Hardliners lose out in China poll

PEKING (Reuter) - Leading Chinese propaganda officials who tried to sabotage reform have lost out in elections to a crucial Communist Party congress and could be dumped altogether, sources said.

They said that hardline left-wingers who maintained firm control of the media, literature and the arts after the Tiananmen Square massacre in June 1989 had failed as candidates to the important 14th Party Congress, due to be held later this year.

Chief among them is Deng Liqun, who became so powerful after the 1989 killings of pro-democracy demonstrators in Peking that he was dubbed the party's 'underground general-secretary'. He is a member of the Central Advisory Commission, and guides propaganda work from behind the scenes. Three of his followers also failed to win endorsement in recent party elections. Among them was Gao Di, director of the People's Daily, the party mouthpiece.

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