Timeline       China in the 21st century       1990s       Post-Mao Era (1976-1989)       China under Mao (1949-1976) 

Important Events of the People’s Republic of China:

1949, Oct: Proclamation of the People's Republic of China.

1950, Feb: China and the Soviet Union sign "Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual Assistance".
1950, June: Agrarian Reform Law. Land of landlords and wealthy farmers is re-distributed to millions of peasants.
1950, Oct: Chinese People's Volunteer Army joins their North Korean allies against the USA (Korean War).
1950-1955: Mao introduces population policy that favors high birth rate, which is one of the main reasons that China has the world’s largest population (1.3 billion) today.
1953: Premier Zhou Enlai first proposes the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence during negotiations with India.
1955, Apr: Premier Zhou Enlai attends Bandung Conference (first large-scale Asian-African Conference) in Bandung, Indonesia, where he re-iterates the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.
1957-1958: "Anti-Rightist" Campaign is used by Mao to eliminate critical intellectuals.
1958: All land is collectivized and farmers are organized into (large) People's Communes.
1958: "Great Leap Forward" campaign.
1959: Sino-Soviet relations deteriorate dramatically. The Soviet Union is restricting transfer of science and technology to China.

1960, July: Khrushchev recalls Soviet advisors and technical experts in China. Open conflict between China and USSR.
1964, Oct: Test of first atomic bomb in China.
1966-1976: the Cultural Revolution – nationwide political purges and social chaos.
- Destruction of "The Four Olds": Old ideas, old culture, old customs, old habits.
- 10 years of turmoil at schools and universities seriously harm China's intellectual elites.
- Mao's political concept of a "permanent cultural revolution" paralyzes his political enemies.
- stagnation in agriculture and industry.
- religious practice is condemned as feudalistic.
1967: Test of first hydrogen bomb in China.

1970: First satellite launch ("Long March").
1971, July: Henry Kissinger secretly visits China.
1971, Sept: Lin Biao is killed in airplane crash while fleeing after an attempted military coup.
1971, Nov.: The People's Republic of China replaces the Republic of China (Taiwan) in UN Security Council.
1972, Feb: Visit of US President Richard Nixon to China. Normalization between US and China begins. Signing of Shanghai Communiqué (first Sino-U.S. Joint Communiqué), in which the U.S. acknowledges the “One China Policy”, but did not endorse the PRC’s version.
1974: Discovery of "Terracotta Army" in tomb near Xi’an with thousands of statues, which has become a very famous tourist attraction.
1976, Jan: Death of Premier Zhou Enlai.
1976, Sept: Chairman Mao Zedong dies at the age of 82. "Gang of Four" (including Mao's widow) tries to get into power but fails.
1977: Hua Guofeng starts "Open Door" policy, which is later incorporated in Deng Xiaoping’s "Four Modernizations" program.
1977: Deng Xiaoping wins the power struggle after Mao's death.
1978-1979: Deng Xiaoping introduces stepwise economic reforms: "The Four Modernizations".
1979: Diplomatic relations are established between the US and China.
1979: Introduction of China's strict "One-Child" family planning program at provincial level, in 1980 at national level.

1980, Aug: First Special Economic Zone is established in Shenzhen.
1984: 14 coastal cities are completely opened to foreign investment.
1987, Jan: The too "liberal" General Secretary of China's Communist Party, Hu Yaobang, is forced to resign.
1989, June: Crack down of Tiananmen Square demonstrations with military power (official death toll: 200).
1989, June: In Madrid (Spain), the European Council of Ministers agrees to an EU-wide arms embargo against China.
1989, Dec: Stock markets are opened in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

1990: Ten thousands of blood plasma donors in rural areas are infected with HIV.
1992: Deng Xiaoping accelerates market reforms to establish a "socialist market economy", after visiting the Special Economic Zones in the southern province of Guangdong.
1995: Educational legislation stipulates a 9-year compulsory education.
1997, July: China gets control over Hong Kong's sovereignty from the United Kingdom. “One China, Two Systems” policy.
1999: Cooling of US-China relations after NATO bombs Chinese embassy in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia.
1999, Dec: China gets control over Macau’s sovereignty from Portugal.

2001, April: Major diplomatic crisis after US spy plane collides with Chinese fighter jet in mid-air near Chinese border and is forced to land in China.
2001, Nov: After years of negotiations, China becomes a member of the World Trade Organization.
2003: During spring SARS virus outbreak in Hong Kong and Guangdong becomes known to the public.
2003, Oct: First manned spacecraft send into orbit by "Long March 2F". Astronaut Yang Liwei.
2007, Jan: China shoots down old weather satellite, demonstrating capability of destroying hostile spy satellites.
2008, March: Most violent ethnic protest in years erupt in Lhasa, Tibet's main city.
2008, May: Earthquake strikes Sichuan province: Death toll reaches 69000, with about 18000 still missing.
2008, Aug: China welcomes the world to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
2008, Oct: Premier Wen Jiabao accepts responsibility for milk powder scandal that might have affected more than 50,000 children.