As it happened: China's new leaders

Key Points

  • China's Communist Party has unveiled a new generation of leaders, who will rule for the next decade, ending a week-long congress.
  • New party leader Xi Jinping appeared on stage in Beijing's Great Hall of the People just before 04:00 GMT with the six other members of the Party's Standing Committee.
  • Most of the new committee are seen as politically conservative, and perceived reformers did not get promotion. All times GMT.

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    Good morning from London and welcome to the BBC's live coverage of events in China where the Communist Party is set to unveil its new leaders. Stay with us for the latest updates - reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis, and your reaction from around the world. You can contact us via email, text or twitter. We'll publish what we can.


    There have been seven days of proceedings - about which we know little - at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing as the ruling Communist Party held a congress which sets the stage for a new generation of leaders for the world's most populous nation.


    Hu Jintao's political report to delegates as the congress opened on 8 November sprung few surprises. To find out just how few you can look at our word cloud, which compares key words used the opening speeches in 2012 and in 2002, when former leader Jiang Zemin delivered his speech.


    The words "must" "party" and "development" appear as clear winners. Here's more analysis from China expert Kerry Brown.


    CatherineMercier (cathmerc) on Twitter, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Beijing correspondent, tweets "The Delegates came and left and nobody knows what this Congress really meant."

    0137: Martin Patience BBC News, Beijing

    The new leaders will face growing public anger over official corruption, a widening gap between rich and poor, and calls for political reforms.


    A key scripted task of the congress, which wrapped up on Wednesday, was for its 2,200 delegates to select a new central committee. There were 108 candidates for every 100 seats - so a very slim element of uncertainty. A new 205-member committee was announced and a 171-strong list of alternate members was also selected.


    In just a few hours this committee will elect about 25 members to the Politburo and its Standing Committee. This is the very apex of power in China. Currently it has nine members but analysts believe it will shrink to seven.


    Zhou Xuhui, a Weibo user from Shanghai working in the financial industry, tweets: "The US market tumbled, and here comes the politburo standing committee list, these are all the factors that makes today's stock market doomed for instability."


    Angus Walker, China Correspondent for ITV news, tweets: "The day has dawned, China's new leaders will walk on stage at approx 1100, no great surprises expected, but is it a new dawn for China?"


    But the critical moment is when that Standing Committee solemnly files out on stage in front of waiting journalists.


    Here's what the line-up 10 years ago looked like:

    16th Party Congress line-up The leaders unveiled at the 16th Party Congress in 2002
    0153: Triston Liu, Beijing

    emails: For the ruling party I do think this party congress is important. However, the new leaders face big challenges. Not to say the uncertain economic situation, or the corruption that the new leaders have to deal with immediately, the most important challenge is to restore the trust that most Chinese used to have in the party.


    Although votes are held, key selections to the all-important Standing Committee are in reality decided in advance by top leaders. The exact composition of the committee will not be clear until it is formally announced.


    "You can't do anything without a healthy body" - those are the words of 25-year-old Liu Hongmei, one of several people on the streets of Beijing who told the BBC what they wanted from this congress.

    0157: Tom Niu, Guangzhou Province China

    emails: I feel kind of confused about where this country is heading, and a little bit worried about goverment policy and their method of dealing with the problem in China.


    Although the selection of the central committee was largely scripted Zhuang Chen, of BBC Chinese, had some interesting observations to make: "Commerce Minister Chen Deming did not even make it as an alternate member. This is one of the few surprises, given the success of China's export-led economic growth. Billionaire Liang Wengen also failed in his attempt to become the first private businessman on the committee."


    The Financial Times newspaper has this blog post on the memorable moments from the Congress, which includes an observation from the aforementioned Liang Wengen that Party members always get the best looking women. Apparently, that was not enough to get him a place on the committee.


    But what are the challenges for China's rulers? The BBC's Angus Foster has rounded up the main issues facing the new generation.


    Lifen Zhang, editor-in-chief of the Financial Times' Chinese website, tweeted on Sina Weibo: "Great Hall of the People. It's the 1st Plenum of the 18th central committee. China's next generation of leaders are to meet the press for the first time at 11am. At the east gate, journalists queued to get in."


    The state-run People's Daily website has an article explaining the meaning of applause during the Congress's opening ceremony. It says: "The applause is a reflection of unwavering confidence".


    Earlier in the congress state media reported on one particularly enthusiastic party delegate from Shandong Province, Chen Ye Cui, who is quoted as saying: "The report of the general secretary (Hu Jintao) is so inspiring. As I can remember, there were 35 ovations during the report. The applauses continued for quite a long time and I marked every applause in my copy of the report. My hands were numb but I applauded from the heart!"


