Future of Syria – Rebuilt? Devided? Hub of the Chinese New Silk Road?

Dear all,

how Aleppo recovers in the first Jihadi-free summer shows an article, published on zerohedge:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-15/photos-aleppo-rising-swimsuits-concerts-and-rebuilding-first-jihadi-free-summer

Photos Of Aleppo Rising: Swimsuits, Concerts And Rebuilding In First Jihadi-Free Summer

„Now, during the first summer of relative calm Aleppo residents have seen in over four years of grinding conflict, the city commonly referred as „the jewel of Syria“ is once again rising from the ashes. Foreign journalists are also accessing places like East Aleppo and the heart of the walled ‚old city‘ for the first time. Some few honest correspondents, unable to deny the local population’s spirit of hopefulness and zeal with which they undertake rebuilding projects, acknowledge that stability and normalcy have returned only after the last jihadists were expelled by the Syrian government and its allies….“

For further reading see url above.

The analysis of Pepe Escobar refers to assumed agreements between Trump and Putin during the G 20 summit, concerning Syria as well as the Chinese position to work on an Iran-Irak-Syria hub of OBOR – One Belt, One Road – New Silk Road infrastrukcture projects.

http://www.atimes.com/article/new-silk-road-will-go-syria/

The New Silk Road will go through Syria

China and Syria have already begun discussing post-war infrastructure investment; with a ‚Matchmaking Fair for Syria Reconstruction‘ held in Beijing

By Pepe Escobar July 13, 2017 7:12 PM

„… Take what happened this past Sunday in Beijing. The China-Arab Exchange Association and the Syrian Embassy organized a Syria Day Expo crammed with hundreds of Chinese specialists in infrastructure investment. It was a sort of mini-gathering of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), billed as “The First Project Matchmaking Fair for Syria Reconstruction”.

Before the tragic Syrian proxy war, Syrian merchants were already incredibly active in the small-goods Silk Road between Yiwu and the Levant. The Chinese don’t forget that Syria controlled overland access to both Europe and Africa in ancient Silk Road times when, after the desert crossing via Palmyra, goods reached the Mediterranean on their way to Rome. After the demise of Palmyra, a secondary road followed the Euphrates upstream and then through Aleppo and Antioch.

Beijing always plans years ahead. And the government in Damascus is implicated at the highest levels. So, it’s not an accident that Syrian Ambassador to China Imad Moustapha had to come up with the clincher: China, Russia and Iran will have priority over anyone else for all infrastructure investment and reconstruction projects when the war is over.

A possible scenario out of what Putin and Trump negotiated in Hamburg – that was not relayed by either Lavrov or Tillerson – is that the ceasefire in southwestern Syria, assuming it holds, could mean US peacekeeping forces in effect sanctioning the creation of a demilitarized zone (DMZ) between the Syrian Golan and the rest of the country.

Translation: the Golan de facto annexed by Israel. And the “carrot” for Moscow would be Washington accepting Crimea de facto re-incorporated into the Russian Federation.

That may sound less far-fetched than it seems. The next few months will tell if this is indeed a plausible scenario.

Beijing, anyway, has made up its mind. It will work non-stop for the Iran-Iraq-Syria triumvirate to become a key hub in Obor. Any bets against a future, booming Shanghai-Latakia container route?“

Full text see url above and attachment.

Kind regards

Elke Schenk

globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS

ESCOBAR-New-Silk-Road-through-Syria-AT2017_07_13.docx

F. W. ENGDAHL: Eastern Europe Tilts to OBOR and Eurasia

Elke Schenk

globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS

http://www.williamengdahl.com/englishNEO27May2017.php

Eastern Europe Tilts to OBOR and Eurasia
By F. William Engdahl
27 May 2017

Small but geopolitically important steps were taken by key members of the European Union from the EU’s Eastern periphery. While largely ignored in Western mainstream media and in Brussels, they could well portend a longer-term alternative economic space to the failing construct known misleadingly today as the European Union with its bankrupt Eurozone single currency and European Central Bank. I refer to the talks recently in Beijing at the major Belt and Road Forum, between leaders of 29 nations and China’s President Xi Jinping with the Prime Ministers of Hungary, Greece, Italy, Spain as well as the President of the Czech Republic and the President-elect of the Republic of Serbia .

