After much wrangling and jockeying for power, a clearer picture of China's new leadership has emerged with President Jiang Zemin retreating behind the scenes to play kingmaker, according to party sources. Mr Jiang, 76, is ready to hand his power over the party, state and armed forces to the younger generation headed by Vice-President Hu Jintao, Vice-Premier Wen Jiabao and his most trusted aide, Zeng Qinghong. He will then become a power-broker without any official title, wielding his influence through his frontline allies, sources said. 'The Jiang era will really begin after he steps down from his official posts,' one party source said. 'For the current leaders, they are largely appointed by [the late paramount leader] Deng Xiaoping and one could argue that up to now it is Deng's era. As for the future leaders, they will have to follow Jiang's 'Theory of the Three Representatives'.' Following Mr Jiang's lead, other top state and party leaders except for Mr Hu - all members of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party's politburo - are also expected to relinquish their party posts next week and other positions in March next year. The officials include National People's Congress (NPC) chairman Li Peng, Premier Zhu Rongji, China People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) chairman Li Ruihuan, Vice-Premier Li Lanqing, and Wei Jianxing, head of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection - the party's anti-graft body. While there have been suggestions that Li Ruihuan, 67, will replace Li Peng, party sources believe the former has not been considered for the post and that he is more than likely to retire. Barring any last-minute changes, the new leadership expected to be unveiled at the 16th Communist Party Congress next week will probably include Mr Hu, Mr Wen, Mr Zeng, former Beijing party secretary Jia Qinglin, and former Shanghai party secretary Huang Ju. The five will likely form the core party leadership, although other figures, such as State Councillor Wu Yi and State Development and Planning Commission head Zeng Peiyan, could also end up on the politburo. Among them, Mr Zeng, Mr Jia and Mr Huang are all considered close allies of Mr Jiang. Mr Hu, 59, looks set to take over from Mr Jiang as party general secretary and chairman of the Central Military Commission. He is also widely expected to replace Mr Jiang as state president in March when the NPC convenes to approve the new appointments. However, there have been suggestions that Mr Jiang intends to give the presidency to his aide, Zeng Qinghong. Mr Wen, 59, is expected to succeed Zhu Rongji as premier in March. Zeng Qinghong, 63, former head of the party's organisation department, is tipped to take over the powerful party secretariat and the headquarters. Mr Huang, 64, is expected to replace Mr Wei at the party's anti-graft body or Li Peng as NPC chairman. Mr Jia, 62, will likely replace Li Ruihuan as CPPCC chairman.