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Xi Jinping took over as head of both the Communist party and the military in China on Thursday morning at the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.

Xi, as president, will serve alongside Li Keqiang, who will replace Wen Jiabao as premier.

There are five other members of China’s governing body, the Politburo, which has been cut from nine members to seven, apparently to make decision-making more effective, reports the Guardian.

This group includes conservative figures such as Zhang Dejiang, who trained in economics in North Korea, and the propaganda official Liu Yunshan.

Kerry Brown of the University of Sydney said after years of political jostling,  Xi has a strong influence, within a "dual core leadership" with Li Keqiang.

"It is really the Xi-Li show. They are deeply networked individuals and both have a power base," he said.

"The others aren't ever going to take away from their glory if they get things right," he added, describing their colleagues as "not particularly disruptive".

All the new members of the body are older figures, meaning that under existing rules they should have to retire in five years' time, while Xi and Li carry on to another term.


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