Zepp-LaRouche: Why Does the British Empire Fear China's Belt and Road Initiative?
As China, under Xi Jinping's leadership, is moving ahead with plans for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to realize the dream of global economic cooperation, as the basis for peace, the City of London/Wall Street-controlled media has become more dishonest and vicious than ever. In the last days, the Wall Street Journal, Time magazine and London's flagship, Economist, have added their voices to the chorus of shrieks attacking China.
While incompetently insisting that China's policy is creating an unsustainable debt bubble—ignoring the REAL debt bubble set to explode in the Trans-Atlantic region—the defenders of the bankrupt geopolitical empire accuse China of using infrastructure development to enslave poor nations, by loading them up with debt and stealing their raw materials (which is, of course, what the British Empire has done for centuries).
So why the panic? With President Trump set for what could become a world-historic series of meetings in Asia, the possibility that the U.S. will become a participant in the BRI would be a major step toward putting an end to the unipolar world enforced by the collapsing banking and financial empire.
Join the Schiller Institute's weekly webcast this Thursday, to get the real news of this dynamic process, and become a participant in this world historic transformation.
HARLEY SCHLANGER: Hello, I'm Harley Schlanger from the Schiller Institute. Welcome to this week's webcast with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the founder of the Schiller Institute and its chairwoman.
There have been incredible developments over the last week, starting with the continuation and conclusion of the 19th Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, which laid out an absolutely bold strategic perspective for the next 35 years. This has gotten very little coverage in the West, and it's one of these events which will shape what happens not just in China, but globally. We're going to put that on top of our list for discussion for today, but we'll also take up some developments around Russia-gate and a few questions that were sent to me during the week.
So, Helga, to start with, the 19th Party Congress which just concluded really was quite incredible, putting forward the idea of a beautiful China creating a beautiful world. What's your impression of it?
HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: First of all, I would like to note the fact that the Western media, in their noncoverage of what they decide to focus on, are just completely ridiculous. The main attention they paid was to the fact that Xi Jinping did not present a visible successor. He was just voted in for five more years, so this is obviously not the key point.
But what this Congress represents is a strategic shift. It is in line with the Belt and Road Initiative and the whole new model of international relations China has developed under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, and I think the West has not caught up with what this is actually all about. They are so much behind the curve, it is almost absurd.
Because I think what Xi Jinping has accomplished in the five years of his Presidency so far, the previous five years, is he has successfully taken on some of the problems China had, such as corruption, such as a slowing economy, and various other problems, and he has actually been extremely successful. And everybody who has been in China and has looked at it without prejudices, could not help but noticing it—that it has led to a population which for the most part is very satisfied; 83% of the people are absolutely happy about what the government is doing, and I would like to see the Western country that has such approval rates.
But what has happened at this 19th National Congress is truly amazing. Because in more than a week's duration what Xi Jinping has consolidated the party around, is a manifold perspective, which I want to start to discuss various aspects of:
First of all, in the immediate next three years, by 2020, the aim is to eliminate poverty, to lift the remaining 42 million people who are presently living in poverty in China, above that level. Now, that compares with a similar number of people in the United States, except that China is about four times bigger than the population of the United States, and it compares with the roughly 120 million poor people in the European Union, who have been poor for the last 20 years, and nothing has been done about it, and there's no perspective to eliminate poverty in the EU.
In the next period, from 2020 to 2035, the aim is to make China a moderately prosperous, functioning socialist country; and then from 2035 to 2050, China is to become completely developed, culturally harmonious, advanced, democratic, socialist and beautiful country.
There is an additional element. First of all, what impressed me very much is the focus of Xi Jinping, and also other people who spoke, on the purpose of this all—namely that it is the improvement of the life of people. That people should live a better life, a happier life—and that is lacking in the discussion in the West completely: That the aim of politics is that people should be happy! Happiness is an inalienable right, which was after all in the Declaration of Independence of the young United States.
But there is another aspect to it. Xi Jinping, especially in his concluding remarks, spoke about a socialist model with Chinese characteristics for a new era. And the aim which was formulated very explicitly, was that China will take a global role in creating a beautiful future for all of mankind. Now, that is really something! When has any Western politician had a vision of creating a beautiful future for all of humanity? I mean, you have to go back a long way, until you find people even thinking in these terms; and I think that China has provided a model of international governance and international relationships based on sovereignty, respect for other social model of the other country, in other words, non-interference; with no attempt to change the system to the Western model or to their own model, but to respect the other countries' sovereignty.
