Brave New World, Solutions
December 11, 2014
This is a good comprehensive summary of where we were at in the ongoing BRICS lead global reformation. We, the new media, are all enjoined to spread this good news to those who are still consuming mainstream media trash. They all deserve to know what is forthcoming.
The World at a Crossroads:
BRICS Option Brought
To Nation’s Capital
Helga Zepp-LaRouche gave this keynote address to the Dec. 2 EIR seminar in Washington, D.C., on the New Silk Road project.
[All graphics and illustrations included in the PDF version of this transcript]
I think it is a fair statement to say that the future destiny of mankind will depend on the question of whether the United States and, to a secondary degree, Europe, will take up the offer made by President Xi Jinping to President Obama at the press conference during the APEC conference, where Xi invited the United States, and other major nations, to cooperate with a whole set of policies promoted by China and also the BRICS countries.
This set of policies is, naturally, on the one side, the New Silk Road. It is the idea of a new credit mechanism around the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the AIIB, but also the new Silk Road development Fund, and similar mechanisms and new institutions which I will go into in the course of my presentation.
Now, why do I say that the fate of civilization, in all likelihood, will depend on that that particular offer by Xi Jinping to the Atlantic world, in particular, to join?
Because it’s very clear that the policy, which is presently the policy of the trans-Atlantic sector—the United States, NATO, the British, the EU—toward Russia and China, is one of confrontation. Toward Russia, it’s more obvious, since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis—which, if you are honest about it, is entirely the fault of the EU, because the condition on which the EU Association Agreement was offered, was already a kind of first step in the direction of regime change against Russia. And all the subsequent developments are really a chronology, in which Russia all the time reacted, and therefore is really not the guilty party, despite the fact that the mainstream media in the United States and Europe tell you the exact opposite.
So, this policy toward Russia and China, which consists of a color revolution—that goes back since the end of the Soviet Union. [U.S. Assistant Secretary of State] Victoria Nuland has praised herself for having spent $5 billion from the NED [National Endowment for Democracy] alone to accomplish that. But it also includes the sanctions. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov has been explicit to say that the aim of the sanctions is not to change the policy of Russia, but to get rid of [President] Putin. And naturally, the NATO expansion eastward, which breaks all promises made to Russia at the end of the Soviet Union, is part of the same game. And the same organizations which are in the destabilization in Eastern Europe, are also heavily involved in the Hong Kong demonstrations. And there the aim is exactly the same.
And if you look at the front page of the Washington Post this morning, you have another example of the black propaganda, using human rights issues, using issues of democracy; but if you really look at it, democracy in the United States is not in such good shape either. And in Europe, with the EU Commission, I think even the officialdom admits that we have a democracy deficit, to put it mildly.
A Lifeboat for the Trans-Atlantic World
When President Xi Jinping makes this offer, it also comes at a point where the Atlantic sector is hovering on the edge of a new financial collapse. You have, on the one side, the collapse of the oil price, which in part is also economic warfare, because Saudi Arabia, at the recent OPEC meeting, flatly refused to adjust the production; and who is the hurt country? This is Iran, naturally, but it’s also Russia, in particular.
However, as President Putin recently pointed out, this is one of the evil deeds that backfires, because it has now dropped the oil price to about $70, or even somewhat less yesterday, and that is creating a big problem for those oil companies, and shale oil companies, which have gone into massive debt. They’re indebted by about $1 trillion, but the repayment of that debt would require an oil price of $80 to $120; so one could make the comparison now, that the situation approaches a similar situation, like during the secondary mortgage crisis in 2007, when the collapsing mortgage prices triggered the big crash. And right now, the falling oil price could trigger a big crash.
So, either the oil price shoots up dramatically, or a crash could happen. And that, naturally, on top of the situation that the too-big-to-fail banks are today about 30-40% bigger than in 2007, and if one of these banks would collapse, it could trigger the virtual evaporation of the entire financial system of the trans-Atlantic sector.
So, therefore, when I’m saying that the acceptance of President Xi Jinping’s offer is a lifeboat for a bankrupt trans-Atlantic world, this is not an exaggeration.