    The Economist's correspondent recalls the "wooden choreography" of congresses past. But as a congress veteran, the writer "delighted" in remembering one rare exception to the rule - in 1987 when Zhao Zhiyang emerged triumphant on to the stage after his reformist faction had come out on top.


    The piece points to this report from the AP news archive from 1987. In a break with tradition Mr Zhao held an informal news conference. He "worked the crowd like a politician" pausing at one moment to comment, chuckling, that: ''It is my hope you can send a dispatch saying all my suits are made in China and all of them are very pretty."


    The BBC's Nga Pham in Beijing says: "Many Beijing residents told me they're indifferent to what's been going on inside the Great Hall of the People as they feel that everything has already been decided without their knowledge".


    But is there any uncertainty at all this time round? In this piece for the BBC, analyst Cheng Li says that two factions - known as princelings and the populists - will have been jockeying for influence. But China's future stability depends on them being able to balance power and work together.

    Charlie Chen, Shenzhen Guangdong province

    emails: I am not happy about the leadership generation without election, but I can do nothing. I hope the new leader will place the food security as a priority.

    Mark Mackinnon East Asia correspondent for Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail

    tweets: China's new Standing Committee will have seven members. Black numbers on floor of stage: 7, 5, 3, 1, 2, 4, 6. That's where each will stand.


    It appears as if there is uncertainty on another count too. BBC Chinese reporter Weiliang Nie in Hong Kong talked to Willy Lam, a prominent China-watcher there, a short while ago. He says there is still uncertainty as to whether seven or nine leaders walk out - even at this late stage. According to him, that only shows the intensity of bargaining among different factions within the party.


    The US-based Asia Society has a video interview with Goldman Sachs Vice Chairman J Michael Evans addressing the question: "Are China's Citizens happier than they were 10 years ago?"

    0228: Kim Rathcke Jensen, China correspondent for Danish newspaper Politiken

    tweets: In Great Hall of People waiting for Politbureau Standing Committee. There are seven marks on stage where they'll be presented.


    Xi Jinping - the man widely tipped to be first out on stage is most certainly a "princeling" coming from "revolutionary royalty" - he is the son of a former top Party leader. Here is our profile of the man.


    Li Keqiang - on the other hand - rose from the ranks. He started as a manual labourer on a rural commmune. Analysts believe he will be second out on stage. Here is the BBC profile of him.


    The new leaders take the helm immediately. Mr Xi - if it is indeed him - is almost certain to be elevated to the presidency next March.


    There are also questions about whether current party leader and President Hu Jintao will give up his position as military commission chairman. In Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post (paywall) says "top military brass" has confirmed to the paper that President Hu Jintao will officially retire as the military chief today after stepping down.

    0238: Lee Simpson, Beijing, China

    emails: Attempting to get my Chinese colleagues excited about the "unveiling" but they are all totally apathetic. Quite different from last week's yee-ha-ing from my American colleagues.


    If you are in Beijing you might be struck by the absence of homing pigeons and toy aeroplanes. This is because the pigeons are being confined to their roost and the aeroplanes can only be bought with ID as part of a raft of security measures ahead of the congress.


    Although it may be a tightly choreographed event - opaque and perplexing to some - this leadership shift happens in the context of breakneck economic growth and China's ever growing influence across the globe. The BBC's Angus Foster outlines eight ways China is changing your world.

    0241: Peter Leng BBC News, Beijing

    Bustling Beijing streets, leaders change, life goes on. No sign of interest from ordinary people.


    Sam Crane, Professor in Chinese politics and philosophy at Williams college in the US, : How pathetic are we: counting black numbers on the floor to scrape up a shred of information....


    From pork to space: Massive economic reforms in China have given rise to voracious consumerism. Pork consumption gives us a clue. China is home to 460m pigs, half the world's total. And its space programme is burgeoning - China has said it will send its first probe to land on the moon in 2013. The BBC has mapped out China's economic miracle in graphics.


    The BBC's Paul Mason tweets Am about to watch the unveiling of China's 7 new leaders on big screen on street corner. Will give snap analysis once they emerge

    0251: Yang Liang, Shenyang, China

    emails: I am living in China right now after having lived in England for six years. I personally felt that the new leadership would be stronger in economy, culture and humanity. I wish the new government could attract more Chinese people to get involved and make sure they take better care of our people.


    State television is simulcasting live video of hundreds of journalists taking their seats in a large meeting room at the Great Hall of the People.


    Everybody's having a punt on who the chosen seven might be. The Wall Street Journal has summarised some of the lists.


