A former Chinese Red Guard leader says it won't be long before China's Communist Party disintegrates.

"When it happens, it will happen quickly," said Fulang Lo, who headed one of the largest Red Guard groups, a Chinese Communist youth movement militantly supporting Mao in the late 1960's, in Szechuan, China. "But nobody can predict when the change will occur."Lo also predicted that China's economy will deteriorate even further and that government officials involved last June in the massacre in Tiananmen Square - and the subsequent crackdown on freedom and persecution of students and other reformers - will not go unpunished.

"They will all pay for what they have done, for what they have done is a very serious crime," she said.

The prediction came against a backdrop of domestic discontent over political repression and economic uncertainties and growing pressure from abroad on China's hard-line leaders following the collapse of communism in much of the world.

And although China's leadership has sworn to cling to communism, Lo believes the Communist Party will be destroyed by the people even if it takes more bloodshed and killings.

"The government is pretending to be kind to the victims of last year's unrest, but they are being hypocritical. This will not last forever because the people want justice done."

Lo spoke Tuesday night during a Bonneville Knife & Fork Club gathering in the Little America Hotel.

Lo, the daughter of intellectuals, said she came to Salt Lake City to educate Utahns about the plight of the Chinese people. She said she also came to promote her autobiographical novel, "Morning Breeze."

The novel, published in 1988, and chosen by the New York Public Library as one of 1990's outstanding books for teenagers, is an account of what life was like under Mao Tse-tung's cultural revolution.

The book depicts Lo's teenage years as she was caught up in the turmoil of a nation seeking an answer to centuries of repression and injustice.

Lo had just completed high school and was about to enter university when the Cultural Revolution broke out in 1966 and she became a devout admirer of Mao. She taught Chinese, English, music and art to peasant children. She also became a self-taught "barefoot doctor" in the countryside.

Lo emigrated to the United States in 1985 as a visiting scholar. She said she considers herself a "dissident" and participates in all the demonstrations held in Washington against China's Communist Party.

"I'm on the people's side. I feel this is every Chinese citizen's obligation, to do something for our country. Specially here where you learn what democracy and freedom really mean."

Lo, who has a husband, a daughter, two sisters, three brothers, and parents in China, says the only way she can communicate with them is through "codes."

She said several Chinese dissidents who have sought protection in the United States are faced with the dilemma of being separated from their loved ones. She said she has tried to bring her husband here but the government would only allow his departure if their only daughter stayed behind. "They tried to keep her in China as a hostage. I feel very frustrated. I can write letters, but you can't write true feelings. They check everything. There's no freedom in China."