MIRROR, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest one of all? Well, when it comes to patriarch Deng Xiaoping's three daughters, the answer is Deng Rong - and that's semi-official. Mr Deng's youngest was the prettiest of his three daughters, the semi-official Hong Kong China News Agency (HKCNA) said yesterday. Painter Deng Lin looked most like her father and physicist Deng Nan held the most senior position in government, but Ms Deng Rong - who wrote the biography My Father Deng Xiaoping - won in the beauty department. The HKCNA also praised her husband, He Ping, as a man of character who had refused to bend with the wind. It said that when Ms Deng Rong was sent to labour in the Shaanxi countryside during the Cultural Revolution, Mr He - a village youth - fell in love with her even though Mr Deng was at that time being purged. However, the HKCNA report provided little detail to explain why Mr He - who apparently had little diplomatic experience - was assigned to the Chinese Embassy in the United States in 1979. It revealed that Ms Deng Rong spent four years in the US while her husband was assigned there. She studied government administration at an American university. Apart from her natural charm, the agency also praised Ms Deng Rong's ''smartness'' in acting as a ''hearing aid'' for her father. ''Deng Rong is very smart when she acts as Deng Xiaoping's hearing aid,'' the agency said. The HKCNA report also gave a fair amount of recognition to the achievements of the two elder daughters, praising their respective professional achievements. It said Ms Deng Lin was so accomplished in her art that one of her paintings fetched $600,000 at an auction in Hong Kong. And the HKCNA said Ms Deng Nan, who graduated as a physicist from Beijing University, was given the job of vice-chairman of the State Science Commission for the rich experience she had accumulated working in various government science institutes.