China has vented its animosity toward Mikhail Gorbachev publicly for the first time, accusing the former Soviet leader of plunging his country into "chaos."Mr. Gorbachev's policies of " 'new thinking,' 'glasnost,' and 'political pluralism' have brought political chaos, ethnic strife, and economic crisis," the official New China News Agency said Wednesday hours before Gorbachev's resignation. Hinting at the private sympathy of China's hard-liners for like-minded Soviet leaders, the agency blamed Gorbachev indirectly for last August's coup: "The abandoning of socialism further shocked the society and touched off the Aug. 19 event." China's orthodox Marxists began attacking Gorbachev as a "traitor" to international communism in internal documents soon after East Europe began casting off communist rule in late 1989. But until now, they refrained from publicly criticizing the man who normalized Sino-Soviet ties with a May 1989 visit to Beijing, ending 30 years of hostility between the communist giants.

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