This transcript appears in the August 3, 2018 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Trump Invites Putin to Washington, Xi Jinping Tours Africa:
Momentum Builds for New Paradigm
This is the edited transcript of the July 26, 2018 Schiller Institute New Paradigm webcast, an interview with the founder of the Schiller Institutes, Helga Zepp-LaRouche. She was interviewed by Harley Schlanger. A video of the webcast is available.
Harley Schlanger: Hello my name is Harley Schlanger with the Schiller Institute. I’d like to welcome you to this week’s webcast, featuring our founder, Helga Zepp-LaRouche.
The big news this week is coming from Africa. China’s President Xi Jinping has just toured several African countries. A very extraordinary summit—the BRICS summit and the BRICS Plus—got underway in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a very strong and important speech by Xi. A number of meetings are now underway. But it doesn’t seem as though much of the leadership of the Western world is paying much attention to this at all.
So Helga why don’t we start there: What’s the global significance of this BRICS conference?
BRICS Summit in Johannesburg
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: The building of a new world economic order and, in that context, Chinese-African relations, are of the highest strategic importance globally. I know that many people, especially in the United States, tend to dismiss Africa, but what is happening on this front is truly extraordinary. Xi Jinping’s tour took him from the Emirates, to Senegal, Rwanda, and South Africa. He met with the respective heads of state of all these nations. In each country those leaders emphasized the extreme importance of the friendship between their countries—and Africa as a whole—with China.
There were many articles published in the context of this trip. Several highlighted the new practice of the “BRICS Plus,” in which many developing countries that currently chair regional organizations—such as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the East African Community (EAC)—are invited to participate in the summit. Many leaders of states, and other guests, were invited to participate. I highly recommend that you, our viewers, take the time and read President Xi’s entire speech, which he delivered at the opening of the conference. Xi expresses directly the idea of the New Silk Road Spirit, in which he displays a kind of thinking one never hears these days from any Western leaders—certainly not from European leaders.
Xi emphasized the special role of science, calling science the inexhaustible power available for development and for improving the lives of people. He also emphasized that Africa is the region of the world that has by far the largest development potential—which is most certainly not the view most Western countries have of Africa. He evoked the spirit of Nelson Mandela, whose 100th birthday the world has just celebrated. He also emphasized that the international community is at a new crossroads, with the opportunity to build a completely new set of international relations.
The increase of trade between China and Africa, and also the increase in direct investment, is quite amazing. In 1978, Chinese trade with the entire African continent was $765 million. Last year it rose to $170 billion, and it will soon reach $400 billion per year. These trade volumes are quite significant; China has recognized that Africa has the potential to become the “new China with African characteristics.” Many African leaders are extremely happy, and quite inspired, by the support from China.
It is quite interesting that there is also broad discussion in the African media and elsewhere, that whereas the West only invests in African nations having natural resources, and then only when big profits can be made, China is clearly seeking and establishing relations with countries who have almost no such natural resources but nevertheless China is investing in infrastructure including rail, roads and hydropower, and is also building manufacturing capacity with the development of industrial parks.
So this is really a big change.
India is also greatly interested in joint ventures with China in Africa. Japan wants joint investment within the Belt and Road Initiative with China in Africa. So you see, there is a potential for a completely new alignment.
This is the New Paradigm coming into being. The world is rapidly changing right before our eyes into a much better place than most people have any inkling of.
The world can be divided into those who recognize that a new strategic model is being developed, which is rapidly being joined by many countries around the world, and those who are either indifferent, or ignorant. Or perhaps they just don’t understand that the old paradigm no longer works, and that’s why most of the countries in the world—the developing countries together with China and India, which represent 80% of the world population—now represent an ever-increasing part of the world economy. For the first time, the BRICS nations have bypassed the G7 in terms of GDP. What we, the Schiller Institute, are trying to do, is get the nations of the West to understand and recognize the incredible potential that lies in this new formation and rather than foolishly opposing it.
This is a very exciting development, and I encourage everyone to get on board and be part of it.
Obama Against Africa and the BRICS
Schlanger: One of the ways people can do that is to get the newly released second volume of The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge: A Shared Future for Humanity, which is now available through the Schiller Institute.
Helga, you just spoke of the contrast between the old paradigm and the New Paradigm. I think that’s no better illustrated than by comparing the remarks of the disgraced former President of the United States, Barack Obama, made during his visit to South Africa, with Xi’s remarks. President Xi said, “Every country has an equal right to development.” Obama continues to say that Africa has to stick to a model of “sustainable development.” A few years ago, as President, he went to Africa and told his audience that if every African had an American-style standard of living the planet would boil over! It appears as though most African governments are siding with the Chinese on this, and seeing this as an opportunity, aren’t they?
