PATRIARCH Deng Xiaoping is so anxious to visit Hong Kong in 1997 he would be willing to come in a wheelchair and stand on Hong Kong soil for just one minute, according to his daughter Deng Rong. Ms Deng was in Hong Kong yesterday to launch her biography, My Father, Deng Xiaoping, which is fast becoming a bestseller on the mainland, in the territory and in Taiwan. The author, who is also Mr Deng's private secretary, reiterated that her father was in good health. She said he had quit smoking four years ago but still drank a glass of Shaoxing rice-wine every day. ''He has no serious [health] problems. He used to make jokes at us [his children] because I am the one who is always sick,'' she said. ''You can see he is in very good health from the photographs,'' she said, referring to four pictures of the patriarch displayed at the exhibition hall of Hong Kong's Joint Publishing Bookshop. One of the pictures, taken a day after Deng turned 89 on August 22, shows a jovial but frail man posing beside a vase of 89 red roses. Ms Deng, 43, confirmed, however, that the patriarch had for the first time in many years cancelled a visit to the beach resort of Beidahe this summer on his doctor's advice. He still wished to visit Hong Kong in 1997. ''He has made it clear many times that he would very much want to come to Hong Kong when this piece of land reverts to Chinese rule in 1997 - even if he has to come in a wheelchair,'' she said. ''[He said] it would be nice if [he could] stand here - even for just one minute.'' She appealed to the Taiwan authorities to let the biography circulate freely on the island. ''I hope that the people in Taiwan would be able to read this book,'' she said. ''I sincerely hope that our compatriots who grew up in Taiwan would be able to read this book so that they can learn more about the mainland, more about this new chapter of the Chinese race,'' she said. ''If this book draws any attention at all, it is because the person it depicted represents a very important chapter in the history of modern China,'' Ms Deng said. When asked whether she had any plans to visit Taiwan to promote her book, Ms Deng said: ''Of course, I would be very happy if I can travel to Taiwan to visit my friends. But I am not even sure whether Taiwan would allow me to go there.'' Despite Ms Deng's optimism, Taiwan authorities have yet to give its final approval of the sale of the 348-page biography although the official launch in the country was scheduled for today. Wei Cheng-kuang, director of Global Publishing in Taiwan, said retailers had sold about 3,000 copies of the biography despite the lack of official approval. He confirmed his company might be fined for the sales but claimed that any actions against publication could damage the Taiwan Government's open image in the international community. Ms Deng said she might have to spend the next two years finishing the second part of the biography. Asked about Mr Deng's opinion of the biography, she said: ''My father is a man with few words. He seldom praises us for anything. I dare not ask him his opinions of the book.''