    Footage is already coming in from the Great Hall of the People. The stage is empty and a room packed full of journalists is hushed.


    While the majority of members of the last standing committee came from engineering backgrounds, many frontrunners for the current standing committee have a background in economics or social sciences. Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Zhang Gaoli, and Wang Yang, all studied economics, whilst Wang Qishan studied history.


    How will the new leaders engage with the rest of the world? Former Australian PM and China expert Kevin Rudd has this analysis for the BBC.


    Despite the mystery surrounding the line-up about to be unveiled, one thing is clear: the standing committee is unlikely to include any women. Leta Hong Fincher, a frequent commentator on women's issues in China, has talked about an "old boys' club in Chinese politics that works against women".


    More women have made it to space than to China's all-powerful Standing Committee. There is only one woman - Liu Yandong in the politburo. Analysts believe she could well be left on the sidelines.

    0316: Kim Ghattas BBC News, Washington

    There was some relief in China that Obama was re-elected. Obama and Romney used strong language on China as candidates, both trying to sound like they would be the toughest on China. But Obama is a known quantity for the Chinese and they'll know what to expect from him in a second term to some extent


    Analyst Victor Gao currently being interviewed on BBC World has met Xi Jinping. He says Mr Xi is highly affable and has avoided making mistakes.


    Liu Zhiqin, a Beijing-based political commentator, says it is important to look to see whether Wang Yang, a noted reformer, will make it onto the Standing Committee. His presence is a bellwether for the future direction of the PSC and its appetite for change.


    The BBC's Paul Mason in Beijing tweets Chinese TV throwing to foreign Corrs to fill time as announcement awaited. On streets not huge interest around widescreen


    Commenting on the delay to the top party line up being revealed, Beijing-based Twitter user Zhang Yifan tweets: 'is the back pain back again? #18PC' - a reference to the speculation earlier this year when Xi Jinping was not seen in public for two weeks.


    Reuters have had to withdraw a series of alerts put out that Xi Jinping had been anointed leader. For most of the journalists in the hall this would have come as a surprise as the stage is still empty.


    AFP's correspondent in Beijing tweets Last time the PBSC emerged at exactly 11.30, I'm told


    The BBC's Peter Leng in Beijing: "CCTV says four times as many foreign media as local journalists waiting in hall for new leaders"

    0333: Tom Lasseter, Beijing Bureau Chief for McClatchy Newspapers

    tweets: CCTV announcer, as screen shows empty stage in Great Hall of the People, informs us the Central Committee is "still busy".


    The BBC's Martin Yip in Singapore says: "There have been multiple signs of censorship on China's Twitter-like weibo platforms over the congress. Although keywords like Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, "Shiba da" (the 18th congress) and "Zhonggong" (Communist Party of China) are not censored, only posts by accredited accounts are displayed, meaning users' true identity is revealed, hence shaping the debate."


    How good is your maths? Some users have tried to prevent their comments from being filtered with workarounds, for instance, using "17+1", "10+8" and "29" (2x9) to replace 18.


    Property tycoon Pan Shiyi, of SOHO China, tweeted on Sina Weibo: "Have the new leaders showed up?"


    Expect crisp side-partings and raven black locks. It is customary for top party members to dye any greying hair. Rising star Hu Chunhua, the party chief of Inner Mongolia, stands out as one of the few leaders who does not appear to dye his hair.


    A new hashtag, #WhyXiJinpingIsLate has been started on twitter.


    An annoucement is being made. Journalists are being asked to turn off their mobile phones.


    "Please help us maintain good order" - they are asking the journalists to position their cameras and not block the view. They are saying the gathered press should not to go to the front unless asked to.

    Karson Yiu, ABC News

    tweets: # StandingCommitteeDelay New Chinese Leadership testing the bladders of the media

    0347: Breaking News

    There is a single line report on Xinhua news agency that Xi Jinping has been elected as party leader.


    Xinhua also confirms long-circulated rumours that the Standing Committee has shrunk to seven members.


    The new Standing Committee is about to make its entrance.


    To applause, Xi Jingping leads the procession and he makes an address.


    "Sorry to keep you waiting," he says.


    This is the final seven: Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli


    The BBC's Angus Foster says that reformists will see this line-up as a setback as both Guangdong party boss Wang Yang and Li Yuanchao are not on stage.


    Xinhua also reports that Xi Jinping has taken control of the military commission.


    Mr Xi carries on "We wil stand rock firm in the family of nations and make fresh and greater contribution to mankind" and he talks about the "major responsibility" owed to the people. He talks of a "beautiful homeland where all ethnic groups live in amity".


