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Zepp-LaRouche Call Resonates at Beijing Think-20 Event

by William Jones
August 2016

EIRNS/Stephan Ossenkopp
Helga Zepp-LaRouche (center) with other participants at the July 29-30, 20016 T-20 Summit.

August 5, 2016 —Speaking on July 29 at the Beijing “Think-20” Summit, where international think-tanks were gathered to elaborate and present proposals for the upcoming G-20 Summit in China September 4-5, Helga Zepp-LaRouche urged that the G-20 must “address the existential challenges facing civilization and implement solutions to them in time.” She went on to outline the crises now facing humanity: looming financial collapse, the potential disintegration of the EU, the refugee crisis, and the danger of nuclear war. “The refusal of the upcoming G-20 Summit to acknowledge that situation,” Zepp-LaRouche said, “and failure to take the opportunity of the upcoming summit to present real solutions to these crises, will not have effects in the realm of virtual reality, but rather in the realm of real history and in the lives and happiness of real people.”

“There are immediate solutions at hand,” she said, “but they require the willingness of leading institutions to revise the axioms of current policies and return to policies that have not only proven to be effective in previous situations, but also represent a new paradigm that can lay the basis for the next one hundred years of the human species and beyond.”

The two-day Think-20 Summit was sponsored by three of the most prestigious scholarly institutions in China: the Institute of World Economics and Politics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences; the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies; and Renmin University’s Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies. Its title was “Building New Global Relationships: New Dynamics, New Vitality, New Prospects,” and it included 500 think-tank experts, politicians, and representatives of international organizations from 25 countries.

The Chinese organizers are taking very seriously their responsibility as host of the this year’s G-20 summit. The G-20 has effectively become the “steering committee” of the world economy since its establishment after the 1997 financial crisis. China has a program of industrial reconstruction based on the template of its own New Silk Road Initiative; China has therefore placed a focus on the issues of “innovation” and “infrastructural investment” at this year’s summit.

At the same time, there is a fairly clear understanding on China’s part of the serious crisis facing the present world financial system. This was underlined by a number of the Chinese speakers at the opening of the conference. “The world economy is faced with great risks accumulating,” said Professor Cai Fang, the vice president of the China Academy of Social Sciences. “We have to be more capable in dealing with volatility. The effect of contagion in the economy has become great,” Cai said.

What is Think-20?

Think-20, also referred to as Think Tank 20, or just T-20 was created in 2011-2012, and is one of seven policy input adjuncts to the G-20; the others are named Business, Civil Society, Youth, Women, Labor, and Innovation. Each G-20 presidency organizes the T-20 function for the year, to provide “the analysis of global think tanks and high-level experts in order to provide analytical depth to ongoing G-20 discussions and produce ideas to help the G-20 on delivering concrete and sustainable policy measures.”

And while the Chinese have underlined the need for a new type of global governance, the G-20 is also composed of countries whose rulers are all too satisfied with the present system of governance. While China and the developing countries would like to see major reforms in the international system, the United States and Europe, the core of the New York-London financial structure, have shown no desire to change the international financial system—or the balance of power supported by that structure.

While the gathering included noted scholars from China, it also attracted activists from various “globalist” organizations internationally, for whom the term “sustainable development” really means “no development.” These included graduates of the Club of Rome’s zero-growth movements of yesteryear. It also included former government officials and members of international organizations for whom any fundamental change in the present financial order is anathema.

In the few minutes she had for her presentation, Zepp-LaRouche succeeded in underlining the strategic nature of the Chinese New Silk Road project and the need for both a return to Glass-Steagall bank separation and a crash program for the development of thermonuclear fusion power. The various crises facing humanity today, from the imminent danger of a new financial blowout to the unending flow of war refugees from the Middle East and North Africa into Europe, could only be resolved by concrete action by the G-20 moving in the direction outlined by China, she warned.

