Identifying corruption and the ruling CPC's "divorce" from people among "severe challenges" facing the party, China's new supreme leader Xi Jinping on Thursday vowed to make every effort to address these problems.
"We will never rest on our laurels," 59-year-old Xi, who was formally appointed head of the Party which effectively meant that he would be replacing Hu Jintao as President, told the media at the ornate Great Hall of People in Beijing.
Under the new conditions, the party faces many severe challenges and "there are also many pressing problems within the Party that need to be resolved, particularly corruption, being divorced from the people, going through formalities and bureaucratism caused by some Party officials," he said.
"We must make every effort to solve these problems. The whole Party must stay on full alert," Xi said soon after taking charge of the CPC, the world's biggest political party with the reported membership of over 80 million.
"To address these problems, we must first of all conduct ourselves honourably. Our responsibility is to work with all the comrades in the Party to uphold the principle that the Party should supervise its own conduct and run itself with strict discipline, effectively solve major problems in the Party, improve our conduct and maintain close ties with the people," he said.
By doing so, the CPC will ensure that it will remain at the core of leadership in advancing the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, Xi said.
In an event telecast live, Xi, who looked relaxed and confident, introduced his fellow Standing Committee members, who constituted the collective leadership of the party that would rule the country for the next ten years.
Only Xi and other Standing Committee members appeared on the stage as incumbent Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and other leaders formally retired after a decade-long stint in power at the conclusion of the 18th Party Congress in Beijing on Wednesday.