Xi made leader of Communist Party

Beijing - China's ruling Communist Party appointed Xi Jinping as general secretary to succeed outgoing leader Hu Jintao on Thursday in the party's first leadership change for 10 years.

Xi, 59, also took over from Hu as chairman of the party's Central Military Commission on Thursday and was scheduled to succeed him as state president in March.

Hu, 69, had led the party since 2002 and Xi is expected to lead it for the next decade.

Hu Jintao (left) and Xi Jinping (Reuters photos)

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