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Chinese Communist Party ends weeklong congress

The Chinese Communist Party ended a weeklong congress, ahead of a planned political transition.

China communist party congress november 14 2012Enlarge
Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Jia Qinglin, Chinese Chairman and Party Secretary of the National Peoples Congress Wu Bangguo, Chinese President Hu Jintao, former president Jiang Zemin,Premier Wen Jiabao, Li Changchun a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Li Keqiang vice premier stand during the closing of the 18th Communist Party Congress at the Great Hall of the People on November 14, 2012 in Beijing, China. (Lintao Zhang/AFP/Getty Images)

China's Communist Party concluded its weeklong congress on Wednesday, ahead of the expected announcement of its new leadership.

The BBC reported that more than 2,200 delegates met in Beijing's Great Hall of the People to select a new 205-member Central Committee.

Voice of America (VOA) reported that Communist party officials agreed to tighten corruption oversight. The congress is a once-in-five-years event, and marks the beginning of China's once-in-a-decade political transition.

Leadership transitions in China are usually tightly choreographed, VOA noted. However, the party has been shaken this time by the scandal surrounding  Bo Xilai.

The New York Times reported that departing general secretary of the party Hu Jintao is preparing to hand over the reins to Xi Jinping, the son of a revered revolutionary leader.

"On Thursday morning, after a confirmation vote by the party’s new Central Committee, Mr. Xi, 59, is expected to march onto a stage in a plenary session at the Great Hall of the People accompanied by at least six other party officials who will form the Politburo Standing Committee, the elite group that makes crucial decisions on the economy, foreign policy and other major issues," wrote The Times.

More on GlobalPost: China's 18th Communist Party Congress opens in Beijing (PHOTOS)

Speaking on the sidelines of the party's congress, China's top trade and investment officials criticized what they called an increase in global protectionism, according to Reuters. They said it was rising across the world, damaging global growth and fraying relations.

Delegates also endorsed former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping's idea of "reform and opening," according to VOA. Outgoing President Hu Jintao's theory of equitable and sustainable development was also added to the charter.

Hu Jintao, in a closing statement, said that the congress had "replaced older leaders with younger ones" and made decisions of "far-reaching historical significance," according to the BBC, which cited Chinese news agency Xinhua.

Xi Jinping is expected to take over from Hu Jintao as China's president in March 2013.

More on GlobalPost: Future doesn't look promising for rights in China

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/121114/chinese-communist-party-ends-weeklong-congress