Executive Intelligence Review


Spanish New Silk Road Think-Tank Holds Madrid Organizing Meeting

Nov. 20, 2018 (EIRNS)—On the eve of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Nov. 27-29 visit to Spain, the 82-year-old head of Spain’s Cátedra China think-tank, Marcelo Muñoz, presented the new world order emerging under the Belt and Road Initiative to a packed audience of 150 top Spanish and foreign diplomats (including China’s ambassador to Spain), businessmen, trade unionists, Sinologists and two representatives of the international Schiller Institute, Dennis and Gretchen Small. Joining Muñoz on the panel were two former Spanish ambassadors to China.

Muñoz gave an extensive, well-documented review of the phenomenal advances of China over recent decades in all areas of domestic and international economics, in which he emphasized China’s commitment to innovation, technological advance, scientific activity, and global cooperation with other nations. The highlight of his remarks was a discussion of how the New Silk Road is creating the new world of the 21st century, which he illustrated with the signature World Land-Bridge map from the Schiller Institute’s new Special Report (without identifying the source). He highlighted four projects: the Bering Strait tunnel; the Kra Canal in Thailand; the Darién Gap in the Panama/Colombia border; and the Gibraltar Strait tunnel—with the last receiving enthusiastic support in further discussion from the floor.

Concern over the direction of U.S. policy toward China policy under President Donald Trump, and how to ensure no conflict ensues, was a major element of the presentations by Muñoz and the other panelists. Spain’s three-time former Ambassador to China Eugenio Bregolat observed that there are both sane voices in and around the administration and also hawkish ones (mentioning trade advisor Peter Navarro by name). He counterposed the U.S. reaction to China’s development today, to how the United States under Kennedy responded to the Sputnik satellite shock, by leap-frogging ahead in science and technology of its own. America should do the same today, Bregolat emphasized, and not try to stop China’s progress.

The last written question chosen to be answered was that of Dennis Small, on the Schiller Institute’s commitment to getting the United States onboard with the New Silk Road, and how Muñoz thought win-win cooperation in that regard would work. Both Muñoz and Bregolat agreed that such cooperation is the solution; America should join with confidence. Muñoz emphasized the common basis for cooperation which lies in the realm of scientific cooperation, stating that Confucian philosophy is crucial to that common endeavor.