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New-look China leadership takes centre stage

Out with the old and in with the new. The ruling Chinese Communist Party's once-in-a-decade power transition sees Xi Jinping take over from current President Hu Jintao in March. China's 1.3 billion citizens had no say in the process but there's no shortage of opinion on these powerful men and where they'll steer the world's second-largest economy over the next five years This man says while the last set of leaders were a bit old for the job, the new lot are energetic and promising. Analyst Willy Lam said Xi Jinping's appointment as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces could mean a change in military policy. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHINA ANALYST, WILLY LAM, SAYING: "Well, Xi Jinping has many good friends amongst the generals. So it's possible that, in order to consolidate his power quickly, Xi Jinping might push a harder line on foreign and military policy. So we expect, perhaps, possible confrontation with Japan, with the Philippines and Vietnam over sovereignty disputes concerning the islands in the South China Sea and the East China Sea.'' Hu Jintao has emphasised corruption as the biggest danger faced by the party and the state. But the new leaders also confront immense social, economic and political challenges, which, if not managed skilfully, could shake the party to its core.

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