The New Silk Road Is Creating
a New, Just World Economic Order
by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
July 12—A strategic realignment of a large number of states is currently taking place, despite the horrors ongoing in Southwest Asia and Ukraine, laying the basis to hope that, despite the impending trans-Atlantic financial collapse, the current civilizational crisis can be overcome. The core of this positive change is the emergence of an economic platform to develop the New Silk Road, which China has made a priority of its foreign policy.
With a view to the old Silk Road, which fostered the exchange of goods, ideas, and culture during the Han dynasty 2,000 years ago, to the mutual benefit of everyone along the way, the Chinese government has placed a modern form of this model of global cooperation on the international agenda. It is an open concept; all states are invited to participate.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and numerous government officials have repeatedly emphasized in international forums, the principles on which the New Silk Road economic zone is based: mutual development, non-confrontation, mutual respect and dialogue, respect for the other’s choice of social system, support for the strategic interests of the other state, absolute respect for sovereignty, and renunciation of any form of hegemonism.
The basic idea is that China’s tremendous economic development, which has transformed most of the country since the reforms of Deng Xiaoping, can be replicated by other developing countries, thereby overcoming poverty and underdevelopment. Various aspects of the Silk Road policy are already on the agenda: connections along the historic route in Central Asia; the maritime Silk Road, including construction of a “second Panama Canal” in Nicaragua, with Chinese help; and the strategic cooperation between Russia and China which was adopted at the summit in May between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. The principle also includes the offer by Prime Minister Li Keqiang, that China is ready to connect all the African capitals by high-speed rail.
The Ancient Silk Roads (Land-Based and Maritime)
It is expected that at the summit of the BRICS countries [Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa] in Fortaleza, Brazil on July 13-14, not only will the five member states intensify their cooperation according to the “Silk Road” concept, but there will also be various bilateral and multilateral meetings between their leaders and those of Latin America, at which large projects and contracts will be agreed upon, constituting, in combination, the beginning of a new world economic order. A BRICS Development Bank is to be established, with a starting capital of $100 billion, as well as a foreign exchange pool to better protect participating developing countries from currency turbulence. In addition, China is preparing the groundwork for an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), with initial capital equivalent to $50 billion. The goal of these new institutions is also to reduce dependence on the dollar and move toward trade in the respective national currencies.
What China Really Wants
How should we evaluate all these developments? Certainly not according the hysterical article in Die Welt of July 7, in which the diehard reactionary Johnny Erling raved, “The mega-empire is making a grab for the entire world.” The author, who is mired in the old geopolitical mindset, sees all China’s efforts to return to the principles of the UN Charter, while also presenting a vision of the future for the developing countries, as nothing but an attempt to take over the whole world. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Meanwhile, China was presenting “a New Model of Major Country Relations,” at the Sixth U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue,” a conference in Beijing on July 9-10. The principles of this new concept were also presented on July 10, at a seminar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, by a high-level delegation from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Zha Peixin, of the Ministry’s Foreign Policy Advisory Committee, explained the basic ideas, which are identical to those by which China aims to expand the Silk Road, and stressed that good and stable relations between China and the United States represent an anchor for stability for the entire world, and that the two countries share a common fate and common responsibility.
Unfortunately, most of the participants were unable to extract themselves from the old geopolitical thinking and only wanted to discuss territorial disputes in the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea, a theme to which the CSIS devoted a separate event—a war game, with roles distributed among the participants.
The View from Russia
From the Russian side, President Putin, in his Fourth of July greeting to U.S. President Obama, stressed, in the same spirit as China, his hope that relations between Russia and the United States, which are connected to each other through a rich history, will continue to develop successfully on a pragmatic and equal basis, despite the current differences and difficulties. Both nations bear a special responsibility for international stability and security, he said.
Given that the Russian military views American support for the “color revolutions” in Ukraine, Georgia, and other former Soviet States as undeclared war, as well as the active American support for the war crimes being committed by the Kiev government against its own population in eastern Ukraine, the patience with which Putin is sticking to his war-avoidance policy is quite amazing.
Where Does Germany Stand?
And where is Germany in the context of this strategic realignment? The Chinese government rolled out the red carpet for Chancellor Angela Merkel during her seventh state visit to China July 7-9, and accorded its relationship to Germany the highest priority in Europe. In addition to comprehensive economic cooperation agreements, XI Jinping proclaimed 2015 the German-Chinese Year of Innovation.
Given China’s paramount importance for the German economy and thus the prosperity of the German population, it is indicative of the role played by the politically correct media in Germany, that the Chinese companies had to complain about the Sinophobic reporting. And also Chancellor Merkel, in her speech to students of at Tsinghua University, could not keep herself from talking about human rights issues in China and the supposedly successful transition in Germany from nuclear power to “alternative” energy sources.
First of all, China has probably done more than any other country for human rights, because it has freed an estimated 700 million people from abject poverty and afforded them a decent standard of living. Secondly, Merkel should keep her mouth shut about human rights, as long as her government is supporting a regime in Kiev that is interspersed with Nazis, and is silent about the crimes in Odessa and eastern Ukraine, not to mention the human rights violations being committed by the Troika [IMF, European Commission, European Central Bank], which she supports, in Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.
Germany—along with the other European states—finds itself in the crossfire of the changing dynamics in the world, and must now take the somewhat unusual step of sticking up for its own interests, which can only occur if it regains its sovereignty. This can only be done under the conditions provided by China’s New Silk Road policy, as outlined above.
A mini-baby step in the right direction toward sovereignty, was the expulsion of the CIA station chief for spying against Germany; however, substantial steps must urgently follow, to protect the population from total surveillance by the American NSA, the British GCHQ, and the German BND, if the oath of office sworn by Merkel is to be worth more than the paper it is written on.
A World in Flames
The world is in flames. In Ukraine, in the Gaza Strip, in Iraq and Syria, in several African countries, and elsewhere, thousands are being murdered, without the “Western community of values” deeming it necessary to name the culprits or to stop their actions.
The new international economic order which is coming into existence through China’s New Silk Road policy, offers a real alternative, which is in the vital interests of Germany, and in which hopefully the United States will participate—if it ditches its imperial policy, based on the Anglo-American special relationship, and returns to its identity as a republic and constitutional state. There is reason to hope that will happen.
Translated from German by Susan Welsh