help it develop more quickly, can contribute with our own investment, then you have the capability of moving forward in this.
And as I say, I am optimistic. There's a lot of questions that are going to be really tough nuts to crack. We don't know if we're going to have some "deliverables" out of this, so-called, because they're usually worked out ahead of time, and I'm not sure they're being worked out now. But I think the key thing is, when you have this firm hand-clasp between the two Presidents, that they say, OK, we will move forward on this, then it will be moved forward.
But people have got to already now, begin to lobby on these issues, begin to press Congress — Congress knows nothing about these things, they know very little about it. So call up your congressman! Say, "I heard this webcast, they're talking about the Belt and Road, and President Xi says he wants to develop this. Why don't we do this? Why doesn't President Trump do this?" You know, we used to send "memorials" to Congress on a lot of issues: Something like that, "Memorials for the Belt and Road" for creating a liaison to develop our own economy and infrastructure, to bring the Chinese in to help them do this, to make it a part of the New Silk Road. The U.S. Division of the Belt and Road Initiative — we have to expand it across the Atlantic and across the Pacific, so that everything comes into place. There are discussions about building new harbors in California, to have this increased China trade; people are talking about it behind the scenes, but they've got to come out in the open, now and start talking, loud and clear, so that everybody can hear where people stand on this.
And if we can do that, then I think we can push this program forward when the two meet.
OGDEN: You're absolutely right, that the Congress knows nothing about the New Silk Road. People really overestimate what these congressmen know! I remember, I was on Capitol Hill the day that the AIIB was announced, and these guys had no idea what this even stood for, let alone what it meant!
So, let me just conclude, these are the words of President Xi Jinping: Not only did he commit to fully eradicate dire poverty in China by the year 2020, three years from now, but here, by the year 2050, he said, "China will be transformed into a great society in which China will reach new heights, a strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful nation." And China will "become a fully active of member of the community of nations."
So that's the commitment we have from President Xi Jinping, the most populous country in the entire world, and I guarantee you, the future belongs to the decisions that the Chinese people make. And we will have to accommodate to that, and we will have to navigate a world in which China is, indeed, one of the great powers of this planet.
So the question is: What will the American people do, and what will the United States be by the year 2020? And what will the United States be by the year 2050? Will we be able to say, of ourselves, that we are "strong, democratic, culturally advanced, a harmonious and beautiful nation"?
JONES: I should mention that in the eyes of the Chinese, the name for America is "Meiguó," which is "beautiful country." So they would like to get to that point, and we should be happy to get to that point too, but we've got a lot of work to do before we get there.
OGDEN: Right. And so, a lot of that depends on what happens over the next 14 days. Thank you for joining us, and thank you, Bill, for joining me here. And please stay tuned, because over the 14 days, the next two weeks, we will continue our countdown to President Trump's first state visit to China.
Thank you for joining us tonight, and please stay tuned to larouchepac.com.