China's Vice-President, Xi Jinping, has been given a key military post, in a move widely seen as a boost to his prospects of succeeding President Hu Jintao.
On the last day of the ruling Communist Party's annual meeting, Mr Xi has been named vice-chair of the powerful Central Military Commission.
Mr Xi is following in the footsteps of President Hu Jintao, who was also promoted to the commission - which controls China's army - before becoming president.
Hu Jintao must retire as head of the party in 2012 and as president in 2013, the BBC reports.
Mr Xi was promoted by the Communist Party's Central Committee, a council of about 200 senior officials.
He will serve under Mr Hu, who is the head of the commission.