Friday morning, Xinhua organized an event in Berlin, presenting the arrival in the German capital of a Chinese team with a convoy of 10 China-made VW Tiguan cars that drove from Xian, 8,000 kilometers, all the way along the old and new Silk Road to Germany to underline that, as President Xi Jinping said, China and Germany are the strongest economies in the world, and the New Silk Road is the “economic belt” connecting the two ends of Eurasia. This was said in the introduction by Ban Wei, head of the Germany section of Xinhua Europe, and by Meng Fanzhuang, head of the economics department of the Chinese Embassy in Berlin, who was the first speaker. An ancestor of Ban Wei’s, Ban Zhou, a general in the Han dynasty army, had established the start of the Silk Road in 73 A.D. after conquering the northwestern regions of what is China today.
The second speaker was Rainer Apel of the German Schiller Institute, and the only German to speak at the event, who elaborated the Institute’s 20-year campaign for the New Silk Road as a grand mission across all Eurasia to secure peace and cooperation after the fall of the Iron Curtain, as an entry to a world without tensions and wars. He said that this event was a historic one, also because it was the first really public event on the New Silk Road outside of the Institute’s own conferences over the years, and that Helga Zepp-LaRouche is already welcomed in China as the “Silk Road Lady,” just these very days being in China and appearing on CCTV to promote the Silk Road perspective. The Institute, Apel said, has always considered the Eurasian Land-Bridge and the New Silk Road the only way for the global economy to return to the principle of man’s activity serving mankind and the common good, reversing the degeneration of the Western economic model.
The New Silk Road is not only a roadway, but a development corridor, or as Xi Jinping puts it, an economic belt, with industrial and residential settlements, with research and culture centers.
Particularly the reaction from the Chinese part of the audience (several news agencies, some researchers living in Berlin, members of the German-Chinese Friendship Society) afterwards said they liked the presentation and asked more about the Institute and Helga Zepp-LaRouche. But also numerous of the Germans in the audience were enthusiastic, in particular about Apel’s remark that today, Germany can learn from China how to realize projects in a few years and not drag them out 20-30 years if at all. A young tourism developer from Hamburg said that the city has suffered a lot of economic setbacks, because environmentalists have prevented the deepening of the Elbe River’s mouth there, so that the new generation of container ships cannot enter the seaport of Hamburg.
Two more speeches followed, one by Ding Wang, professor at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, focussing on the joint work of German and Chinese archaeologists begun in the 1930s, on the ancient Silk Road in northwest China, and a lively report on the VW Tiguan SUV convoy’s tour from Xian to Berlin. Ban Wei, the organizer of the entire event, said afterwards: “What the Silk Road now needs, is concrete projects!”