China's Role in the New
Just World Economic Order
by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
This speech was prepared for the "Forum on the U.S.-China Relationship and the Peaceful Reunification of China," sponsored by the Institute of Sino Strategic Studies, Los Angeles, Nov. 24. The speech was delivered on Mrs. LaRouche's behalf by Leni Rubinstein. Subheads have been added.
Through a system of globalization oriented exclusively to profit maximization, so many grave injustices, and such an immense gap between rich and poor have been created, that one can only wonder, how is it possible that so many representatives of leading institutions could believe that this could simply continue forever. But the beneficiaries of this casino economy, the billionaires and millionaires, still seem to be fanatically supporting the chaos and destruction which their own privileges have brought to the broader part of humanity. But, perhaps their indifference is only the result of the unrestrained brutalization of our society, clearly seen in those violent video games and the Internet, which are marketed to us as entertainment.
Nonetheless, the illusion of a virtual reality of perpetual profits has been shattered with a roar in recent days. The systemic collapse of the global financial system has entered its end-phase. Recall that the Chinese character for crisis, also means chance: Although until recently, it seemed as if international financial institutions were more powerful than governments, it is now clear, that the alternative is between worldwide chaos, and the establishment of a new financial architecture. And, while, in times of calm, it seems almost impossible to implement fundamental changes, suddenly, great transformations are possible, when it becomes clear that the current path absolutely does not work.
What we must now put on the agenda, is a real vision for the 21st Century, a system of peace that makes possible the survival of all peoples and nations on this planet, one that adheres to the inalienable rights of humanity. And, we must act with passion, for the civilization of all humanity—the rich heritage of our forefathers, and the life and happiness of future generations—is in danger.
As the Comecon and Warsaw Pact began to disintegrate between 1989-1991, there was a chance to intervene in history. Lyndon LaRouche and the Schiller Institute proposed, at that time, the building of the Eurasian Land-Bridge, that is, the idea to link the population and industrial centers of Europe to those of Asia, through infrastructure development corridors. With the fall of the Iron Curtain, the Eurasian continent could be integrated, economically and through the construction of industrial corridors, to create the same basic economic conditions for the long-isolated, landlocked regions of Eurasia, as were previously enjoyed by countries along oceans and rivers. For a long time this program was only an idea, that we had presented at numerous conferences and seminars.
The Eurasian Land-Bridge Perspective
In the Spring of 1996, this author was one of the speakers at a conference in Beijing on this theme, in which representatives of 34 nations participated. The Chinese government declared the development of the Eurasian Land-Bridge to be a strategic, long-term perspective looking ahead to the year 2010, and began to realize various parts of it. But, there were many setbacks, from the so-called Asian financial crisis of 1997-98, to geopolitical obstacles of various types.
It is an irony of history, that it is probably the unilateralism of the Bush-Cheney Administration which can take credit, for the fact that many of the Eurasian nations came together faster than would have been the case under normal conditions. This is true, in particular, for the strategic partnership among China, Russia, and India. But also, many other projects of our original concept of the Eurasian Land-Bridge are in various stages of implementation.
These include the joyful process of economic cooperation between North and South Korea, whose progress China and Russia, especially, have assisted. The two main railroad lines of the Koreas will be connected with the Trans-Siberian Railroad and the main railroad lines in the south of China. Also of strategic importance, is the largely Russia-promoted project to extend the Trans-Siberian Railroad through a 6,000-kilometer rail line and a 100-kilometer tunnel under the Bering Strait, linking up with Alaska, Canada, and the continental United States—a rail connection that eventually will include Chile.
But, in view of the rapidly escalating systemic collapse, it is necessary to emphatically place on the agenda, that the development of the Eurasian Land-Bridge must be the cornerstone for rebuilding the world economy. A special session of the United Nations General Assembly could be called, or, a summit at the level of heads of state could be convened, to take on this question. It is not only necessary to call into being the New Bretton Woods system proposed by Lyndon LaRouche, but also an economic development program must be decided upon, to which the new financial architecture will be applied.
The New Deal Precedent
For this, there are definite historical precedents that can be drawn upon. The obvious example is the policy of the New Deal, set into motion by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which led the United States out of the Great Depression. Also, the Marshall Plan for the rebuilding of Germany had important conceptual roots in the Roosevelt economic policy. It is important, for example, that Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the occasion of the celebrations for the 125th birthday of FDR, spoke of the necessity of a New Deal for Russia. Similarly, Argentine President Néstor Kirchner proposed a New Deal for Argentina; and the same demand has surfaced in many other countries.
