China leadership transition formally edges forward

China leadership transition formally edges forward

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Chairman and Secretary of the CPC Party Commitee of the National Devlopment and Reform Commission Zhang Ping gives a press conference on China's economic and social development at the Media Center in Beijing on November 10, 2012. The week-long congress, held every five years, will end with a transition of power to Vice President Xi Jinping, who will govern for the coming decade amid growing pressure for reform of the communist regime's iron-clad grip on power. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones (Photo credit should read Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

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Associated Press

Posted on November 10, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 16 at 12:45 PM

BEIJING (AP) -- China's leadership transition officially edged ahead Saturday, with the executive body of the Communist Party Congress forwarding a list of names to congress delegates for review.

State media reported that the congress's presidium, 41 current and former members of the leadership, approved the candidate list for the Central Committee and sent it to the delegates. The delegates will cast votes before the congress closes Wednesday to choose the Central Committee, a roughly 350-member body.

The Central Committee, in turn, will select the top leadership.

The move is largely a formality, as is the congress itself. Deciding the lineup of leading bodies falls to a small group of powerbrokers.

Vice President Xi Jinping has been all-but formally announced to replace President Hu Jintao as party chief and president.

China Central Television showed Hu addressing the meeting of the presidium, which was presided over by Xi.

Candidates for the Central Committee outnumber seats by only a small portion, giving the 2,268 congress delegates little choice except on the margins.

In addition to the name list for Central Committee members, the meeting also forwarded candidate lists for the party's internal watchdog agency, state media reported.

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