The G20 summit held in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou showed the strength and quality of China's leadership, and proved to be a possible new model in terms of global economic governance, according to Italian experts.
"In the past, it has often been said China was a major economic power, yet unable to play a global leadership commensurate with its new status," Paolo Garonna, professor of political economy with LUISS University in Rome, said.
"Well, all of us in Hangzhou have seen the Chinese leadership in action, in terms of strength and quality, and its ability to deliver results," said Garonna.
The expert made his remarks during a conference on the theme "The G20 in Hangzhou and the Sino-Italian cooperation" held at the Chinese Embassy in Rome earlier this week.
Along with Chinese Ambassador to Italy Li Ruiyu, several Italian economic and political analysts attended the event.
China hosted G20 took place on Sept. 4-5, and closed with the adoption of a final statement expressing a common will of the world's 20 top economies to promote a more efficient global governance.
Great emphasis was given to innovation and cooperation as major drivers of growth, yet on the base of sustainable and inclusive long-term measures.
Furthermore, the Chinese presidency highlighted the G20 could serve as a "new starting point", and it firmly brought the two topics of development and inclusiveness into the focus of the summit.
Such a move could possibly help the G20 in itself, as a relatively young entity still trying to find a role, according to the Italian economist.
"From this point of view, China's emphasis on the 'new starting' was a strong signal," Garonna said.
Whereas other international organizations were born in the 20th century, the G20 was a more a contemporary entity.
"As such, many of these forums of international cooperation reflect a social, economic, and political equilibrium that no longer exists."
"With the new starting evoked by the Chinese presidency, the hope is now for the G20 to give impetus to a global governance more suited to the reality of the 21st century," he explained.
China's hosting of the G20 also proved the country's new confidence in facing the multiple challenges of the globalized world, other analysts noted.
Indeed, the summit in Hangzhou took place at a particular time, according to Antonio Cascio, head of the Office for Relations with Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organizations at the Italian Foreign Ministry.
"The global economy is certainly recovering, but the growth is still slow and unable to meet the needs of the world population," he told the conference.
"In addition, there are global phenomena, such as the terrorism threat, the immigration crisis, and the climate change, which has serious repercussions on the global governance."
"Innovation and inclusiveness were the two 'answers' on which the G20 focused," Cascio said.
Innovation was clearly defined as the essential driver for a stable and sustainable growth. Yet, the summit also showed a clear awareness that growth alone was not enough, since the fruits of economic development have been, more often than not, unequally distributed, according to the official.
"This is a risk we cannot afford: it would not bring a sustainable growth, and would have negative consequences at political level, in terms of a rise in populist movements that are against the very core of the current global economic system," he explained.
The Foreign Ministry councillor agreed with other experts that the G20 in Hangzhou distinguished itself for its approach.
"Even on the most controversial issues, it was possible to find an agreement on the text (of final statements)," Cascio noted.
Finally, Italian analysts also highlighted that official consultations were extended to include several developing countries, and several topics most dear to these economies.
"The attention went well beyond the common topics of a G20 agenda: it focused on inclusiveness, sustainability, and on the urgency of delivering concrete answers to the people's needs," Garonna pointed out.
"Consultations on these issues were not mere talks: the G20 did enter into sensitive issues on which countries have different positions."
Yet, the Chinese presidency made it possible to face them, and "make progress, maybe small but concrete," the economist concluded.