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New Silk Road Goes Global, Including in the U.S.— This Is the Reason Trump is Under Attack

by Michael Billington

May 2017
Heads of State and Heads of Government who participated in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on May 14-15.

A PDF version of this article appears in the May 26, 2017 issue of Executive Intelligence Review and is re-published here with permission.

May 17—As world leaders returned to their home countries from the historic Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation which took place in Beijing on May 14-15, they are proudly announcing to their citizens and to the world that a new paradigm for world affairs has been established, both economically and culturally. In a very real sense, the title of the EIR Special Report from 2014—The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge—is becoming a reality.)

Look around the world:

China is partnering in the upgrading of the port of Trieste to develop North Adriatic ports as the western terminal of the Maritime Silk Road.
Greek Prime Minister
Alexis Tsipras

Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, after attending the Beijing forum and later meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, described the Belt and Road Forum as “an event that could leave a trail in history in the next years, because it is a project tending to be a global project.” He said that “launching this bridge between Asia and Europe also has a political significance, besides the physical, economic one. Italy has decided to join at a high level—the only G7 country to do so—to give a signal of sharing.” (Actually, both Japan and the United States also took dramatic steps towards full engagement in the Belt and Road—see below)

One example in Italy: The Italians are expanding, with Chinese help, the North Adriatic Port Association (NAPA) which includes the ports of Venice in Italy, Trieste and Kober in Slovenia, and Rijeka in Croatia. The expansion will upgrade existing ports and build a new port off-shore from Venice which will be able to handle container ships. New rail lines into northern Europe will make the upper Adriatic another hub for the rapidly expanding trade between Europe and Asia.

Zivadin Jovanovic of Serbia, who heads the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals, wrote on May 15: “Once again China has demonstrated the vision and magnetism of the new pattern of ‘win-win’ cooperation for the new era of the multipolar world. The pattern radiates equality, openness, and mutual benefit, not protectionism and power politics.” He reports that the Chinese are building a rail connection linking Serbia with the South Adriatic along the eastern shore of the Adriatic to Greece. In addition, the construction of the Belgrade-Budapest High-Speed Railway, which has been stalled by EU interference, will start in November. “It will be the biggest construction undertaking in the whole of Europe,” he writes.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who attended the Beijing Forum, spoke of the original Silk Road: “If we were to retell, today, the history of the Silk Road, we would not only retell an economic history of cooperation and competition between great powers, religions, nations, and commercial interests, but a history of people, their contact and communication. The commercial and cultural contacts of the Greek and Chinese people stretch back thousands of years. They have traded, worked with each other, travelled to each others lands, and inspired each other with their struggles.”

Prime Minister of Hungary
Viktor Orban
Czech President
Milos Zeman

On the New Silk Road, he added: “This Initiative is based on the development of Infrastructure and Connectivity projects bringing Europe and Asia, as well as other parts of the world, closer together. But if it remains only a series of projects, it will not fulfill the vision on which it is based. It will not be a vibrant Silk Road of the 21st Century. The Belt and Road Initiative gives us a remarkable platform with which to connect initiatives enhancing people-to-people contact, and I believe we should make full use of it.” Tsipras had hosted the “First Forum of Ancient Civilizations” in Athens in April, cosponsored by Greece and China, the cradles of western and eastern civilization, respectively.

Czech President Milos Zeman mocked those who complain that the Belt and Road is dividing Europe, saying that Europe is already horribly divided, but can be united through the common mission of the Silk Road.

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban told his nation that many countries were sick of lectures on human rights and free markets (such as those from the European Union), and that the “old model of globalization is dead,” as the Silk Road is creating a development-based global paradigm.

Philippines Presidential website
Philippine President
Rodrigo Duterte

Japan’s high-level representative to the forum in Beijing was Toshihiro Nikai, the head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. Nikai met personally with Chinese President Xi Jinping, to discuss the potential for Japan to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) initiated by China, and to plan an exchange of visits between President Xi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Abe indicated that he would carefully discuss these matters with President Trump, who had indicated that it was a mistake for the United States (under Obama) to boycott the AIIB. Abe had been under intense pressure from Obama not to join the bank. It is possible that Abe and Trump are considering joining the AIIB at the same time.

Philippine President Duterte announced upon his return from the forum that there are plans to restore the 2005 program for joint development of the rich resources of the South China Sea with China and Vietnam, now that Obama’s plan for war in the South China Sea has been rejected all across Asia. The 2005 program was sabotaged by anti-China forces within the Philippines. President Trump has moved to restore close cooperation with both China and the Philippines.

Ibero America
IADB President
Luis Alberto Moreno

The nations of South and Central America had been less directly involved in the early stages of the Silk Road process, but following the Beijing forum, many are saying that the Americas are now fully on board. The head of the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Alicia Barcena, who attended the forum, praised the Belt and Road Initiative as “a renewal of the profound commitment to the values that are fundamental for our global economic and social well-being,” and called on all the member nations to “harness the potential that this One Belt One Road has for redefining capitalism through people’s equality and dignity.”