And I think this is an incredible perspective, because if you look at it from the long arc of human history, this was an initiative which had to be made at a certain point in the development of humanity. There had to be at some point, somebody to say, "we are the human species, the human species is one" — Xi Jinping always calls it the "shared community for the future of mankind" — and a vision of how we can organize our affairs on this planet in such a way that the result is the good life for all people living on this planet.
Now, Westerners tend to not understand that. They tend to either overlook it and just say it's propaganda, it's just communist rhetoric; or they cannot imagine that it could be true, because they themselves are so unused to thinking in these terms that the power of imagination is completely lacking, to imagine that there could be a political leader who thinks that way. But I'm absolutely convinced that Xi Jinping is a Confucian man, that he wants to shape the world in a Confucian harmonic way, and I think that people in the West who want to understand what's going on, should not just push it aside, but really try to get a grasp of it. Because it's a tremendous potentiality for all of humanity, which must be supported and should be taken up. And I think it's important that people undergo the intellectual integrity to try to comprehend what he is talking about.
SCHLANGER: I found it very interesting that he traced the period that he described as a "miserable period for China," to the Opium War, the British Empire's efforts to try to force the Chinese to accept opium shipped from the British into China. Because that makes it clear that he's talking about the emergence from an imperial system into a whole new era.
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Yes. And I think the other thing which is very noticeable, is, as we were going into the days of this party convention, the attacks by the Western media — I mean, they were just unbelievable, against China, blaming China for the coming crash, the debt of China — while, in reality, every debt China has incurred is covered by capital assets, because they have invested in the real economy and infrastructure, and therefore in assets which would be there if there were a crash; unlike the Western investments in speculation, in derivatives, which are just virtual and will disappear the moment the crash occurs.
So there was an unbelievable barrage of attacks. Also against President Xi Jinping—you had totally insane comparisons to all kinds of historical figures; it was just absolutely berserk. And I noticed a new tone of self-confidence in the way the Chinese media responded to that. First of all, they very self-assuredly said that the West does not get it, they don't understand China, they don't try to understand China; but moreover, the Chinese model is so clearly superior to the Western model.
In the past, the Chinese have been much more restrained and have held back from saying such things—but now, when these attacks occurred, they said: But look at it, the Chinese socialist model with Chinese characteristics is having these unbelievable, positive results, while in the West there is chaos. Especially if you look at the EU, or those in the West who are trying to export their model of Western democracy and human rights. And then they say, those people in the West who speak like that obviously don't want China to succeed, and they think China is only doing well when it submits to Western values—but when it is developing, then they regard that as a threat to the world order.
And that is just completely ridiculous, they say, and therefore, since the West is collapsing and the influence of the Western media is vanishing, one can just ignore what these Western media are saying.
But that is a new tone, and I really like that, because there was just a poll in the United States, and they found that of the Americans, 57%—more than half of the people—do not believe a word which is said in the mainstream media. So this is quite significant, because obviously the influence of these media is shrinking; they have overdone it; they have tried to pretend that they control everything, including the way people should interpret democratic elections in the United States. But they have overblown it, and I think there is a blowback, and I think that that creates a very interesting new situation.
As for China, I think people should study the speeches of Xi Jinping. There is also a very interesting, new, three-part documentary on CGTN TV about Xi Jinping, which people who want to understand that man should just look at. ["China: The Time of Xi"]. And also people should study his speeches—and when I did that over the years, I was very impressed by the fact that he always puts a lot of emphasis on traditional Chinese culture; he also knows the best periods of cultures of other countries. When he travels, he always emphasizes the best contributions of the other culture, which I think is very important. And he also puts a lot of emphasis on beauty, on the spirit of science — I mean, he's a Renaissance man! And I think we have not been used to having Renaissance men for a long time. My husband is one of them, but they are a rare species. But I think people have a lot to discover if they engage in becoming familiar with Xi Jinping.
SCHLANGER: I found one other thing quite significant, which is, in contrast to the nonsense in the media about Xi personally and about the direction of China, President Trump, when he called Xi Jinping right after the congress ended, congratulated him and spoke of his "elevation," that is, his re-election, in positive terms.
The President is heading to Asia soon. What can you update us on the prospects for that trip?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: It is very interesting: President Trump will be accompanied by a very large delegation of American businessmen. I am pretty sure that what will be discussed, both in Japan and also in China, is large Japanese-Chinese investments in American infrastructure. Now, our audience, or those who are familiar with the activities of the Schiller Institute, probably know that we have campaigned in the United States since 2014, for the idea that the United States should fully cooperate with the New Silk Road, with the Belt and Road Initiative, and I think this will be on the agenda. I'm pretty sure that the Chinese government, Xi Jinping, especially now with the accomplishment of the 19th party convention, will not miss this opportunity to offer something to Trump, who obviously is in a very difficult situation. American infrastructure is in terrible condition; the United States has only 150 km of fast train systems, somewhere between New York and Boston; and that compares with far more than 20,000 km of fast train systems in China. And China wants to have all major cities in China connected through fast train systems by 2020, in three years, and then they will have 50,000 km of fast trains.
