Chronology of Modern China


7 February: Death of Emperor Qianlong. Emperor Jiaqing assumes power.

February: Hoshen is ordered to commit suicide, his family holdings are confiscated.



China’s population reaches 300 million. Under the Canton system, private trade in Canton rises by 44 percent since 1780.



Establishment of Nguyen dynasty in Annam by pro-Confucian emperor Gia-long.



The White Lotus Rebellion is suppressed.



February: Lord Amherst leads a mission to China.



25 July: Death of Emperor Jiaqing. Emperor Daoguang ascends the throne. China still enjoys surplus in foreign trade. China’s
importation of opium increases. There are 1 million opium addicts in China.



December: Lord William John Napier is appointed chief superintendent of the British trade in China. Lord Napier leads a mission
to China.



May: Xu Naiqi memorializes the emperor, suggesting that the court legalize the opium trade.

September: Emperor Daoguang orders abolition of the opium trade.



The Qing court debates the legalization of the opium trade again.

December: Lin Zexu is appointed imperial commissioner to put down the opium trade.



Opium imports to China reach 40,000 chests.



10 May: Lin Zexu arrives in Canton. Chinese opium dealers are arrested and opium houses are destroyed. Charles Elliot orders the

Chronology British traders to surrender their stocks of opium.

4 June: Lin Zexu destroys tons of opium in Humen, Guangdong.



January: The Indian government issues a declaration of war against China on behalf of the British Crown.

August: The British Expedition troops reach Tianjin and the court sues for peace.



January: Imperial commissioner Qishan signs the Qunbi Convention with Elliot, but the emperor refuses to ratify it. The war

27 May: Canton Convention.

29 May: Villagers attack the British troops at Sanyuanli.



18 March: Lin Zexu exiled to Kuldya.

29 August: Treaty of Nanjing, ceding Hong Kong to Great Britain.



June: Hong Xiuquan is exposed to Christian readings.

18 October: Supplementary Treaty of the Bogue.



Publication of Wei Yuan’s Illustrated Treatise on the Maritime Kingdoms (Haiguo Tuzhi).

3 July: Sino-American Treaty of Wangxia. Li-Fournier Agreement between China and France on the issue of Vietnam.



June: Sino-French Treaty.



9 March: Death of Emperor Daoguang. Emperor Xianfeng ascends the throne.

September: Taiping Rebellion begins. Henry Sherman founds North China Herald in Shanghai.



1 January: Taipings win a major victory at Guiping, Guangxi Province.

11 January: Hong Xiuquan declares himself Heavenly King.

26August: Sino-Russian Treaty of Kuldya, opening Xinjiang to Russian trade.



November: Outbreak of the Nian Rebellion.



29 March: Taipings take Nanjing and make it the capital of the Taiping Kingdom.

8 September: The Small Sword Society revolts in Shanghai. The Maritime Customs Committee (later Imperial Maritime Customs Service) is established.



17 June: The Triads revolt in Guangdong.

23 June: Three foreign inspectors are appointed to collect Shanghai customs.

November: Talks on treaty revision in Tianjin, and the court refuses to accept foreign proposals.



May: Final destruction of the Taiping northern expedition.

August: Yellow River changes its course, causing 7 million refugees.



September: Power struggle and massacres among Taiping leaders.

October: Shi Dakai’s troops are forced to flee. The Arrow War breaks out.



July: Muslim rebels under Ma Hualong rise in Yunnan.

29 December: Canton taken by British and French troops.



May: The court refuses the British, French, Russian, and American demands. Dagu falls to foreign forces. Treaty of Aigun,
ceding the north bank of the Amur to Russia.

June: Treaty of Tianjin signed with the British, French, Russians, and Americans.



September: Prince Gong is ordered to negotiate with Great Britain and France. The emperor flees.

October: To reaffirm and upgrade the treaty of Tianjin, the British and French storm Beijing and burn the Old Summer Palace.

November: In the convention with the Russians, China cedes all territory east of the Usuli River.



