China has removed Stalin from its list of Communist heroes and taken a giant step toward reconciliation with Moscow.

After years of being evaluated as 70 percent good, 30 percent bad, or sometimes 60/40, the Soviet dictator, already condemned by Mikhail Gorbachev, has been decreed in China to be a man "whose image is no longer suitable for display in public places."This is the view of the newspaper Voice of Overseas Chinese, and comes less than two weeks after the annual display of Stalin's giant portrait in Peking's Central Square on National Day.

The paper condemns Stalin for "causing severe damage to the image of socialism, almost destroying the Soviet legal system, and killing a large number of talented people."

It noted the Russians are building a monument to Stalin's victims and renaming streets that once bore his name. It recommended the same alterations in the north-eastern Chinese city of Changchun where there is a Stalin Avenue.