EIR LEAD EDITORIAL FOR THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 14, 2023
From Johannesburg to Vladivostok: The Tectonic Shift Continues
Sept. 13, 2023 (EIRNS)—Three weeks ago, in his remarks to the BRICS Business Forum during the Aug. 22-24 BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the gathered leaders from dozens of nations: “I would like to invite representatives of your countries’ business circles to attend the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia that will take place on Sept. 10-13 in the city of Vladivostok, where, by tradition, the discussions will focus on issues that are also of interest to the business communities of the BRICS countries.”
The just-concluded Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) delivered on that promise. The BRICS discussion in Johannesburg of the new pathways for high-technology industrial development of the nations of the Global Majority, and of the new international financial and security architecture needed to make that possible, was continued and elaborated in Vladivostok. Putin personally took the lead in laying out a detailed vision of the full-scale transformation of Russia’s Far East—and of the surrounding area and nations—with science and technology, great infrastructure projects, population growth, and the training of a skilled labor force.
“One thing is clear,” Putin stated at the beginning of his keynote address to the Plenary Session of the EEF. “The Far East is Russia’s strategic priority for the entire 21st century, and we will stick to this.”
As in Johannesburg, there was also substantive discussion in Vladivostok, both in official EEF sessions and on the sidelines of the event, of how to establish among the nations of the Global Majority a new financial system free of dollar speculation, a system capable of financing not only trade but also the massive, long-term investments that will be occurring.
Although many in the West fail to recognize it, the new global, physical-economic center of gravity has shifted from the trans-Atlantic to the Asia-Pacific region. This is a development that Lyndon LaRouche famously elaborated on in his December 2004 “Dialogue of Eurasian Civilizations: Earth’s Next Fifty Years,” and which he had forecast well before then.
That tectonic shift was also a central point in Putin’s remarks in Vladivostok. Asked during the Q&A session after his plenary keynote, if his concept of the development of the Far East was the result of the sanctions and economic warfare recently launched against Russia, Putin said that was not where it came from.
“Firstly, we launched that project 10 years ago.... We started doing this long before the events that took place in the past few years, in 2014, and we did it because we saw the global economic development trends. We saw the rise of new centers of influence and economic development.... We saw what was changing and how, and we can see today that these trends have not slowed down but are gathering momentum.”
After the 2014 fascist coup in Ukraine, Putin explained,
“many processes began to accelerate. In this regard, we can only feel sorry that we did not implement the plans on infrastructure development, including the railway network to the Far East in good time. Because, honestly, the government miscalculated to a certain extent and believed that there would not be that much cargo shipment volume; even over the past few years it has been much bigger than one could imagine. But it is okay, we are making it work, there are plans that were developed earlier and consequently it will be easier for us to implement them even within a short time frame.”
Putin then turned to the issue of Africa, which had also been central to the BRICS discussions in Johannesburg. He denounced the continuing neo-colonial debt slavery being imposed on that continent, describing the way in which the old colonial powers are still “trying to issue commands and pursue their neo-colonial policy there. They have put all African countries in debt, which runs into trillions of dollars. In other words, they have created a financial credit system for Africa under which the African countries can never pay off their loans.”
From Johannesburg to Vladivostok, the nations of the Global Majority have now posed the issue squarely for the people of the United States and Europe: Join this emerging new global economic and security architecture, and stop the deadly slide in the West into depression and perpetual warfare.