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This article appears in the May 8, 2015 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

'Silk Road Lady' Intensifies Campaign
To Make U.S. and Europe Join the BRICS

[PDF version of this article]

In a webcast and three major conferences in European cities during the last week in April, Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche spoke along with leading representatives of the BRICS nations, insisting the United States and Europe must join the BRICS in a new system for war-avoidance and credit for infrastructure.

Zepp-LaRouche welcomed the recent mass decisions by nearly all European nations to join the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), defying the Obama Administration in doing so. They demonstrate the potential to break Europe out of the grip of economic stagnation, deadly austerity policies, and NATO's war confrontation with Russia.

"I think that there is a fundamental shift," she reported, "because people realize that Europe, without Russia and China, as part of Eurasia, is simply not going to survive, and people really see that the future is in these countries."

But the realization demands that European nations reject the war policy, create new credit institutions and join China and the BRICS in building "land-bridge" development corridors across Eurasia, linking East Asia and Europe by land and sea and developing the landlocked nations between them.

Zepp-LaRouche became known in China as "the Silk Road Lady" for her 30-year campaign for this. She told an audience including many diplomats in Copenhagen Apr. 27, that she "jumped that high" for joy when President Xi Jinping announced it, as China's "Economic Belt and Road" infrastructure investment policy in October 2013.

Since that time she has waged an intensifying campaign in Europe for the new system of mutual economic and scientific development of nations which this offers, as the alternative to war and potential thermonuclear war confrontation.

"There is an increase in curiosity, because the effort to force Europe to impose sanctions against Russia, has led to a tremendous backfire in Germany, in France, in Italy, and other countries, in Austria," Zepp-LaRouche said. "Because people realize that these sanctions hurt themselves, their industries, much more than even Russia, because Russia is turning to Asia.

"So people also, step by step, perceive that China has done an economic miracle, which is really almost as spectacular, if not more, than the German economic miracle in the post-War period. And also India is taking off, and these perspectives have become extremely active, especially the idea that there will be, in the next immediate period, an eight trillion euro investment potential in the BRICS countries. And despite the block by the media, it is penetrating, and it creates an enormous optimism."

'Hint of Spring'

The Twentieth Century was disastrous for Europe. With her Twenty-first Century Silk Road/Eurasian Land-Bridge campaign, Zepp-LaRouche is reigniting Europe's "American" economic development impetus of the late Nineteenth Century.

Then, the world-changing success of Alexander Hamilton's 'American System' in the United States, led European leaders like Bismarck and Russia's Count Witte to apply its principles in rail-building, port development, creation of new manufacturing industries, etc., and radiated it into Japan and Korea as well.

Now after a century of the "British System" of monetarism, free trade, depressions, wars, and population reduction, the China-led BRICS new development paradigm offers a new 'Hamiltonian' chance.

"I think it reflects itself in a growing recognition that we have been the spark and the idea-givers for many of these things," Zepp-LaRouche said, "so that the event in Baden-Baden was very important. People appreciated my several interventions very much, and there is a deep recognition in Russia about Lyn's economic policies, which goes way back. And in Copenhagen, we had eight ambassadors at the event, and eight more embassies, and many thinktanks and industrialists, and Schiller members. So it was an extremely optimistic event, and people really had hint of spring, which lies in all of these ideas.

The 'Good News'

Following her Apr. 21 European webcast and her speech Apr. 24 to the Cultural-Business Dialogue in Baden-Baden, Germany, Zepp-LaRouche spoke together with a number of Chinese representatives including its ambassador, to a large seminar at the Copenhagen Business Confucius Institute Apr. 27; and then to a major EIR seminar in Frankfurt Apr. 28.

The proceedings in Frankfurt show the impact her campaign is having. As she noted, "We had four developing countries represented through large trade organizations, or consulates, and they all expressed very determined goals as to when they want to be either a fully industrialized country, or when they want to be at least medium-developed; but there is no longer the idea that they can be prevented from their development. A very optimistic spirit was also visible there."

The speakers representing those four nations were Prof. Shi Ze, Senior Research Fellow at the China Institute of International Studies; former Greek ambassador and diplomat Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos; Malaysian Investment Development Agency director S. Sundara Raja; and the Ethiopian Consul-General in Frankfurt. Other diplomats were in the audience of 75 at the seminar.

All the speakers agreed that they no longer listen to the dubious and destructive advice of the IMF experts, monetarist bankers and "geopoliticians," but focus on policies that serve the development of their nations' real economy and the well-being of their citizens. They view the grouping of BRICS-allied nations as a great growth and development potential that will be tapped.

Zepp-LaRouche opened the Frankfurt seminar by offering the "good news" that the BRICS development and the LaRouche movement are providing an alternative to the collapsing Wall Street-London dominated system—which even the IMF now predicts, is facing yet another crash. With bank and government credit dried up in the West, the many new international development banks being created by the BRICS countries are initiating the huge investments for "great projects" of infrastructure which are urgently needed, she said.

