The Communist Party elevated Deng Xiaoping to the status of Marx, Lenin and Mao Zedong yesterday by enshrining the late patriarch's theories into the party constitution. 'The congress unanimously agreed to establish Deng Xiaoping Theories as the guiding ideology of the party and to clearly write it down into the party constitution,' Xinhua reported. The amendment is effective immediately. Endorsement of Deng's Theories means the party is committed to continuing the economic reforms launched by him in the late 1970s, party sources said. The amendment would also add the name of Deng to the list of Marx, Lenin and Mao when defining 'thought' that underlines party policy. 'It is of great and far-reaching significance to guaranteeing the party to lead the people along the socialist road with Chinese characteristics and turning China into a socialist modernised country with prosperity, democracy and civilisation,' the resolution said. 'Such change totally matched the demand and the will of the people to push China forward,' the central committee report to the congress said. Deng's ideology was 'inheriting and developing' the thoughts of Mao and was 'Marxism of present-day China, representing a new stage of the development of Marxism,' Xinhua quoted the report as saying. Economic construction, political reform and spiritual civilisation construction should all centre around this [Deng's Theories],' it said. President Jiang Zemin had hinted on the constitutional change in his speech to the opening of the congress last Friday. A fifth of his 61-page speech was devoted to defining the historical status and guiding significance of Deng Xiaoping Theories. By elevating Deng Xiaoping thought to state creed status, Mr Jiang has answered criticism from ultra-leftists that China had abandoned socialism. But Mr Jiang also sought to raise his status by confirming himself as a keen follower of Deng Theories.