On May 14-15 in Beijing, the Chinese government hosted the first international high-level conference specifically called to discuss the largest development project of all times, the Belt and Road Initiative, and its international ramifications. Over 130 nations were represented at the event, including 29 heads of state and government.
Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed once again in opening the two-day forum that China is not seeking to further its own geopolitical interests with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), but aims to achieve a “model of win-win cooperation”.
The BRI already involves over $950 billion in investments committed long-term to some 900 projects. It was announced at this forum alone that China’s development banks and new funds have added $115 billion in new commitments.
“This is a wonderful change in history,” stated U.S. economist Lyndon LaRouche of the conference. “China is doing a good job. China is placing itself in front of the world development dynamic.” Now, we just need to “actualize the potential” it represents.
His wife, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and chairwoman of the Schiller Institute and a pioneer of the campaign to launch the “New Silk Road”, intervened at the Beijing forum as part of the think-tank panels. Since the 1990s, and her first participation in an international conference in China, Zepp-LaRouche has become known as the “Silk Road Lady”.
China Daily and People’s Daily covered her interventions, while Xinhua ran an interview with her on the eve of the Forum, in which Zepp-LaRouche stressed the importance of a long-term perspective, based on a scientific and technological driver is right in the middle of the action in Beijing. She was also interviewed live on May 15 on the CGTN “Dialogue with Yang Rui” show.
A high point of the plenary session was the intervention by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the main strategic ally of President Xi and guest of honor at the event. In welcoming and endorsing the BRI, Putin stated that the Eurasian Economic Union, initiated by Russia, has similar views to the Chinese on Eurasian integration. He called on European nations to be active part of the new effort. “We would welcome the involvement of our European colleagues from the EU states in this partnership. This would (…) allow us to realise a unique opportunity to create a common cooperation framework from the Atlantic to the Pacific – for the first time in history.”
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