SO far the children of China's paramount leader have not created any scandals to tarnish the glory of their father, despite rumours that some already hold foreign passports. Deng's offspring have behaved well in their various capacities, keeping clean and staying low-profile, as their father has over the decades. A report carried by the August issue of Hong Kong magazine Qianshao said Deng had banned his youngest son Zhifang from travelling to Hong Kong on business because of the increasing reports that China's princelings were fattening themselves in the British enclave through their family links. But as health and age fail this great man of China, his children have become the most trusted and ready tools in his last battle against hardliners in the drive for a more open market economy. Cases of sons and daughters of top leaders making use of their fathers' names to secure power and interests have not been lacking in China. The situation got out of control from the late 70s and early 80s when China moved towards a market economy. The paramount leader has been very strict with his children, banning them from participation in politics and hoping they will become models for others to follow. So the Dengs stayed low-profile until the early 90s when age and health apparently failed their father who has been seen being supported by nurses or his daughters in public appearances. His left ear has also failed him. Since then, the younger Dengs have been looked on as the paramount leader's spokesmen on national policies and the authoritative sources for their father's wishes and whereabouts. A Chinese with ties to the leadership was once quoted as saying that the children controlled access to the ailing old man who had resigned from all his official posts and loved being with his family. ''You never know what they are telling him, or telling him to say,'' he said. The children have been Deng's emissaries for four years now and went nearly everywhere the paramount leader went during that time. The sons and daughters have also been received by foreign leaders and politicians during their trips abroad. In 1990, when Mr Deng's youngest daughter, the 44-year-old Ms Deng Rong who carries no official title but has acted as the biographer and confidential secretary to her father since 1989, went to Tokyo with Ms Yang Li, the daughter of the then President Yang Shangkun, they were received by Japanese leaders. The same can be said for the eldest son, the crippled Pufang, who is chairman of China's Disabled Person's Federation. He is received with almost head-of-state courtesy everywhere he goes. The children, especially the two daughters, Nan and Rong, are believed to have played an even more important role in the leader's persistent struggle for more rapid economic reform since 1992 when Mr Deng made his historic tour to the south. He was accompanied by his wife, grandchildren, Pufang and daughters Nan and Rong. Whenever Mr Deng goes out or meets someone, either of the two sisters is at the leader's left side, acting as a hearing aid and interpreter of their father's often indecipherable comments. It is widely believed that Ms Deng Nan, the 47-year-old physicist, wrote the script for Mr Deng in southern China when he urged faster economic liberalisation. Mr Deng's last public appearance came last February in Shanghai when people saw a thin and frail old man supported by nurses at both sides and seemingly unable to focus his eyesight. Rumours of the leader's death have popped up time and again since. And more than before, the sons and daughters have been confronted with questions about their father's health wherever and whenever they meet the media, assuring and reassuring them of a still healthy old man to stop any sign of panic. The last time the children dismissed reports of their father's health was early this month when daughter Deng Lin, a painter, was quoted by the pro-China Wen Wei Po as saying that he had no big health problem, that he played bridge, took walks and drank a little rice wine as before. Believe it or not, they are the only form of access to the still most powerful man in China. The family DENG, who is married to Zhuo Lin, has two sons and three daughters. His eldest son, Deng Pufang, crippled by Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution, is the chairman of China's Disabled Person's Federation. Deng Zhifang, the second son, is chairman of Shanghai Grand Development Co. His daughters are painter Deng Lin, biographer Deng Rong and physicist Deng Nan, a vice-chairman of the State Commission for Science and Technology.