Angered by the Truth

The reaction of the other panelists to Zepp-LaRouche’s remarks was mixed. Half the panel, in particular the Chinese participants, were very excited that such a perspective was presented by one of the international guests at an otherwise rather tame gathering. A number of panelists, however, were visibly suppressing anger and rage at this disruption of what they hoped would be a carefully “controlled environment,” where “sustainability” and “minor system corrections” remained the norm. Yet many from the panel and the audience came up afterward to congratulate and to converse with Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche, who is still known as the “Silk Road Lady” in Chinese circles.

While there was a general consensus at the forum that the present world situation was on the verge of crisis and that the IMF system as it now exists was fundamentally flawed, there were few among the Western participants willing to face the imminent danger of a new financial blowout, or courageous enough to heed the call for a fundamental reform of the world financial system. And while all the Europeans were agitated by the gains being made by the far right parties in many European countries, they failed to see the cause in the absolute failure of the present financial and political structures to meet the needs of their populations.

The Confucian Ideal of Harmony

For most of the foreign delegates it was still “steady as she goes” in the hope that this Titanic of a financial system would ultimately not hit its iceberg. And while the New Silk Road was brought up again and again by the Chinese scholars, most of the panels were characterized by various schemes to provide a “band-aid” for what is fundamentally a failed system.

One of the few exceptions was Vladimir Yakunin, president of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations,” who complained that there had been no fundamental reform after the 2008 financial blow-out, and that therefore the world was still enveloped in financial turmoil with the danger of a new and greater blow-out ahead of us. He pointed in particular to the lamentable fate of the three million people who are presently starving in Africa.

China Daily
Cai Fang (left), vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in discussion with William Jones, Washington Bureau Chief for the Executive Intelligence Review, at the T-20 Summit in Beijing, China.

And then there were those who were totally enraged at the disruption of their illusions by the reality of the crisis. This was dramatically expressed at another panel, where EIR’s Bill Jones, part of the three-man Schiller Institute delegation outlining the 40-year battle for a New World Economic Order, also called for the creation of a new financial architecture. When Jones said that “bail-in and bail-out” policies combined with massive austerity would lead to the death of humanity, a member of the German delegation got up and yelled angrily, “We want analysis, not propaganda,” and demonstratively stormed out of the session. Jones continued unperturbed, and after the panel many in the audience came up to thank him for his comments.

The Schiller delegation was given major focus by the Chinese media, and gave interviews to China Radio International, CCTV, and the Hindu Times, among others. The invitation to the Schiller Institute to attend this event, reflected not only the recognition by the Chinese side of the historical role played by the Institute, and by Helga Zepp-LaRouche personally, in developing the New Silk Road perspective, but also the importance they attributed to the intervention of such an international think-tank as the Schiller Institute into a debate in which most of the international organizations have a diametrically opposed outlook to China’s with regard to the direction it intends to give to the G-20 Hangzhou Summit in September. Among the older scholars in the Chinese institutions there is also a broad recognition of Lyndon LaRouche’s 40-year battle for the establishment of a new world economic order.

China’s perspective was beautifully outlined at the conclusion of the Think-20 Summit by Professor Zhang Yuyan, the Director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and the moderator of the two-day event. Professor Zhang referred to the Confucian ideal of harmony as the model for what China wished to achieve coming out of the G-20 summit. While this is a reflection of China’s own desire for establishing a “new paradigm” in international relations, the bigwigs of the United States and Europe still wish to cling to the old paradigm of geopolitics, characterized by conflict and war.

And while the themes of “innovation” and “infrastructural investment” have been placed by China at the center of the G-20 Hangzhou Summit, and all the parties are paying lip-service to these themes, the radical environmental and anti-nuclear bias of most of these international organizations, especially those from the United States and Europe, undercuts any possibility of real consensus for wide implementation. The division in the G-20 of developed countries versus developing countries (in which China still includes itself), has yet to be overcome. It is to be hoped that the unfolding financial debacle in Europe and the United States may serve as a catalyst to shake these countries out of their self-induced slumber, and make of the G-20 Hangzhou Summit the type of historical turning point toward a new paradigm in international relations which China hopes to bring about.