Chinese President Hu Jintao speaks during the opening session of the 18th Communist Party Congress on November 8, 2012 in Beijing, China. - 

The Communist Party in China has convened its 18th Party Congress this week. The event will end with President Hu Jintao handing over power to China's next leader. The transition is being closely watched all over the world in part because of the implications for China's economy.

As President Hu Jintao spoke today, he marked the successes of the past five years, including the country's economic boom which managed to lift millions of people out of poverty.  He also laid out a road map for the challenges that lie ahead: environmental concerns, social issues, and corruption --  going so far as to say that corruption could lead to the collapse of the party and the Chinese state.

Though a change in Chinese leadership will not shake up policy, the country's growth model will likely shift from government-led infrastructure spending to consumer-based growth.