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This article appears in the June 15, 2018 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this article]


Paradigms Collide:
The Belt and Road Initiative in Africa

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Schiller Institute
Jason Ross

Jason Ross is a member of Lyndon LaRouche’s “Basement” science team in Purcellville, Virginia. This is a summary of his address to the Schiller Institute conference, “Dona Nobis Pacem—Grant Us Peace, Through Economic Development,” convened in New York City on Saturday, June 9, 2018. He spoke on Panel 1 of the conference: “A New Paradigm of Global Relations, Ending Geopolitics—The Four Powers.”

Jason Ross used the continent of Africa as a case study to understand the differences between the old, failing trans-Atlantic system and the new paradigm that China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is making possible. The highest goal of a society or government is to afford its citizens efficient access, while they are alive, to the knowledge that their lives will have durable, immortal value to the future of humanity. China’s adoption of the BRI as policy provides an increased potential for the United States to complete its historical mission of defeating the British Empire totally.

After briefly covering the imperial approaches towards Africa represented by the British (and by the United States itself under such policies as NSSM 200), Ross asked the audience what they thought about appeals made by aid and charitable agencies for the construction of wells and donations of goats to villages and families. Such assistance may appear to be a good thing. But we often use the word “good” to mean “better” than something else. Compared to having no water, a donated well for a village is “better.” But if you live in a nation that is contributing to financial policies that prevent development, donating a well is not a good thing. Compared to opening the potential for full development, a well is a bad thing; it comes from an outlook that Africa will always be poor.

China has lifted 700 million people out of poverty over the past three decades. This was emphatically not accomplished by aid or charity provided by the other half-billion Chinese. It was accomplished through the intensive development of a higher platform of infrastructure, enabling a higher level of economic activity.

After a review of the decades of work by the LaRouche movement for world development, including the World Land-Bridge proposal of 1997, Ross reported the recent, exciting progress in Africa—focusing on the rail breakthroughs in Kenya and Djibouti-Ethiopia, as well as the major breakthrough at the BRI conference in Beijing last May. He used remarks by the Chinese Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa, Lin Songtian, to draw out the contrast between the British outlook and that of China. Ambassador Lin wrote, in his response to former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s attacks on Chinese involvement in Africa, “What they really want is to keep Africa as it was, poor and divided, to be always controlled by others. What they worry about is Africa’s realization of economic independence with China’s support. What they worry about is a strong Africa that can no longer be ordered around politically.”

Ross briefly reviewed other African development requirements and projects—transportation, water (including the Transaqua plan to refill Lake Chad), and especially energy—and concluded by contrasting the economic record and approach of Lyndon LaRouche to the overwhelming majority of economists, who demonstrated their abject professional failure by failing, in 2007, to see the crisis right in front of their noses.

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Shrinkage of water volume in Lake Chad: 1963-2000.

LaRouche’s success is based on his unique economic breakthroughs, made in the tradition of the American System of Alexander Hamilton, which sees scientific progress developing the productive powers of labor as the absolute basis of economic growth. From this economic outlook, LaRouche’s “Four Laws” are the needed policy for the United States today. By our nation acting on this basis, we will have the ability to finally eliminate the British Empire from the face of the earth. In doing so, we will have achieved a world-historic objective of unique importance, and which the United States itself is in a unique position to achieve. This is our mission today.

Railways, Goods Transported
(milllion ton-km)
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Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway.