It's the Belt and Road or Blowout

The foreign ministers of Panama and China formally sign agreements officially establishing full bilateral relations (Photo by: Xinhua/New China News agency) in June 2017, roughly a year after the first Chinese merchant vessel passed through the expanded Panama Canal.

The foreign ministers of Panama and China formally sign agreements officially establishing full bilateral relations (Photo by: Xinhua/New China News agency) in June 2017, roughly a year after the first Chinese merchant vessel passed through the expanded Panama Canal.

The reality facing the trans-Atlantic financial system has a way of asserting itself.

On the one hand, there are thoughtful statesmen such as former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, the Macron government's envoy to this year's Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, who told Xinhua Sept. 16 that "Europe should join the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative as soon as possible," in Xinhua's paraphrase. "Let's grasp the opportunity and make more profits. I believe we'll achieve win-win results through cooperating with our Asian partners," Raffarin said. "France as well as other European countries need rapid growth. We should get involved instead of just discussing it, because we will lose a lot of time then. The initiative is very important for Europe....China is offering a helping hand."

Similarly, the government of Panama, which just established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, having had relations with Taiwan instead for decades, is getting totally on board with the Belt and Road Initiative. During a visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to the country, President Juan Carlos Varela emphasized Panama's importance as a logistical, port and air platform, and urged China to use Panama as its staging area for the Belt and Road Initiative for all of Ibero-America. Panama Canal Authority Economics Unit member Eddie Tapiero emphasized an additional crucial point: the Belt and Road "is a new business model of globalization in the world and Panama should not be alien to it. The U.S., as the main partner of all countries in Latin America, needs to be part of the initiative. With all the players working towards the same goal, the countries will achieve a balance in their strength and stability in the long term."

Even the Rajoy government in Spain seems to have figured out which way the wind is blowing. After participating in the May Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, Rajoy's government hosted a highly successful visit to Spain of China's State Councillor Yang Jiechi, in which China's further integration with the Belt and Road was discussed.

On the other hand, there are Wall Street's supremely opportunist schemers, such as Jim Rogers, the Baliol-trained co-founder with George Soros of the Quantum Fund, who has now gone his own way as an "investor and financial commentator," whose views, he admits, are best described as those of Austrian School monetarism. In an interview published by RT on Sept. 16, Rogers said that if the U.S. launches full-scale trade warfare against China, this would monumentally backfire and likely lead China and Russia to step in and promptly replace the current international financial system. "If they put sanctions on China in a big way, it brings the whole world economy down. And in the end, it hurts America more than it hurts China, because it just forces China and Russia and other countries closer together. Russia and China and other countries are already trying to come up with a new financial system. If America puts sanctions on them, they would have to do it that much faster."

What these developments reflect, Lyndon LaRouche emphasized today, is that what is coming into being is the development of a new system that will work. LaRouche was the original designer of that new system, to replace the bankrupt British Empire, and many of the personalities that were involved with LaRouche in promoting that policy over the years, in every part of the planet, are coming back to play greater roles. This can be seen from Thailand, to Europe, to Panama. It is the influence of LaRouche, of his ideas, that is the driving force behind this dynamic.

Something is happening, LaRouche elaborated. The whole field is opening up; fresh water is coming back. Various people and political forces will come on board, and will get the job done. These are the people we must organize to that end, he said.

SUPPORTING MATERIAL

Central America Begins To Enter the Belt and Road; Waiting for U.S. to Join, Too

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi today presided over the ceremony opening the first-ever Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Panama."A new era begins in which we should be closer than ever on behalf of our people's well-being. Geographic distance will not be an obstacle to our being allies," President Varela said there.

Up until a few months ago, Panama, like most Central American nations, had diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and not with the PRC.

President Varela met with Wang on Sept. 16, and emphasized Panama's importance as a logistical, port and air platform, inviting China to make use of it as China's bridge and commercial arm into all of Ibero-America.

Three days earlier, Panama's first Ambassador to China, Francisco Carlo Escobar, had presented his credentials in Beijing, where he emphasized in an interview published by Xinhua on Sept. 16 that Panama is very interested in the Belt and Road Initiative, and bringing the BRI to all Ibero-America. He told Xinhua that"Panama can be [a strategic place] ... for logistical distribution and perhaps to present certain infrastructure projects which could help the Belt and Road Initiative in the region."

Wang confirmed to President Varela that President Xi Jinping will receive him before the end of 2017 in Beijing, where he expects they will sign a number of the more than 20 agreements now being negotiated between the two nations. The Panamanian Presidency's wire on the Varela-Wang meeting reports that Varela will also officially open Panama's Embassy in Beijing and Consulate in Shanghai during that trip, as well as visit Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing, to promote business and tourism.

An official from the Economics Unit of the Panama Canal Authority, Eddie Tapiero, zeroed in on the real strategic potential of these relations, when he said in a recent speech on "Panama's New Relations with China and the Possible Implications for the Canal: OBOR," that beyond increasing trade through its new relations with China, Panama is also joining in the Chinese intiative "which will change the world in the coming years," the Belt and Road Initiative which, he said, the United States must also join.

Panama's La Estrella quoted Tapiero Sunday: The Belt and Road is"a new business model of globalization in the world, and Panama should not be alien to it. The U.S. as the main partner of all countries in Latin America needs to be part of the initiative. With all the players working towards the same goal, the countries will achieve a balance in their strength and stability in the long term."

The Belt and Road was also emphasized in Wang's stop in Costa Rica, the only other Central American country which has relations with the PRC, established 10 years ago. Before Wang's visit, on Sept. 1 President Luis Guillermo Solis had spoken with enthusiasm of the potential of Chinese-Costa Rican relations, but argued that before participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, bilateral relations should first be expanded. However, after Wang's visit on Sept. 15, where he met with both the President and Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel Gonzalez, Gonzalez said Costa Rica is ready to actively take part in building China's Belt and Road Initiative, which will promote Costa Rica's own development. He added that Costa Rica is willing to explore trilateral cooperation with China and Panama.

Teddy Roosevelt has to be rolling over in his grave. And Lyndon LaRouche's friend Gen. Manuel Noriega is surely smiling happily.