BEIJING -- China's ruling Communist Party has amended its constitution to add President Xi Jinping's name and ideology in an extension of his formidable political sway.

Xi's concept of "socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era" was added to the party constitution Tuesday. The concept Xi has touted is seen as marking a break with the past stage of economic reform ushered in by Deng Xiaoping in the late 1970s and continued under his successors Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.

In a sign of Xi's greater clout, his name was attached to his theory, putting him on par with Deng and communist China's founder, Mao Zedong.

The placement of Xi's thought among the party's leading guidelines also comes earlier than his predecessors. (AP)