BEIJING (AP) _ Denise Ly-Lebreton, who helped edit the French editions of the works of Mao Tse-tung and other Chinese Communist Party leaders, has died. She was 86.

Ly-Lebreton died Wednesday following an unspecified illness in Beijing, where she lived since 1953, China's official Xinhua news agency reported Monday.

The Xinhua report praised Ly-Lebreton as ``a friend of China,'' a term once reserved for foreigners whose service was recognized as useful by China's leaders.

Born in Paris in 1909, Ly-Lebreton married Li Fengbai, a Chinese student in France in 1931.

After moving to Beijing, she worked in the French section of the official Foreign Languages Press until her death. She took part in editing the works of Mao, his long-serving Premier Zhou Enlai and others.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday at the Babaoshan Cemetery for Revolutionary Martyrs, where her ashes will be interred.