PARAMOUNT leader Deng Xiaoping braved winds and rain to walk on a bridge in Shanghai during a recent visit to the eastern port city, showing he was in good health, a pro-Beijing newspaper reported yesterday. Mr Deng, accompanied by his daughter, inspected the Yangpu Bridge last month, the report in Wen Wei Po said. The recently-opened Yangpu bridge links old Shanghai with the Pudong district over the Huangpu river. Pudong is earmarked as a financial centre and base for high-technology industry in line with Mr Deng's vision of China as an economic superpower. ''On December 13, the venerable Deng in the company of his beloved daughter Mao Mao inspected the impressively built Yangpu Bridge,'' the report said. Mao Mao is the nickname of Mr Deng's daughter and biographer Deng Rong. ''It was drizzling that day and they could hear the winds even inside the car,'' the daily said. Despite the weather, it added, Mr Deng ''still animatedly got out of his car and walked on the bridge for 20 metres, braving the winds and rain. He stopped and viewed the scenery at times''. Mr Deng, 89, usually spends his winter in Shanghai but arrived earlier this year, the Hong Kong-based daily said. He also took a car tour of the city and visited a five-star hotel in good health on New Year's Day, Wen Wei Po continued. ''Vigorous veteran Deng, accompanied by his family members, walked steadily in the new Jinjiang Tower at about 7 pm on New Year's Day,'' said the daily. While the report said some hotel guests felt they were ''lucky'' to have witnessed the arrival of Mr Deng, the patriarch apparently did not stop to chat to any of them. Wen Wei Po added that Mr Deng toured Nanjing Road and Huaihai Road in a car to inspect the prosperity of newly-renovated areas on the route to the five-star hotel from where he could have a bird's eye view of the booming city. ''He came on the evening of January 1 with his family,'' a Jinjiang Tower hotel manager said. ''He took the elevator to the top floor for the view of Shanghai,'' the manager said. The hotel is located in the heart of the former French concession of China's largest city. ''He seemed to be in good health,'' several employees of the new five-star hotel said. The local authorities said they did not care to comment on the reports from the hotel and the newspaper.