(BEIJING) — The leadership torch in China has officially been passed.
The country’s 91-year-old Communist party announced on Thursday a new generation of leaders led by former Vice President Xi Jinping. He takes over as General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee.
Also, in somewhat of a surprise, Xi was named the new chairman of China’s military. His predecessor, former President Hu Jintao, waited two years to assume that role.
The new Standing Committee, which is comprised of Xi and six other men, is seen as politically conservative — a sign some say indicates reform may be undertaken but not embraced in a country facing domestic unrest and a slowing economy.
The old guard will fully transition out of power by March.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN