CHINESE television yesterday announced the death of Chen Yun, the conservative rival to Deng Xiaoping, at the age of 90. A sombre announcer declared he had led 'a glorious life' and was a 'long-tested brilliant leader' who joined the Chinese Communist Party 65 years ago. Chen died on Monday afternoon in Beijing of an unspecified illness, but is thought to have suffered from leukaemia and throat cancer. He was frequently reported to have fallen into a coma but apparently staged a recovery last autumn. No reason was given for delaying the announcement inside China. His death was first reported on Monday night and confirmed by National People's Congress Chairman Qiao Shi who is visiting Tokyo. Television news carried a 25-minute obituary which said Chen called on the people to rally around Jiang Zemin, the party leader and successor to Mr Deng. His photograph was shown twice accompanied by solemn music. The account of his life took up most of the 30-minute newscast. The obituary praised his work in his last post as chairman of the Party's Central Advisory Committee in which he had taken decisions to ensure 'a smooth transition' to the 'third generation leadership with Jiang Zemin as its core'. Foreign diplomats in Beijing greeted the death of Chen with caution. Most said his departure would be unlikely cause any immediate problems, although some said it could weaken conservative forces.