An interview with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the president of the Schiller Institute, titled “A Silk Road For The 21st Century” was aired Monday on the most popular talk show on CCTV-9, the Chinese premier English-language channel. Yang Rui, something of a Chinese Charlie Rose on its popular “Dialogue” program, conducted the interview. Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche was introduced as the “New Silk Road Lady.” She explained her work on the project in the last 20 years when she received that epithet. Yang Rui noted that the idea had also been raised at the end of the last century by Sun Yat-sen. Zepp-LaRouche said that that was an important influence in her taking up the idea, since Sun based his concept on that of Abraham Lincoln and his policy of the Transcontinental Railroad. She contrasted her concept of the New Silk Road with the monetarist conceptions, where people think only of “buying cheap and selling dear,” insisting to the contrary, “The real source of wealth is the creativity of the people.” And getting out of the present crisis means returning to those ideas which led to the industrialization of the past.
While praising the proposals of President Xi Jinping, she also said that it is not only a matter of a transportation grid, but also of creating a “new economic platform.” It involves the issue of creating new sources of water, through river diversion and nuclear desalination. The goal is to bring the standard of living in the poor land-locked regions to a level reached by those in the coastal and riverine regions, she said.
Yang Rui noted some of the negative comments coming from some Russian officials to the idea of the New Silk Road. Zepp-LaRouche said that she understood from her Russian friends that, with the developments in Ukraine, there is a much more positive view of the concept than may have been the case previously. She also noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin had given his support to the project and that his position was absolutely key. She said, “We are at a dangerous moment of history. Either we now enter into a new era of mankind or we may not exist.”
Yang Rui then asked about the role of Iran. This then allowed Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche to talk about the broader program of development in the entire Southwest Asia region and the need for “greening” the desert and bringing prosperity and development to the arid regions of the Middle East and South Asia. “Infrastructure is the key to development,” she said.
There was a discussion about Afghanistan and the drug trade. She said that we had the means to fight the drug trade and the money laundering, but that the key was to create a corridor of development which could engender hope among the people of the region. And this required all of the neighbors to help develop the region as a whole.
Asked about the maritime Silk Road proposal of President Xi, she said that this was an excellent proposal and then talked about the project for a Kra Canal, connecting the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean.
When Yang Rui wondered if all of this could be accomplished given the attitude of the United States, she replied that there was another America, represented by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey who warned against seeing the growing prosperity of China as a danger, and discussed Dempsey’s warnings of the Thucydides trap. She said, “We need a change in American policy. Present American policy is not in conformity with the U.S. Constitution. And many people are talking about a change, even people in the Congress.”
When asked whether Ukraine, which she had earlier mentioned, was a matter of a population that wanted a change or whether it was a conflict between the U.S. and the EU, Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche replied: “It was the result of the policy of regime-change which started with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Now it is much worse, because the violence is being conducted by the Nazis. And the EU and the U.S. are supporting the Nazis in Ukraine.”
Yang Rui concluded what he called “a very enlightening discussion” by asking what she thought of the policy of the Xi government. “I think they are doing an excellent job,” Zepp-LaRouche replied. “Premier Li’s visit to Romania was very good. You have to understand that the financial system of the trans-Atlantic zone is collapsing. And we have to return to a system of bank separation as it was designated under Franklin Roosevelt.”
It should be noted that the interview was conducted well over a month ago, and, while these things sometimes take a while to get aired, the responsible authorities undoubtedly put in some thought and deliberation regarding the reactions from various quarters in the West before running the interview. While CCTV-9, which prides itself on competing with CNN in international coverage, is not widely seen by the Chinese-speaking public, it will be viewed by anyone in the English-speaking world interested in China. It will also be duly noted by the Chinese leadership who closely monitor CCTV’s English-language broadcasts. Furthermore, this interview, either partially or as a whole, was also made available to one of the Chinese-language stations.