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Category Archives: BRICS/AIIB/NDB/World Landbridge

Sen. Kit Tatad Greeted Obama in Manila with a Blast from Helga Zepp-LaRouche

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Nov. 18, 2015 (EIRNS)– Former Philippine Senator Kit Tatad issued a scathing attack on Obama and fullsome praise of Putin and Xi Jinping in this morning’s Manila Times, the first day of the APEC Summit, quoting directly from the Press Club event featuring Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Senator Mike Gravel on Oct. 27. The op-ed is titled: “Let President Xi tell us about the new Silk Road,”

“So the Aquino government is determined to splurge ten billion pesos on the APEC Economic Leaders Summit and all its related lower-level meetings. At the same time, private firms are to be bled white by the forced shutdown of their operations and the cancellation of hundreds of international and domestic flights during the main event. Nothing could be more absurd and bizarre, but it could soon turn tragic if most of the summiteers fail to realize that inclusive economic growth, which they saucily long for, won’t happen unless the global casino economy is replaced by a new paradigm.

A new paradigm

Indeed, the world needs not just a paste-up job, but a new paradigm. No significant intervention has occurred since Lehman Brothers, with assets of over $600 billion, declared bankruptcy in 2008. None since the most vulnerable European economies began to flounder. None since Iraq and Libya lost their unwanted governments. Bail-outs in Wall Street and bail-ins in Europe saved the big banks but not the small depositors. Since 2008, the too-big-to-fail banks grew bigger by 40-80 percent, and enlarged their derivatives debt contracts to up to $2 quadrillion, said the founder of Schiller Institute Helga Zepp-Larouche in a recent address at the National Press Club in Washington.

There are no more tools in the toolbox of the financial institutions, Zepp-LaRouche said. So chaos could soon break out. For some international players, chaos, more precisely war, is the solution. They have invested so much in stockpiling weapons of mass destruction, including thermonuclear weapons with the capacity to kill the entire human population 20 times over, that they seem obliged to consider using them, regardless of the cost or consequence. But war can only translate into death and destruction [in] our clearly civilizational crisis.

The solution has to be something moral, social, political and economic. Mankind must recover from the global blurring of fundamental moral principles, the clashing political agendas and ambitions of men and nations, and the utter bankruptcy of the global economic system. The overindulgence of our sexual appetites, the unfettered desire by an unaccountable elite to impose their own ethic upon the rest, the resultant divide that sets apart the one percent at the top from the ninety-nine percent at the bottom of the pyramid — not these, but the opposite of these, are the pillars upon which our future civilization should be built.

Who will teach whom?

Which nation, and which leader of what nation, will drive home this point? And who has the best credentials to do it?

The United States, according to the renowned social-work educator Paul Adams in a book on social justice with Michael Novak and Elizabeth Shaw, was the first to lift a large majority of its poor (largely immigrants) out of poverty within a generation, and to keep on doing so. The United States was, as it were, the laboratory for how underdeveloped peoples break through the chains of centuries of poverty. It was the first developing nation. No one could argue against this.

US vis-a-vis China

But the record has shifted since. In the last seventy years since its founding, the United Nations, according to President Obama, has raised more than a billion poor people to the middle class. But it was former US Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska, who has pointed out in a paper he filed before our Supreme Court,that more than half of that number — 600 million, twice the total population of the United States — were Chinese. It happened within a little more than one generation or three decades; by adopting free-market capitalism while remaining communist, China — and not the United Nations — did it.

Poverty in the US

Today in the United States, by Zepp-La Rouches own reckoning, at least seven (7) percent of the population live in extreme poverty; some 21 percent have no access to sufficient food; 95 million have lost their jobs; and 104 million who are eligible cannot find jobs. In Europe, one-third of all the youth are unemployed; in the south of Europe alone, 60 percent are unemployed….

60 million refugees

Yet there is a new class of people whose problem is worse than sheer poverty. Many of them drown at the Mediterranean trying to flee the war, hunger, ethnic strife, unemployment in their own countries. These are the refugees….

Most powerful in history

But some leaders seem to be more concerned with projecting military might rather than manifesting compassion for the excluded and the marginalized. In his address to the 70th UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015, Obama left the world gobsmacked when he said: “I lead the strongest military that the world has ever known, and will never hesitate to protect my country or our allies, unilaterally and by force where necessary.”…

As if to make sure that nobody missed this point, the US guided missile destroyer USS Lassen reportedly sailed within 12 nautical miles of one of the China-built land formations in the Spratlys while the Asean defense chiefs were meeting in Kuala Lumpur, together with US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and his Chinese counterpart, Chang Wanquan.

Putin in contrast

Addressing the same UN General Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin took a different path. He decried the aggressive foreign interference that has resulted in a flagrant destruction of institutions and peoples lifestyle itself. Violence, poverty and social disaster have marred the growth of democracy and progress; “nobody cares a bit about human rights, including the right to life,” Putin said. In the Middle East and North Africa and elsewhere, anarchy areas have been created, which are now filled with extremists and terrorists, he added.

