Party keeps thoughts of Deng away from public

BEIJING has kept under wraps the many instructions issued by Deng Xiaoping since the winter for fear their publication would ignite another round of hyperinflation and instability.

Chinese sources said yesterday the General Office of the Central Committee was compiling a classified document based on the pronouncements of Mr Deng in the Shanghai area from early December to the end of February.

However, the sources said the leadership was in no hurry to disseminate the document for fear it would exacerbate divisions within the party and contradictions between the centre and the regions.

The themes of Mr Deng's edicts include ''do not be afraid to go faster [in development]''; ''when talking about development, we must have new ideas''; and ''we'll lose the opportunity if we procrastinate.'' The only official account of Mr Deng's talk in Shanghai was in a terse Xinhua (New China News Agency) dispatch on Lunar New Year's Day.

In a January 13 commentary, the Shanghai-based Liberation Daily, considered a Deng mouthpiece, assembled a number of Mr Deng's more controversial dictums.

The commentary, however, was not picked up by the national media.

More of Mr Deng's remarks were issued over the past week by the semi-official China News Service as well as the March issue of the pro-Chinese Hong Kong monthly, The Mirror. The news service and The Mirror, however, are not available to ordinary readers in China.

Both Liberation Daily and The Mirror quoted Mr Deng as saying that cadres must not be hampered by the word ''fear''.

''We must further liberate our thoughts,'' The Mirror quoted Mr Deng as saying. ''It will not do to be faint-hearted or to slow down the speed [of development].'' ''With a faster pace of development, the prospects for reform and the open door will be better. Do not be afraid. Once we become afraid, nothing can be done.'' Referring to fears raised by unnamed cadres that too fast a speed might spawn chaos, Mr Deng said: ''Just what kind of chaos will come about? I can't think of any.'' ''Whatever can be done in this century must not be left to the next,'' Mr Deng reportedly said. ''Speedy economic development is a major policy that passes the rigorous test of reason. Pudong is the dragon head [for national growth]. Its development has been delayed and I am impatient.'' Informed sources said the Politburo had decided not to publicise Mr Deng's remarks because it had already settled on a strategy of countering excessive growth, cutting inflation, and promoting stability and central authority.

They said the Politburo feared that local administrations and enterprises might cite Mr Deng's new instructions as rationale for reigniting another round of excessive investments. Instead, the Chinese media has highlighted much of Mr Deng's ''conservative'' instructions emphasising stability.