    Mr Xi continues to speak: "I wish to sincerely thank the whole party for the trust you have placed in us."


    He is paying tribute to "Chinese patriots" throughout Chinese history. "During the modern period our nation has undergone many trials and tribulations."


    He says that he will fight for people's desire for a better life.


    Mr Xi presses on with his vision: "Every bit of happiness in the world is created by hard work."


    Liu Zhiqin, Beijing-based political commentator, is surprised to see Liu Yunshan on the Politburo Standing Committee. He previously served as the head of the Party's propaganda department and his presence on the PSC indicates the Chinese government will continue to tighten control over information and communications within China.


    Xi Jinping lived in a cave during the 1970s when he was sent to work in the countryside during the cultural revolution. Today he is addressing the nation with promises of a renewed future, named as the man who will lead the world's second-biggest economy.


    "To be turned into iron, the metal itself must be strong." Xi Jinping tells the gathered journalists.

    0411: Yang Heng, Shanghai

    emails: Wang Yang is not one of the standing committee, it is a notable message for both the westerners and Chinese. Zhang Dejiang and Liu Yunshan are both famous for their toughness on press and general public interest. It's a really conservative leadership!


    "It is the people who have created history. They are the real heroes. We know full well the capability of any individual is limited...An individual only has limited time in office but there is never any limit to serving the people heart and soul."


    He is already establishing a clear difference between himself and former president Hu Jintao. He is calm, composed and comfortable in front of hundreds of journalists.


    As he wraps up he says: "China needs to learn more about the world. The world also needs to learn more about China." Is he setting the tone for the next 10 years?

    0414: Karson Yiu, ABC News

    tweets: Xi can hold a room...Chinese/Foreign press corps breathe a sigh of relief

    0415: Michael Royston, Beijing

    emails: I'm sat here glued to the screen, Not so much from my Chinese collegues. I had to inform them that the new line up has been announced. They have only heard of the top 2 men.


    Liu Zhiqin, Beijing-based political commentator, singles out former Beijing mayor Wang Qishan as a likely "compromise candidate" to make it onto the Standing Committee because he is not closely aligned with any political factions within the Communist Party.


    Li Keqiang followed him. He is said to have been the favourite of outgoing leader Hu Jintao. He rose from a manual labourer to the stage on the Great Hall of the People.


    The Financial Times writes that China's new leaders are a conservative group likely to favour cautious economic reforms and to steer clear of more radical policy changes


    What about the others? Number three on the list was Zhang Dejiang who was appointed party chief of Chongqing after the fall of Bo Xilai, cementing his reputation as a trouble- shooter who could be relied on to manage a crisis.


    Twenty-seven-year old Ge Yang from China tells BBC Newsday she wants a more transparent government and hopes the new leadership will tackle corruption.


    The iconic picture - and line-up that will last for another decade:

    The line-up

    Sina Weibo user "Smiling Assasin 414" in Fujian province tweets: "There's nothing in doubt at all. Foreign media has got it accurately. A balanced list of compromise."


    Smiling Xi: Many twitter users have commented on the fact that Xi Jinping smiled during his speech - appearing more natural and relaxed than his predecessor, Hu.


    Number four on the list was Yu Zhengsheng, party chief of Shanghai. He is a "princeling" with close ties to former president Deng Xiaoping. Unusually, his political career survived his brother's defection to the US in the mid-1980s. Read more about him here.

    0428: Li

    emails: The result is just as expected. Before the general votes from the basic people in China, people already knew who was gonna be the next leader. So it is interesting, what is the function of the Chinese election?


    Liu Zhiqin, Beijing-based political commentator, believes that Li Keqiang might have been "promoted" to the number two spot in the government, instead of the customary number three spot, as a nod to his protégé, Hu Jintao. Perhaps this is another compromise in favor of Hu Jintao


    Professor David Kelly from the China Policy research team in Beijing, says: "Normal service is resumed. This is an administration which will not introduce deep reforms immediately. We need to see how much political capital they can accumulate, how they can settle some of the embarrassing situations in the elite - but in general it's going to be normal service."


    Fifth was Liu Yunshan, 55, head of the party's propaganda department. He worked in Inner Mongolia for almost 30 years after being sent there as a young man to work in a commune. He is seen as a close ally of the outgoing president.


    Mr Hu, the outgoing president, did make it into Chinese Communist Party pantheon. His "scientific theory" was added in a revised constitution. Customarily, departing leaders have had a theory close to their heart officially adopted. Mr Hu was no exception with his scientific theory which stands alongside Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the Three Represents.


    You can read the full text of Xi Jinping's speech here.


