Xi Jinping takes helm of China amid reform calls

BEIJING (AP) — Xi Jinping succeeded Hu Jintao as China’s leader Thursday, assuming the top posts in the Communist Party and the powerful military in a once-a-decade political transition unbowed by scandals, a slower economy and public demands for reforms.

Xi was formally appointed as general secretary after a morning meeting of senior communists that capped a weeklong congress, events that underlined the party’s determination to remain firmly in power. Xi also was appointed chairman of the military commission after Hu stepped down, breaking with the recent tradition in which departing party leaders hung on to the military post to exert influence over their successors. Continue reading