The significance of the attendance of these specific European countries is underscored by the conspicuous absence of the leaders of Germany, France (maybe excusable due to presidential elections), and the remaining EU member countries, as well as the absence of the President of the EU Commission.

The list of Beijing attendees confirms that a tectonic fault line is developing across Europe between government leaders opting for national economic growth and development versus the nations whose leaders are still tied to the scelerotic, dying economies of the old Atlanticist order known as the American Century.

‘Historical Cusp’

China made clear to the USA and the EU that their OBOR infrastructure project was not at all exclusionary. Beijing made clear months ago that it genuinely wanted their participation in what Vladimir Putin called the development of an Eurasian Century.

Trump responded by sending a low-level National Security Council civil service bureaucrat named Matt Pottiger. Germany’s Merkel sent her Economics Minister who pompously declared in Beijing that Germany would not sign the Forum Joint Communique, complaining instead that she wanted a “level playing field,” newspeak for the old Anglo-American globalization midel that makes the rules for “less developed” countries and thereby gives superior advantage for the Western G-7 multinational giant corporations and states.

Notably, leaders of the EU countries most strongly objecting to Brussels policies in key areas of the economy and refugees, such as Hungary’s Viktor Orban, strongly embraced participation in China’s vast $22 trillion infrastructure project called One Belt, One Road or OBOR, more recently Belt and Road, for short.

In remarks in Beijing summarizing his talks there, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban spoke bluntly of an emerging global tectonic fault line. Orban declared that the old globalisation model is obsolete, noting that “a large part of the world has had enough of a world where “a few developed countries have been continuously lecturing most of the world on human rights, democracy, development and the market economy,” a direct slap in the face to the US-led “democracy and human rights” NGOs of George Soros and the CIA-tied USAID which have ferociously tried to topple the very popular Orban.

Orban added that the world today has, “arrived at a cusp between historical eras: the old model for globalisation – built on the assumption that money, profit and technological know-how are in the West, flowing ‘from there to less developed, eastern countries.’ That model, Orban stressed, has “lost its impetus.” The Hungarian leader emphasized the crucial point that Washington and the stagnating governments of much of the EU are in denial. “Over the past ten years, the global economy’s engine room is no longer in the West, but in the East. More precisely, the East has caught up with the West.”

The Hungarian Prime Minister noted the fact that in Hungary over the past year or so, “large American and European companies have been bought up by Chinese enterprises, leading to a sharp increase in the number of Hungarian development projects that are now Chinese-owned. This movement of capital is totally different to what we have been used to, and to what we have been taught about how the global economy operates.”

Orban obviously gets the very central point that Washington, Wall Street, Brussels and Berlin are in denial over: The emerging Eurasian Century represents an entire new quality of globalization. No longer are the colonial European powers or their American cousins holding the key cards or calling the shots.

During his private talks in Beijing with Xi Jinping and other Chinese officials, Orban signed Memoranda of Understnding in connection with linking the OBOR infrastructure with the economies of Europe.

For Hungary, Orban signed financial and economic agreements in Beijing. He stated that the “most spectacular” of these agreements was for modernisation of the Budapest, Hungary to Belgrade, Serbia railway line, including the financing. Serbian President-elect Aleksandar Vučić, together with Orban a major target of destabilization protests led by Washington NGOs of George Soros and the National Endowment for Democracy, also participated in the signing. […]

The Greek Connection

In addition to Hungary and Serbia, debt-ridden Greece is also drawing closer to Beijing and her OBOR initiatives. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, until recently a darling of the International Monetary Fund for bringing his Parliament to sign savage pension cuts and other austerity laws so that the EU and IMF debt deals go forward, is finding the Chinese OBOR option increasingly attractive.