As though in anticipation of the Nov. 13 terrorist attack in Paris, which left over a hundred people dead and more than two hundred wounded, and prompted the Hollande government to declare a state of emergency, Putin proposed the creation of a genuinely broad international coalition against terrorism. He promised that under Russia’s chairmanship, the UN Security Council would convene a ministerial meeting to carry out a comprehensive analysis of the threats in the Middle East and seek to coordinate all actions against the Islamic extremists.

He proposed to restore government institutions in Libya, support a new government in Iraq, and provide comprehensive assistance to the legitimate government in Syria. And he asked that the international community now live without dividing lines, build on transparent and jointly formulated rules, including WTO principles stipulating the freedom of trade and investment and open competition, harmonize regional economic projects to promote the integration of integrations.

Finally, he offered a vision of the Eurasian Economic Union interconnecting with Chinas new Silk Road Economic Belt project to create a new development paradigm for the 21st century.

Xi Jinpings new Silk Road

The unexplained crash of a Russian passenger plane which killed all 224 passengers at Egypts Sinai Peninsula on Oct. 31 has prevented Putin from coming to Manila. But Chinas President Xi Jinping will be here. He should be encouraged to talk about China’s vision for the world economy. Supported by Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa which, together with itself, constitute the relatively new economic bloc called BRICS, China has defined a 30-year vision to unite the worlds economies through high-speed railroads, roads and other fiber optic communications across the Eurasian land mass of Russia from western China to Europe, extending all the way north into the Scandinavian countries and South into Iran and the Arab countries. Its maritime component seeks to build efficient ports in strategic places to enhance the development of world trade.

The new bloc represents a power center based on economic growth, and above all, on leading-edge technology, including, for now, the exploration of the Moon to bring back to Earth large quantities of helium-3 for the future economy of thermonuclear.

China and Brazil Reach Agreement on Iron Ore Shipments

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Aug. 25, 2015 (EINRS)–Brazil’s Vale, the world’s largest exporter of iron ore to China, a few years ago ordered 35 new, giant “Valemax” ships (400,000 DWT–deadweight tons–bigger than any other cargo ship out there), and have already taken delivery on 30 of them from Chinese and South Korean shipbuilders. However, Chinese shipping companies, who feared being pushed out of the market by the highly efficient new Valemax carriers, got the Chinese government to prohibit docking of anything larger than “Capesize” ships (350,000 DWT) in Chinese ports. But Vale this summer reached an agreement with some of these Chinese companies; set up a 51-49 joint venture company with them that gave the Chinese the majority share; then sold four of the Valemax ships to the joint venture; and then had that company lease them back to Vale for 25 years. That way, everyone gets to share in the profit from the new ships. The first such ship docked at the port of Qingdao, China, on July 4, 2015.

The physical economic savings of the Valemax giants are significant–up to 15% overall–to Chinese steel producers who import the Brazilian iron ore. The big ships provide a 35% saving on fuel per ton transported; and they can save up to 15% on shipping time, which is reduced from 40 to 35 days by being able to dock directly in China, and not have to offload the ore to smaller ships in Subic Bay, Philippines, or other locations in Asia that Vale uses. Additionally, the Valemax ships can offload cargo twice as fast as Capesize ships.

And then there are the significant further savings in time and distance that will occur once the Nicaragua Grand Inter-Oceanic Canal opens in 2020–which, unlike even the expanded Panama Canal now under construction, will be large enough to handle Valemax ships. That will mean that the iron ore can be shipped {westward} from Brazil, through the Nicaragua Canal, and then across the Pacific to China–saving over 10% in time and distance over the current route across the Atlantic.

Chilean President Bachelet and China’s Xi Jinping Confirm Potential for Greater Economic and Political Ties

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Nov. 12, 2014 (EIRNS)–Prior to departing Beijing, where she attended the APEC summit, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet met with her Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, during which, as she reported afterward, the two reviewed their bilateral ties and “agreed on accelerating our efforts so that our joint action plan can become reality as quickly as possible.”

Recalling the countries’ 45 years of diplomatic ties, Bachelet emphasized that “China is our most important trading partner and we see ample opportunity for [this relationship] to continue growing,” Chile’s {24Horas} reported today. The Asia-Pacific, she said, “is the most dynamic region in the world economy and an area of great relevance for our natural ties, in which, rather than separating us, the Pacific unites us.”

In another pointed reference to the desirability of creating the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), proposed by China, Bachelet noted that the two leaders had identified several goals for the next year, leading into the 2015 APEC summit in the Philippines, including greater inclusive economic growth, and “to begin to take much more rapid steps, so that, in the not-too-distant future, we may sign a Free Trade Agreement with {all} the nations of the Asia-Pacific, and, in particular, all the nations of APEC.”

The Chilean President also highlighted the importance of the upcoming meeting of the China-Celac Forum–Celac is the organization of Latin American and Caribbean States–that will be officially inaugurated in Beijing in January. Chile, she added, can play a vital role as a bridge between the Asia-Pacific region and South America.

