by Xinhua writers Ma Zheng, Tang Peipei
BEIJING, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- The small Argentinian town of Hughes has been busy lately. Every day, large quantities of beef produced by a local plant are delivered to dining tables some 20,000 km away through Chinese online shopping platforms. That business alone employs about 10 percent of residents in the town, located northeast of the capital Buenos Aires.
That is just an epitome of the growing win-win cooperation between China and Argentina, which is hosting the 13th Group of 20 (G20) summit on Friday and Saturday under the theme of "building consensus for fair and sustainable development."
This year's agenda features three priorities: the future of work, infrastructure for development, and a sustainable food future. World leaders are gathering in the South American country for discussions on how to unleash worker potential, reduce the infrastructure deficit and increase food productivity.
Two years ago, China successfully held the 2016 G20 summit in its eastern city of Hangzhou, which not only offered a Chinese remedy for the ailments troubling the world economy and global governance, but also left a legacy emphasizing innovation, vitality, interconnectivity and inclusiveness.
This time, with clouds of unilateralism and protectionism gathering on the global horizon, China has reaffirmed its commitment to opening-up and multilateralism, and vowed to continue to build broader international consensus on promoting win-win cooperation and common development.
Created in 1999, the G20 has become a premier platform for international economic cooperation. A decade on from the first leaders' meeting amid the 2008 global financial crisis, the world economy today is growing at a firmer pace.
However, "global development faces acute deep-seated problems. Protectionism and unilateralism are resurfacing. The multilateral trading system is under assault. The global economic environment is fraught with risks and uncertainties," Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the 26th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting on Nov. 18 in Papua New Guinea.
Under such challenging circumstances, Xi pointed out that humanity has once again reached a crossroads. Addressing the APEC CEO Summit, he said, "which direction should we choose? Cooperation or confrontation? Openness or closing one's door? Win-win progress or a zero-sum game? The interests of all countries and indeed, the future of humankind, hinge on the choice we make."
To effectively tackle these challenges, he called for concerted efforts to focus on openness to create more space for development, on development to deliver more benefits to the people, on innovation to tap new sources of growth, and on a rules-based approach to improve global governance.
"I was looking at the vast ocean when I boarded the ship, and it struck me that we are all indeed fellow passengers in the same boat," Xi said at the APEC CEO Summit, which was held on cruise ship Pacific Explorer.
The all-in-the-same-boat spirit also features prominently in Xi's speech delivered at the first session of the 13th G20 Summit in Buenos Aires under the title of Look Beyond the Horizon and Steer the World Economy in the Right Direction.
"Countries are increasingly becoming a community with shared interests, shared responsibilities and a shared future. Going forward, win-win cooperation is the only choice for us, be it in good times or bad," he told other G20 leaders.
He proposed that G20 members stay committed to openness and cooperation and uphold the multilateral trading system; forge strong partnership and step up macro-policy coordination; stay committed to innovation and create new momentum for growth; and stay committed to win-win cooperation to promote inclusive global development.
The prescription Xi offered at the APEC and G20 meetings have once again demonstrated China's steadfast commitment to multilateralism and mutually beneficial cooperation in its foreign policy.
At the G20 Hangzhou summit, themed "Building an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy," Xi called on all members to strengthen their coordination on macroeconomic policy, jointly promote growth and safeguard financial stability, and innovate their growth patterns and explore new growth engines.
One year later, at the 2017 Hamburg summit in Germany, China continued to champion an open world economy and a multilateral trading regime. Xi called on G20 leaders to "work together to promote interconnected growth for shared prosperity and build a global community with a shared future."
Ahead of the Hamburg summit, China hosted in May the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, at which all G20 economies were represented. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), aimed at boosting win-win cooperation and promoting common development along the ancient overland and maritime Silk Road trade routes and beyond, is gaining momentum worldwide and bearing rich fruit.
The BRI is a major public good China has provided for the world, and a vivid demonstration of Beijing's commitment to openness and cooperation. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said that the G20 itself is a manifestation of multilateralism and the BRI is in line with the G20's goal of promoting global macroeconomic policy coordination.
This year's G20 summit host, Argentina, is an active participant in BRI cooperation. In May, Argentine President Mauricio Macri said his country fully supports the BRI and will move forward with the consensus reached at the Hangzhou summit.
China is now Argentina's leading export market for agricultural goods, including cooking oil, soy, beef, poultry, wine and dairy. According to Suning.com, a pioneering Chinese online shopping platform for fresh food, some 10,000 servings of imported Argentine veal were sold in just one minute on Singles' Day on Nov. 11, which has become the biggest online annual shopping spree in China and the world.
But bilateral cooperation extends far beyond the dining table. China is also helping upgrade rail transport in Argentina, which local engineer Federico Carrera said "is a country grown from railways" but has seen its rail tracks become obsolete.
"Cooperation with China is helping the country out of its plight, and I think upgrading the rail transport system is the first step to facilitate trade," said Carrera. "This is a shortcut to bring back the good old times."