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China's New Leadership Emerging As Congress Ends

Chinese President Hu Jintao
China's Communist Party has ended its congress, a day before unveiling a new leadership for the coming decade.

President Hu Jintao told the 2,200 delegates present in Beijing's Great Hall of the People on November 14 that the congress was an important step in advancing the cause of Chinese-style socialism:

Hu also called on the party to be united and to implement reforms, urging members to "hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics."

He also exhorted them "to make progress in building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects" and advocated reclaiming the moral “high ground” after a series of corruption scandals.

Earlier, in a keynote address to the congress last week, Hu had said that a failure to tackle corruption by party officials could cause "the collapse of the party and the fall of the state."

On November 14, the Central Committee -- a ruling council with about 200 full members -- will appoint a larger Politburo and a smaller Politburo Standing Committee, the inner circle of power.

President Hu Jintao is expected to step down as party chief to make way for his expected successor, Vice President Xi Jinping.

The official Xinhua news agency reported on November 14 that Xi and premier-in-waiting Li Keqiang had been elected -- as expected -- to the Central Committee.

Although China has managed to become an economic superpower, the country’s constitution upholds the Communist Party's leadership of China and promotes Marxism-Leninism.

The founder of the party, Mao Zedong, is still a much-revered figure, though the country follows the more recent ideology of Deng Xiaoping, who launched China's economic reforms in 1978.

A concept of "socialist market economy" was included in the constitution in 1992.

The new leaders of the world's second-largest economy will have to contend with slowing economic growth, rising social unrest, and delicate relations with neighboring countries.

With reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters
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