    Jim Sciutto, former ABC correspondent and senior adviser to US embassy in Beijing, tweetsIn 1st speech as China's new president, #XiJinping looked relaxed & confident, not wedded to notes & avoiding usual ref.s to past ldrs


    And in case you missed the smile that many people have commented on, here it is:

    Xi Jinping smiling Xi Jinping as he walked on stage.

    "He's going to be instinctively a better communicator and politician in terms of reading public mood and creating a more approachable public persona," said analyst Kerry Brown in comments to Bloomberg. "As a leader, Hu Jintao's been very remote and this is the cause of many problems."


    Sina Weibo user "bobo0o" in Guangdong province tweets: "Quite disappointed as I read the list. But as in Bob Dylan's song: when you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose."

    0448: Fan, Beijing

    emails: Although the election is not intriguing anymore, I am glad to see the whole process is becoming more and more transparent, I mean, compared with China 10 years ago. The livelihood and happiness of people have been brought up numerous times this week, making me really happy to see that finally, GDP is not the only thing on the table. Maybe in the next decade, our new leader will pay more attention on us, his fellow citizens. Look forward to that.


    The message was being relayed to the nation.

    A mall screen shows Chinese Communist Party new General Secretary Xi Jinping speak at a press conference in Beijing Thursday Nov. 15 A screen at a shopping centre shows Mr Xi giving his speech.

    BBC Chinese editor Raymond Li in Hong Kong says: "The new line-up shows the 86 year old former leader Jiang Zemin would still have important influence as at least four out of seven new members are widely seen as Jiang's allies. Also the prospect of political reform now looks more unlikely as most new leaders are regarded as political conservatives."

    0453: Zhang Jianjia, Champaign, Illinois, USA

    emails: Great leader and excellent speech. I am proud of the country and can't wait to expect another good life in the future both for me and for all Chinese people.

    0453: Rupert Wingfield-Hayes BBC News, Tokyo

    With Sino-Japanese diplomatic relations in their worst crisis in their 40 year history, Tokyo is hoping the arrival of Xi Jinping will be an opportunity to start to repair the damage.

    0455: Rupert Wingfield-Hayes BBC News, Tokyo

    Japanese diplomats have been watching like hawks for any sign that the new leadership in China may be ready for a rapprochement with Japan - and they think they may have seen some. Last month Japan's opposition leader (and probable next Prime Minister) Shinzo Abe visited the controversial Yasakuni Shrine in Tokyo. China usually complains loudly whenever Japanese political leaders go to the Yasakuni Shrine. This time it said nothing.


    Some news from the Politburo: Sun Chunlan joins Liu Yandong on the Chinese Politburo, making the ratio of women to men on the Politburo 2:23, a 100% increase from the last Politburo, when Liu Yandong was the only woman. Writer Xinran wrote a piece for the BBC on what happened to Mao's famous comment that women hold up half the sky.


    More about the new characters at the very top of Chinese politics. Sixth in the line-up was Wang Qishan, who is well known to Western leaders as a key figure in discussions about the global economy. Henry Paulson, the former US treasury secretary, described him as 'decisive and inquisitive', and someone with a "wicked sense of humour". Read more about him.

    0505: Mark Chan, Hong Kong

    emails: Congratulations to the Chinese people and peoples of the world! China's transparent and smooth transition of political power will be good for regional and global peace, stability and prosperity.


    Mr Xi's assertions about "amity" between ethnic groups in China will not be welcomed in areas with Tibetan populations. In the run-up to this transition there has been a sharp escalation of self-immolations by ethnic Tibetans in protest against Beijing's rule.


    Zhang Gaoli was the final name. Party chief of Tianjin, he has close ties with Jiang Zemin and his supporters, a relationship which helped ensure Mr Zhang's promotion to governor of the province of Shandong in 2002. Mr Zhang has been a low-profile leader in Tianjin, and little is known about his views. Here is his CV on China Vitae.

    0517: Duncan Kennedy BBC News, Sydney

    The Australian Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, has told ABC News 24 that when it comes to the new Chinese leadership. " It means continuity. This is a well rehearsed and very deliberate and calculated leadership change. There are no surprises in it for us or the world. We would see it as an opportunity to engage with the new leadership".


    And despite the prose about China's commitment to ethnic groups, every member of the new 25-member Politburo is from the Han ethnic group. In the previous Politburo, one member, Hui Liangyu, was from the Hui minority.


    Renowned Chinese journalist Gong Xiaoyue tweeted on Tencent Weibo: "This big boss at least is talking like a human being. I won't comment on the rest."


