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Monday, August 4, 2008

China's Many Problems in Focus at Olympics


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China's drive toward rapid modernization and a simultaneous attempt to rein in restive outlying regions of its old empire draw the world's attention during the onset of the Beijing Olympic games.




The native Chinese see themselves as the heirs to ancient China.
After uprisings from Mongolia and South China, the Yuan or Mongol empire collapses and the Mongol rulers are expelled by 1364. The Ming Dynasty succeeds them, the first Ming emperor ruling from 1368 to 1398.

Xinjiang has never been easy to occupy.
But with the end of Mongol rule, the western region of Sinkiang (Xinjiang) has seceded, leaving only eastern China, its coast and center for the Ming rulers. But they expand rapidly into Manchuria.

Early contact with the West is hesitant, Tentative.
China's first sustained contact with the outside world is attempted in the expeditions of Cheng-Ho to Africa and Southeast Asia. And it is also under the Ming that the first contacts with the West take place, with the Portuguese setting up in Macao, though a nationalist foreign policy prevents European traders from making inroads. By 1600, the Ming Empire has touched the border with Tibet in the northwest. From Europe, the imperial court has welcomed the Jesuit mathematician, Matteo Ricci, who translates Euclid into Chinese. But the ominous expansion and southward movement of the Manchu people from Manchuria foreshadows an end for the Ming. By 1640, the Manchu have seized control of all of Manchuria and inner Mongolia. In 1644 the Manchu overthrow the Ming and found the Qing Dynasty.

China's expansion into Tibet and other outlying areas begins under the Manchu.
Territorial expansion resumes but over time, power at the center will weaken. South China is consolidated by 1683. For the first time, imperial China begins to approach its modern extent. Inroads are made in Tibet. Manchuria, Mongolia, Taiwan and parts of Turkestan (Sinkiang) are claimed. By the early eighteenth century, control by the Manchu Qing of Outer Mongolia, Sinkiang and Tibet is complete. By 1759, the Court of Colonial affairs administers Tibet as a protectorate (1720-1751); Eastern Turkestan militarily (1759) ; Zungaria militarily (North West, 1757); Mongolia is administered feudally; Manchuria too is handled by the Court of Colonial affairs. China is enriched by tributary states: Nepal, Burma, Korea, Siam and Assam.

China is immense but too weak to resist intrusive and aggressive European trade.
By 1793, the British already have a mission in China and the Qing, perhaps fatally, relax restrictions on foreign traders. From 1839-1842, Britain forces the opium trade on China in order to extract yet greater wealth. One consequence is the Opium Wars in which the Chinese mount violent resistance to the British.

In light of history, China's Suspicion of the Outside world is understandable

Britain forces its way, planting trading posts deeper into the Chinese hinterland, extracting more concessions. Soon, France, Germany and Russia follow suit. Between 1850 and 1870, Chinese rebellions break out. At the end of the century, Chinese nationalism builds steam and wars are fought against the French and the Japanese. Great Britain and the United States adopt the 'Open Door' policy by which all nations are allowed equal access to trade within China. But this soon degenerates into a free-for-all as foreign nations decide instead to carve out their own fiefdoms. China rebels with yet greater force in the Boxer Rebellion. In 1911, the Qing Dynasty, having ruled China for over three centuries, is now seen as a conduit of foreign imperialism and is overthrown by the forces of Sun Yat Sen.


Fear of Internal Dissension and Fragmentation Are Still Recent in Chinese History

In 1912, the last of the Ming Emperors abdicates. As warlords rise up to consolidate their own domains, Sun Yat Sen resigns. Tyranny threatens with the rule of the Republic of China's first president, Yuan Shi'kai. But things take a new course as Japan occupies Shantung, entering World War One on the aside of the Axis in 1914. Yuan dies and China disintegrates into warlord states.

China was not taken Seriously by the rest of the World.

The war ends, confirming Japanese possession of Shantung at the Treaty of Versailles. In 1921-22, China protests and Chinese possession of Shantung is confirmed along with China's territorial integrity. But the west's Open Door trade policy is reaffirmed. The Communist Party is founded in 1921. Sun Yat Sen's Kuomintang is allied with the USSR and the Communists and consolidates the south along with the northern warlords and the capital at Peking. Chiang Kai-Shek consolidates gains of the the Kuomintang, turning the party against the Communists. Throughout the 1930s, a civil war is fought between Chiang Kai Shek's Nationalists and Mao Ze Dong''s Communist Party.

