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China's Deputy Premier Deng Xiaoping, who led a high-level visit to the US in 1979, appears to be gaining in a power struggle with Chairman Hua Guofeng. Specialists cite three bits of evidence which point to a decline of Chairman Hua's clout:

* The late Kang Sheng, who headed China's secret police for many years, has been criticized for the first time by name. The criticism, by Hu Yaobang, a protege of Deng, could reflect on Hua who was minister of public security during Kang's later years.

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* Volume five of Mao's collected works, published in 1977 under Hua's editorship, will soon be said to contain errors.

* Chairman Hua is expected to give up his other job, the premiership, next month; he will probably be replaced by Zhao Ziyang, another Deng protege. Although Hua will still be party chairman, an increasing share of the party's work has already been transferred to Deng's backer, Hu.

Even after Deng's own forthcoming retirement, he is expected to continue pulling the strings from behind the scenes.m

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