    Many journalists will likely be attempting to interview Yu Qiangsheng, the brother of new Politburo Standing Committee member Yu Zhengsheng. Yu Qiangsheng defected to the United States in 1985. The newly-elevated Mr Yu spent many years biding his time in low-level posts after the scandal. Here is a Reuters account from 2007, when he came back from the cold. At that time, one source tipped him for the Standing Committee.


    The BBC's Paul Mason tweets Of the 7 new leaders 3x identifiably old guard, 3x "neutral" technocrats, inc Xi, leaving only one clear ally of outgoing Hu (1/2) but...[in the next tweet] presence of economist and political scientist, not just engineers encourages some reform minded commentators I just spoke to

    0531: Cindy Sui BBC News, Taipei

    China's leadership transition is closely watched in Taiwan, the self-ruled island which is still claimed by Beijing as a province to be eventually reunified. Relations have improved significantly in the past four years under Chinese President Hu Jintao and China friendly Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou.


    The BBC's Cindy Sui adds that Xi Jinping is considered to be much more knowledgeable about Taiwan than other Chinese leaders. He spent 17 years in southeastern China's Fujian province, just across from Taiwan. But nobody expects any major changes or breakthrough on the sensitive and difficult issue of Taiwan's sovereignty.


    Until quite recently Mr Xi's wife will have been better known than him. Peng Liyuan sang syrupy sweet folk tunes extolling the wonders of China's rise. On the side, she is also a general in the People's Liberation Army. Read more about her from the BBC.

    0538: Yang Heng, Shanghai

    emails: I was really shocked by the result that both Li Yuanchao and Wang Yang were not at the list of Standing Politburo Committee. It is really a dark moment for the younger generations of China. If they [are] reluctant to reform the political system, one thing is clear that more and more people will stand against the party. There are already a lot of depressed micro-blogs comments shown on the social websites like RenRen.


    There are discussions in Beijing that Wang Qishan might take over the Party's anti-corruption drive because he has no children who might stand to benefit from his position.


    If you are not seeking clarity in life, you might like to look at a flow chart explaining how China is governed. The Chinese Communist Party's more than 80m-strong membership makes it the biggest political party in the world. Its tight organisation and ruthlessness help explain why it is also still in power.


    Mingao Shen, China economist for Citi in Hong Kong tells Reuters: "Except Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, other members will retire in 2017, suggesting that policy will focus more on the next five years, which is a pivotal period for China to lay a solid footing to sustain growth and restore confidence on the economic outlook."


    Bill Bishop, Beijing-based political commentator, ‏@niubi tweets that Xi's phrase translated as "'great renewal of the chinese nation' should b getting lots of attention. not empty words by longshot."

    0551: Damian Grammaticas China correspondent

    Ruling over one-fifth of humanity, Mr Xi looked relaxed, almost emotional...In his first address as leader to the nation, he said his party faced many challenges including corruption and being more in touch with the people.


    Mr Xi also talked about how they "will work for a beautiful environment". Prominent environmental campaigner Ma Jun wrote for the BBC about the power of China's strolling eco-warriors. If Mr Xi does not live up to this promise, angry protesters on the streets of China will certainly try to hold leaders to account.


    Weibo users have been expressing their views online. One user notes that: "Their average age is two years older than the previous group" and a note of disappointment can be detected in this user who posted: "I carefully checked the list. Indeed my name is not on it". There is exasperation too: "My microblog has just been banned from searching the leaders' names. I didn't choose them and I don't even know them. Why block me!"

    0605: Frank Lau, Pingchang, China

    emails: "I hope our new leader can guide us to a prosperous and glorious future, that corruption can be got rid of, even a bit. Hope our salary get more higher, housing get more cheaper, health care can be fully guaranteed. Those are my expectations for the new government."


    It is unclear as yet how many people tuned into the televised transition:

    A customer eats his lunch next to restaurant workers and underneath a painting of Chinese characters that reads "Long-lasting Prosperity" It was lunchtime before Mr Xi and his colleagues finally emerged on stage

    Before the transition, technology entpreneur Kai-fu Lee told the BBC that without educational reform and a culture tolerant of failure, China will not produce the next Steve Jobs.


    Mr Xi talked about his mission to meet the people's "desire for a happy life " adding that it is "only hard work that creates all happiness in the world". But missing from the final line-up was Standing Committee hopeful Wang Yang, currently party chief of Guangdong. Considered a reformer, he set up a "Happy Guangdong" movement last year, complete with a happiness index.


    There are at least four mentions of the word "history" in Mr Xi's speech. The BBC's Carrie Gracie has written a series of features on extraordinary figures from Chinese history, including the historian castrated for his words and three influential sisters in modern Chinese history.


