Propagandists have increased efforts to shore up the authority of President Jiang Zemin by portraying him as a firm Marxist and disciple of Deng Xiaoping's reformist theories. Proteges of the President have also made use of the 20th anniversary of the publication of the article 'Practice is the Sole Criterion for Verifying Truth' to defend Mr Jiang, who has been attacked by hardliners for tolerating liberal intellectuals and straying from Maoist principles. The latest round of propaganda offensives comes as premier Zhu Rongji gains attention, internationally and at home, since being promoted to head the State Council. The People's Daily published a full-page article yesterday by its director, Shao Huaze, on the anniversary, reiterating it was of paramount importance to adhere to the reformist policies laid down by Deng. Mr Shao called for a 'democractic and legal environment' that would encourage party members to voice their opinions freely and guarantee members their political rights were fully respected. China could avoid many 'twists and turns' in its modernisation drive only if the country could follow the pragmatic principle set by Deng, said Mr Shao. A new book, comprising speeches and essays by Mr Jiang, will soon be published, highlighting his contribution to the building up of the Communist Party. Chronology on General Secretary Jiang's Important Deeds in Party-Building is edited by Yang Jinquan, an associate researcher from the party's policy research department. 'The book can be referred to as an historical record or a theoretical guidebook,' said Xinhua. Even Mr Jiang's brother, Jiang Zhejun, who died nine years ago, has benefited from the wave of praise for the President. The Guangming Daily yesterday published a 1983 essay by Jiang Zhejun on the Song dynasty novel The Water Margin. In a footnote, the newspaper said Jiang Zhejun, who had headed the Jiangsu Opera Troupe, was 'brilliant in his youth, very good with music, had shown deep interest in paintings and was a genius. He was the brother of General Secretary Jiang Zemin and the two of them were very close'.