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China names Xi Jinping as party chief

Vice President Xi Jinping has succeeded President Hu Jintao as head of the ruling Communist Party. The new leader will steer the world's No. 2 economy for the next decade.

According to tradition, the committee appeared before the media inside Beijing's Great Hall of the People on Thursday in order of seniority.

Xi Jinping, long expected to succeed Hu, was the first to appear on stage followed by members of the new Politburo Standing Committee, the nation's top decision-making body.

Standing in front of his colleagues, Xi said the new leadership faced "enormous responsibility" but would fight for a "better life" for China's 1.3 billion people.

In second place in the new elite lineup, which was slimmed from nine members to seven, was current Vice Premier Li Keqiang.

The other new members, all new additions, include Wang Qishan, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Zhang Gaoli and Liu Yunshan.

Xi will take over Hu's state position in March at the annual meeting of parliament.

The party closed its 18th congress in Beijing on Wednesday after electing a new central committee. The weeklong congress brought together some 2,200 delegates from across China.

hc/lw (AFP, Reuters)