Posted November. 17, 2008 03:15,
Deng Pufang, 64, the eldest son of the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, has retired as head of the China Disabled Persons` Federation after 20 years in charge.
China`s Xinhua News Agency said Thursday that he will continue to serve as the federation`s honorable chairman.
Deputy chairwoman Zhang Haidi was chosen to succeed Deng at the organizations fifth national congress. The federation represents 82 million disabled people accounting for 6.34 percent of the Chinese population.
Deng became a paraplegic in May 1968 in the midst of the Cultural Revolution. He fell from a Peking University building while being chased by Red Guards because his father was purged by then Chinese leader Mao Zedong.
Pledging to dedicate his life to the disabled, he founded the China Welfare Fund for the Disabled in 1984 and the federation four years later. He also pushed for the inclusion of mental illness as a disability in 1990 and was awarded the United Nations Human Rights Prize in 2003.
Political experts say that though he left his post because of his advanced age, he will still exert strong influence. Dengs political leverage will last for at least five years since his election in March as a vice chairman of the Chinese People`s Political Consultative Conference National Committee.