The Land-Bridge Becomes a Reality
Now, first slide (Figure 1): This is a proposal we made, Mr. LaRouche, myself, and other members of our organization. When the Soviet Union collapsed—actually it started a little bit earlier—but when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, we proposed the Eurasian Land-Bridge, as a way to connect the population and production centers of Europe with those of Asia, through so-called development corridors. And we have campaigned for this program in the 24, or 25 years, since.
That is why, when President Xi Jinping announced a New Silk Road last year in September in Kazakhstan, we were extremely happy. We were extremely happy because we had thought of this Eurasian Land-Bridge as a peace order for the 21st Century. And then, when in the Fall last year, he added the idea of a Maritime Silk Road, this program developed.
Then, in May, you had the extraordinarily important strategic summit between President Putin and President Xi in Shanghai, where they had many economic and other cooperation deals, including the 30-year cooperation in the gas delivery from Russia to China.
But then, the really big break came with the BRICS meeting in July in Fortaleza, Brazil, where virtually, the birth of a new economic system was announced. And at that point, you had not only the BRICS countries meeting, but in the following days, the heads of the BRICS states met with the leaders of the UNASUR [Union of South American Nations], of the CELAC [Community of Latin American and Caribbean States] of Latin America, and they agreed on many, many projects of cooperation.
And since July of this year, a completely new dynamic has developed in the world, which most people in the United States and Europe have no inkling of, because the mass media are absolutely not reporting on it. But as you will see, from what I’m going to say, an explosion of big projects has been agreed upon, or already started, and it has spread an unbelievable optimism, whereby even nations which are not part of the BRICS or the CELAC or UNASUR, have been encouraged to implement projects which have been on the shelves for decades, but because of the IMF conditionalities, were not implemented. Because the IMF would always say, no, you can’t organize this project because you have to pay your debt first. You have to cut your health system. You can’t invest in infrastructure. So, a lot of these projects were available, but they were not implemented.
But with the new dynamic, this has completely changed. And, for example, China is now in the process of helping to build a second Panama Canal through Nicaragua. China is also involved in building, for the first time in history, a transcontinental railway from Brazil to Peru, and other routes are also envisioned.
Other countries, like Egypt, are clearly in the dynamic of this optimism, and with the taking over of the government by General [Abdel Fattah] el-Sisi, they’re building now not only a second Suez Canal; el-Sisi has promised a job for every young person in Egypt. They’re building agro-industrial complexes. They’re desalinating ocean water, and many other such things.
Besides China, which I will go into somewhat later, also India has completely been transformed, and there is an enthusiasm among the Indian population about the leadership role of Narendra Modi, the new prime minister, who has promised to build 100 new cities in India; to create 1 million new jobs every month. Now, that is an unbelievable change in the situation which really is—I have not seen in my whole lifetime, not during the time of the Non-Aligned Movement, at no time—that this really took place. And they agreed on many programs of nuclear cooperation among China, Brazil, Russia, Argentina, India. Also joint space programs. So it is a completely new situation.
A New International Financial Architecture
Now, before I go into these projects, I will address the issue which most people always ask: Who should finance all of this? It’s the most pressing issue people have. It shouldn’t be, but it is.
There are dramatic changes occurring: China has organized the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, and on Oct. 24 of this year, the cooperation in this bank was signed by 21 Asian nations. The initial capital in this bank will be $100 billion. The BRICS countries had also agreed in Fortaleza to construct a New Development Bank, which has an [authorized] starting capital of $100 billion. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is also creating its own bank. The South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation, the SAARC, which just had a conference in Nepal, also will create such a bank. There will be a New Silk Road development fund, to kick off the Silk Road, of $40 billion. The Maritime Silk Road will have an initial funding from China of $20 billion.
And the BRICS countries also agreed on a so-called Contingency Reserve Arrangement, with capital of $100 billion, that is designed to help participating countries in fending off attacks from vulture funds. Because these countries have drawn the conclusion from the big Asia crisis, from 1997—when such speculators as George Soros speculated the Asian currencies, in a couple of weeks, down, by up to 80%—that they will now protect themselves with such a fund.
If we can get the United States and Europe to join—which we are determined to really make the strategic issue number one—then even larger amounts of credit could be made available, and in that case, one would have to address the bankrupt trans-Atlantic financial system, and implement the Glass-Steagall reform, exactly in the way that Franklin D. Roosevelt did on the 16th of June 1933, and which led to a period of several decades of stability and growth in the financial system.
