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It might be time for someone to read the handwriting on the Great Wall.

Western diplomats in Peking say China's foreign minister, Huang Hua, has been severely criticized for his handling of factionalism in the Foreign Ministry. The factionalism dates back to the days of the Cultural Revolution and is exemplified in incidents such as the July 30, 1982, killing of nine members of the Chinese Embassy in Mozambique by another embassy member.

Hua may eventually be replaced by Vice-Minister Wu Xueqian, reputed to be close to Party Chairman and General Secretary Hu Yaobang.m

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