"Xi is now seen as a world leader with a lot of influence and respect internationally and that will definitely boost his domestic appeal," said Joseph Cheng, a long-time observer of Chinese politics now retired from the City University of Hong Kong.
"In domestic terms, it's certainly a plus for Xi. But in foreign policy terms, it's controversial. It doesn't enhance China's soft power. It doesn't help China's image as a force for peace, stability and development," said Joseph Cheng, a retired academic and political analyst in Hong Kong.