    Xi Jinping was also named as head of the military committee. In 2002, Jiang Zemin did not relinquish his control of this key body for two years. But Mr Hu appears to have been content to move on. Analysts say this is helpful for Mr Xi. Here the BBC's Bejing bureau explains why it's also important to watch military developments.

    0641: Jason Cheng in Guangzhou ,China

    emails: Though the political reforms are not feasible at this stage,I still hope the new era under Xi and Li are more transparent in various aspect. Hope they would no longer use political propaganda to brainwash and leave some rooms for media to present different opinions. I know I am sometimes naive.


    As the inner circle was unveiled to the waiting media, soldiers patrolled outside the Great Hall of the People.

    Chinese soldiers march outside the Great Hall of the People where China"s new leaders meet the press in Beijing Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.

    Hong Kong based online activist BeiFeng tweets sarcastically: "Xi Jinping is elected Central Committee General Secretary, what a surprise, I really didn't expect that".

    0706: Soutik Biswas India correspondent

    Relations between India and China have been on the mend, and there is little reason to believe that the change of leadership in China will set the clock back. The two sides have held several rounds of border talks and multilateral cooperation has increased. Trade between the two countries has risen to nearly $80bn (£63bn), and both countries are cooperating in initiatives around climate change and trade. The new leadership in China is expected to boost economic ties, while proptecting their strategic interests.


    The first official welcomes from governments around the world are coming in. Let's start with China's neighbour North Korea, whose leader Kim Jong-un sent a message of congratulation saying Mr Xi's promotion was an "expression of deep trust and great expectation".


    Relations between China and wildly unpredictable North Korea have long been awkward. The New York Times wrote recently about bad business deals and very public spats between the two nations.


    Despite the bad blood, Mr Kim's effusive message went on: "Believing that the traditional DPRK-China friendship which has developed down through generations will continue to grow in conformity with the wishes of the two peoples, I sincerely wish you great success in your responsible work."


    Plenty of African nations will be watching the leadership change very closely. Researcher David Kelly says reforming state-run enterprises will be crucial for Africa. "They are driving investments in the continent but are ignoring civil society and trade unions," he says.


    Ever wondered how to get to the top in Chinese politics? The BBC's Angus Foster wrote this handy guide that advises you to start very young, be very ruthless, and be very open to the idea of dying your hair.


    How is rural China viewing the leadership change? Foreign Policy magazine has some encouragement for the new leaders, one villager telling the magazine: "The Chinese system can't accept more than one party. We have a saying: If the party dies, the country dies."

    Mao-era factory Cramped factories have been a feature of Chinese life for decades

    As for the lonely underbelly of Chinese society, Gerard Lemos drew on his research in Chongqing for this piece on factory workers in modern China.


    More international reaction to Mr Xi's unveiling. Japanese Foreign Ministry's Naoko Saiki gave something of a cautious welcome: "We really hope that the mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests will be further developed and enhanced with the new leadership."

    0808: Damian Grammaticas China correspondent

    The outgoing leadership was quite wooden and personality free. Xi Jinping is much more relaxed and plain-speaking, as a deliberate attempt to connect with the people.

    0812: Palebluedot

    comments on the BBC News website: No matter who the new leader is, China's developmental model will be the nemesis of the Communist Party. In spite of suppression of information, the last decade of leadership saw prolonged and unprecedented protest of the people against the officials.


    Back to Mr Xi's foreign policy challenges, the fraught relationship with Japan will be near the top of his in-tray. The BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes recently filed this report from the disputed islands at the centre of the row.

    One of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands The disputed islands may be surrounded by natural gas fields

    For background on rising tension over the islands (called Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan) see our Q&A.

    0823: Pasha

    comments on the BBC News website: Good choice for a new boss. Living in China after my whole life in "democratic" countries and, on the whole, most Chinese people are satisfied with their leaders. The mindset and goals are different. A Western style would collapse here and achieve nothing.


    Zhushijie92, who says he is a civil servant in Xinjiang region, tweets on Tencent Weibo: "US presidents boast before they are elected, but take no responsibility after they win; Chinese leaders work modestly before they are elected, and keep all their promises afterwards."

    0841: Damian Grammaticas China correspondent

    If Xi Jinping was nervous or awed by the prospect of ruling over one fifth of humanity, there was no sign of it. At one point he even seemed to become a little emotional while he was delivering his speech.


    For those of you with a statistical bent, Reuters has asked the question are the new leaders up to the task, and given them marks out of 10. They average 6.5.