11 March: Establishment of the Zongli Yamen.

22 August: Death of Emperor Xianfeng. Tongzhi ascends the throne.

5 September: The Taipings defeated in the decisive battle in Anqing.

November: Dowager Empress Cixi becomes the co-regent.

December: Zeng Guofan sets up an arsenal in Anhui. Publication of the Chinese edition of North China Daily News.



10 February: Li Xiucheng is defeated by Frederick Townsend Ward’s “Ever Victorious Army.” The court decides to make large orders of foreign arms.

1 March: The leader of the Southern Muslim rebels, Ma Hualong, surrenders and is executed. The northwestern Muslims revolt after two weeks.

3 June: Li Hongzhang defeats the Taipings with foreign help in Shanghai.

11 July: Tongwenguan (foreign languages school) opens and departments of mathematics and astronomy are added in later years.

December: Sino-French treaty imposed on Annam.



January: British officers are allowed to serve in Qing military forces. Robert Hart is appointed general inspector of the Imperial Maritime Customs Service.

13 June: Shi Dakai surrenders and is executed two months later.

4 December: Li Hongzhang executes the leaders of the surrendered Taipings in Suzhou.



2 June: Li Hongzhang memorializes the emperor asking for investigation of Western machinery. Xinjiang Muslim rebellion.

19 July: Fall of Nanjing; the Taiping Kingdom collapses.



27 January: William A. P. Martin’s translation of Elements of International Law presented to the emperor.

April: Establishment of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

September: Establishment of the Jiangnan Arsenal and Canton Textile Mill.

18 December: Oil lamps are installed for street lighting on Nanjing Road in Shanghai.



25 September: Zuo Zongtang is sent to Shaanxi and Gansu to suppress the Muslim rebellion.

26 November: New appointment of Li Hongzhang, commanding the Xiang and Huai armies.



May: Establishment of the Jinlin Arsenal in Nanjing.

21 November: Burlingame Mission leaves.



5 January: East Nian Rebellion is extinguished in Jiangsu Province.

18 January: Fuzhou dockyard begins operation. Jiangnan Arsenal begins production.

16 August: West Nian Rebellion is extinguished in Shandong Province.



21 June: Tianjin Massacre.

8 November: Yakub Beg takes Turfan.



Shenbao is founded in Shanghai.

12 May: First Chinese students leave for the United States.

3 June: Undersea cable from Shanghai to London completed.

4 July: Russian troops occupy Yili.

14 December: Yunnan Muslim rebellion is suppressed.



23 February: Emperor Tongzi assumes power from the regents.

14 June: Establishment of the China Merchant Steamship Navigation Company.

4 November: Zuo Zongtang puts down the Muslim rebellion in Gansu.



Young J. Allen founds Globe Magazine in Shanghai.

15 March: Franco-Vietnamese Treaty of Saigon, establishing French sovereignty over Cochin China.



12 January: Death of Emperor Tongzhi at the age of 18; Emperor Guangxu, aged five, ascends the throne, and Cixi serves as the
co-regent again.

28 August: China’s first ambassador, Guo Songtao, is sent to Great Britain.



1 July: The first Chinese railroad, the Shanghai–Wuson line, is constructed (and soon dismantled).

13 September: Shenfu Convention.



4 April: Japan annexes the Liuqiu (Ryukyu).

2 October: Chong Hou signs the Treaty of Livadia with Russia, ceding considerable territory to Russia.



19 February: China renounces the Treaty of Livadia.

5 September: Lanzhou woolen mill starts production.



12 February: Treaty of St. Petersburg replaces the Treaty of Livadia.

14 February: Establishment of the Kaiping Coal Mines. The first commercial railway, the Tangshan–Xugezhuang line, is completed,
serving coal mines and their outlets to the sea.



22 March: Kuldya is handed back to China.

May: U.S. Congress approves the Chinese Exclusion Act, suspending immigration by Chinese laborers, which lasts for over 60 years.

20 December: China and France agree on the independence of Annam.



19 May: The Black Flags defeat the French.

October– November: Debate on policy toward French actions in Indo-China.



