by Alessandra Cardone
ROME, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's vision for a "new era" shows China has developed a full consciousness of its role and responsibility as a major country in the world, say experts.
The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) held in Beijing last month marked a crucial turning point, said Riccardo Sessa, a former Italian ambassador to China, at a conference in the Italian capital earlier this week.
The meeting represented the comprehensive consolidation of a major country in the world, he told the audience at the event, which was organized by the Chinese embassy and focused on China's future after the 19th CPC National Congress and China-Italy relations in the new era.
Romano Prodi, a former Italian prime minister and scholar, spoke highly of the vision laid out by Xi.
"After reading President Xi's speech, my first thought was: this is a congress of awareness and consolidation," he said.
China's ambassador to Italy, Li Ruiyu, stressed Beijing's commitment to improving the architecture of international relations, noting that China has launched the Belt and Road Initiative, founded the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and organized the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, comprises an overland Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and aims to revive and expand cooperation and exchanges along and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes, which nurtured trade between Asia and the outside world in the past.
The ambassador also mentioned the G20 summit held in east China's Hangzhou city in 2016, and the 2017 summit of the BRICS countries -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- in southeast China's coastal city of Xiamen.
Marina Sereni, vice president of the Italian parliament's lower house, took note of the potential benefits from China's increased engagement with the world, including those for China-Italy relations.
"The future development of the country has been outlined in connection with the world outside, and in a very strategic way," she told the audience, adding that China has "proved to be very conscious of the great responsibility."
Although Italy and China are currently on different paths of development, with the former struggling to emerge from a severe economic crisis and the latter maintaining high levels of growth, they still share solid interests, said the senior lawmaker.
"Despite these differences, our countries are tied by some common challenges," she said. "Both countries, for example, need to address social inequalities and poverty, which for Italy might be the result of the crisis, and for China a consequence of its fast development."
She added that both countries are also committed to promoting an environmentally sustainable growth and need to provide political governance for technological innovation and transformation of production models.
Given that, she said, there is a "potentially" huge room for further bilateral cooperation.
"Why do I say potentially? Because if we seriously want to benefit from China's 'new era,' we have to improve our ability to enhance our own skills and excellences," she said.
"We need to clearly identify the areas where the complementarity with China lies, and lay out a strategic plan," she added.