1945-1949: After the Second World War the US backs nationalists.

1949: The Chinese Communist Party takes over mainland China.

1960: The USSR withdraws technical advisers from China.

1976: Tiananmen Square riots.

1979: US and PRC establish diplomatic relations.

1989: Troops open fire on demonstrators in Tiananmen Square. Leading to sanctions.

1992: Russia and China restore friendly ties.

1997: Hong Kong reverts to Chinese control.

1999: NATO bombs the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.

Chinese premier Jiang Zemin visits Britain.

2000: Britain and China explore ‘military cooperation’.

2001: Detention of a US spy plane and crew.

China admitted as member of the WTO.