May: Li Hongzhang tries to sign a treaty with France, but fighting continues.

July: Taiwan becomes a full province; Liu Mingchuan is appointed first governor.



9 June: Sino-French Treaty. October: John Fryer founds the Shanghai Polytechnic Institute.



1 January: Burma becomes part of British India but continues to send tribute to China.



11 June: Zhang Zidong founds the Western-style Guangya Academy. Kang Youwei writes The Book of Universal Commonwealth
(Datong Shu).



March: The British destroy Tibetan positions at Lingtu.
September: British troops occupy Xigang Province.

17 December: Li Hongzhang creates the Beiyang fleet.



4 March: Emperor Guangxu assumes power.

April: Zhang Zhidong proposes railway from Beijing to Hankou. Rice riots in Fujian.



4 December: Establishment of the Hangyang Iron and Steel Works. Zhang Zhidong moves the Guangzhou Arsenal to Wuhan,
renamed as the Hangyang Arsenal.



Publication of Kang Youwei’s The Forged Classics of Xin.April: Several conflicts between Chinese and Christian missionaries occur in Yangzhou (1 April), Wuhu (3 April), Danyang (25 April), Yichang (28 April), and Wuxue (29 April).



March: The Tonghak Rebellion in Korea; Chinese troops are sent to Korea at the request of the Korean king.

June: A Japanese army is sent to Seoul.

1 August: Outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War.

17 September: The Beiyang fleet is destroyed by the Japanese navy.

24 November: Sun Yat-sen founds the Revive China Society in Honolulu.



17 April: Treaty of Shimonoseki. Triple intervention.

2 June: Japan occupies Taiwan.

26October: Sun Yat-sen’s first abortive uprising in Guangzhou. Alicia Archibald Little founds the Natural-Foot Society in Shanghai.



2 June: The secret Sino-Russian treaty of alliance.

5 June: First railway concession is offered to France.

15 June: Big Sword Society attacks Chinese Christians. October: Sun Yat-sen is kidnapped in London. Qing court sets up the General Railway Company.

12 November: Qing court decides to set up a Western-style bank.



12 June: France begins to build a railway from Annam to Yunan and obtains mining rights en route.

14 November: Germany occupies Jiaozhou Bay, Shandong. Publication of Yan Fu’s translation of T. H. Huxley’s Evolution and Ethics. Publication of Kang Youwei’s A Study of Confucius on Institutional Reform. French concession in Shanghai begins to use electricity for street lighting. The first Society for Women Studies is established in Shanghai.



Imperial University of the Capital is founded. Li Yun founds Nüxue Bao in Shanghai.

24January: Kang Youwei discusses the reform with the Zongli Yamen.

27 March: China leases Lushun and Dalian to Russia.

April: France secures the lease of Guangzhou Bay.

3 June: The court approves a 99-year lease of Kowloon to Great Britain.

11 June: The Hundred Day Reform is initiated.

21 September: The reform aborts; Emperor Guangxu is put under house arrest. Cixi resumes the regency. Kang Youwei flees.

28 September: Tan Sitong and five other leading reformers are executed.



1 June: Russia obtains the right to build a railway north of Beijing. Germany is to build one from Jinan to Tianjin.

6 September: The Open Door Policy note is sent to the Treaty Powers by the United States. The Boxers begin to attack churches and Christian converts.



13 June: Boxers enter Beijing. Siege of foreign legations.

19 June: The court declares war on the eight powers. Von Ketteler, the German minister, is killed.

3 July: A second Open Door note proposes the territorial integrity of China.

16 July: Incident of the Amur River; Russia invades Manchuria.

14 August: The Allies enter Beijing. Cixi flees.

22 October: Sun Yat-sen’s second abortive uprising in Huizhou, Guangdong Province.



January: The Xinzheng Reform is initiated.

21April: Dowager Cixi ordered to form a new government. Suppression of the Boxers.

7 September: Boxer Protocol.



The court urges abolition of footbinding and legalization of intermarriage between Chinese and Manchus.


