Beijing: Setting the stage for a leadership transition, the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Wednesday elected a new 18th CPC Central Committee to lead the party in the next five years and backed reforms as the way forward.
The CPC amended its constitution to support reforms and opening up of the economy as the path to a stronger China.
The 18th CPC Central Committee will in turn elect the Political Bureau, the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau and the General Secretary at its first plenary session Thursday morning.
Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang were amongst those elected into the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at the closing session Wednesday.
Xi is to succeed President Hu Jintao in a once-a-decade power transition while Li Keqiang will take the place of Premier Wen Jiabao.
Xi (59) is the member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the 17th CPC Central Committee, vice president and vice chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission.
Li (57) is also member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the 17th CPC Central Committee and vice premier.
There are a total of 2,325 delegates and specially invited delegates to the 18th National Congress that began on November 8.
According to the party constitution, the highest leading body of the CPC is the National Congress and the Central Committee it elects, and all constituent organizations and members of the Party are subordinate to the National Congress and the Central Committee.
Delegates to the National Congress also passed resolutions on the report of the 17th CPC Central Committee, the work report of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and an amendment to the CPC Constitution.
"The congress elected a new central committee of the party and replaced older leaders with younger ones," Hu Jintao said in a closing address at the closing session in the Great Hall of People in central Beijing.
"We are convinced that all the decisions and plans adopted and all the achievements made at the congress, which are of major current and far-reaching historical significance, will play an important role in guiding the all-around development of the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the great new undertaking of Party building," he said.
Chinese leaders including Jiang Zemin, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang were present at the closing session, which was presided over by Hu.