67-year-old Liu Yandong, a high-profile 'princeling' who was previously part of a policy body in-charge of Tibet, could not make it to the all-powerful Standing Committee belying expectations that the top body would open up to a woman for the first time.
The Standing Committee was shrunk from nine to seven members, which some party leaders say was aimed at improving the coordination of the collective leadership pattern, while others say the size depended on the intensity of the factional fighting within the party.
But Liu along with fellow woman official Sun Chunlan made it to the 25-member Politburo which is the next big policy body in CPC.
Despite big rise in status of women in China during the past three decades in jobs and industry, there are fewer woman leaders in the Chinese Communist Party.
Also both bodies have no representation for ethnic minorities.
Situation in Tibet, where self-immolation protests were on the rise against the Chinese rule, and Xinjiang, the home of native Muslim Uygurs, who were restive against the settlements of Han Chinese, was stated to be grim and it widely figured in the just-concluded 18th Party Congress.
In both the provinces, the Party claims following among locals with some holding prominent ranks but top posts at the centre remain elusive for them.