May: Publication of Zou Rong’s The Revolutionary Army.
June: The Qing court bans the Subao and arrests Zhang Binglin and Zou Rong. 1 July: British expedition troops reach Lhasa.



8 February: The Russo-Japanese War breaks out in China.

15 May: Tibet declares war on Great Britain.

3 August: British troops occupy Lhasa.

23 October: Huang Xing leads an uprising in Hunan.



3 June: Zuo Rong dies in jail. June: Merchants in four cities boycott American goods to protest American discrimination against Chinese laborers. July: Chinese Eastern Railway is completed.

30 July: Sun Yat-sen forms the Chinese United League (Tongmenghui) in Tokyo. The Qing court sends a mission abroad to study foreign constitutions. Abolition of the Civil Service Examination system.

5 September: Treaty of Portsmouth.



Yuan Shikai founds the Beiyang Military Academy in Tianjin.

April: Jing–Han Railway is completed.

September: The Qing court announces a constitutional reform.

6 November: The Six Boards are replaced by 11 modern ministries.

December: Two republican uprisings in Jiangxi and Hunan are suppressed.



F ebruary–November: Six republican uprisings in Guangdong and one in Anhui are launched but fail to topple the Qing regime in
south China.

15 July: Tongmenghui uprisings in Anhui and Zhejiang are suppressed; Qiu Jin is executed.

20 September: The court orders the establishment of provincial assemblies.



13 January: The Tianjin–Pukou Railway is to be constructed with the Deutsche Asiatische Bank’s loan.

6 March: A mass boycott of Japanese goods is staged. Contract with Great Britain for a loan to build the Shanghai–Hangzhou–Ningbo Railway.

14–15 November: Death of Emperor Guangxu and Dowager Cixi.

2 December: Accession of Puyi (Emperor Xuantong, the last emperor).



1 January: China regains control of the Beijing–Hankou Railway from Belgium. Provincial assemblies meet.

December: Qing troops are dispatched to Tibet.



12 February: An uprising in Guangzhou is put down.

23 May: Formation of an international consortium to handle loans to China.

4 July: A secret treaty between Russia and Japan divides their spheres of interests in Manchuria.

18 December: The Qing court refuses to establish a responsible cabinet government.



30 January: Nationalist rising in Guangzhou is suppressed, with 86 revolutionaries killed.

9 May: Edict on nationalization of China’s railways.

17 June: The Railway Protection League is set up in Sichuan.

September: Jin–Pu Railway is completed.

10 October: Wuchang Uprising takes place; Qing dynasty collapses.

25 December: Sun Yat-sen returns from abroad.



1 January: Official proclamation of the Republic. Provincial President Sun Yat-sen recognizes all Chinese treaties with the Powers,
promising to protect foreign interests.

12 February: The emperor abdicates.

13 February: Yuan Shikai declares support for the Republic; Sun resigns in favor of Yuan.

13March: Tang Shaoyi becomes the first prime minister.

2 April: The senate decides to make Beijing the capital.

5 May: British troops move into Tibet.

10August: A general election is held.

27 August: The National Library of Peking is opened to the public.

3 November: Russia recognizes the independence of Mongolia; China protests.



20 March: Song Jiaoren is assassinated.

April: Yuan Shikai negotiates the “reorganization loan” from the Five Power Consortium.

July–September: The Second Revolution.

10 October: Yuan is formally inaugurated as president.

4 November: Yuan orders the dissolution of the Nationalist Party.

26November: Yuan orders the replacement of the National Assembly by his Political Council.



1 May: Yuan Shikai promulgates the Constitutional Compact.

3 July: Simla Convention establishes autonomy for Tibet but China refuses to ratify it.

28 July: Outbreak of World War I.

29 December: Yuan issues the Presidential Election Law.



Gingling College for Women is founded. January: The Twentyone Demands proposed by Japan.

9 May: The National Humiliation Day when Yuan Shikai accepts the Twenty-one Demands.

August: The Peace-Planning Society is organized.