    Journalists wait for the arrival of Xi Jinping after he was appointed as the head of the newly reshuffled seven member Communist Party of China Politburo Standing Committee The media scrum that faced Xi Jinping at his first news conference

    In a similar manner to North Korea (see earlier entry) Kazakhstan has congratulated Mr Xi. According to official media Nursultan Nazarbayev expressed confident that "the party will take China to new horizons of socioeconomic development and strengthen the country's high image on the international arena".


    For a slice of state-controlled media coverage of the congress, look no further than this Xinhua piece reflecting how the international community speaks highly of the power transition.


    For those you just joining us, a small recap: China's new leadership team emerged from the shadows. It contained few surprises, although it's generally regarded as a conservative line-up.


    Background features, profiles of the new line-up and plenty more besides can be found on our special report page.

    HP in Henan, China

    emails: I am Chinese but I think Beijing is so far away that it cannot help me. The only man who is important to me and my circumstances is my unit leader.


    Australia uses the language of international diplomacy to welcome Mr Xi: "General secretary Xi Jinping is well known to Australia and we look forward to working closely with him in his new leadership role to deepen and enhance bilateral relations and to strengthen our engagement on a broad range of shared regional and global challenges," said a government spokesman.


    The BBC's John Sudworth has put together a video piece explaining just who Xi Jinping is.

    0943: Huang7

    comments on the BBC News website: Isn't it strange that one-party should represent 1.3 billion people of various races, thoughts, beliefs and cultures?

    Catherine Mercier

    of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation tweets: NY Times + Bloomberg not invited today: lack of space is no reason. The guy sitting next to me was an 'office clerk' from CCTV, not a journo.


    The biggest foreign policy issue, of course, is still the relationship with the US. There's been no official reaction from the US yet. It's too early there. But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made some interesting comments on Thursday.


    Mrs Clinton told a security forum in Australia: "I know there are some who present a false choice: That Australia needs to choose between its longstanding ties to the United States and its emerging links with China. Well, that kind of zero-sum thinking only leads to negative-sum results."


    For news junkies out there, here's a round-up of the media reaction in China and beyond to the leadership transition.

    0958: Timothy Ng in Idaho, US

    emails: Having just experienced the US election, I can see how China's centrally planned politics is a much simpler process, although I'm sure many Chinese would appreciate the superficial "headache" of voting in an election.


    In case you missed it earlier, it's worth pointing out that Mr Xi's folk-singing wife Peng Liyuan was the more famous member of the family until very recently. Find out more in our profile of her.

    China's new leaders greeting the media at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, 15 November 2012 The men who will rule China

    See our picture gallery of the day's highly choreographed events.


    Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou has sent a message to Mr Xi congratulating him. Taiwanese media said Mr Ma was acting "in his capacity as chairman of the ruling Kuomintang". Because, as we know, the Communist Party regards Taiwan as an integral part of the People's Republic.

    1023: Kate McGeown BBC News, Manila

    reports that the Philippine government says it wants a "positive, peaceful and stable relationship" with China and its new leaders. In recent months there have been tensions between the two countries over the South China Sea - both lay claim to the same islands, and the natural gas reserves around them. But meanwhile economic ties between the two nations have never been better.


    For more on the Philippines' complex relations with China, the BBC's Kate McGeown has filed this report from Manila, where she's been speaking to the city's Chinese community.


    Back to the main business of the congress, and the BBC has now published a full transcript of Xi Jinping's speech. Analysts have generally praised the speech for its brevity and clarity.


    In his latest blog entry the BBC's Damian Grammaticas asks if Xi Jinping's China will be any different to the nation he has inherited.

    Chinese residents buy daily groceries from a mobile vegetable seller near a residential area in Beijing Thursday, Nov. 15

    As the congress road-show barrels out of town, Beijingers quickly resume the pace of every-day life.

    1044: A BBC News website reader in Lhasa

    emails: I am Tibetan and have been confined inside China for more than 10 years, but I am still hoping for a passport to do my further studies. With the new leadership I hope the government will look deeper into how we feel rather than pumping in billions of yuan - of which a large portion is pocketed by local officials or wasted on bureaucracy.


    comments on the BBC News website: Well done China. An orderly transition of power with no conflict. This is a great achievement for such a diverse and huge country. The Communist Party system works for China at this point in its evolution. The new leaders face huge challenges over the next decade. Good luck to them. A great country.


    Xinhua has put out the final list of the new 25-member Politburo, pointing out that two of them are women. That's one more woman than analysts had expected.


    That wraps up our live coverage of China's leadership transition. Please keep reading our main story, which will continue to be updated. Thanks for joining us.


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