(CBS STORY): China's ruling Communist Party unveiled its new leadership line-up on Thursday to steer the world's second-largest economy for the next five years, with Vice President Xi Jinping taking over from outgoing President Hu Jintao as party chief.
Xi was also named head of the party's Central Military Commission, state news agency Xinhua said.
The other new members of the Politburo Standing Committee - the innermost circle of power in China's authoritarian government - include premier-in-waiting Li Keqiang and financial guru Wang Qishan, who will be in charge of fighting corruption.
The number of members has been reduced to seven from nine, as expected, which should help ease consensus-building as they tackle everything from growing social unrest to uncertainty in the domestic and global economy.
North Korean-trained economist Zhang Dejiang is expected to head the largely rubber-stamp parliament, while Shanghai party boss Yu Zhengsheng is likely to head parliament's advisory body, according to the order in which their names were announced.
Tianjin party chief Zhang Gaoli and Liu Yunshan, a conservative who has kept domestic media on a tight leash, make up the rest of the group.
After emerging as the new party chief, Xi said in a short speech that China must continue reforming and opening up.
"Our responsibility is to rally and lead the whole party and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in continuing to liberate our way of thinking, carry on reform and opening, further unleash and develop the productive forces, work hard to resolve the difficulties the people face in both work and life, and steadfastly take the road of prosperity for all," Xi said.
Xi said the party faced many challenges, including corruption and being out of touch with the people.
"In the new environment, our party faces many severe challenges and there are many pressing problems within the party that need to be resolved, especially some party members and cadres being corrupt, taking bribes, being out of touch with the people, undue emphasis on formalities, and bureaucratism. These must be addressed with great efforts. The whole party must be vigilant against them," Xi said.
Xi will take over Hu's state position in March at the annual meeting of parliament, when Li will succeed Premier Wen Jiabao.
Advocates of reform are pressing Xi to cut back the privileges of state-owned firms, make it easier for rural migrants to settle in cities, fix a fiscal system that encourages local governments to live off land expropriations and, above all, tether the powers of a state that they say risks suffocating growth and fanning discontent.
With growing public anger and unrest over everything from corruption to environmental degradation, there may also be cautious efforts to answer calls for more political reform, though nobody seriously expects a move towards full democracy.
Guangdong's reform-minded party boss Wang Yang did not make it to the Standing Committee.