We have proposed for already some time now, that the United States needs a similar fast train system connecting the East Coast, the West Coast, and maybe even some new cities to be built in the middle of the United States; but the United States could also have something like 50,000 km or 35,000 miles of fast trains, and I think that's one area of cooperation, in investment in infrastructure. And on the other side, have American businessmen and American firms investing in the many, many projects along the Belt and Road Initiative in Asia, in Latin America, and in Africa. I think a completely new level of international cooperation is on the horizon.
And if this happens, which I cannot predict for sure, but it's obviously a direct potentiality — if this were to occur, given the fact that President Trump is all inclined to improve relations with Russia, which he just said in a radio interview, and if the three countries, the United States, China and Russia can find a way of cooperating, I'm absolutely optimistic that this would represent a new era of civilization. And if President Trump goes in this direction — I've said it in the past, sticking my neck out and putting my reputation on the table — President Trump has the potential to become one of the greatest Presidents in the history of the United States.
Now, many people will be absolutely shocked that I'm saying that, but anybody who is not a complete moron should be happy if the three largest nuclear powers reach understanding and cooperation—and with the "win-win" offer, the new era offered by China, the possibility to overcome geopolitics forever is clearly there.
So most people have no inkling, no idea that that potentiality of a completely new era of civilization is before us. And I would ask all our viewers to — not believe me, that's not the point — but to investigate it for themselves. Because this is one of the, in German you would say, "Sternstunden der Menschheit"—one of those "star-crossed moments," or decisive moments for humanity. In a sense it's different, but it has an incredible promise like that when the fall of the Berlin Wall occurred, that was one of such "star-crossed moments for humanity," which as we now know retrospectively was missed, because geopolitics marched in: George Bush, Sr., Thatcher, and Mitterrand, they all were determined to prevent this from leading to a new era.
But this time, we are on the verge, on the eve, or maybe in the morning at the sunrise of such a new era, in a much more powerful way, because it's already a reality for about 100 nations. So people must really understand, this is one of these "punctum saliens," as Friedrich Schiller would call it, in history, where the entire direction of the human drama of history could go into a completely new stage and a new direction. And we are very close to that, because the only thing lacking is the West grasping it, and joining it.
SCHLANGER: Well, it's not a coincidence that the same media that are attacking President Xi and attacking the Chinese model, are behind Russia-gate. The continued efforts in the press to come up with some smoking gun, to try to get rid of Trump, there's a whole new series of articles about the 25th Amendment — but something that happened in this last week, which is in part a result of the work that we've done, getting out the Mueller dossier, but also the work that some of the Republicans in Congress, to go after the authors of the "sex dossier" against Trump. As you know, Helga, it came out that Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded that Fusion GPS/Christopher Steele sex memo.
This obviously turns things upside down, doesn't it?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, it was sort of to be expected that that was the case, but now it's out and I think it's a lot of egg on the face of Hillary Clinton and the whole DNC, because they lied. They knew it was a lie. They used foreign [british] intelligence against their own elected President.
Now, I think there will be a big aftermath, and I think the timing is very good that this story is coming out now, because it brings the whole of Russia-gate to the final end, which already was started with the VIPS [Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity] report. So it frees up President Trump for his upcoming Asia trip.
But another point which I think is worthwhile to reflect on, is that all the Europeans believe this, and went with this story as 100% true, and are also saying now, that this is proof that Russia will manipulate European elections, and so forth. But I think people should reflect on this whole thing, and really understand, what the British Empire is, what this apparatus is — it's called "deep state" by some, but I think it's really, fundamentally the old paradigm of geopolitical thinking, of the financial Western system which goes for high profit, which defends its interest of the privileged class; in total contrast to the new system, the new model, the new paradigm, which aims at the common good of the people, and a better, happier life for everybody on this planet.
So it's really the fight between these two systems: And I think — you know, it's terrible, I almost feel pity for the Clintons, because they really look terribly bad now.
But I think it's very good for history that the truth has come out, and it will give a lot of impetus to this trip of President Trump.
SCHLANGER: And it also gives President Trump a certain amount of credibility that the media have been trying to take away from him, because he's been insisting from the beginning that there's no story here, and it's a fraudulent attempt to undercut him.
Now, I got an email from someone who asked if you could talk about the significance of the Catalan separatist movement, in the context of this fight between the old paradigm and the new; because I think there's been a lot of confusion about what it represents, partly coming from the European Union itself.
