Three of China's most powerful politicians, including Zeng Qinghong, the vice president, will stand down.
The official Xinhua news agency said on Sunday that Zeng, 68, Wu Guanzheng, 69, and Luo Gan, 72, were not named to the Communist Party's Central Committee.
The move means they will not keep their posts on its elite nine-member panel that rules the country.
It also signals that there will be at least four changes to the committee as another member, Huang Ju, died in the summer.
The list was approved on the final day of the Communist Party's congress held every five years.
Dropping Zeng from the list makes him almost certain to retire.
His retirement represents a boon to president Hu Jintao, who is seeking to use the party's 17th congress to consolidate his power as the head of a new team of leaders who will be named on Monday.
Zeng, ranked fifth in the party hierarchy, was long associated with Hu's predecessor Jiang Zemin.