A LEADING sinologist predicts that the Chinese Communist Party will eventually ultimately disappear following the death of patriarch Deng Xiaoping. Professor Roderick MacFarquhar of history and political science at Harvard University argues that the 89-year-old leader will be the last one who is able to calling the shots in the ruling party and the Army. Speaking at an Asia Society seminar in Hong Kong yesterday, he said he did not see another leader with the same standing of Mr Deng to emerge after his death. ''The Communist Party, in my view as an organisation with legitimacy has already died,'' he said. ''It is kept in place because it has power and because Deng Xiaoping is someone who can command the military and the party . . . and when he goes, the people who follow him will not have this authority.'' Professor MacFarquhar said a more pluralistic society would gradually emerge in China because the basic institutional structure which had kept the Chinese Communist Party in place had been undermined by the communist leaders themselves. ''I think in China in 25 years' time, we will see some form of pluralistic society, some form of representative government. What form it will take? I don't know. ''But it will not be a society led the Chinese Communist Party either in name or behind some other disguise as it has happened in the ex-Soviet republics,'' he said. Professor MacFarquhar said the process of replacement of the present political system had already started and it would be accelerated by the death of Mr Deng. However, he said Mr Deng's death would not trigger chaos in Hong Kong unless the post-Deng Xiaoping struggle turned destructive, such as with a civil war. When asked who would be likely to succeed Mr Deng after his death, Professor MacFarquhar said he did not rule out the possibility of a political comeback of the disgraced party chief Zhao Ziyang, though not necessarily as the successor of Mr Deng. He added that General Liu Huaqing, a vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission would be a powerful figure in the succession process if the army continued to play an important role in the ruling echelon.