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Nation & World

Xi Jinping takes helm of China amid reform calls

A Chinese Communist Party delegate holds a red voting ticket holder while leaving the Great Hall of the People with other delegates after the closing ceremony for the 18th Communist Party Congress in Beijing on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. President Hu Jintao stepped aside as Communist Party leader to clear the way for Vice President Xi Jinping to take the helm in China. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
A Chinese Communist Party delegate holds a red voting ticket holder while leaving the Great Hall of the People with other delegates after the closing ceremony for the 18th Communist Party Congress in Beijing on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. President Hu Jintao stepped aside as Communist Party leader to clear the way for Vice President Xi Jinping to take the helm in China. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

Xi Jinping has become leader of China, securing the Communist Party's top spot as the country faces slower economic growth and rising public demands for change.

The state Xinhua News Agency on Thursday confirmed Xi's elevation to party general secretary. Xi also was appointed head of the commission that oversees the military.

The selection of Xi follows a pivotal party congress that underlined the communists' determination to remain firmly in power.

Xi is the son of a party elder and has served as vice president for the past five years.

He will lead the world's No. 2 economy and newest diplomatic and military power amid increasingly vocal calls for economic and political reform.

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