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This article appears in the July 3, 2015 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

AN END TO GEOPOLITICS

Zepp-LaRouche, Yiwu Forum
Focus on Promise of Silk Road

by William Jones

[PDF version of this article]

June 26—Speaking on June 19 at the Silk Road Economic Belt Cities International Forum in Yiwu, China, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, president of the Schiller Institute, warned of the dangers facing the world of possible financial blowout and global war, and underlined the importance of the Silk Road Economic Belt, proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, as the way out of the crisis.

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EIRNS
Helga Zepp-LaRouche, third from the right, with her fellow panelists at the Silk Road Economic Belt Cities International Forum in Yiwu, China, June 19, 2015.

The June 18-19 forum had been organized by the Chongyang Institute of Financial Studies at Renmin University, huanqiu.com—a division of Global Times newspaper, and the Yiwu City Peoples Government. While the conference focused on Yiwu, a growing city south of Shanghai, as a hub at the end of the new train corridor between Asia and Europe, the conference organizers had brought together an impressive group of people internationally to underline the importance of this project for the world as a whole.

Pointing to the dangers stemming from a possible Greek default, Zepp-LaRouche told the several hundred people gathered there:

A chaotic collapse can be prevented only if the EU and European nations agree to convene a European debt conference in the tradition of the 1953 Debt Conference for Germany, which laid the basis for the German miracle of the postwar period.

She pointed to the need for a return to the policy of industrial banking of German bankers Hermann Abs and Alfred Herrhausen, who followed in the tradition of the American System of Economy of Alexander Hamilton.

She noted the importance of German industrial capabilities, especially the innovative small and middle-sized firms, the Mittelstand, in bringing the world out of the financial crisis. Germany is also crucial diplomatically. If Germany were to reject the push to war emanating from the policy of the United States and NATO, there would be no war. Leading politicians in Germany, she said, realize that the sanctions are aimed against Germany as well as Russia, with German exports to Russia falling by 28% in the first quarter of this year.

If Germany would now end the sanctions by admitting that the reason for the crisis is not Russia but the EU itself in its pushing the EU Association Agreement on Ukraine, then this crisis could be overcome.

She referred to the comments of Gottfried Leibniz in one of his major writings on China, Novissima Sinica, that if Europe and China, those two great cultures at opposite sides of Eurasia, would come together in cooperation, all the countries in the world would benefit.

Her speech, which stood out starkly from the other presentations from representatives of other European countries who were to discuss their role in the Silk Road Economic Belt, created a flurry of interest, not least of all in the new report which, as she noted in her speech, had been put out by the Schiller Institute and EIR, entitled The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge.

In introducing Zepp-LaRouche, the moderator of the panel noted that in Europe she is widely considered the initiator of the New Silk Road concept.

After the forum, many people came up to talk, and to view the report. Her speech also garnered wide-spread attention by the media, with one article circulating on sina.com, an equivalent to Yahoo or Google in the U.S., translating and quoting almost all of her ten-minute speech.

Many other websites and papers borrowed extensively from the sina.com article in their comments in the following days. Others noted her response in the Q&A session, where she succinctly noted the need for high-speed rail—as opposed to sea transport—since in a high-tech, high-value economy, speed of transport of goods becomes a premium.

High-Level Presence Draws Attention

While Yiwu is only one of a number of cities in China holding conferences on the Silk Road Economic Belt in an effort to profile their importance in the project, Yiwu's geographical location, less than one hundred miles from Ningbo, the nearest port, and at the terminal of the European rail line, served to spark more than local interest. Also, since the organizers had assembled a high-level presence at the conference—including two former prime ministers, and a former foreign minister, as well as a representative from the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Peoples Congress, and numerous ambassadors to the Peoples Republic of China—there was considerable nationwide media attention focused on this conference. A short interview with EIR's Washington correspondent Bill Jones, given to the local Yiwu TV, was also aired nationally by CCTV in its coverage of the forum.

While Yiwu is not a major industrial center, it has transformed itself into a major commodities port, with goods coming in from all of Southeast Asia through the port of Ningbo for shipment and transfer through Yiwu to Central Asia and Europe, over the new rail lines. So too, goods from Europe are brought by rail to the Yiwu land port before shipment by sea to other parts of the Asia-Pacific.

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EIRNS
EIR’s Washington Bureau Chief William Jones intervenes in the Silk Road Forum.

The two-day event also featured numerous panels on various aspects of the Silk Road project. At a panel on "The Silk Road: New Starting Point", EIR's Bill Jones was quizzed on the attitude of the United States to this project. Jones noted the need for bringing the United States on board the project for its own sake. When one Chinese scholar expressed skepticism that the United States would ever be willing to cooperate in this project by China, Jones described the devastation to the U.S. economy as a result of the failed economic policies of the Bush and Obama Administrations, starkly underlined by the absolute failure to respond effectively to the tremendous drought in California. "Our infrastructure is in a shambles," Jones said, "and people understand that only with the orientation toward massive infrastructural investment as expressed by the Silk Road project can the United States survive," he said. "And even now, many states of the Union are coming to China to encourage China to invest in their infrastructure as well."

It was clear that the organizers of the conference considered the presence of the Schiller Institute very prestigious for their event. While the ex-ministers and the ambassadors might have helped to bring added media attention to the conference, the intellectual rigor exhibited by Helga Zepp-LaRouche in her speech, really placed her in a category of her own. This was evident to all who heard her remarks, bringing a clear—and stark—note of reality to an event which otherwise might have been simply a worthwhile rally for a praiseworthy project. Her short speech and the media coverage of it, as well as the separate interviews she gave during the conference, will reverberate widely in China and beyond.