In a meeting with Tsipras in Beijing before the opening of the OBOR forum, China’s Xi Jinping offered Tsipras proposals of expanding cooperation in infrastructure, energy and telecommunications. Xi told Tsipras, according to the official Chinese news agency, that Greece was an important part in China’s new Silk Road strategy. He put it in characteristic Chinese language: “At present, China and Greece’s traditional friendship and cooperation continues to glow with new dynamism.”

Greek infrastructure development group Copelouzos signed a deal with China’s Shenhua Group to cooperate in green energy projects and to upgrade power plants in Greece. The deals are worth more than $3 billion. In 2016, China’s largest shipping company, state-owned COSCO bought majority ownership stake in Piraeus Port Authority as preparation to turn Greece into a transhipment hub for the rapidly growing trade between Asia and Eastern Europe.

It is important to recall that, contrary to the religious dogma of economic simpletons such as Milton Friedman, there exist in nature no such entities as “free markets.” Markets are the careful product of man-made economic infrastructure developments. This is the core of China’s “globalization with Chinese characteristics,” as Deng might have termed Xi’s OBOR idea.

In recent months China has been a major investor in Greece’s economy, a sharp contrast to the demands of the EU and IMF for Greek austerity. The China State Grid last year bought a 24 percent stake in Greek power grid operator ADMIE for 320 million euros.

[…]

If we take the developments in Beijing’s OBOR forum of Hungary, Serbia, Greece, Czech Republic, and add to this the fact that Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan was also present and made a major committment to participate in the China-Russian-led OBOR, we have the seed crystal of a world geopolitical renaissance that contains the potential to replace the now-dead Anglo-American globalization model of top-down fascist economic domination, with a model truly based on mutual benefit among sovereign nations. As a traditional Russian saying goes, the select nations of Eastern Europe, along with Russia, China and perhaps also Turkey, are truly “making porridge together,” making rich nutritious Kasha. (emphasised ES)

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”

Pepe ESCOBAR: „China widens its Silk Road to the world“; Asia Times, 13.05.2017

globalcrisis/globalchange News

Martin Zeis 13.05.2017

Tomorrow the two-day Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is starting in Beijing. Representatives from more than a hundred nations will converge in Beijing and most of them are from the 120-nation Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

„Of course we will have Vladimir Putin, representing the Russia-China strategic partnership (BRICS, SCO) that spans everything from energy to infrastructure projects (including the future Trans-Siberian high-speed rail). But, crucially, we will also have Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, leaders of two key hubs of OBOR/BRI.

Most of the West still needs a weatherman to see which way the wind is blowing. And a lot of Western media revel in dismissing OBOR/BRI as a conspiracy, a “scheme”, or a Chinese attempt to “encircle” Eurasia. Only one G7 leader will be in Beijing; Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who is very keen to investigate symbiotic links between Italy’s Industry 4.0 program and China’s Made in China 2025 manufacturing initiative.

Angela Merkel might have turned down her invitation but it doesn’t really matter as German industrialists are all for OBOR/BRI.“ (1)

In an article „China widens its Silk Road to the world“ Escobar specifies the geopolitical/geoeconomic implications of this connectivity project — spanning 65 nations, 60% of the world’s population and a third of global economic output.

Escobar is one of the few world famous journalists covering the New Silk Roads since they were first announced in 2013. (2)

(1) Asia Times 13.05.2017 – see attachment (pdf) and URL: http://www.atimes.com/article/china-widens-silk-road-world

(2) Pepe Escobar: New Silk Roads and an Alternate Eurasian Century; TomDispatchOctober 5, 2014 URL: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175903/tomgram%3A_pepe_escobar%2C_new_silk_roads_and_an_alternate_eurasian_century/#more

ESCOBAR-China-widens-its-Silk-Road-to-the-world170513.pdf .pdf