Zepp-LaRouche: Oh, yes! I think that’s very clear, because all the speeches by the African leaders emphasized the friendship. It’s not just interest, it’s a real friendship,— some, like former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, claim that friendship does not exist among peoples. This is a sentiment that I think is absolutely foolish and wrong. You can start a friendship with the culture of another country, and that is exactly what we see right now.
Schlanger: Let’s go to the idea of a BRICS Plus. Indonesia, Turkey, Argentina, and several other countries were at the just concluded BRICS summit. What does it look like? Is the BRICS really going to be recruiting? Are they going to bring new countries in to be part of the BRICS and join in this process?
Zepp-LaRouche: Several countries have expressed interest in joining, including Egypt. The New Silk Road Spirit is really changing the whole world. You talked about North Korea, and the Singapore summit. Now, Libya has officially joined the Belt and Road Initiative. This is in the context of the Italian government having revived the cooperation agreement that existed during the Qaddafi government, and that is basically to compensate for the Italian colonial past with Libya. Italy is engaging in the reconstruction of Libya. There is now discussion that Libya needs to have a national army, which means disarming the militias, as a precondition for it to become a stable nation. This is a very important part of dealing with the whole African situation, because Libya has been a transport hub for many of the human traffickers who every day exploit refugees from other parts of Africa.
The Italian government is now showing great interest in working with China on many projects, some now in Libya, and earlier, on the huge Transaqua project. There is now a concrete perspective of transforming the whole world through economic cooperation on the basis of win-win relations, nations working together for the benefit of each other.
And this is also what Xi Jinping emphasized in his speech in Johannesburg, that now in the world, there is a choice between confrontation which means lose-lose, which means nobody is the winner, including in trade war; and the opposite choice of win-win, that you instead expand the size of the cake, and then everybody can have a larger piece of it.
I think this is really the crucial issue. I said at the beginning of the year that this year must be the year to overcome geopolitics. Geopolitics is not yet gone; there were many people who have just met under the auspices of the Aspen Institute, who still remain completely determined to maintain geopolitical confrontations. But I think the majority of the world is clearly moving into a new era of civilization, one of cooperation in the spirit of peace and development. I think people should just really think it through. Xi put it this way: that mankind has reached a new crossroads, and while the dangers are still there, the potentials are enormous.
A String of ‘Impossible’ Successful Summits
Schlanger: Several weeks ago, you pointed to the Singapore model as an example of what happens when you have that kind of cooperation, where President Trump was working with the Japanese, the South Koreans, the Chinese, and the Russians, to get the breakthrough that led to the Singapore summit, in which President Trump met with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un. We saw something similar with the Helsinki summit between Presidents Trump and Putin. But there’s been an incredible blowback from the anti-Russian crowd, the neo-conservatives, and the geopoliticians in the United States. Trump had invited Putin to come to the United States this fall, but just yesterday it was announced that the President said the new meeting with Putin is postponed until, as Trump said, “the end of the witch hunt.”
What do you make of this? This is an incredible battle. You see the effects of Wall Street, and the City of London. The whole Russiagate gang is coming down as hard as it can on Trump: Where do you think this battle stands right now?
Americans are Not Anti-Trump
Zepp-LaRouche: I think Trump has an enormous battle on his hands, and the fact that he had invited Putin to the White House for a summit meeting this fall, and now feels that the pressure is too big, I think reflects that a truly existential battle is now raging in the United States.
The U.S. Congress is behaving absolutely disgustingly. Once again there are motions to increase the sanctions against Russia, in a clear repeat of what happened last summer when Congress voted 98-2 to rein in Trump. Trump outflanked that by going ahead with the Helsinki summit with Putin.
I think this is not what the American population thinks. There was a recent survey done by The Hill that reports that 54% of Americans asked, were in favor of a second Trump-Putin summit, and that 61% think that having better relations with Russia is in the very fundamental interest of the United States. Now, if the people of the United States think that way, hopefully this will find expression in the November midterm elections, and all the elected office holders who are pushing confrontation against Trump, and against Russia, will lose their seats. I think that would be a very good lesson to teach them.
Schlanger: There’s another poll, which I think we mentioned last week, that shows that of the most serious concerns for Americans, less than 1% identified Russian so-called “meddling” in the election as something that concerns them.
Clearly the Congress is missing the point of what’s come out on Russiagate, including even some congressmen who were doing a very good job exposing it are missing the real point here. This week, one of the things that came up, was President Trump was considering stripping the security clearance of former intelligence officials, including former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and others. Clapper made a statement, in a fairly direct way saying that Obama initiated Russiagate!
