China Radio Interviews Helga Zepp-LaRouche
On Upcoming APEC Summit
China Radio International (CRI) conducted a phone interview for their “Today” show with Schiller Institute Founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche on November 5 on the topic of the APEC Summit being held this year in Beijing. (Audio)
CRI: For more on this we are joined by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the founder of the Schiller Institute, in Washington. Helga, thank you very much for joining us.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: Yes, hello, good evening.
CRI. During the next seven days we will see five different meetings in total concluding with the Senior Leaders Meeting starting today and then the APEC summit will end on the 11th with the CEO Summit. Why are the meetings scheduled in this way? Is there some type of significance to the schedule of the meetings?
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: Well, I think it's quite normal that the complex areas are prepared by lower-level experts, because if the leaders get together, they cannot spend their time working on the details. They just have to take the prepared agenda and then add whatever they have to give in terms of their own style and creativity and come to a conclusion. So I think it makes total sense that the meeting is structured this way.
CRI. Speaking of the agenda, how much do we know about these proper issues on the agenda? And will there be any substantive agreements coming out of the summit?
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: I think there will be some disagreements and some agreements to disagree, because at this time, in all likelihood, the United States will push the TPP, which excludes China, and China, on its side, will push the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific agreement, because it is all-inclusive for all Asian countries. And China, in my view, will make a big point about the New Silk Road Initiative and the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, which is regarded by the United States as a competitor and a challenge to the control of the IMF and the World Bank. So I don't think there will be a resolution at this point. Also, the United States will push the Green Agenda, and there is also a big difference, because China is confronted with some real environmental problems that it is committed to deal with, which are a result of the earlier cheap labor-for-export policies at the beginning of this industrial revolution in China. But that is quite different from the “green agenda” in the West, which basically has the purpose of blocking development. So I don't think there can be a resolution of these issues.
CRI. Maybe you could brief our listeners on the purpose of these meetings. Do we expect any resolutions which are binding on its members? Or is it simply more discussion to agree or disagree on different topics?
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: I think the merit of the summit is very big, because China in the recent period, ever since President Xi Jinping initiated the New Silk Road/Maritime Silk Road policies, has given so much inspiration to the world, and that has led to the very extraordinary BRICS summit in July in Brazil. And since the initiation of these policies, many countries in the world, which are not part of the BRICS, like Egypt and others, they have shown tremendous courage in taking off the shelf those development projects which they had wanted to do for a long time, and now, because of China's leading role, they were encouraged to do these things. So, I think this summit will be a tremendous possibility to really show that there is an alternative, especially at a moment when the trans-Atlantic world is suffering tremendous difficulties; because, as you know, the European Central Bank's “stress tests,” which were considered a complete farce by almost everybody, and the “too big to fail banks” in Europe and the United States are all bankrupt. And what China has proposed with the New Silk Road, the AIIB, and similar initiatives, is proposing a real alternative for how the world can get out of this crisis. So even if there is no formal resolution, we are in such an extraordinary moment of history that the fact that there is an alternative and that China and the other BRICS countries have taken a leading role, is giving hope for the rest of the world.
CRI. I want to go back to something you said earlier, Helga, about the FTAAP and the TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. From your point of view, or rather from China's and the United States' point of view, are these two things somehow mutually exclusive?
Helga Zepp-LaRouche. Yes, they are. Because the TPP is based on the idea of the complete control of the “free market” by the multinational corporations, by the too-big-to-fail banks, and it would eliminate national sovereignty almost completely. Even the parliamentarians in the countries which are supposed to join the TPP and the TPIP, which is the equivalent for the trans-Atlantic region, even they don't know what the content of these arrangements are. So it is a completely non-transparent mechanism which would empower the multinationals and the CEOs of the top 400 corporations of the world at the expense of the common good of the people and of national sovereignty. And I think the conception which is pushed by China is coherent with the policies of the BRICS countries and is therefore following a completely different spirit as the AIIB and the New Development Bank, and the planned Shanghai Corporation Organization Bank, because these banks are not geared toward profit, but they are geared toward investment in the real economy. And that is a big difference.
CRI: To shift a little bit in the topic here. One important item on the agenda is the anti-graft initiative. So why is this topic on the APEC agenda? And what will it look like?
Helga Zepp-LaRouche. Well, obviously it is very important, because President Xi Jinping has started this anti-corruption campaign, and corruption is really something that should be rooted out. However, I would like to say for the sake of honesty in this discussion, that I would hope that the question of corruption in the trans-Atlantic region would be on the agenda and not just in Asia. Because, if you look at the behavior of the too-big-to-fail banks in the United States and in Europe, they have literally gotten away with murder. They have manipulated the LIBOR rate by defrauding their customers by 3-digit billions over decades. They have done unbelievable things. And none of these bankers has gone to jail! They have all gotten away, and I think it would be good to discuss the anti-graft question on an international level and not just with regard to some countries.
CRI: On the whole, just broadening the picture a little bit, what do you think that China on the whole really has to gain from hosting the APEC meeting this year?
Helga Zepp-LaRouche. Well, I think that China has something to gain from it, but even more, the world has something to gain from it. Because, if I compare what is coming from the Chinese initiatives, the New Silk Road, the Maritime Silk Road, the Chinese space program, the just-concluded lunar orbiting and return mission, which really is speeding up the Chinese space program tremendously, these are all policies which are coherent with what mankind should do. You know, mankind is the only creative species in the universe, at least as far as we know, and Chinese policies right now are in the forefront of driving the evolution of mankind forward. And I can tell you that people in Germany and in the United States are very depressed. Because the trans-Atlantic system is geared more toward preserving the banking system, paying the debt, bailing out speculators, and then imposing the cost of that on the population through austerity programs. As a result, the populations in Europe and in the United States are not optimistic. And I think what China is giving the world right now, what leaders like Xi Jinping, like Narendra Modi in India, and like Vladimir Putin, are doing, is giving optimism to the rest of the world that there is a way out of this crisis. So, I think it is not so much what China is gaining out it, but rather, what the rest of the world is gaining from China hosting this summit.
You can hear the interview at http://english.cri.cn/7146/2014/11/05/3081s851105.htm . Play Q&A 1, beginning at 1 minute, 11 seconds. Or download Q&A 1: http://mod.cri.cn/eng/magazine/today/20141105QA-1.mp3