Hu Jintao to step down as military chief, making Xi Jinping most powerful
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During the tenure of Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao, Sino-Indian trade touched an all time high of USD 73.90 billion last year.
Indian officials expect continuity of the policy as Xi and Li, who also the post-Kargil war Chinese leaders, are part of the process to improve Sino-Indian ties, even though they have not visited India in recent times.
Hu's departure will mark the first clean transfer of power the Communist Party has seen in two decades.
This gives a head-start for Xi, unlike Hu when he was chosen as President 10 years ago as his predecessor, Jiang Zemin retained the post of Head of the Military for about two years after retirement, broadly retaining his influence over the Party and the Military, which unlike elsewhere in the world are part of the state structure in China.
Jiang, reportedly heading the Shanghai faction of the Communist Party also played a major role in the new leadership selection currently underway at the Party Congress.
Xi was regarded as his protege as he previously headed the Shanghai Party unit before becoming Vice President 10 years ago.
When he is formally declared as Hu's successor, Xi will get the posts of General Secretary of the Party, President of the country and Chairman of the Military Commission, the Post said.
He could take over power formally early next year, as Hu, Wen and other top leaders are set to retire by the end of the year in what appears to be an orderly and smooth transition of power after the removal of hard-line Maoist leader Bo Xilai and purging of the party of his supporters.
Bo, 62 is currently awaiting his trial for a host of charges including sex, sleaze and covering up the role of his wife, Gu Kailai in the murder of a Briton, Neil Heywood who was reportedly British secret service MI6 agent.
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