Key members of China's Politburo Standing Committee, the highest body of the ruling Communist Party:
1. Xi Jinping
Position: Party General Secretary/State President
Life/Career: Son of a communist elder, survived China's Cultural Revolution before graduating from prestigious Tsinghua University Head of Chinese Communist Party since 2012, state president since 2013, has moved China towards a more assertive posture in both regional and world affairs; has overseen aggressive military build-up in South China Sea, ignoring competing territorial claims of Asia-Pacific neighbors; name enshrined in Communist Party constitution along with Mao Zedong and economic reformer Deng Xioping.
2. Li Keqiang
Life/Career: Son of minor party officials; earned law degree from Peking University. Protégé of late Chinese leader Hu Jintao, rose through ranks to lead Communist Youth League before becoming China's youngest governor in 1988 at age 43.
3. Li Zhanshu
Position: Director, Chinese Communist Party's General Office
Life/Career: Held numerous leadership posts in rural China before named governor of Heilongjiang; served as party secretary in poor southern province of Guizhou for two years before he was given seat on the Politburo in 2012; effectively serves as Xi Jinping's chief of staff, plays prominent role in foreign affairs.
4. Wang Yang
Position: Vice Premier
Life/Career: former party chief of Guangdong province; widely seen as economic reformer who wants to boost private sector and transform China's economy from heavily reliant on industry to one driven by consumption and innovation.
5. Wang Huning
Position: Director: Central Policy Research Council
Life/Career: former academic at Shanghai's Fudan University, specializing in international relations and law; key policy advisor to former presidents Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.
6. Zhao Leiji
Position: Director, Communist Party's Central Organization Department, anti-corruption chief
Life/Career: former party secretary for western Shaanxi province.
7. Han Zheng
Position: Shanghai party chief
Life/Career: became Shanghai's youngest mayor in 2003 at age 48; named Shanghai party chief in 2012.