China began a four-day secret meeting on Saturday to set a reform agenda for the next decade as they try to push more sustainable growth after three decades of breakneck expansion. But analysts have cautioned against expectations for big changes as they say stability remains the watchword for the leadership.
President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang must unleash new growth drivers as the world's second-largest economy loses steam, burdened by industrial overcapacity, piles of debt and soaring house prices.
The meeting - held under tight security at a Soviet-era hotel in western Beijing - will show just how committed the new leadership is to reform after formally taking power in March.
Economic reforms will dominate the meeting of the 205-member Central Committee of China's ruling Communist Party. Little if any news will be released during the event, but official news agency Xinhua traditionally issues a dispatch on the last day.
Xinhua confirmed in an English-language dispatch that the meeting had begun, with the agenda led by a discussion over a draft document on deepening reform, which pools the wisdom of the whole Party and from all aspects. It added: Comprehensively deepening reform means the reform will be more systematic, integrated and coordinated. It gave no other details.
The Development Research Centre, a think-tank for China's cabinet, set out last month eight key areas for reform at the plenum - finance, taxation, land, state assets, social welfare, innovation, foreign investment and governance.
Powerful interest groups, including leftists or conservatives, local governments, state-owned enterprises and state banks, oppose some of the reforms such as freeing up interest rates, allowing private banks and turning Shanghai into a free trade zone, several sources say.
However, the party will put on a unified face once Xinhua issues its communiqué at the end of the plenum on Tuesday, pledging reform without providing too many details.
The People's Daily's influential tabloid, the Global Times, cautioned in an editorial on Saturday that the country's leaders would be unlikely to live up to the huge expectations.
They can hardly be as ambitious as some sections of the public hope. The most ambitious government in terms of reforms would still be considered conservative when faced with these expectations, it wrote.