The Constitution of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has enshrined the "Scientific Outlook on Development," a political guideline that puts people first and calls for balanced and sustainable development, the 18th CPC National Congress announced as the week-long event concluded on Wednesday.
Some 2,270 Party delegates cast votes Wednesday, electing the new CPC Central Committee and the new Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
Nearly 50 percent of the new Central Committee are newcomers, indicating that the CPC, with 91 years of history and more than 82 million members, has again completed its leadership transition.
Vice President Xi Jinping and Vice Premier Li Keqiang, members of the 17th Party leadership, were elected into the new CPC Central Committee, according to the Xinhua News Agency.
The report also listed the names of Wang Qishan, vice premier, Liu Yunshan, head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, Liu Yandong, State councilor, Li Yuanchao, head of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, Wang Yang, Party chief of Guangdong Province, Zhang Gaoli, Party chief of Tianjin, Zhang Dejiang, vice premier and Party chief of Chongqing, and Yu Zhengsheng, Party chief of Shanghai, who have been included in the list of the 205 members elected into the 18th CPC Central Committee.
Other members of 17th Party leadership, Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang, are not in the new Central Committee.
A press conference will be held at 11 am Thursday at the Great Hall of the People, where the new members of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee will for the first time appear before the public.
Analysts said the new guideline, which is now listed in the Party constitution with equal importance to Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of the Three Represents, theories formed in previous leaderships, demonstrates the ruling Party's determination to bring the "socialist path with Chinese characteristics" to a new level.
One important element under this guideline is the inclusion of the promotion of "ecological progress" into the Party constitution.
"In the past, the authorities focused on so-called political, economic, cultural and social development, now they have realized the importance of sustainable development, which is related not only to people's well-being now, but future generations," said Zhang Yaocan, a professor of political science with Wuhan-based Central China Normal University.
Gao Xinmin, a professor with the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, told the Global Times that although this concept did not necessarily come up directly in response to recent protests against industrial projects the public believed harmful, the growing trouble between industrial development and people's livelihoods has made a high level of environmental awareness among the top leadership more urgent.
Zhou Shengxian, minister of environmental protection, admitted Monday on the sidelines of the congress that inadequate environmental assessment systems and local governments' malpractice were factors that led to mass protests in some cities.
Changes in the new Party constitution include an emphasis on improving the standard of Party members, especially in terms of the fight against corruption.
"The new constitution particularly points out that supervision over major leaders and officials must be strengthened, because if they don't enhance anti-corruption efforts, the public will not tolerate it, and it's not hyperbole to say that the ruling Party might fall, as the Party leaders have warned recently," Zhang said.
The new Party constitution also hailed reform and opening-up as China's future path.
"It is by carrying out reform and opening-up that China has achieved rapid development over the past 30-plus years, and it is reform and opening-up that will ensure its future development," it says.
Xinhua contributed to this story