What is now needed is a New Deal for the whole world. The unrestrained free trade of globalization has created around the planet, with few exceptions, conditions where the circumstances of life have gotten worse, if not impossible, for the majority of the population. And I believe, although China until now has seen itself more as Middle Kingdom, than as a world power, nonetheless, in view of China's Confucian tradition, it is conscious of its universal responsibility to help make possible the harmonic development of all nations on this planet.
I would like in this context to focus attention on Africa. If a new just world order is to come into being, a New Deal for Africa must be placed at the top of the agenda. For, a new order, which does not remove the consequences of 500 years of colonialism, the slave trade, and exploitation, cannot function, because it will not remove the inherently moral problem imbedded within the present policy of globalization. Because China is, until now, the sole nation which has helped Africa, without hypocritical conditionalities, but in mutual interest, in the development of industry and infrastructure, China can play an important role in bringing Africa into a world development plan.
A glimpse at a map makes clear that as a precondition for real development, Africa needs infrastructure, including a continental transportation system comparable to Europe's, with a railroad network from north to south, and from east to west, integrated with highway and road networks, and canal systems. The Omega Plan of Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and the Renaissance Plan of South African President Thabo Mbeki, which led to NEPAD (the New Partnership for Africa's Development), certainly go in the right direction. But, the lack of adequate financing of even NEPAD, makes clear that a more ambitious effort is necessary.
Africa represents, with her 700 million human beings, 12% of the world's population, but has only 2% of world energy consumption. A large part of the population has access neither to clean water, nor electricity, nor minimal medical care. To create humane conditions of life in Africa, there must be a serious commitment to overcome the underdevelopment of the continent in the foreseeable future; that means, there must be a crash program for the development of infrastructure, agriculture, and industry. China has been exemplary in its efforts to teach African students and upgrade the skills of workers, in sending agricultural experts and engineers, building schools and hospitals, and the cancellation of debts.
Development for Africa, Not Globalization
In order to seriously conquer the gap in development, it is necessary to dispose of the axioms of globalization, and to return to the idea of the Development Decade of the 1950s and 1960s. As such, all the concepts, like "sustainable development," "appropriate technology," "population control," etc., are but Orwellian doublespeak for the dictate that the African nations must never be allowed to become anything but raw materials producers.
We must stop treating the Africa states as if they were the youngest child in a family of many children, who are obligated always to wear the hand-me-down clothes of their older siblings. Instead, Africa, in the coming international division of labor in the context of a New Just Economic Order, will be leading in certain areas in cutting-edge technologies.
The fact that China and South Africa both have built the advanced model of the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor nuclear plant is the best proof of the correctness of this thesis. If South Africa realizes its intention, to build the PBMR for export for all the nations of Africa, and not merely for itself, it will give a dramatic impulse to the productivity of its economy, beyond just the expanded availability of electricity. The transition to a hydrogen economy, the production of synthetic natural gas, the production of fuel out of coal or refinery waste, process heat for refineries or chemical factories, desalination of large quantities of salt water, make clear, that Africa has the potential in the foreseeable future, to stand equal with the community of nations.
Lyndon LaRouche proposed in his book about the next 50 years of our planet ["The Dialogue of Eurasian Civilizations: Earth's Next Fifty Years,"], that the imbalances among different states, could be overcome by a multilateral web of treaties, by means of which the currently less-developed states would have available long-term credit lines, which would be repaid only when the capacity to do so has been created. If Africa is supported now in bringing its infrastructure, agriculture, and industry up to modern levels, it has the potential to be a breadbasket for the world, supplying long-term, guaranteed food security to countries with limited usable land, like China.
In certain circles in Europe and the United States, there is a certain consternation about China's economic activity in Africa. But what counts, is that the African nations are happy that in return for selling raw materials, they receive real support for their own infrastructure and economic development. And by the way, Europe and the United States are perfectly free, in a similar way, to cooperate economically with Africa.
When there is success in the next period to put the proposal of Lyndon LaRouche for a new financial architecture on the agenda, then it becomes an absolutely realistic perspective, to extend the Eurasian Land-Bridge though corridors, via Egypt, and through tunnels and over bridges, to Africa. And why shouldn't it be possible to go with the Transrapid from Chile, across the Bering Strait, over Russia and China, to Indonesia; or over Egypt to the Cape of Good Hope?
If we come to agreement on the common goals of humanity, and understand that the national interest is, above all, realizable in harmony with those of other peoples, then, not only can we become masters of the current storm on the finance markets and overcome the threatening chaos with a rational system, but also, bring into being a new epoch for Mankind.