Judging by the tenor of Chinese President Xi Jinping's opening remarks urging leaders to "avoid empty talk," Beijing appears committed to re-invigorate a global summit that's been ridiculed as a monumental talking shop that produces little more than motherhood-and-apple-pie statements and photo opportunities.
But can the Chinese leadership re-invent the G-20 under their watch and make it relevant, when its members are pulling in different directions?
"Every host wants their leaders summit to be seen as a success. China will be no different," HSBC's Paul Mackel told me prior to the event. "The question is whether they or others can pull a rabbit out of the hat to convince everyone."
So, as the G-20 discusses structural reforms, there's also pressure on Beijing to step up its own deregulation efforts, as UBS's Wayne Gordon points out: "Clear commitments from China will be needed to make this a success … Timeframes to deepen financial reform and capital account opening. If they squib this, then it will be a non-event."
Part of the problem, though, is the G-20 mandate or lack of a clear one. It can trot out as many resolutions and recommendations as it wants but has done a pretty poor job in following up on them, as NAB's Ray Attrill reminded me.