Communism became a Means of Unifying the Country.

With World War Two, Japan, allied again with the Axis, invades China and occupies Manchuria. Japanese atrocities committed against Chinese civilians will cause lasting bitterness in China. With the defeat of Japan in 1945, the civil war resumes with Mao's Communists gaining control of Manchuria in 1948. But Chiang Kai-Shek's nationalists seem to be gaining elsewhere, with US support. Nationalist repression, corruption and incompetence brings more Chinese over to the Communists who are triumphant in 1949, leaving the party in control of the government and its chairman, Mao, the effective leader. Chiang Kai-Shek and his nationalists retreat to the island of Taiwan.

China Reasserts its of Sphere of Influence.

In 1950, Communist China re-occupies Tibet and then backs North Korea in its war against UN-backed South Korea. With the defeat of North Korea in 1953, China nevertheless emerges as a regional diplomatic power. Mao forges ahead with collectivization and the development of industry and agriculture. In 1955, the nationalists on Taiwan reaffirm their right to rule China. The US promises to protect Taiwan from Chinese retaliation. In Russia, meanwhile, Krushchev's moderate policy of De-Stalinization causes a deep rift with China which remains ideologically radical.

The First of Several Attempts at Economic Modernization with a high cost.

In the late 1950s, China's 'Great Leap Forward' industrial policy throws agriculture into chaos with successive crop-failures and man-made famine. Tensions increase with the USSR in the early 1960s as China tests its first Atomic Bomb.

The Cultural Revolution is yet another experiment in rapid change at high cost.

By the late 1960s, Mao has given his backing to the Cultural Revolution, an ultra-left students' revolt against all that is deemed urban, intellectual, burueaucratic. It emphasizes the countryside, physical labour and ideological fanaticism at the expense of most of the country's intelligentsia and many innocent people who are murdered, purged or punished.

China takes another sharp turn; this time Reaching out to the West.

By 1970, however, China has begun to turn outward with a more moderate diplomatic policy. Nixon's offer of detente is welcomed and a very gradual warming between the two nations begins. By 1973, however, the Culture Revolution itself is turning against cultural contacts with the West. The Movement is brought to an end by its own excesses.

The Moderation of Deng Zao-Ping Anticipates the New China.

Deng Zao-Ping represents a new moderate movement against the Gang of Four, the powers close to Mao who who direct the Cultural revolution. In the mid-1970s- a shift away from agriculture and ultra-leftism comes with the rise to influence of Deng. In 1976, the Gang of Four purges Deng. With the death of Mao, a group of military and political leaders purges the Gang of Four and rehabilitates Deng. Hua Go Feng becomes Chairman while Deng retains the actual power. By 1979, Deng has restored full diplomatic relations with the United States and plans China's gradual integration with the outside world through trade. In 1980, Deng creates Special Economic Zones in several coastal cities to encourage foreign trade and investment.

The Communist Political system remains Ironclad while China undertakes State capitalism.

Throughout the 1980s, the party allows limited capitalism and profit taking, while retaining a firm grip on power and denying fundamental rights to citizens, political dissidents and ethnic minorities. The party nevertheless begins to lose its power as a popular focrce. Decollectivization and rehabilitation of those pourged under the cultural revolution continues. Economic growth creates an unacknowledged class system with a new stratum of wealthy, urban property owners and the very poorest still living in the country on the brink of starvation.

At Tianamen, China Collides politically with the Modern World.

Reformist leaders are replaced to the tune of continual student protests for more democracy. The tension culminates in 1989 with the slaughter of thousands of democracy protesters at Tianamen Square. Chairman Zhou is replaced with Jiang Zemin who represses all remaining opposition. International punitive sanctions imposed on China have little effect and by 1990 they are relaxed. Tianamen becomes the watershed after which China abandons political reform in favour of break-neck economic progress.

China sees Rapid Economic Progress as the cure for its Political Ills.

The government brings in a state-controlled market economy. In 1996, perhaps with largely Muslim Xinjiang in mind, China holds talks with Russia and Central Asian nations about mutual cooperation in matters of religion and terrorism. In 1997 Deng dies and is succeeded by Jiang Zemin.

