Zhang Dejiang has been elevated to standing chairman of the National People's Congress presidium.
The Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee member joins five other chairmen on the presidium - Liu Yunshan, Li Jianguo, Wang Shengjun, Chen Changzhi and Yan Junqi.
The NPC presidium held its first meeting in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday.
Zhang is tipped to replace Wu Bangguo as NPC chairman.
The former Guangdong party secretary is familiar with Hong Kong affairs. He has taken over from Vice President Xi Jinping as the highest mainland official in charge of Hong Kong affairs - ending speculation that the post will go to Liu, the former propaganda chief.
Zhang was elevated to the seven- man Politburo Standing Committee at the 18th Communist Party congress in November.