The effort is to be elected to the powerful Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party, although the 17th Party Congress is a year away.
One leader who might be elevated to the Politburo is 55-year-old Li Yuanchao, who only last week was renamed party secretary of the wealthy eastern province of Jiangsu, reports The Times of London.
The party's organization department has announced it will increase the number of delegates to 2,220 who will take part in the party congress, which is held every five years.
Li Yuanchao is one of three names frequently mentioned that President Hu plans to anoint when lining up a new Politburo next year, The Times said. Other prominent figures are Li Keqiang, 51, party chief of the rustbelt province of Liaoning and a veteran of the Youth League, and Xi Jinping, 53, who runs the booming eastern province of Zhejiang. Both are also close to President Hu.