Mystery over leader's input
WILLY WO-LAP LAM
MYSTERY surrounds the question of whether Deng Xiaoping has been consulted over the drafting of the Ninth Five-Year Plan and the long-term blueprint.
Several children of senior cadres in Beijing had in the past week circulated a picture of Mr Deng allegedly taken at the Beidaihe summer resort in August.
Political sources said if Mr Deng was fit enough to take the three-hour train ride to Beidaihe, he might have been able to give his views on the economic blueprint.
It was at Beidaihe that the leadership finalised their deliberations over the documents.
The picture, however, showed Mr Deng's health had deteriorated since his last known photograph, taken on National Day last year.
'He looks wan and waxen, and even thinner than last October,' a source who saw the picture said.
'It is doubtful whether his doctors would allow him to leave Beijing.'