China's ruling Communist Party elite opened an annual meeting Tuesday during which Chinese President Hu Jintao's heir apparent is expected to consolidate his power.
Vice President Xi Jinping is expected to be appointed to the party's powerful military commission during the meeting. The appointment would make him the front-runner to succeed Mr. Hu in 2012.
If the Central Committee does not appoint Xi to the commission during their meeting this week, it could signal discord among the leadership about who will succeed Mr. Hu.
The four-day session of the 204-member Central Committee comes just weeks before the 60th anniversary of the founding of communist nation on October first.
The official Xinhua news agency says participants at the meeting will discuss a draft document on party building.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP