China's once-a-decade power transition in November may promote these five party members.
Charlie Neibergall/AP, Yves Herman/Reuters, Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters, Jason Lee/Reuters, Paul Hackett/Reuters
Xi Jinping: 'the next leader'
Currently the vice president, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, and head of the party school, Xi Jinping looks like a shoo-in to take over from President Hu Jintao as head of the party this autumn and as China's president early next year.
An ebullient, affable man with a reputation for living modestly, Mr. Xi made his name running two of the economic powerhouse provinces on China's prosperous east coast, suggesting he is sympathetic to more free-market reform.
The son of a former deputy premier, Xi is a "princeling" and a member of what is known as the elitist faction within the Communist Party. But the six years he spent working in the countryside during the Cultural Revolution are said to have given him a better understanding of poor people's concerns.
He has made fewer enemies on his way up than have many ambitious rivals, and so he is acceptable to more of his peers and superiors. He will only be "first among equals" on the Standing Committee of the party's Politburo, however, and is expected to spend his first few years in power consolidating his position before launching any new policy initiatives.
Li Keqiang: leader of 'the populists'
The only other expected holdover from the current Standing Committee, Li Keqiang comes from a less-privileged background than Vice President Xi Jinping. Mr. Li is identified as a leader of the "populist" faction who has evinced interest in social issues such as affordable housing and health care, as well as alternative energy and responding to climate change.
He is tipped to take over from Wen Jiabao as prime minister, a job that would put him in charge of the country's economy.