This editorial appears in the April 26, 2019 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Dozens of Heads of State to Attend Second BRI Forum in China April 25-27.
When Will the United States Join?
This week, 37 heads of state, 360 government ministers, and 100 leaders of international organizations, will be among the 5,000 participants gathering in Beijing for the second Belt and Road Forum, entitled “Belt and Road Cooperation: Shaping a Brighter Shared Future.” Launched in September 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a Chinese-led international framework for infrastructure and other investment on a massive scale, involving, by some estimates, nations accounting for two-thirds of the world’s population. It coheres, in many respects, with the proposals made by Lyndon and Helga LaRouche, especially since the end of the Cold War.
According to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, this year’s event will build upon the success of the inaugural Belt and Road Forum held in 2017, doubling the number of forums and conferences to twelve and incorporating a CEO conference with 800 business leaders. The high-level event will occur on April 27, with national leaders attending a plenary session. The significant level of participation of both government and business leaders is expected to result in billions of dollars’ worth of new infrastructure projects and trade deals, which will raise the standard of living of hundreds of millions, or even billions of people worldwide.
As of this writing, it has not been confirmed whether the United States is going to send any high-level official representation to participate, beyond the vague “diplomatic representation” Wang Yi said would be attending, in spite of the fact that 124 nations and 29 international organizations already have signed BRI agreements with China, making this by far the largest project of physical economic development ever carried out by the human race and in spite of the tremendous economic growth in trade and productivity enjoyed by participating nations.
Shortly after President Trump was inaugurated in early 2017, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, wife of the American statesman and economist Lyndon LaRouche, forecast that if President Trump were to accept invitation of China, “to join China and other nations in the New Silk Road, he could become one of the greatest American Presidents in history.”
So far, thanks in large part to a British-orchestrated ongoing attempted coup against President Trump—which included not only the now thoroughly discredited fraudulent Muller report, but a never-ending torrent of “fake news” denouncing the Chinese and Russian leaders as “authoritarian” or worse—Trump has not been able to make good on his pledge to establish collaborative relations with Russia and China, although he has been careful to repeatedly comment on his “good relationship” with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and the two of them seem optimistic about reaching a trade deal in the near future.
The United States and the BRI
Just before the first BRI Forum in 2017, Zepp-LaRouche wrote an article with the provocative title, “Only a Bystander? Once the United States Joins the Belt and Road Initiative, A New Paradigm for Mankind Can Begin,” which was published byChina Investment magazine and distributed to all participants at that gathering, which included 28 heads of state. In this article she wrote:
The infrastructure requirements of the United States are enormous, due to decades-long non-investment by the previous administrations. Except for those who have actually been to China, most Americans have no idea how far behind China U.S. infrastructural development is.
The average speed of the Washington-Boston 736 km Acela “high-speed” line is only 105 km/h, with only very short segments at 145 km/h. This is by no means high speed, compared to the approximately 130,000 kilometers of high-speed rail in China . . . U.S. roads are in terribly dangerous condition, and so are the bridges, and sanitation systems—but their use is still expensive. For a trip between Washington and New York, one has to pay the substantial amount of $115 in tolls and gas per car.
The American Society of Civil Engineers, at a recent conference, released the estimate that current U.S. infrastructure investment requirements are actually $4.5 trillion. There is no way that the financing of either of these amounts will come from the private equity market.
One recent example of the lack of infrastructure investment referenced by Zepp-LaRouche is the devastation of the U.S. farm belt in the last month caused by the lack of water management infrastructure proposed many years ago by the Army Corps of Engineers but which was never built. As a result of this failure, Iowa, Missouri, the Dakotas, Nebraska and Kansas have been devastated by frozen rivers flooding over, wiping out over one million head of cattle, and wreaking havoc on our corn, soy, pork and egg production. Terry Branstad, the former governor of Iowa, is the current U.S. Ambassador to China, and has a friendship with President Xi stretching back decades, from the time Xi spent as a student in that state. Given China’s experience with the massive flooding of the Yellow River, and the recent completion of the Three Gorges Dam, one might imagine President Xi is well aware of the desperate situation in Iowa and surrounding states, and would probably be very inclined to join forces with President Trump and local governors to assist in developing a long-term solution to the problem.
Such potential cooperation should be seen in the context of offers from Chinese institutional investors to invest potentially trillions of dollars’ worth of treasuries and other dollar-denominated assets into a vehicle such as a U.S. infrastructure bank, providing an opportunity to accelerate an infrastructure renewal in the United States.
Defeating and Replacing Geopolitics
It is precisely the sort of international cooperation, and cooperation on advanced scientific endeavors like space exploration and fusion research, that the British instigators of the attempted coup against President Trump wish to prevent. To them, the BRI represents a mortal threat to the current world order; it is representative of a new paradigm of international relations, in which geopolitics is overcome and superseded.
Later in her article, Zepp-LaRouche elaborates something unknown to most Americans (due to the “fake news” anti-China propaganda), namely, the compatibility between the values of American System economists and the Chinese approach today:
If one studies the economic theory behind the tremendous success of the Chinese economic miracle of the last 30 years, one will find out that current Chinese economic policies, basing themselves on the education of its citizens, are very much in coherence with the Confucian principle of lifelong learning and innovation, and are actually very close to the economic principles of the American System of economy, as it was developed and implemented by Alexander Hamilton, John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, Henry C. Carey, and Abraham Lincoln. All of these men understood that the most important source of wealth of a country is the development of the creative powers of its own population. And therefore, they designed a system of economy that furthered exactly that, in order to catalyze the greatest rate of scientific and technological progress and innovation.
In the wake of President Trump’s recent announcement—made shortly after China demonstrated the successful sprouting of seeds on the far side of the Moon—of his plan to land a man and the first woman on the Moon by 2024, it would be the most natural thing in the universe for these two great nations to collaborate to bring the Earth into a new paradigm. The late Lyndon LaRouche dedicated his life’s work to bringing this about, and we should ensure that it finally happens. The lives of billions, born and unborn, depend on us.