Lawmakers will gather in Beijing on Sunday for the last parliamentary session of President Xi Jinping's first term, with officials optimistic about China's economic outlook and downright bullish about the country's global standing after Donald Trump's first few weeks in office.
But while the time seems ripe for China to seize a greater role on the world stage, the turbulence caused by Mr Trump's arrival and the UK's decision to leave the EU has obscured an inconvenient truth. Beijing has yet to implement the hundreds of bold reforms promised by Mr Xi in 2013 on which its economic future depends. Among Chinese officials, the new mantra is "just wait for his second term".
Widely recognised as China's most ambitious and powerful leader since Deng Xiaoping, Mr Xi has won plaudits for his graft purge and more muscular foreign policy. "His biggest achievement has been the elimination of political rivals through the anti-corruption campaign," says Zhang Lifan, a Beijing-based historian.
Accomplishments in the economic realm, especially the party's promise to give the market "a decisive role in resource allocation", are harder to identify.