In the Congress, and in the Senate, there were several bills introduced for Glass-Steagall. There are 200 national organizations in the United States which have signed a resolution for the implementation of Glass-Steagall. So it’s not just an idea; it’s a very real issue: how you address the non-resolved banking situation, which already in 2008, almost led to a meltdown of the world financial system, and obviously, [Glass-Steagall] needs to be revived.
Now, the theoretical basis for the Glass-Steagall separation of the banks, will also mean going back to the American System of economy, something which is not so well known any more. But Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, implemented a credit system in the United States, which is very, very different than a monetary system. And that system was successfully revived by Lincoln, with the Greenback policy. It was implemented by Franklin D. Roosevelt with the Reconstruction Finance Corporation; and it was the model for Germany, based on the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, and with the help of the Marshall Plan, to rebuild Germany from a rubble field, and turn a completely destroyed economy into the most admired economic miracle in the world, up to the point when China had their own economic miracle.
So, what we are proposing is not some wild, utopian idea, but something which always, when the United States was prospering, was the basis of the financial system. And it has been successfully applied in other parts of the world.
Let’s go to the next slide (Figure 2). This is the Eurasian landmass, and to the right, you have South America. This is a combination of links among continents, islands, and development corridors, which, as a totality, is a World Land-Bridge.
The first picture you saw was the Eurasian Land-Bridge which we proposed in ’91, and in the last 25 years, we have worked on the expansion of that original idea to become a World Land-Bridge. And this is now our updated version, and this report is a blueprint. If we want to get the world out of the mess, and if we want to have a peace order for the 21st Century, then that should be the issue of discussion of major governments around the world. I actually call on you, if you agree with only 90% of what I’m saying, then please help us to make sure, that everybody in the Congress, everybody in the government, everybody around the world, will talk about this.
Now, I’ll just go through some of these projects, not extensively, but just to give you an idea about the incredible amount of things which are already in consideration, or, in part, in construction.
First, we have Number 1; This is the second Panama Canal, which will connect the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. It will be going through Nicaragua, through Lake Nicaragua. It will be 278 km long. During construction, it will employ 50,000 workers. It will have two ports, one international airport, and naturally, a lot of supporting industries, like cement, steel, other infrastructure; so it will be a complete boost for the Nicaraguan economy, and it will take only five years to build, with mainly Chinese financing.
The second project (Number 2), up in the North, is the Bering Strait tunnel. This is a proposal to connect Alaska and Siberia, and build a tunnel in the gap in-between. This tunnel would be 85 km long, and connect the transport systems of Eurasia with those of America. This has been on the table since the 1800s.
There was, in 2007, a major conference in Moscow where Mr. LaRouche and I participated, and this was greeted with great enthusiasm by a lot of academicians from the Academy of Science—and these were all men over 80, but top scientists. And they were so enthusiastic about this proposal, that they said, “Oh, in 20 years, we will be able to travel from Acapulco through the Bering Strait, all the way to Mumbai, in a much shorter time than today we can do by ship.”
It was also proposed that the Alaskan port will be called LaRouche City, and the Siberian port will probably be called Granberg City [after Russian Academician Alexander Granberg], one of the authors of this project from Russia. China has already expressed great interest to participate in the construction of this.
Number 13 is the Sakhalin Island-Russia connection. This strait is 7.3 km at the narrowest point, and the idea is to build a tunnel from the southern end of Sakhalin Island, to Japan, and it would connect Japan with the Eurasian landmass.
Number 4, a tunnel between Sakhalin and Hokkaido; either a tunnel or a bridge, which would then link the Russian island with the Japanese island of Hokkaido. This would be at a length of 45 km, and would also connect Japan by rail to the Eurasian continent.
Number 5 is the Seikan tunnel, which opened in 1998. This is currently the largest and deepest tunnel in the world at 53.85 km, and was regarded as essential for the unification of the Japanese nation.
Number 6 is a tunnel between Japan and Korea, which connects Japan and South Korea at a length of 128 km.
Number 7 is the Bohai tunnel, which would be a tunnel under the Bohai Strait, of 100 km, making high-speed-rail connection between the two Chinese cities Dalian and Chantai, and this will take ten years to build.