So this isn’t going to stop, is it Helga? The exposure is going to continue. We’ve played a leading role in initiating it, but slowly, piece by piece, the evidence is getting out there that it was the British working with Obama intelligence officials that created and are running Russiagate.
Zepp-LaRouche: There is a new initiative by Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows, two Republican congressmen, who are demanding the impeachment of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, saying that for nine months Congress has tried to get the Department of Justice to cooperate and turn over documents, but Rosenstein has been stonewalling for the entire period, and that this is absolutely unacceptable conduct, and that therefore he should be impeached, and a new person installed. This is very good.
There are also articles by some former intelligence officials, like a former CIA agent who knows Brennan very well, having worked under him. He makes the argument that all former officials should be stripped of their security clearances, especially those who subsequently get themselves hired in important capacities with the media, because such behavior leads to the unacceptable leaking of secrets that these people have access to, because of their former positions. In many cases these former officials have made money that way and filled their own pockets. Therefore, they should lose their clearances.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed that the security clearance stripping is being considered. I think this is very important and would be a very good thing, were it to happen.
Schlanger: On the impeachment bill against Rosenstein, Republican Jim Jordan from Ohio, one of the people who filed it, announced today that he will run for the position being vacated by Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House.
I want to move now to the economy, Helga. On one hand we see tremendous potential in the Belt and Road Initiative, and you have some figures released by China on the Chinese economy—there’s an annual economic report that just came out. There’s also the continued lagging and problems with the banking system in the West—more and more people warning of a collapse in the West. What do we know from this new economic report? How is it going with China and the Belt and Road?
China, Russia Lead World Away from Dollar
Zepp-LaRouche: Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang has just presented the annual economic report to China’s State Council Executive, which announces a very robust stimulus package, focussing on the real economy. They’re creating tax exemptions for investments in basic research and development; they’re spending another $200 billion on infrastructure; they’re advising credit institutions to make credit available, especially to small and micro-size firms. This is part of the eradication of poverty. The Chinese government also announced a firm commitment to wipe out any kind of speculation and close down zombie firms. Li Keqiang argued that in the face of the international challenges, this is absolutely necessary.
China is preparing for the potential collapse of the Western financial system by outlawing any kind of involvement in speculation and totally focussing on the real economy, which is exactly what the West should be doing.
This is very good. It’s also very interesting that Russia-China cooperation is definitely increasing. There was an important meeting at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University that included the participation of Sergei Glazyev, an economic advisor to Russia’s President Putin. Glazyev emphasized the ever closer relationship growing between Russia and China, saying that if the confrontation against Russia—including new sanctions—and trade tariff measures against China continue, the only consequence will be that China, Russia, and other countries will move out of the dollar entirely, which will diminish the influence of the United States over the rest of the world.
So I think it is what Xi Jingping said. It is either cooperation or confrontation. The road to overcome the problems is cooperation, and that includes the question of punitive tariffs. As I said, the cake must be made bigger so that everybody wins. That’s the way to go.
Schlanger: Punitive tariffs have the same effect as sanctions: Their effect is to force countries to creatively figure out how to do what they should do anyway, which is to develop and invest in the real economy. I think that’s the point that’s being made by the Chinese and Glazyev and others.
Helga, I know you have an update on North Korea, continuing toward the solutions that were discussed in the Kim Jong-un meeting with President Trump. What can you tell us about that?
New Paradigm Activities and Prospects
Zepp-LaRouche: As usual, the mainstream media has tried to create the impression that nothing is working, that Kim Jong-un merely pulled the wool over Trump’s eyes. That is just not true. Trump himself tweeted that he’s absolutely satisfied with the speed with which the denuclearization is moving ahead. Trump also tweeted that he had a wonderful meeting with Putin, and that that was a “good thing.”
Alexander Matsegora, the Russian ambassador to North Korea, has given an important interview, in which he underscores that Kim Jong-un is a very earnest and serious leader, who has made an absolutely firm commitment to go ahead with denuclearization—that everything is on a very good course.
This is very important, because there are those who would rather see World War III, than have these kinds of initiatives succeed, like Trump-Kim Jong-un, and Trump-Putin. But so far, the opposite is taking place, and this is also being confirmed by some of our friends in South Korea, who are absolutely hopeful that this process can be furthered in the near future to a very good end.
Schlanger: It also appears that the discussion process in Europe is opening up a little bit. Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov and Chief of the General Staff, Gen. Gerasimov, had meetings in both Berlin and also in Paris with Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron. What’s your take on what’s happening in Europe? It seems to be rudderless, chaotic. There doesn’t seem to be any firm resolve to do much of anything, but I think the discussion is beginning to loosen up a little bit. What do you think?