During her speech at the “Invest in Chile” seminar in Beijing, Bachelet reported that she was “very happy about the good news” that the China Construction Bank (CCB) will soon be opening offices in Santiago, Chile, to offer services to Chinese companies investing in the region. CCB already has offices in Brazil, and will soon be opening branches in Lima, Peru, and in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but Santiago will serve as the bank’s regional headquarters, according to www.portalminero.cl. Andreas Pierotic, the commercial attache at the Chilean embassy in Beijing, told {Mercopress} that CCB is China’s second-largest and most important bank, and first in investment in Chinese projects, and thus has “a lot of experience in project financing… If we’re looking for Chinese investment in Chile, having this bank as a `partner’ is very positive for Chile,” he underscored.

Twenty-One Asian Nations Sign Memorandum of Understanding Establishing Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

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Oct. 24, 2014 (EIRNS)–Twenty-one Asian countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as founding members today in Beijing in a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People. Chinese President Xi Jinping met with the representatives of the 20 other countries later in the day, Xinhua reported. The 21 countries are: Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

The AIIB’s authorized capital is $100 billion, and the initial subscribed capital is expected to be around $50 billion, with a 20% paid-in ratio.

The Prospective Founding Members are expected to complete the signing and ratification of the Articles of Agreement (AOA) in 2015, and AIIB will be formally established by the end of 2015.

“In China we have a folk saying,” Chinese President Xi Jinping told delegates after the ceremony, reported India’s NDTV today. “If you would like to get rich, build roads first, and I believe that is a very vivid description of the very importance of infrastructure to economic development.”

Xi told the other nations: “For the AIIB, its operation needs to follow multilateral rules and procedures. We have also to learn from the World Bank and the Asia Development Bank and other existing multilateral development institutions in their good practices.”

Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, and Australia did not join the bank, although there is an open debate in Australia on doing so, and the South Koreans are reportedly awaiting more clarification on some of the management structures of the bank before joining.

According to the {Australian Financial Review} today, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had personally pressured Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to keep Australia out of the AIIB. “Australia has been under pressure from the U.S. for some time to not become a founding member of the bank and it is understood Mr. Kerry put the case directly to the Prime Minister when the pair met in Jakarta on Monday–following the inauguration of Indonesian President Joko Widodo,” the paper said.

Washington sources close to the Obama  Administration have confirmed the account, stressing that Washington is leery that China will dominate the new lending institution.  More to the point, the Obama Administration is fully aware of the overall BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization developments, which are weakening the vise-grip (or, rather, the vice-grip) of what is called the “Washington Consensus,” under which trans-Atlantic central banks and the International Monetary Fund have exerted a global dictatorship over finance.

Robert Zeigler, Director of the IRRI, Praises BRICS and AIIB as Crucial for Transforming Rural Development Worldwide

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Sep. 27, 2014 (EIRNS)–Dr. Robert Zeigler, Director of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI, based in the Philippines) for the past ten years, said on Sept. 25 that the New Development Bank of the BRICS and the Chinese-initiated AIIB have the potential to “transform rural societies.” Speaking at a Brookings Institute event, Dr. Zeigler said in his presentation that the world was already in the opening stages of a new “Green Revolution,” with new technologies (which allow for flood resistant and drought resistant capacities in the same breed of rice, among others). The problem, he said, was to get farmers to understand and agree to utilize these discoveries.

Asked by EIR how the BRICS and AIIB will affect the global food crisis, he said that the creation of new infrastructure, especially in transportation, will “make farmers far more open to the new technologies, because of the enhanced connectivity to markets.” He said he has seen this opening to new technologies in areas where the necessary infrastructure has been developed.

Another questioner noted that the G-20 had made food security a leading item for development, but that it never went anywhere (“You noticed,” responded Dr. Zeigler), and that the upcoming Millennium Goals meetings will likely get the same result, so what should be done?

Dr. Zeigler hit directly on the failed global economic system: “All the arm-waving at the global fora has produced no results. The bureaucrats re-package existing money and call that their contribution. To transform the system, you need a SOLID RESEARCH BASE, long term, both internationally and in the national systems, together with an education system to generate the needed scientists, making it a viable career for our youth. {If you let the private sector make all the decisions, you are in trouble.} Wall Street looks at the immediate return on investment, not what is best for society.” He brought down the house when he added: “Look at the pharmaceutical industry, left largely to the private sector–we get Rogaine and Viagra, but no cure for Ebola!”

He also complained, as he has for many years, that the governments around the world which once funded the IRRI and other agriculture research centers has massively gutted that funding, leaving them “working on a shoestring budget.” See Dr. Zeigler in EIR:

“Meeting the Challenge of Expanded Rice Production,” May 10, 2013 http://www.larouchepub.com/eiw/public/2013/eirv40n19-20130510/30-35_4019.pdf

“Rice–Scientific Breakthroughs to Transform Agriculture,” May 17, 2013 http://www.larouchepub.com/eiw/public/2013/eirv40n20-20130517/08-18_4020.pdf

Interview March 2, 2007, http://www.larouchepub.com/eiw/public/2007/eirv34n09-20070302/54_709_interview.pdf )