DENG Xiaoping has promises to keep, and quite a few leaps forward to take before he goes to sleep. The People's Daily last week quoted Mr Deng's assessment of Chairman Mao Zedong: ''We should not go overboard in criticising the mistakes made by comrade Mao Zedong. Negating such a great historical figure would lead to confusion of thought and politicalinstability. We can't jettison our grand ancestor.'' The patriarch was talking about himself much more than the Great Helmsman. In spite of the strides taken towards the market economy, 1993 remains an unsatisfactory year in many ways. To ensure his place in history, Mr Deng - and the mainstream faction that he leads - must in 1994 make amends on the following 10 scores. Anti-corruption: The patriarch has repeatedly said if the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) should fail, it would not be because of outside threats but ''internal atrophy through corruption''. Internal party documents said after a series of high-level investigation teams were sent out to various departments and localities in October, Beijing would publicise the names of the ''tigers'', or major offenders, before the end of the year. So far, no cadre with the rank of vice-minister or above has been nabbed. The ''tigers'' that have been paraded as evidence of Beijing's commitment to fighting graft, such as the head of the police department of Guizhou Province, Guo Zhengmin, are merelymid-echelon officials and relatively small-time felons. Financial discipline: Mr Deng and the top leadership have continued to allow - and to contribute to - political interference in economic policy. The patriarch's insistence on a high growth model was one reason behind Beijing's premature end of the austerity programme in late September. The CCP leadership lacks both the nerve and the clout to put down the protests from regional warlords and powerful red capitalists, many of whom are offspring of party elders. Latest projections say currency in circulation this year will grow by at least 35 per cent. Inflation is tipped to significantly worsen, given the new scramble among localities to pursue a double-digit growth rate. At the start of the retrenchment drive in late June, economic czar Zhu Rongji asked local administrations and enterprises that had taken ''illegal or improper'' loans from the banking system to return the funds by August 15. In September, the deadline was extended to the end of the year. It has now been completely forgotten. Farmers: After a spate of 200-odd disturbances in the countryside last winter, the leadership promised peasants a better deal. Some taxes and levies were curtailed. Vice-Premier Zhu reportedly said he would ''chop off the heads'' of officials who dared to pay farmers with IOUs instead of cash. However, peasants are still being short-changed by officials. And the practice of both IOUs and ''green IOUs'' (banks or post offices giving out acknowledgement slips instead of cashing remittances sent from cities to the countryside) has continued in many counties. Workers: Last week, the All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) dispatched 10 ''consolation teams'' to hand out 3.45 million yuan (about HK$4.48 million) to the neediest workers in 30 provinces and cities. The ACFTU also vowed to investigate malpractices behind the alarming increase in industrial accidents, including the fire in a Shenzhen factory last month that killed 84. However, inflation is such that workers without a second job are finding it difficult to make ends meet. And Beijing has yet to enact a labour law guaranteeing workers' basic welfare and privileges, including the right to strike. Teachers: Officials admit that individual provinces have owed teachers pay cheques of more than 100 million yuan. Funds for salaries and benefits were earlier this year used by many local authorities for speculation in real estate. Provinces including Anhui, Inner Mongolia and Sichuan have recently vowed to clear up the debts before year's end. However, the future of most teachers remains bleak. The Deng Cult: Perhaps the worst political mistake of the year is the feverish construction of the Deng cult, which is now comparable to the personality worship of Mao. This is despite Mr Deng's claim that he would never approve of the deification of any leader. The Third Volume of the New Helmsman's Selected Works has been elevated to the status of Mao's Little Red Book. The Deng cult makes it even more difficult for the CCP to plan for a smooth transition. Leftists: Mr Deng has failed to deliver on his promise of shoving aside the remnant Maoists, who still maintain a stranglehold over key ideological and propaganda departments. The patriarch also allowed the ultra radicals to take advantage of the celebration of the centenary of Mao's birth to restore Maoist values, such as blind allegiance to the Helmsman. Somewhat self-servingly, Mr Deng urged his aides, including President Jiang Zemin, to turn the pro-Mao festivities into indoctrination sessions on how ''the best way to honour Mao is to carry out Deng Thought''. Political reform: Leaders, including President Jiang and Premier Li Peng, have this year reiterated that Beijing will carry out political reform in tandem with economic liberalisation. Yet political reform as understood in the West has been frozen since the June 4, 1989 crackdown. Instead, the CCP has indulged in tokenisms such as allowing members of non-Communist parties to take part in corruption-related investigations or to join state leaders on overseas trips. Dissidents: Prisoners of conscience keep being used as pawns in the diplomatic game, particularly in Beijing's ''struggle'' against the American House of Representatives. Suppression of underground political organisations and the non-violent expression of political opinion remains harsh. Analysts expect the treatment of dissidents to be tougher next year given Beijing's belief that Western countries, including the United States, are now putting the 1.13 billion-people market way before China's human rights record. Information blackout: The party has taken a big leap backward in the vital arena of freedom of the press and of expression. President Jiang and the crypto-Maoist propaganda chief Ding Guan'gen - who was once Mr Deng's bridge partner - have issued numerous gag orders on the nation's media. In the summer, Beijing banned the installation of satellite dishes by individual households and work units, even though the proscription is impossible to enforce. Harassment of Hong Kong and foreign journalists, as well as their Chinese sources, has been stepped up. No action has been taken on a law on journalism and publication, which has been stalled since the mid-80s.