CHINESE patriarch Deng Xiaoping paid a visit to Shanghai this month, a sign that the 89-year-old's health is still holding up. Chinese sources said that while in the east China metropolis the patriarch praised the city's achievements over the past three years and vowed to continue to give his support to fast-paced reforms and growth. Mr Deng, however, also expressed anxiety over ''regionalism'' and other problems, and he indicated the central authorities must re-establish their authority. Last week the patriarch was briefed on the city's latest developments from party secretary Wu Bangguo and other officials. It is believed that President Jiang Zemin also paid a brief visit to Shanghai to brief Mr Deng. According to the sources, Mr Deng expressed satisfaction that Shanghai had lived up to his instruction of ''achieving a small change every year and a major change every three years''. The patriarch indicated the city should march ahead with financial and other reforms, and that ''all obstacles to reform should be removed''. However, in a reference to opposition by various localities to the recently introduced ''dual tax system'', Mr Deng expressed worries about the rise of regionalism. Mr Deng apparently returned to Beijing this week, and according to official press reports, he ''took part'' in local legislative elections on Wednesday. Some Chinese journalists indicated in private yesterday that the patriarch had merely voted by proxy. It is understood that the Deng household had vetoed television coverage of his activities because he had difficulty walking without aid and that he looked much more frail than when he appeared in public in Shanghai in January this year.