Xi has already demonstrated that he is as comfortable dining with the Queen, as he is visiting the White House or mingling with CEOs. He has selected his theme for the G20 presidency of "building an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy" -- a clear sign that he wants to make the gathering of political leaders relevant again.
The recent slowdown in growth rates of the world's second-largest economy has been a concern for all. With the US in election limbo for most of 2016, what China does next year will affect everyone.
Being a responsible member of the international global community means China will have to continue down the path of reforms. This month's announcement from the International Monetary Fund that the yuan will be included in the basket of reserve currencies highlights how important this reform agenda is. The IMF inclusion may be as important for China as the entry into the World Trade Organisation in 2001, which had a profound impact on the country's manufacturing sector. Similarly, the yuan's new status may reshape China's role in the financial economy. It is also the most recent proof of Xi's determination.
Should that resolve and commitment to reforms come in doubt, the presidency of the G20 should serve as a straitjacket for China. Against a backdrop of market gyrations, rising corporate debt defaults and a probe into the financial industry, arguably a straitjacket is exactly what's needed.
More than ever, China will be walking a political tightrope over the next year: It needs to balance up its decisions from a global perspective while resolving its domestic issues.