Number 8 is the Strait of Malacca Bridge, which connects Malaysia and Indonesia, and that is already being financed since 2006 by the Chinese Eximbank. This is ongoing.
Number 10 is the Kra Canal, which would overcome the present bottleneck of the Strait of Malacca, which has very high traffic, and that will be either 50 or 100 km long, depending on the exact route. We have been campaigning for that since, I think, the ’80s, when Mr. LaRouche and I were conducting a conference in Bangkok, and now it is back on the agenda of the BRICS countries.
Then, Number 12, the Suez Canal expansion: This now has transformed Egypt completely, because, with el-Sisi taking over the government, he has announced that he will completely change the Egyptian situation, promising a job to every young person, and they have already built an enormous amount of kilometers since the Summer of this year.
Now, the expansion of the Eurasian Land-Brige: We have already proposed a couple of years ago, to expand it into Europe, the Mediterranean, and to Africa. Now, as you know, with the Troika, southern Europe is an absolutely collapsing part of the world. Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal—these countries are dying. You have an increase of the death rate, the collapse of the birth rate, the suicide rate is going up, the health sector is collapsing, and the massive, brutal austerity policy of the EU Commission is simply ruining these countries. And therefore, for Europe, becoming part of this, is a question of survival.
One project which we don’t have here is the Italy-Tunisia link, which is the idea to build a bridge between the mainland of Italy and the island of Sicily, and from there, a five-track tunnel from Sicily to Tunisia. And we just had a conference in Frankfurt, where one of the authors, the engineer [Dr. Nino Galloni], one of the designers, spoke at this conference.
Number 14: This is the Strait of Gibraltar. This is a very exciting project, which could start tomorrow, because between Spain and Morocco, already a couple of years ago, a feasibility study was made, and presented in 2009 to the EU Commission, which naturally, because the EU is motivated by different concerns—namely, to save the bankrupt European banks—they have not gone ahead to implement that. But it could start immediately.
The Development Corridors
Now, let’s go to the corridors.
These are not just transport lines from A to B. When we developed the first Eurasian Land-Bridge, Mr. LaRouche was emphasizing very much the need to build corridors. That is, if you build a transport connection, like the Eurasian Land-Bridge, this was the idea to have an integrated system of fast trains, of highways, of waterways, and then have a corridor of about 100-km width, and then put in energy production and distribution, communication. And that way, create the infrastructure conditions for investment in industry, industrialization of agriculture; and that way, create the same kind of conditions for investment, as you normally only have at seaports, river systems, or the oceans.
So, you bring the infrastructure into the land-locked areas of the planet, and that way, have a basis of overcoming the underdevelopment.
Now, Letter A: This is the transcontinental railway from Brazil to Peru.
Letter B: The Darien Gap. This would connect the Inter-American Railway all the way from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, in Argentina. Presently, that connection is interrupted for about 100 km by the so-called Darien Gap, through swampland and forest, and it would bring a tremendous economic benefit to connect that.
Letter F is the Silk Road Economic Belt, which President Xi Jinping proposed, and that is already agreed upon, as of now, by 18 Asian and European countries. It will affect the economic life of 3 billion people on the planet.
Letter H is a cross-Africa rail-line system. The left side is the existing railway, and you can see that Africa, at this point, does not have one rail line from Dakar to Djibouti, or from the Cape of Good Hope to Cairo, because the colonial powers only would build railways from the raw material mining, to the port. That condition also exists in Latin America. If you look at the maps of Africa and Latin America, you do not have an existing intercontinental infrastructure system, and therefore, if you want to develop these two continents, really, an integrated railway system is the absolute precondition.
And Chinese Prime Minister Li Kejiang, who was in Africa this year, promised that China would help to connect all Africa capitals through a high-speed-rail system. And that is obviously extremely good; and the African countries are all much happier with such offers, than the Sunday sermons by EU officials, who say, you should do this, you should do that, but they don’t deliver any infrastructure or other things.
Now, lastly, part of this is the Letter J, which is the famous Maritime Silk Road, which is really reviving the tradition, or the famous voyages, of the Chinese Admiral Zheng He in the 1400s, which was emphasized by President Xi Jinping also recently.
continue reading at:
The Principle of Development