China's new leader Xi Jinping capped his rise today by adding the largely ceremonial title of President.
The elevation of Mr Xi to the presidency by the rubberstamp national legislature gave him the last of the three titles held by his predecessor, Hu Jintao.
The move was expected after Mr Xi was named head of the Communist Party and chairman of its military, positions of true power, last November in a once-a-decade handover to a new group of leaders that has been years in the making.
Though Mr Xi is now formally in charge, big challenges remain for him within the party's top ranks.
Powerful members of the party are often divided by patronage, ideology or financial interests.
Tension could be increased if he follows through on his pledge to tackle the endemic graft he has pinpointed as detrimental to the party's survival, said Willy Lam, a China politics watcher at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Graft is deeply ingrained in the party's patronage-based culture and those at the top, many of whose families have benefited from their political connections, are believed to be most resistant to anti-corruption measures that diminish their powers.
"He has to walk a fine line," Mr Lam said. "If he were really serious about going after senior cadres, he might establish his authority within the rank and file.
"However, that would also jeopardise his relationship with the power blocs and with the holders of vested interests."
Mr Xi's accession marks only the second orderly transfer of power in more than six decades of Communist Party rule.
He was the only candidate for president in today's ballot in the country's figurehead parliament.
The delegates voted 2,952-to-1 for Mr Xi in balloting that amounts to a political ritual echoing the decisions of the party leadership. Three delegates abstained.
After the result was announced, Mr Xi bowed to delegates and turned to Mr Hu, seated on his right. The two of them shook hands and posed for photos.
Mr Xi, 59, also was appointed chairman of the government commission that oversees the military.
Named Vice President in a vote of 2,839-80 was Li Yuanchao, a liberal-minded reformer and a close ally of Mr Hu for decades.
The move breaks with the practice of recent years, because Mr Li is not in the party's seven-member ruling inner sanctum.
It is seen as a concession to Mr Hu's lingering influence and as a reward to a capable if not wholly popular official.
Mr Xi takes charge at a time when the public is looking for leadership that can address faltering economic growth and mounting anger over widespread graft, high-handed officialdom and increasing unfairness.
Ahead of the votes on the government's top slots, legislators approved a government restructuring plan only four days after it was introduced.
Among other things, the plan abolishes the Railways Ministry and combines two agencies that regulate newspapers and broadcasters into a super media regulator.
It also merges the Health Ministry with the commission that oversees the much-disliked rules that limit many families to one child.
The restructuring also joins four agencies that police fisheries and other maritime resources into one bureau, to better assert China's claims over disputed waters, potentially sharpening conflicts with Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines.
In a reflection of China's growing international engagement, the role of President has evolved from being purely ceremonial to, since the 1990s, a position the party hopes lends legitimacy on the world stage to the government it runs the country with.
Mr Xi was already effectively the country's top leader in mid-November after ascending to the helm of the ruling Communist Party, which holds ultimate power in China.