15 September: Chen Duxiu creates the journal New Youth in Shanghai.

13 December: Yuan restores the monarchy and declares that his new reign will start next year.

25 December: Yunnan declares independence. Cai E organizes the National Protection Army.

27 December: Guizhou declares independence.



1 January: Yuan Shikai’s reign, Glorious Constitution (Hongxian), starts.

22 March: Yuan is forced to abandon monarchy and the “Glorious Constitution.”

March–May: More provinces declare independence.

6 June: Death of Yuan Shikai; Vice President Li Yuanhong succeeds as president.



January: Hu Shih advocates literary reform in New Youth magazine.

1 July: Abortive coup by Zhang Xun to restore Puyi to the throne.

10 September: Sun Yat-sen establishes a military government at Guangzhou, serving as generalissimo.

7 November: The Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.

10 November: War between the northern and southern warlords begins.



A pril: Publication of Lu Xun’s A Madman’s Diary.

May: The local military leaders begin to control the Guangdong military government and Sun Yat-sen leaves Guangzhou.

August: Chinese troops are involved in the Allied intervention in Siberia.

15 October: Publication of Li Dazhao’s Victory of Bolshevism.



A pril: Publication of a translation of The Communist Manifesto.

May: Li Dazhao publishes “My Marxist Views” in New Youth.

4 May: The May Fourth Movement, a popular protest against the resolution of the Paris Conference on the Shandong issue. The New Culture Movement gains momentum.

4 May–11 June: John Dewey lectures in China.

28 June: Chinese delegation refuses to sign the Treaty of Versailles.

10 October: Sun Yat-sen’s Gemingdang (Revolutionary Party) becomes the Guomindang (Nationalist Party, GMD).

December: The Society for the Study of Socialism is founded at Peking University.



March: Ministry of Education adopts baihuawen (vernacular Chinese) as the language of textbooks.

May: Under the influence of Grigori Naumovich Voitinsky of the Comintern, Chen Duxiu and others secretly plan to form the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

14 July: War between the Anhui and Zhili cliques. The Fengtian clique assists the Zhili.



5 May: Sun Yat-sen is named extraordinary president.

1 July: First Congress of the CCP. Chen Duxiu is elected general secretary of the CCP.

6 July: The China Labor Union secretariat is set up in Shanghai.

October: Publication of Liang Shuming’s The Cultures of East and West and Their Philosophies. The Washington Conference opens.

December: Sun Yat-sen lectures on Three Principles of People. Publication of Lu Xun’s The True Story of Ah-Q.



13 January: The Hong Kong seamen’s strike begins.

3 February: Sun Yat-sen initiates the Northern Expedition.

26 February: General strike in Hong Kong.

28 April: The First Zhili-Fengtian War begins.

May: Peng Bai leads a peasant movement in Haifeng and Lufeng, Guangdong Province.

16 June: Chen Jiongming attacks Guangzhou and Sun Yat-sen takes refuge on a gunboat.

July: The Second Congress of the CCP concludes with the resolution on the united front with the Nationalist Party (GMD).

22August: Sun Yat-sen reorganizes the GMD and allows Communists to join it.

13 September: Li Lisan and Liu Shaoqi lead the Anyuan Miners Strike.



26 January: The Sun-Joffe Manifesto. 3 June: The Third Congress of the CCP reasserts the united front with the GMD. 6
October: Michael Markovich Borodin of the Comintern arrives to serve as Sun Yat-sen’s adviser.



3 May: Sun Yat-sen appoints Chiang Kai-shek as commandant of the Whampoa Military Academy and commander in chief of the
Nationalist forces.

1 September: The Second Zhili-Fengtian War begins.

21 November: Duan Qirui convenes the Aftermath Conference.

31 December: Sun Yat-sen arrives in Beijing for the Aftermath Conference.



12 March: Death of Sun Yat-sen.

30 May: The May Thirtieth Incident with nine Chinese killed.

20 August: Assassination of Liao Zhongkai, leader of the left wing of the GMD.

23 November: The Western Hill Group is formed.



January: The Hunan Peasant Movement begins.

