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China's Hu Jintao relinquishes party helm
 
Chinese President Hu Jintao (right) and his successor, Vice President Xi Jinping, walk together after the first meeting of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party on Nov. 8.
Chinese President Hu Jintao (right) and his successor, Vice President Xi Jinping, walk together after the first meeting of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party on Nov. 8.
AP Photo/Xinhua, Lan Hongguang

Chinese President Hu Jintao stepped down as leader of the ruling Communist Party on Wednesday, clearing the way for Vice President Xi Jinping to take control of the party on Thursday. China is wrapping up its once-a-decade transfer of power, with Hu's generation — in their late 60s — handing the reins to Xi's late-50s cohort. Unknown is whether Hu will stay on as head of the powerful commission that oversees the military for a transition period. This is only the second orderly transfer of power in the Communist Party's 63 years ruling China.

 

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