Zepp-LaRouche described how her husband, EIR Founding Editor Lyndon LaRouche, had proposed such an International Development Bank and its necessary great projects 40 years ago; and that those projects and development corridors would have been built, had banks done their job of serving the real economy with credit. China now repeatedly invites Europe—and the United States—to join and help capitalize the development banks the BRICS are creating.

The "Silk Road Lady" emphasized that Chinese political thought includes the Confucian principles of collaboration and harmony of nations, underlying both China's massive development strides, and its offers of collaboration in a new credit system to the West.

Prof. Shi Ze located the "New Silk Road" policy of China within the fact—of crucial importance for the economic future now—that after the 2008 crash of the trans-Atlantic banks, China dramatically increased its involvement (credit and investment), becoming a global economic driver, while some other regions' contributions collapsed.

The Chinese expert presented a "nested" series of spheres of this credit and development: first, the drive to break down the once-vast differences in living standards between eastern China and its rural, partially desert West; second, the economic development of the landlocked Central Asian republics through the "New Silk Road"; third, the development through the AIIB of all of South Asia from ASEAN to the Middle East, and even Southeast Europe—"giving the America economy new opportunities and markets." He explained that for China itself, the New Silk Road represents a new responsibility in world politics, for the creation of a new international community around a common principle of mutual economic and scientific progress.

Whoever doesn't understand the New Silk Road in this way, said Prof. Shi, does not understand China.

Greece Offers Its Potential

Greek ambassador Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos presented the seminar with the most sobering possible picture of the economic desolation which must be overcome in Europe—the damage which the EU has done to the Greek economy and Greek people since 2002, causing the "downgrading of human rights of Greeks" as documented by human rights organizations. He stressed that every agency from the IMF to the UN to the ECB, and every government in Europe including the Greek government, allowed economic austerity to remove human rights guaranteed under every European treaty and convention. "What went wrong with the EU?" Chrysanthopoulos asked. "Why is it destroying its member-states and peoples?"

"An answer to this may be the BRICS initiative," he said. "This is an initiative of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to pursue a policy of economic development for the benefit of humanity. To that end they have created a Development Bank to invest billions in necessary development projects. China recently initiated the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), joined by over 20 Asian nations as founding members and has set up a Silk Road Development Fund. China has also proposed within BRICS the creation of a Free Trade Area of Asia and the Pacific (FTAAP).The incorporation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization into the BRICS initiative could create a formidable power, which if it remains out of the control of the bankers and big companies' lobbyists, could lead to a point that humanity indeed has a chance to reach global peace and end poverty through common human economic development."

Noting the "desperate need for the cooperation of the U.S.A. and ... Europe with the BRICS countries and their initiatives," the ambassador added: "Because of Greece's special relationships with China and Russia, Athens can play an important role within the BRICS initiative."

Along the same lines, the head of the Malaysian Investment Development Agency's head, Siva Sundara Raja, explained how Malaysia had learned from recent experience to ignore the instructions of the IMF and the London/Wall Street banking "consensus."

That painful experience was the 1997-98 so-called "Asian financial crisis," in which Malaysia's previous 40 years' manufaturing and technology development took a sharp backwards blow, because its financial policies had come from the IMF and western banking "experts." Rejecting this "consensus" under Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, Malaysia imposed capital and currency controls and stopped offshore speculation in its currency. Only then could it resume is economic growth dynamic.

Not accidentally, this policy of capital and currency controls—and Glass-Steagall separation of its banks—has been the policy of China throughout its last 25 years' astonishing economic, scientific, and technological growth.

Effect of Joining the BRICS

The final and very important seminar contribution was made by Ethiopia's consul-general in Frankfurt, Mehreteab Mulugeta Haile. Since its 1991 hunger crisis, he explained, Ethiopia has concentrated on strengthening nationally important economic branches—a "Hamiltonian" policy—and has now again reached food self-sufficiency. The country's economic growth rates have rivalled those of China, recently at the level of 11% with plans to increase this further.

Mulugeta Haile said that his country sees collaboration with the BRICS as crucial to its present and future growth. Russian, Indian, and Brazilian credits are financing railroad projects, and China's investment credits for Africa are available to fund new Ethiopian infrastructure projects. The African Union, he said, plans a paradigm shift for the next 50 years, based on this assistance in economic development.

The crucial question of China's overall Africa policy—outside the "Silk Road" belts, but included in China's "vision and action plan" for Eurasian development—was raised from the seminar audience. Dr. Shi—who had also spoken together with Helga Zepp-LaRouche at the Baden-Baden conference—said that although in Europe's media, China's Africa policy is called "imperialist," in Africa it is seen as partnership for the development of agriculture, modern transport, communications, education and healthcare.

The Frankfurt audience was fully engaged for three and one-half hours in the strategy of reversing Europe's self-destructive recent policy; and at the conclusion, were anxious to know from Zepp-LaRouche and her colleagues, what the next public steps would be.

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