Home > Chinese History

Timeline of Modern Chinese History

Modern Chinese history refers to the history between the founding of the People’s Republic of China and today. It's divided into the new democratic society and the socialist society. During this time, China has evolved from establishing and consolidating its regime to leading the Chinese people to a prosperous, democratic, and self-reliant path. The timeline below illustrates the difficult past and the outstanding achievements that have been made by today.

Phase One: The Founding of the People’s Republic of China and the Consolidation of the New Regime

1. On April.23rd, 1949, the Chinese People's Liberation Army built its first navy in the east China military area.
2. In September 1949, the first Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference was held in Beijing.Founding Ceremony
3. On October 1st, a founding ceremony was held, indicating the official founding of the People’s Republic of China.
4. From October 1950 to July 1953, China sent the Chinese People's Volunteer Army to assist North Korea fighting against the United States.
5. In 1950, the Chinese government issued the Agrarian Reform Law of the People's Republic of China, which stipulated that land ownership shall be shifted from exploitative landlords to ordinary farmers.
6. During 1950 - 1952, the land reform was completed, and farmers became the master of their land, significantly liberating the rural productive forces and laying the foundation for China’s industrial development.
7. In 1951, Tibet was peacefully liberated, and the Chinese mainland was once again united.

Phase Two: Transitional Period to the Socialist Society

1. From 1953 to 1957, the Chinese people achieved their First Five-Year Plan, hugely transforming China from a backward industrial country to a modern one.
2. At the end of 1953, prime minister Zhou Enlai came up with the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence during his meeting with the Indian delegation. The principles became the basic rule in dealing with international affairs.Great Hall of People
3. In September 1954, the First National People’s Congress was held, on which the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, the first socialist constitution in China, was issued.
4. In 1955, the prime minister Zhou Enlai participated the Bandung Conference and brought up the guideline of seeking common ground while reserving differences, facilitating the coordination between China and African countries.
5. At the end of 1956, the three great remold (remold of Chinese agriculture, handicraft industry, and capitalist industry and commerce) was completed, shifting the private ownership of the means of production to socialist public ownership and signaling that China established the fundamental systems of socialist society preliminarily.

Phase Three: Exploratory Stage of the Socialist Path

1. In 1956, the CPC Central Committee set out the guideline of letting a hundred flowers bloom, a hundred schools of thought contend, promoting a round of literaryFirst Atomic Bomb and artistic creation in China. In the same year, the 8th CPC National Congress was held to set up China’s exploratory position in the socialist path.
2. In 1958, the “great leap forward” and people's commune movement began, which proved to be a severe mistake.
3. In the early 1960s, the Tibetan area completed the democratic reform, abolished feudal serfdom, and entered the socialist phase.
4. In the Spring of 1961, the Chinese government adjusted the policy and recovered economic development.
5. On October 16, 1964, the first atomic bomb successfully set off, breaking the Western countries' nuclear monopoly.

Phase Four: The Cultural Revolution

1. In 1966, China built the Strategic Missile Artillery to carry out a nuclear counterattack.
2. In 1970, China successfully launched the first artificial earth satellite - Dong Fang Hong 1.Yuan Longping and Hyrid Rice
3. In July 1971, the former Secretary of State Henry Alfred Kissinger paid a secret visit to China.
4. On September 13th, 1971, a counterrevolutionary group led by Lin Biao was eliminated.
5. On October 25, 1971, the 26th Session of the United Nations General Assembly restored China’s lawful seat in the United Nations.
6. In February 1972, President Nixon of the United States visited China and signed the China-US Joint Communique with China, signaling the normalization of Sino-US relations.
7. In 1972, the Japanese prime minister Kakuei Tanaka visited China and established diplomatic relations between China and Japan.
8. In 1973, the great scientist Yuan Longping developed the indica hybrid rice, and he was praised as the “Father of the Hybrid Rice.”
9. In October 1976, the counterrevolutionary group (the “Gang of Four”) led by Jiang Qing was eliminated, indicating the end of the cultural revolution.

Phase Five: Period of Reform and Opening Up

1. In 1978, the primary debate on what constitutes truth began, which proved to be an insightful liberation of mind and thought. Shen Zhou I
2. At the end of 1978, the Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee was held, and the policy of the reform and opening-up was decided. It was a turning point for China.
3. In 1979, China formed a diplomatic relation with the United States.
4. In 1980, China set four special economic zones in Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shantou, and Xiamen, and China is opening up to the world.
5. In 1982, the National People’s Congress passed the fourth edition of the People's Republic of China's Constitution.
6. In 1986, the Law of Compulsory Education and the General Principles of the Civil Law were enacted.
7. In 1987, the 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was held, on which the chairman Deng Xiaoping put forward the basic line of the Party in the primary stage of socialist society, which was, focusing on economic development and adhering to the four basic principles (stick to the socialist path, people's democratic dictatorship, the leadership of the Communist Party of China, and Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thoughts), and reform and opening up.
8. In 1987, Taiwan softened its attitude, changing the relationship between the mainland and the Taiwan island. Shen Zhou V
9. In 1990, China held the Asian Games successfully, and in the same year, Taiwan formed the Straits Exchange Foundation.
10. In 1991, mainland China established the Association for Relations across the Taiwan Straits.
11. In 1992, the Straits Exchange Foundation and Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits reached the 1992 Consensus that both mainland China and Taiwan adhere to the One-China principle.
12. In early 1992, chairman Deng Xiaoping emphasized that development was the absolute principle. On the 14th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, a socialist market economy system was brought up. In the same year, a new leading group centered on Jiang Zemin was formed.
13. In 1993, the chairman of the Association for Relations across the Taiwan Straits and the president of the Straits Exchange Foundation had a meeting in Singapore, significantly improving the relationship between mainland China and Taiwan.
14. On July 1st, 1997, Hong Kong was handed back to China, and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was established.
15. On December 20th, 1999, Macau was retaken by China, and the Macao Special Administrative Region was established.
16. In 1999, China successfully launched its first unmanned spacecraft, Shenzhou I.
17. In 2000, nine-year compulsory education was basically universal in China.Three Gorges Dam
18. In 2001, China joined the WTO and held the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Conference in Shanghai, the largest and highest-profile multilateral diplomatic activity.
19. In 2002, Hu Jingtao was elected as the chairman of China.
20. In 2003, China controlled the SARS, and the first manned spacecraft, Shenzhou 5, blasted off.
21. In 2004, the first scientific surveying station, the Arctic Yellow River Station, was established.
22. In 2006, the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric project, was complete.
23. In 2008, the 5.12 Wenchuan earthquakes occurred. China dealt with the disaster quickly and successfully held the 2008 Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games.
24. In 2010, the Yushu earthquakes occurred. In the same year, the Shanghai World Expo was held.Military Parade
25. In 2015, China completed its 13th Five-Year Plan.
26. In 2016, for the first time, China held the G20 Summit in Hangzhou.
27. In 2017, the first Belt and Road Forum opened.
28. In 2018, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge was completed and opened for traffic.
29. In 2019, China celebrated its 90th birthday by holding a grand military parade in Tian’anmen Square.
30. In early 2020, China was hit by the coronavirus, and the Chinese government took drastic actions. By the middle of the year, the virus is largely contained.

Related Articles

Timeline of Chinese Dynasties

Han Dynasty History: Emperors, Achievements, and Economy

Tang Dynasty - History, Emperors, Politics, Culture, and Economy