CHINESE President Jiang Zemin has stepped up measures to neutralise the influence of patriarch Deng Xiaoping. Diplomatic sources in Beijing said yesterday the General Office of the Communist Party Central Committee had issued a document forbidding Mr Deng's children from disseminating his instructions. When meeting foreign dignitaries and businessmen, his children have been told they can only repeat the standard statement that 'Deng's health is good for a person of his age'. Until last year, Mr Deng's third daughter and private secretary Deng Rong had made public the patriarch's thoughts on domestic and foreign policy. The circular, issued under instructions from Mr Jiang, in effect makes him the sole spokesman for Mr Deng, whom he reportedly saw last August and again just before Lunar New Year. His move is seen as an attempt to monopolise whatever political mileage can be gained from the bedridden architect of China's reform programme. 'Jiang Zemin can selectively use a 'new' Deng quote to back up a policy or an appointment,' a Western diplomat said. 'The President can also keep under wraps Deng sayings that could prove embarrassing or divisive.' For example, the diplomat said, remarks allegedly made by Mr Deng on relations with Taiwan and the United States, which were less hawkish than statements issued by the generals, had not seen the light of day. Partly as a result of the Central Committee circular, Mr Deng's family have kept a low profile. A source close to the Deng family confirmed that the 15-year-old daughter of Ms Deng had settled in the United States. The source said the child, considered Mr Deng's favourite grandchild, used the surname Zhuo - which is also the maiden name of Mr Deng's wife Zhuo Lin - on her travel document. 'I don't think she will be returning to China any time soon,' the source said. Meanwhile, members of the Deng household have circulated among well-connected cadres a photograph of the patriarch taken in the garden of his Beijing compound last month. The picture showed Mr Deng leaning heavily against two nurses. 'He appeared very frail and he had a dazed look,' said a Beijing editor who had seen the photograph. Other Deng experts in the capital said while the patriarch would likely hang on to life for some time, it was unlikely he could deliberate over matters of state. Since the autumn, however, politicians in the Jiang camp have cited Mr Deng as approving the current policy towards Taiwan and giving the green light to promotions to the Central Military Commission.