So, what's behind this, and why is it happening?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: First of all, I think the Catalonia development is also an effect of the neo-con/neo-liberal paradigm. Because in Spain, as in Greece, Italy, and Portugal, they were hit by the absolutely brutal austerity of the Troika. Spain, despite the fact that many young people left, and many skilled laborers left, still has an unemployment rate among the youth of, I think, up to 60%—young people who neither have a job, nor are in education, which means they have no future!
This is something which has hit all of Spain, and an Italian Member of the European Parliament named Marco Zanni said correctly, that the fight between the Catalans and the Spanish federal government is a fight between the poor and the poorer. And I think that that is what triggered the unwillingness of the Catalans to continue to pay the federal government—so the trigger, therefore, is in the overall policy of the Troika. Like the Brexit, or the victory of President Trump, or the "no" to the referendum in Italy, or the recent election result in Austria, or the Czech Republic—all of these reflect the discontent of the population with the neo-liberal economic policy.
But there are other features to it. Of course it is wrong for the Catalans to demand independence, because it goes against the constitution, and we cannot have a "Europe of the regions," because this is the design, not only of the federalist movement of Coudenhove-Kalergi, of the Pan-European Union, of the British who are supporting the Catalans openly in all their newspapers, because they like the destruction of the nation-state. And if you have 50 or 100 small regional entities all being "independent," of course, as compared to the supranational institution of the EU, they would have absolutely no power and therefore the common good of the people could not be defended. The significance of the emergence of the nation-state was that it is the only institution which, especially in times of crisis, defends the common good of the people, not the private interests. So there is that aspect of it.
But then there is also another point, which I think President Putin of Russia pointed to. He said: Well, the West was so emphatic in pushing democracy, democracy, democracy, and they developed this double standard. Democracy and independence for Kosovo is fine, but of course, now they are caught in a paradox, because if the same thing happens to a pro-EU government like that of Prime Minister Rajoy [in Spain], then of course there is a contradiction, because there is no good solution. Because if the Catalans declare independence, and Rajoy allows it, that threatens the integrity of the Spanish state, so he cannot do that. On the other side, if he tries to quell the masses in the streets — and there were hundreds of thousands of people in the streets in Barcelona and there will probably be again in these coming days — and if he uses military means or police power, then that is terrible for all the values the EU is supposed to represent, like democracy and human rights, and things like that.
So it's a paradox where there is no solution within that system.
Now, we have said, very clearly, the only way you can remedy that situation is that Spain fully take a role as a hub in the New Silk Road, which Rajoy already wants Spain to do—because only if you develop the Iberian peninsula fully as part of the Belt and Road Initiative, can you overcome the tensions between the different provinces of Spain; and by the way, the leader of the Basque region also supported the Catalans already, so this has a tremendously explosive power.
There is one other aspect to be said about it, and that is that in Spain, a dossier came out which we have not yet been fully able to look into, but it does mention that the Catalan independence movement is supported by Soros, by the Ukrainian Maidan forces, and by [gene] Sharp, who is the author of the whole "color revolution" coming from Oxford and Cambridge—so this is a big story, and this will all be investigated and looked at. Because George Soros is the main force behind a lot of these color revolutions, including that in the United States.
So, the answer obviously, is the Belt and Road Initiative, the New Silk Road, common development for all, and then a solution can be found. And in that light, I think it's very positive that Wang Yi, the Chinese foreign minister, just met with his Ukrainian counterpart [Pavlo Klimkin] and Ukraine and China said that they want to cooperate very closely in the Belt and Road Initiative. And there, again, that is what we have said for year: The only way that you can solve the Ukraine crisis—where the west of Ukraine is Western oriented, Catholic; and the eastern part, is Orthodox, Russian oriented — the only way that you can get back to the unity of Ukraine, is if the Eurasian Land-Bridge, the New Silk Road, is in construction from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and in that way, a higher level of cooperation is implemented, which then solves all of these conflicts. So that is also a very promising development.
SCHLANGER: As your husband always says, "when you're confronted with two bad choices, always choose the third." And that's what we see with Spain and with the Belt and Road Initiative overall.
Helga, next week, when we convene for the webcast, we'll be on the eve of Trump's visit to Asia, in particular his meeting with Xi Jinping [in Beijing]. Any last words of advice for President Trump?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, I think, I'm optimistic that President Trump is a good businessman. He's becoming a good President and therefore, he will absolutely recognize the incredible potential, not only for American business interests, but for the United States to become great by being part of a greater whole.
SCHLANGER: OK, with that, we'll say good-bye, and we'll see you next week.