The head of the Inter-American Development Bank, Luis Alberto Moreno, declared that Latin America is now very much part of the Silk Road initiative, which is “not only a limited group of countries, but the entire world.”

Kenyan President
Uhuru Kenyatta

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said upon his return, “The Belt and Road Initiative gives our continent the opportunity to make a paradigm-shift. Post-colonial Africa has been stuck in a rut. Being part of One Belt allows the continent to move to a new platform, through which global collaboration will allow for value-addition, innovation, and increased prosperity.” Note that the notion of a “new paradigm” and lifting the global “platform” of productivity have been the core concepts of the LaRouche movement’s historic campaign for the New Silk Road and the World Land-Bridge.

Similar enthusiastic responses fill the press of nations across the developing sector.

United States
youtube/KBS news
Matthew Pottinger

And in the United States? Virtually unknown to the American population, the Trump Administration representative to the Beijing Forum, Matthew Pottinger, set up an “American Belt and Road Working Group,” to bring American companies into the Silk Road process! Beyond that, he invited China to attend the “SelectUSA Investment Summit,” on June 18-20 in Washington, D.C., to include China in investment opportunities in the United States.

On May 17, Tu Guangshao, president of the China Investment Corporation (CIC) sovereign wealth fund, told the Wall Street Journal, “there is a potential for Chinese companies to make more investments in the United States and vice versa.” Underscoring the Chinese initiative, on May 18 CIC is opening an office in New York City, replacing the one in Toronto, which until now had been CIC’s only overseas representative office. Tu explained that CIC is particularly looking at U.S. projects in highways, rail, and high-tech manufacturing plants, emphasizing that CIC can become a stable source of long-term capital for United States infrastructure and manufacturing projects, as well as helping U.S. companies to expand their operations in China’s market.

cc/Northern Ireland Executive
Tu Guanshao (right), president of the China Investment Corporation (CIC) sovereign wealth fund, discussing investment and infrastructure opportunities with Northern Ireland Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard, on Oct 12, 2016 in Beijing.

In January of this year, CIC chairman Ding Xuedong indicated that CIC wanted to change $50 billion of its holdings of United States Treasury debt into an investment in building of new infrastructure in the United States. Ding’s estimate of the investment needed to build a new and modern economic infrastructure in America was $8 trillion—far beyond President Trump’s $1 trillion program—which, he said, would not be invested by the U.S. government and private investors alone. Schiller Institute chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche has enthusiastically supported such a proposal, noting that it would represent an exciting new level of Sino-U.S. collaboration to rebuild America’s decaying infrastructure.

In his Wall Street Journal interview, Tu noted that, in the past, the U.S. government and Congress have frustrated CIC direct investment, and pointed to the “overly strict scrutiny and opaque investment-review process” of U.S. authorities during the Bush and Obama years. Major investments in ports, rail, and other infrastructure were rejected on “security” grounds. Perhaps now, under Trump, the United States will be open to the contribution China can make to reversing the nation’s economic decay. (see the LaRouche PAC pamphlet, “America’s Future on the New Silk Road”).

Press Blackout

Any U.S. citizen dependent on the U.S. media or reports from the U.S. Congress, would know none of this. Rather, nearly the entirety of the 24-hour news cycle in the United States is composed of hysterical rants against President Trump. If any of it were to be believed, one would think the President is a puppet of evil Russia and evil China, who are out to take over the world and undermine the pristine values of Western Civilization, and that Trump is guilty of treason for doing what he promised to do in his campaign—ending the Bush and Obama “regime change” war policies, and restoring America’s industry and infrastructure, and the jobs that go with it.

Do not believe the lie that Trump is on the defensive—that his actions have undermined his credibility, as peddled ad nauseam in the western media. The fact is, Trump is on the offensive, to end the British Imperial era of history. The British and their assets in the United States—the neocons in both parties and on Wall Street, and the corrupt elements in the intelligence community, especially the FBI—are absolutely hysterical now that the geopolitical division of the world into warring factions, is being replaced with a win-win policy based on the common aims of mankind. What is at stake for this imperial oligarchy is their ability to induce the U.S. population to passively accept austerity and war, which is being destroyed by Trump’s move to bring the United States into the New Silk Road, and to work with Russia to crush the terrorist scourge. His stated intention to restore Glass Steagall and the Hamiltonian American System of physical economy, simply drives the British assets further into panic mode.

As Helga Zepp-LaRouche reiterated in her many speeches and interviews in China this past weekend—she was a featured speaker at the Global Think Tank Summit at the Belt and Road Forum: if Donald Trump succeeds in bringing the United States into the new paradigm of the global Silk Road, he will be remembered as one of the great presidents of American history. The Belt and Road International Forum, she said, has set the world on a course to a final demise of Empire and the zero-sum game geopolitical mind-set that goes with it. This week there has been a dramatic phase shift in the history of humanity.

Paraphrasing Benjamin Franklin: There is now a new world economic order, if we can keep it.