over his shoulder.
Hu has not followed his predecessor Jiang Zemin in staying on as head of the military commission after stepping down as party chief. Xi has instead directly taken over that post, strengthening his position.
Advocates of reform are pressing Xi to cut back the privileges of state-owned firms, make it easier for rural migrants to settle in cities, fix a fiscal system that encourages local governments to live off land expropriations and, above all, tether the powers of a state that they say risks suffocating growth and fanning discontent.
With growing public anger and unrest over everything from corruption to environmental degradation, there may also be cautious efforts to answer calls for more political reform, though nobody seriously expects a move towards full democracy.
The party could introduce experimental measures to broaden inner-party democracy - in other words, encouraging greater debate within the party - but stability remains a top concern and one-party rule will be safeguarded.