China's Xi Jinping takes over Communist Party

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Xi Jinping on Thursday succeeded Hu Jintao as general-secretary of China's all-powerful Communist Party, handing him the reins of the world's most populous country and second-largest economy.

Xi's long expected ascension to the apex of Chinese power was confirmed by state news agency Xinhua, which reported he would head a reshuffled steering committee for the party comprising seven members, down from nine before.