President: Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping took over as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China at the party congress in November 2012, marking his ascent to the supreme leadership of the country. He also took over as chairman of the important Central Military Commission, leaving President Hu Jintao as formal head of state until Mr Xi assumed the post formally March 2013.
Xi Jinping is the first politician born under Communist rule to lead China, and represents the fifth generation of party chiefs. He is the son of Communist grandee Xi Zhongxun, who was purged during the Cultural Revolution but went on to pioneer economic and social reform in Guandong Province after the death of Chairman Mao.
Like his father, Xi Jinping earned a reputation for fighting corruption, promoting economic development and keeping the Party's firm grip on the levers of power as party chief in Fujian and Zheijiang Provinces and then in Shanghai.
His first speech as president, and that of his new premier, Li Keqiang, made it clear that clean government and growth would be the priorities of the new administration.
Mr Xi became Mr Hu's vice-president and heir-apparent in 2008.
He presents a more modern face to China and the world, with his direct manner of speaking and glamorous former folk-singer wife, but Mr Xi's new politburo team is dominated by conservative proteges of hardline former president Jiang Zemin.
Mr Hu's more pragmatic allies have been sidelined, and the incoming government shows no sign of giving in to pressure for political liberalisation.