Image: 19th National Congress Of The Communist Party Of China (CPC) - Opening Ceremony

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China's Party Congress: Grand Scenes and Tiny Moments in Beijing

Though the twice-a-decade conclave occurred mostly behind closed doors, there was plenty of pageantry on display at the weeklong congress.

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Ushers laugh as they stand on Tiananmen Square before the closing ceremony of China's 19th Party Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct. 24. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping's name was added to the Communist Party's constitution at the congress, elevating him alongside Chairman Mao to the pantheon of the country's founding giants. 

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Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during the opening session, attended by some 2,300 delegates, in the Great Hall of the People on Oct. 18. 

The congress culminates in the selection of a new Politburo Standing Committee to rule China's 1.4 billion people for the next five years. 

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Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with former President Hu Jintao as former President Jiang Zemin looks on during the opening session.

The 64-year-old Xi has consolidated power swiftly since assuming the party leadership in 2012, locking up rivals for corruption, tightening controls on civil society, revamping the military and asserting China's rising might on the global stage.

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Soldiers and security guards wait for delegates to arrive for the opening ceremony.

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Ushers are reflected in a puddle of water in Tiananmen Square.

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A Chinese military band plays after the speech by President Xi Jinping at the opening session.

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President Xi Jinping speaks at the opening session. Xi's speech was both optimistic and cautionary and he vowed that Chinese socialism was entering a "new era."

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A hostess closes the door of a meeting room on Oct. 19, the second day of the congress.

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Image: Ushers pose for photos at the Tiananmen Square during the opening of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

Ushers pose for photos in Tiananmen Square.
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A soldier dressed as an usher stands guard at an entrance door of the Great Hall of the People.
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Guards march in front of the Great Hall on the second day of the congress. 

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Image: Delegates talk to the media in the Great Hall of the People on the second day of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing

Delegates talk to the media.

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Image: A security officer keeps watch behind a curtain on the second day of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

A security officer keeps watch behind a curtain on the second day of the congress.

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A guard stands outside the Great Hall.

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A host fills tea cups for the Shanghai delegates before a meeting.

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Delegates from Xinjiang attend a meeting.

Xinjiang, China’s westernmost region, is home to the Uighurs, a Muslim group which claims to face discrimination from the Han Chinese.

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Delegates walk at the Great Hall.

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An attendant looks through curtains before the Tibet open delegation discussions.

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A man walks down the steps at the Great Hall.

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Image: Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, attends a group discussion session on the second day of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Party Secretary Chen Quanguo attends a session on the second day of the congress.

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A soldier gestures towards a photographer in Tiananmen Square on Oct. 22.

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Ushers throw their hats as they pose for photographs before the closing ceremony on Oct. 24.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping stands during the Internationale, the Communist anthem, at the closing ceremony.

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A conductor leads the band during the closing ceremony.

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An attendant clears under tables used by Chinese leaders after the closing of the congress.

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Workers check on the delegates' seats after the closing ceremony.

Related: Xi Jinping Becomes China’s Most Powerful Leader in Decades

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