China's Communist Party conclave nears end

Posted: 11/13/12 at 8:30 pm EST

BEIJING (AP) -- China's Communist Party is bringing its pivotal conclave to a close in largely choreographed steps a day before unveiling its new leaders for the coming decade.

President Hu Jintao is expected to step down as party chief in favor of the anointed successor, Vice President Xi Jinping, in what would be only the second orderly transfer of power in 63 years of communist rule.

The new leaders will face slowing growth, rising unrest among increasingly assertive citizens and delicate relations with neighboring countries.

The secretive weeklong congress in Beijing ends after the 2,200-plus delegates select members of the Central Committee, a body that approves leadership positions and policy goals.

But the next lineup in China's apex of power, the Politburo Standing Committee, will be announced only on Thursday.

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