's top spot as the country faces slower economic growth and rising public demands for change.
The state Xinhua News Agency on Thursday confirmed Xi's elevation to party general secretary. Xi also was appointed head of the commission that oversees the military.
The selection of Xi follows a pivotal party congress that underlined the communists' determination to remain firmly in power.
Xi is the son of a party elder and has served as vice president for the past five years.
He will lead the world's No. 2 economy and newest diplomatic and military power amid increasingly vocal calls for economic and political reform.