EIR LEAD EDITORIAL FOR SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2022
Russia and China Issue Joint Statement Declaring a ‘New Era’ for Development
Feb. 4, 2022 (EIRNS)—On the occasion today of the opening of the 24th Olympic Winter Games in China, host President Xi Jinping and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin attended the opening ceremony, held extensive talks, saw to the announcement of 15 economic and policy deals, and issued a “Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development.”
The 16-page document opens with an assessment of the world situation—crises and potential—then proceeds through four areas of strategic concern, giving specifics. The statement is a leadership call to action for humanity, not a call to “take sides” in deadly geopolitical games. Most of all, it is grounded in commitment to economic advancement as the basis for security.
The place in dire need for immediate, concerted world action, is Afghanistan. The death toll mounts by the hour among the children, from malnutrition, cold and illness, all of which can be prevented. On Feb. 2, the Afghan Ambassador to India Farid Mamundzay made a point of saying how many nations have “turned their back” on Afghanistan at this time of desperate need. But he otherwise singled out India with appreciation, for having sent six tons of medicine, and other supplies, and new funds, and for the Indian wheat donation that will start to be trucked across Pakistan to Afghanistan, beginning Feb. 10-12. A full 50,000 tons should be delivered within a month. There are other individual donations coming in, but the scale-up and mobilization are lacking.
Moreover, there is the fundamental requirement for the U.S. and Europe to free up the Afghanistan government’s $9.5 billion in assets they have wrongfully frozen, so the country can function. Yesterday, in the U.S. House of Representatives, an amendment on that topic was raised, but didn’t pass. As the Schiller Institute tweet said at the time the amendment was taken up, “Don’t do to Afghanistan what the British Empire did to the Irish, letting them starve, or emigrate! BREAKING: Progressives to force vote on Biden’s policy of arbitrarily starving Afghanistan to death. BUT: The House voted it down! Shame on you!”
In the China-Russia document’s opening section, it declares—without naming names—that there are nations and figures which “continue to advocate unilateral approaches to addressing international issues and resort to force; they interfere in the internal affairs of other states, infringing their legitimate rights and interests, and incite contradictions, differences and confrontation, thus hampering the development and progress of mankind....”
The first of the four areas discussed by the statement in detail, is that “democracy is a universal human value, rather than a privilege of a limited number of States....” It is wrong that “certain states” attempt “to impose their own ‘democratic standards’ on other countries,” and “draw dividing lines based on the grounds of ideology, including by establishing exclusive blocs and alliances of convenience ... and go against the spirit and true values of democracy.”
Second, “Development is a key driver in ensuring the prosperity of the nations,” and thus, security. “It is vital to enhance partnership relations for the sake of global development and make sure that the new stage of global development is defined by balance, harmony and inclusiveness.
The Russia and China “sides are seeking to advance their work to link the development plans for the Eurasian Economic Union and the Belt and Road Initiative with a view to intensifying practical cooperation....” Russia will participate in the China-proposed “Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative under the UN auspices.”
Third, the longest section, which addresses “serious international security challenges,” contains the emphatic statement that, “The sides oppose further enlargement of NATO and call on the North Atlantic Alliance to abandon its ideologized cold war approaches....” Also, “The Chinese side is sympathetic to and supports the proposals put forward by the Russian Federation to create long-term legally binding security guarantees in Europe.... The sides stand against the formation of closed bloc structures and opposing camps in the Asia-Pacific region....” And, “The Russian side reaffirms its support for the One-China principle, confirms that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, and opposes any forms of independence of Taiwan.”
The fourth section identifies the United Nations as having a “central coordinating role in international affairs,” and calls for cooperation, not confrontation among world powers. The roles of the G20, BRICS, APEC, ASEAN and WTO (to undergo “reform”) are discussed at length. The two sides “advocate expanded functionality of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure.” Affirmation is stated for the recent “Joint Statement of the Leaders of the Five Nuclear Weapons States on Preventing Nuclear War and Avoiding Arms Races,” and steps for the drawdown of nuclear weapons and risks are discussed.
These are only selected points of the joint statement, but the significance is clear. This is a welcome initiative that throws into stark relief the dangerous geopolitics in play over Ukraine from the U.S./U.K./NATO ploys, and their depraved, deliberate inaction which is killing the people of Afghanistan.
The Schiller Institute’s role as an active platform for getting out the truth, and fostering the dialogue for the needed policies is critical. An international conference is planned for later this month.
The sense of what can be done was included in a statement issued today by U.S. Senate candidate for New York Diane Sare, on the eve of street rallies Feb. 5 in New York City and several dozen other towns around the country, to protest the Anglo-American-NATO war drive. Sare wrote,
“Lyndon LaRouche’s widow and founder of the Schiller Institute, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, has advanced an alternative to this path toward annihilation. The fulcrum is the fate of the people of Afghanistan, who are currently condemned to a torturous death of starvation and disease because of sanctions and the decision by the United States and European banks to freeze their funds in the wake of the abrupt exit by the United States. Right now, over 7 million children are starving, with 1 million near death.
“The United States, Russia and China, could combine to lead an effort involving the surrounding nations, to not only supply desperately needed humanitarian aid, but to build a fully operational modern healthcare system in that war-ravaged nation. This would require new infrastructure to deliver water and electricity along with modern transportation systems. Obviously, the Taliban would have to be in the center of the negotiations, but they have already opened talks with many of these nations, and have nothing to gain through the suffering of their people.
“This initiative, called by Zepp-LaRouche ‘Operation Ibn Sina,’ after the brilliant Islamic scholar and physician born in this region over 1,200 years ago, is the opportunity to build trust between the major powers, now perilously close to war, while preventing the imminent death by starvation of as many as 23 million people.
“By embracing ‘Operation Ibn Sina,’ the United States could avert nuclear war, and save the lives of millions in Afghanistan. Action is urgently needed now. As poets have understood better than politicians, universal law dictates that the fate of these starving children is likely to become your own, sooner than you might imagine.”