PATRIARCH Deng Xiaoping is likely to spend the Lunar New Year in Shanghai, where he is expected to give another series of instructions on reform. However, a major theme of Mr Deng's instructions will be ''party construction'', or strengthening the authority of Communist Party organisations. The patriarch will also lend his prestige to fighting regionalism, which has affected the ability of central authorities to implement market reforms. Aside from Mr Deng, such senior cadres as premier Li Peng and the former member of the Politburo Standing Committee Song Ping, have recently emphasised strengthening the role of the party. As reported in the South China Morning Post last week, Mr Deng went to the Shanghai region this month to hear briefings on the economic situation by local leaders. Two Hong Kong publications yesterday reported that the patriarch had also gone to cities and resorts near Shanghai including Nanjing and Wuxi. Moreover, on his way to the south, Mr Deng had passed through Jinan and talked to leaders of Shandong. The 89-year-old patriarch also received medical attention at a military hospital at Taihu Lake near Wuxi. The publications said Mr Deng discussed improving party organisations and ''reforming the thinking'' of leading party cadres. Chinese sources said yesterday Mr Deng had spearheaded another round of a crusade centred on party construction, campaigns related to which have been waged almost every year since the Tiananmen Square crackdown. ''Comrade Xiaoping is worried that party organisations are crumbling because of the craze of doing business,'' an informed source said. ''Moreover, central party leadership is faltering and the patriarch fears that radical reforms cannot be implemented without a strong centre.'' While in Shanghai in mid-December, Mr Deng had spoken out on the need to ''remove all obstacles on the path of reform'' as well as ''cutting down on regionalism and individualism''. The patriarch also had sessions with party bosses from neighbouring cities including Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuxi, Xuzhou and Lianyungang. Following his practice of the past three years, Mr Deng is expected to stay in Shanghai until the Lunar New Year. Meanwhile, the national press yesterday quoted premier Li as calling for improved party organisations more obedience to central edicts, and the promotion of ideological and cultural progress. ''Party organisations of all levels must see to it that they bring into full play their role as a powerful fighting force and that party members play a role as vanguards and models in their work,'' Mr Li said. ''We must unify our thinking, and act in keeping with the [orders of] the party Central Committee.'' Xinhua (the New China News Agency) reported that this week, Mr Song, a conservative elder, toured Guangdong with a view to promoting ''the construction of spiritual civilisation and the party.''