Xi Jinping in line for presidency

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The Independent Online

China's vice-President Xi Jinping was promoted to a key post in the Communist Party's military committee yesterday, affirming his path to the country's leadership.

However, the party offered little indication of consensus on another political uncertainty dogging it: the scope and pace of any future political reforms.

Top leaders have increasingly appeared at odds about the direction of any changes to the government and party, with the relatively liberal premier Wen Jiabao going up against more conservative politicians.

Mr Xi's appointment to the party's Central Military Commission offered the squabbling factions a chance to put on a show of unity. The appointment was approved on the last day of the Central Committee annual meeting.

Mr Xi, 57, is the party's sixth-ranking leader and is viewed as the successor to Hu Jintao, who steps down as President next year.

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