Talking Action
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  The TV documentary series The Belt and Road, a recent hit in China, shows many Laotian young couples swarming from Vientiane to Thanaleng Railway Station, the only train station in the country, to take wedding photos with the passing trains in the background. The story is romantic, but not the reality behind it: The railway linking to Thailand only runs for 3.5 kilometers through Laos. Owing to the extreme lack of railroad infrastructure, most Laotians see trains as tourist attractions rather than realistic means of transportation.
  Fortunately, the situation will become history soon after Chinese companies and workers began to construct a 417-kilometer railway linking China and Laos. When the railway is completed in five years as scheduled, travelers will be able to shuttle between Kunming and Vientiane by train.
  “Increasing numbers of Chinese entrepreneurs have invested in Laos, bringing enormous benefits to peoples in both countries,” remarked Laotian President Bounnhang Vorachit when he attended the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, capital of eastern China’s Zhejiang Province. “The flagship ChinaLaos railway project testifies to the fruitful achievements of bilateral cooperation.” He added that doers like China are crucial for Laos to realize its dream of transforming from a “landlocked country” into a “landconnected” one.
  At the Hangzhou summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged participants to make the G20 an “action team, instead of a talk shop,” an attractive idea consider- ing that so many countries and people are longing for development. More people are realizing that the so-called “cultural differences” cannot be blamed for blocking global economic recovery and growth, and that barriers hindering innovation and disconnections impeding communication are more pressing factors. Connectivity has been placed on top of the agenda of both the G20 Global Infrastructure Connectivity Alliance Initiative and the ASEAN summit in Laos. Development was given a prominent position for the first time at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou. German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that “we have passed a set of action plans” and that Germany will continue implementing those plans after taking over the G20 presidency. The solutions that China proposed at the G20 Hangzhou Summit were welcomed by both developing and developed economies. China is known to tell the truth and use it to guide concrete action.
  Empty talk only hurts, whereas hard work results in strength. As a new force changing and enhancing global governance, China advocates concrete action. Chinese people don’t believe in any savior except their own hands. Just as President Xi said in his keynote speech at the B20 Summit in Hangzhou, “Millions of ordinary Chinese families have transformed their lives through hard work.” Millions of seemingly tiny efforts together resulted in the country’s tremendous development and changes.   China has obtained deep understanding of pragmatism in the process of her development. For a long time, the Western media criticized the G8 as a “talk shop.”After its inception, the G20 took effective actions to address crises. Expectations for the group are rising with the change of global economic landscapes. The G20 would become a bigger “talk shop” if consensuses reached at its annual summit were not to be implemented. Comparatively, the Hangzhou summit played the role of an“action team.” As early as two years ago, China had already begun preparing for the two-day summit by consulting all involved parties about key topics and conducting thorough research based on feedback received. Since it assumed the G20 presidency, China has organized 66 meetings in 20 cities, including 23 ministerial-level meetings. During the summit in Hangzhou, G20 leaders needed only to discuss the pragmatic, feasible action plans proposed by those meetings.
  A powerless global governance mechanism has been compared to the process of elders discussing the construction of a temple. They merely wrangle over the styles of the architecture and which statues should be commissioned, but give no thought on how to transport stones, recruit workers, and raise funds. Action is stronger than words. The G20 Hangzhou Summit has already concluded, but the seeds of action sowed by the Hangzhou Consensus are just starting to sprout. The world will become better when countries around the globe work together to transform the pragmatism of the Hangzhou Consensus into concrete actions.

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