20 January: The Zhongshan incident.

1 July: Chiang orders the Northern Expedition to begin.



January: The GMD headquarters moves the capital to Wuhan.

March: Publication of Mao Zedong’s Report on the Peasant Movement in Hunan.

22 March: Shanghai falls to the GMD.

12 April: Chiang Kai-shek attacks and eliminates the Communist-led workers’ pickets in Shanghai.

1 August: The CCP forms its first military force and launches an unsuccessful uprising in Nanchang.

7 August: An emergency conference of the CCP Politburo at Hankou makes radical changes in leadership and strategy.

8 September: Mao Zedong leads the Autumn Harvest Uprising and retreats to Jinggangshan.

11–13 December: The Canton Commune.



28February: The Haifeng and Lufeng Soviets are suppressed.

28 April: Li Dazhao is executed in Beijing.

June–July: The Sixth Congress of the CCP is held in Moscow.

10 October: The Nationalist government is formed under the New Organic Law; Chiang Kai-shek is elected chairman of the government in Nanjing. Beijing is renamed Beiping.



10 February: Mao Zedong establishes a base of the Jiangxi Soviet.

30April: Chiang Kai-shek defeats the Guangxi warlords. June: The Nationalist government unifies China’s weights and measures to the metric system.



February–November: Following the Lisan Route, the Communist military campaigns end in disaster.

October: Chiang Kaishek defeats warlords Feng Yuxiang, Yan Xishan, and Li Zongren.

5 November: Chiang launches the first Encirclement and Suppression Campaign against the Communists.

18November: Mao Zedong’s wife, Yang Kaihui, is executed by the GMD.

8 December: Futian Incident. 27 December: First Encirclement Campaign is defeated.



16–30 May: Second Encirclement Campaign.

18 September: The Manchuria Incident. China’s nonresistance policy.

29 December: Japan occupies the whole of Manchuria.



28 January: Japan attacks Shanghai and meets strong resistance by the 19th Route Army.

9 March: Establishment of Manchukuo with Puyi as “the chief executive.”

18 June: Fourth Encirclement Campaign begins.



January: The Central Committee of the CCP moves from Shanghai to the Jiangxi Soviet. The Twenty-eight Bolsheviks control
power and Mao Zedong loses influence in the party and the Red Army.

March: Fourth Encirclement Campaign is defeated.

29 April: Japan invades north China.

31 May: Tangu Truce is signed.

2 June: The land reform campaign begins in the Red Army–controlled areas.

6 October: Fifth Encirclement Campaign begins. Inner Mongolia declares autonomy.



19 February: Chiang Kai-shek initiates the New Life Movement.

1 March: Puyi is crowned in Manchukuo by the Japanese.

April: Yue–Han Railway is completed.

16 October: Chiang Kai-shek’s Fifth Encirclement and Suppression Campaign ejects the Red Army from the Jiangxi Soviet and forces it on the Long March.



6–8 January: Zunyi Conference. Mao Zedong becomes the de facto top leader of the CCP.

30 June: The Ho-Umezu Agreement is signed.

26 October: Mao and the Central Red Army arrive in Shanbei; the Long March ends.

9 December: The Communists lead the December Ninth Movement in Beijing against Japanese aggression.



19 October: Death of Lu Xun.

December: Communists move to Yan’an.

12 December: The Xi’an Incident: Zhang Xueliang forces Chiang Kai-shek to stop the civil war.



7 July: The Marco Polo Bridge Incident triggers the War of Resistance against Japan.

25 September: Lin Biao defeats the Japanese at Pingxingguan.

20November: Nationalist capital moves to Chongqing.

December: Rape of Nanjing. The Southwestern Union University is established in Kunming.



April: Nationalist military victory at Taierzhuang.

7 June: Nationalists breach the Yellow River dikes to stem the Japanese advance.

18 December: Wang Jingwei launches the Peace Movement. In the course of the year, the Japanese occupy most Chinese cities and provinces.



May: The Communist New Fourth Army forms a guerrilla base south of the Yangtze River.

3 September: Outbreak of World War II.

December: The Burma Road opens.



