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Deng yields his post as chief of staff

Senior Vice-Premier Deng Xiaoping, delegating some of his responsibilities, has stepped down as chief of staff of the Chinese armed forces in favor of one of the two main commanders in last year's border war with Vietnam. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said the new chief of staff is Gen. Yang Dezhi, a blacksmith's son and one-time miner who commanded the Kunming military region bordering Vietnam during the month-long war.

Diplomatic sources said the move in no way represented a lessening of Mr. Deng's power, but indicated he now felt in full enough control to delegate some of his duties.

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