Chinese leaders, facing pressure to shore up sagging economy, work on new growth blueprint

Facing pressure to shore up sagging economic growth, Chinese leaders are gathered this week to draw up a new blueprint to guide development through the end of this decade.

Communist Party leaders opened an annual meeting Monday to work on their next five-year plan for "economic and social development."

Analysts expect Chinese leaders to affirm their commitment to giving market forces a bigger role in the state-dominated economy while retaining the ruling party's control of key industries.

They face pressure to speed up an economic overhaul aimed at shifting China from reliance on trade and investment toward self-sustaining growth driven by domestic consumption.

Economic growth slowed to a six-year low of 6.9 percent in the latest quarter, fueling concern about a rise in job losses and possible unrest.