March: Wang Jingwei sets up the Japanese puppet government in Nanjing.

20 August: The Eighth Route Army launches the Hundred Regiments Offensive.



4 January: New Fourth Army Incident. May: The “Rectification Movement” in Yan’an.

20 August: The New Fourth Army is re-formed in north Jiangsu.

7 December: The Japanese attack Pearl Harbor and the Pacific War breaks out. The Flying Tigers begin to fight the Japanese.



February: The Japanese begin mopping-up campaigns against the Communist guerrilla bases but soon fail.

2 June: Lend-lease signed.

November: Joseph Warren Stillwell assumes command as chief-of-staff of the China theater.



11 January: Great Britain and the United States sign treaties with China, abrogating extraterritoriality, the concessions, and the Boxer Protocol.

10 March: Publication of Chiang Kai-shek’s China’s Destiny.

1 December: Chiang Kai-shek attends the Cairo Conference. The Cairo Declaration requires that Japan return the occupied Manchuria, Taiwan, and the Pescadores to China.



15 June: First U.S. air raid on Japan from a base in Chengdu, China.

1–23 July: China participates in the Bretton Woods Conference.

September: Establishment of the China Democratic League.

7 November: Patrick Hurley flies to Yan’an.



4–11 February: Yalta Conference. Russia promises to fight the Japanese in Manchuria.

23 April: Mao Zedong emerges supreme at the CCP Seventh Congress.

6 and 8 August: Dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

14 August: Japan surrenders unconditionally.

28 August: Mao Zedong flies to Chongqing for peace negotiations with Chiang Kai-shek. China recovers Taiwan.

27 November: George Marshall arrives in China.



January: Chiang Kai-shek begins to airlift troops to Manchuria. The Communists enter Changchun and Mukden with Russian help.

1 May: The Communist military forces are renamed the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

4 May: The land reform is initiated in the CCP-controlled north China. 12 July: Full-scale civil war begins.



28 January: George Catlett Marshal announces that American mediation attempts have failed to prevent the war between the GMD and CCP.

28 February: The February Twenty-Eighth Incident in Taiwan.

19 March: The GMD captures Yan’an; early nationalist military victories.

4 April–13 May: The PLA launches major offensives in Shanxi, Shandong, and Manchuria.

May–June: “Anti-hunger, anti-persecution” demonstrations in big cities. Soaring inflation feeds urban protest.

24 August: Albert Wedermeyer is sent on fact-finding mission to China; he calls for radical reforms of the government.

10October: The CCP issues the Outline of Land Law.

30 December: The gold yuan is seriously devaluated; the new exchange rate is 290,000 yuan to £1.



March: The PLA storms the city of Luoyang; Mao adopts a new urban policy.

August: The PLA launches a counteroffensive in north China.

September: The GMD’s financial reform fails and the new gold yuan note collapses.

12 September: The PLA launches the final attack in Manchuria.

2 November: The Battle of Liao-Sheng ends with CCP’s conquest of Manchuria.

6 November: The Battle of Huai- Hai begins.

December: Lin Biao leads the Fourth Field Army to take Beijing and Tianjin.



10 January: The Battle of Huai-Hai concludes with Chiang Kai-shek’s leading forces destroyed.

21 January: Chiang Kai-shek resigns; he is succeeded by Li Zongren as acting president.

23 January: The PLA “peacefully liberates” Beiping, ending the Battle of Ping–Jin.

21 April: Mao Zedong orders the PLA to cross the Yangtze River to take the whole of China.

23 April: The PLA storms Nanjing.

1 July: Publication of Mao Zedong’s On the People’s Democratic Dictatorship.

21 September: The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference opens.

September: The Common Program is adopted. Mao Zedong is elected chairman of the People’s Republic of China, and Zhou Enlai is appointed prime minister.

1 October: The People’s Republic of China is proclaimed.

December: Chiang Kai-shek, most of his government, and a large number of GMD supporters and military flee to Taiwan.


Source: James Z. Gao, Historical Dictionary of Modern China

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