After the Second World War and the defeat of the Japanese hostilities between the Nationalists, led by Chiang Kai-shek and the Communists, led by Mao Tse-tung, resumed. The U.S. takes the side of Chiang Kai-shek against the Communists, even though the latter had been a much closer ally of the United States in the world war. The U.S. uses defeated Japanese soldiers to fight for its side. The Communists force Chiang to flee to Taiwan in 1949. [4] [5] [6]


The Chinese Communist Party takes over mainland China. [2]

KMT and Chiang Kai-shek retreat to Taiwan. [2]

Sino-Soviet Alliance. [2]


Agrarian Law. [2]

Chinese "volunteers" enter the Korean War. [2]


The Three-Anti, Five-Anti and Thought Reform Campaigns. [2]


Collectivization begins. [2]


The "Hundred Flowers" period. [2]


The Great Leap Forward. [2]


The USSR withdraws technical advisers from China. [2]


Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution begins. [2]


The Universities are reopened. [2]


PRC is given a seat on the UN Security Council. [2]


US President Richard Nixon visits China. [2]


Tenth Party Congress adopts anti- Lin Biao and anti-Confucius campaigns. [2]


Zhou Enlai dies. [2]

Tiananmen Square riots. [2]

Deng Xiaoping ousted. [2]

Hua Guofeng is made Premier. [2]

Tongshan earthquake. [2]

Mao Zedong dies. [2]

The Gang of Four is arrested. [2]


Deng Xiaoping is rehabilitated. [2]


US and PRC establish diplomatic relations. [2]


"Democracy Wall" is closed down. [2]


CCP denounces Mao Zedong. [2]


China's "Open-door policy" opens the country to foreign investment and encourages development of a market economy and private sector. [3]


Troops open fire on demonstrators who have camped for weeks in Tiananmen Square initially to demand the posthumous rehabilitation of former CCP General Secretary Hu Yaobang, who was forced to resign in 1987. The official death toll is 200. International outrage leads to sanctions. [3]

Jiang Zemin takes over as Chinese Communist Party general secretary from Zhao Ziyang, who refused to support martial law during the Tiananmen demonstrations. [3]

Stockmarkets open in Shanghai and Shenzhen. [3]


Russia and China sign declaration restoring friendly ties. [3]

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) ranks China's economy as third largest in the world after the US and Japan. [3]


Jiang Zemin officially replaces Yang Shangkun as president. [3]

Preliminary construction work on the Three Gorges dam begins. It will create a lake almost 600 kilometres (375 miles) long and submerge dozens of cultural heritage sites by the time it is completed in 2009. [3]


China abolishes the official renminbi (RMB) currency exchange rate and fixes its first floating rate since 1949. [3]


China tests missiles and holds military exercises in the Taiwan Strait, apparently to intimidate Taiwan during its presidential elections. [3]


China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan - dubbed the Shanghai Five - meet in Shanghai and agree to cooperate to combat ethnic and religious tensions in each others' countries. [3]


Deng Xiaoping dies, aged 92. Rioting erupts in Yining, Xinjiang and on day of Deng's funeral Xinjiang separatists plant three bombs on buses in Urumqi, Xinjiang, killing nine and injuring 74. [3]

Hong Kong reverts to Chinese control. [3]


Zhu Rongji succeeds Li Peng as premier, announces reforms in the wake of the Asian financial crisis and continued deceleration of the economy. Thousands of state-owned enterprises are to be restructured through amalgamations, share flotations and bankruptcies. About four million civil service jobs to be axed. [3]

Large-scale flooding of the Yangtse, Songhua and Nenjiang rivers. [3]


NATO bombs the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, souring Sino-US relations. [3]

Falun Gong, a quasi-religious sect, outlawed as a threat to stability. [3]

Fiftieth anniversary of People's Republic of China on 1st October. [3]

Macao reverts to Chinese rule. [3]

October - Chinese premier Jiang Zemin visits Britain. Blair government refuses to raise human rights issues publicly, while police deny protesters the right to peaceful assembly and illegally seize Tibetan flags. [1]


January - Chinese defence minister, General Chi Haotian, who commanded the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, visits Britain to explore ‘military cooperation’, showing London’s apparent defiance of EU arms embargo on China. [1]

Crackdown on official corruption intensifies, with the execution for bribe taking of a former deputy chairman of the National People's Congress. [3]

The Falun Gong sect continues to defy its ban and holds demonstrations. [3]

Bomb explosion kills up to 60 in Urumqi, Xinjiang. [3]


China urges US not to supply Taiwan with advanced anti-missile equipment. US says it will go ahead with sales, but won't supply everything on Taiwan's wish list. [3]

April - Diplomatic stand-off over the detention of an American spy plane and crew after a mid-air collision with a Chinese fighter jet. [3]

June - Leaders of China, Russia and four Central Asian states launch the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and sign an agreement to fight ethnic and religious militancy while promoting trade and investment. The group emerges when the Shanghai Five - China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan - are joined by Uzbekistan. [3]

China carries out military exercises simulating an invasion of Taiwan, at the same time as the island's armed forces test their capability to defend Taiwan against a missile attack from China. [3]

November - China is officially admitted as member of the World Trade Organisation. [3]


February - US President George W Bush visits, on the 30th anniversary of President Nixon's visit to China - the first by a US president. [3]

July - The US says China is modernising its military to make possible a forcible reunification with Taiwan. Beijing says its policy remains defensive. [3]

November - Vice-President Hu Jintao is named head of the ruling Communist Party, replacing Jiang Zemin, the outgoing president. Jiang is re-elected head of the influential Central Military Commission, which oversees the armed forces. [3]


March - National People's Congress elects Hu Jintao as president. He replaces Jiang Zemin, who steps down after 10 years in the post. [3]

March-April - China and Hong Kong are hit by the pneumonia-like Sars virus, thought to have originated in Guangdong province in November 2002. Strict quarantine measures are enforced to stop the disease spreading. [3]

June - Sluice gates on Three Gorges dam closed to allow reservoir to fill up. Construction of $25 billion project displaced almost one million people to make way for world's largest hydroelectric scheme. [3]

Hong Kong is declared free of Sars. Days later the World Health Organization lifts its Sars-related travel warning for Beijing. [3]

China, India reach de facto agreement over status of Tibet and Sikkim in landmark cross-border trade agreement. [3]

July/August - Some 500,000 people march in Hong Kong against Article 23, a controversial anti-subversion bill. Two key Hong Kong government officials resign. The government shelves the bill. [3]

October - Launch of China's first manned spacecraft: Astronaut Yang Liwei is sent into space by a Long March 2F rocket. [3]

December - Gas well blast near Chongqing kills more than 230, injures thousands. [3]


April - Legislators rule out direct elections for Hong Kong leader in 2007. [3]