Chinese President Hu Jintao spoke to over 2000 delegates at the opening of the week long 18th Communist Party congress in China, where the new leaders for the central committee will be selected. They then decide the makeup of country's highest decision-making body, the Standing Committee of the Politburo.
Jintao said China had to adapt to a changing domestic and global environment,tackle corruption, and make development much more balanced, coordinated and sustainable.
Although the election of new leaders takes place behind closed doors, in reality the top two leaders are decided ahead of time.
The current Standing Committee has nine members, of whom seven including Mr Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao are expected to step down.
The other two members, Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, are expected to become party leader and deputy respectively. Mr Xi is also expected to take over from Mr Hu as China's president in March 2013.