Zepp-LaRouche: I think there are some interesting developments in Italy. Prime Minister Conte will go and see Trump in three days; so this is obviously very important. Conte and Trump were the two leaders who demanded that Russia should be invited to rejoin the G8—which Russia may not even want to do at this point. There appears to be a very good accord between Conte and Trump, and Conte and Putin. Italy is in favor of lifting the sanctions against Russia.
This is an interesting dynamic. I already mentioned the Italian-Chinese cooperation in respect to Africa. So this is a singularly important dynamic.
There is a quite chaotic situation in France. It almost seems that somebody really wants to get rid of Macron. This scandal around his bodyguard beating people, who were already lying on the ground, is really exploding.
The situation in Germany is terrible. I think this present German government just doesn’t have any idea what’s going on. I can say, however, the good thing is that Chancellor Angela Merkel supported the Helsinki summit between Putin and Trump, which is one time she said something decent, so I praise her for that. It doesn’t happen too often.
Interesting also is the situation in Great Britain, where Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has just delivered a major speech to industrialists in which, under his party’s “Build in Britain” campaign, he demanded the reindustrialization of Great Britain. He said that the City of London, which totally focuses only on the so-called financial industry, which has very little or nothing to do with industry, was clearly a mistake, as shown in the crisis of 2008.
Corbyn is demanding that major industry to be opened up again in Great Britain, in order to use more national talents, to build the things again in Great Britain that have been outsourced. When his policy was compared to Trump, he replied, “Nobody’s ever said I have something in common with Donald Trump before. It’s news to both of us, I suspect.” Corbyn is however, clearly focussed on building up Great Britain’s national economy.
So there are other interesting developments, as you say. It is chaotic. Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz will have an Africa-EU summit by the end of this year, since Austria is chairing the EU until the end of the year.
The next major event will be the China-African Union event, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, to be held in September in Beijing, which will be a continuation of Xi’s trip to Africa, and of the BRICS summit in South Africa. At that summit will be 52 African heads of state, plus China, plus the African Union. I assume that that will mean a heightened relationship between China and Africa, which will have a major impact on this chaotic situation in Europe, given that Chancellor Kurz plans to have an Africa-EU summit.
At our June 30-July 1 conference in Germany, the Schiller Institute had a plan which I called the “Singapore Model,” which is the idea that you can turn the worst kind of relationship into its opposite, if you have good will and a good plan. We said then that we should have a summit in which the Europeans would cooperate, together with China, in a crash program for the development of Africa.
These are the kinds of settings where major shifts will take place, almost every day, this year for sure. I invite you, our viewers, to not sit on the sidelines during such an historic and incredible period. If we get the United States and European nations to stop their geopolitical confrontation against Russia and China, and instead look at the potentials of cooperating in the development of Latin America, of Africa, of under-developed parts of Europe, and Asian countries, we can have a New Paradigm of collaboration among the whole human species such as has never before existed. This is what China is actively building and putting together.
We have to put behind us the outdated, war-like Cold War mentality, the idea that the world is always a zero-sum, where one wins and one loses. We can move to a new era of civilization of win-win cooperation and a new set of international relations, in which people relate to the best traditions and best culture of other nations. We can have a dialogue on the most beautiful periods in the history of each nation, and make those known universally.
This is what I call the human species becoming adult: that our nations should stop behaving like four-year-old boys kicking each other in the shins, which is what resolving conflict through warfare is really all about. It is possible to have a completely different world, in which people relate to each other as Einstein and Planck did, or Wilhelm von Humboldt and Schiller, or other such great thinkers, respectful of and joyful in the creative potential of the other’s genius.
I think that that will be the future of civilization, if we overcome this present outdated thinking of just making money for money’s sake, which justifies the accumulation of riches for a fancy life for a few while tolerating misery for the many. I think we should use the potential inherent in Trump’s trying to get a better relationship with Russia. Trump should revisit his initial positive relationship with China and his friendship with Xi Jinping. Everyone involved in Russiagate-Muellergate, should face their appropriate punishment because it is they who have committed collusion with foreign governments, not Trump.
We are all living in a very, very interesting moment in history. It’s one of those periods in which the quality of individual thinking and engagement makes a huge difference. So join the Schiller Institute, work with us—we have everything to gain!
Schlanger: We’re having a membership drive right now, to give people the opportunity to participate. Helga, you talk about the role of the individual. It’s clear that you’ve played a role as an initiator and as a provider of great ideas that are being gobbled up all over the world, and that’s what we’re seeing now in Africa.
Again, I’d encourage people to go to the Schiller Institute website. Get our new report, The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge: A Shared Future for Humanity and study it! Read it! Think through what it means.