China Begins to Secure itself against Muslim Central Asia and the prospect of Islamic radicalism within its own frontiers

In 2001, agreements involving trade, terrorism and security with China and Central Asia are enshrined in the Shanghai Cooperation Association. In 2003, Hu Jintao replaces Jiang Zemin. In 2005, China is concerned once again with troubles in its sphere of influence, passing a law allowing the use of force if Taiwan attempts to assert its independence.

China Works again to secure its Sphere of Influence.

The China-Tibet railway opens in 2006 with the aim of transplanting more Han settlers into Tibet and binding the putatively autonomous region closer to China. On the other hand, China and Japan attempt reconciliation over Japan's atrocities in Manchuria in Wolrd War Two. Trade with Africa is increased despite international outcry at China's support for regimes with records of severe human rights abuses, such as Sudan's repression in Darfur.

The Beiing Olympics Shine the Spotlight on China.

In 2008, China's record of human rights abuse and repression in Tibet haunts the nation during the run-up to the Beijing Olympic games. The world watches as China crushes demonstrations in Tibet commemorating China's first crackdown in 1950.


The historic Center of Chinese Power develops in the Northeast, where it remains today.

In the second and third millennia BC, the semi-legendary Xia Dynasty develops in northeast China, the classical center of most Chinese political power to come. The Shang Dynasty rules in the second millennium BC. A uniform culture appears along with an aristocracy and bureaucracy. The 'center' in the northeast first becomes aware of the difficulty of absorbing and ruling the ethnically heterogenous cultures of the south and west.

Development of a Unique Chinese Culture.

The first millennium sees the development of a civilization with an economy, laws and money under the Western and then the Eastern Zhou dynasties. Confucius expounds his philosophy of practical living, based on social and familial relationships. Lao Tzu founds Taoism. In the fifth century BC, the Zhou dynasty collapses into four warring states, turning the northeastern center into a patchwork. But the foundations of an enduring Chinese culture and philosophy have been laid.

And the Center is Always revitalized from the Margins.

In the third century BC, the political strife is resolved by the Qin Dynasty, based just to the west. The Qin consolidate Chinese culture, replace feudalism with bureaucracy and build the Great Wall to the north, to keep out the barbarians. The Han Dynasty and its empire, which follows, becomes equivalent and contemporary to the Roman Empire in the West.

China Extends its reach Northwestward into Central Asia.

The Han extend their rule westward, north of Tibet which remains too rugged to occupy. A long arm of land connects the Chinese empire in the east to a western annex in the Tarim Basin in central Asia, the area of modern Xinjiang.

Maintaining Control from the Center will Always be a Problem.

Inevitably, in the third century AD, after surviving five hundred years, the Han empire collapses into warring kingdoms. The Chin Dynasty emerges but remains fragile. Authority from the center is weak. It collapses into northern and southern empires. China is re-unified under the Sui. Chinese culture spreads, along with Buddhism and Taoism.

The Tang and Sung Dynasties: the Zenith of Classical China; Consolidation of the administration and ingenuity for which China will be known.

Under the Tang Dynasty, classical China reaches her apogee with the invention of printing, gunpowder and paper money. Withdrawal from outer regions leads to consolidation of the center although the bond with western, Central Asian China is strengthened with the destruction of the Uighur empire of the Xinjiang region. But by the tenth century, power at the center has disintegrated once again, this time into ten kingdoms. The Sung Dynasty of the tenth to thirteenth centuries sees the strengthening and consolidation of Chinese culture. Confucianism is codified. The decay of the northern Sung gives way to the Southern Sung Empire.

Even the Mongols Adopt Chinese Culture.

But in the twelfth century, Mongols invade from the west, taking Chna by 1234. The Mongol Yuan Dynasty of Gengis Khan and his successor Kublai Khan rule the greatest land empire the world has ever seen, stretching from Mongolia and China to Mesopotamia. The Yuan host the Italian traveler and explorer Marco Polo, establishing the first hint of trade and cultural relations with the West.

CROSS-CENTURY SUMMARY: From the Columbia Encyclopedia's entry on China: "China's history is generally viewed as a continuous development with certain repetitive tendencies as viewed in the following general pattern: the area under political control tends to expand from the E Huang He and Yangtzi basins, the heart of Chinese culture, and then. under outside military pressure, to shrink back. Conquering barbarians from the north and the west supplant native dynasties, take over Chinese culture, lose their vigour and are expelled in a surge of national feeling. Following a disordered and anarchic period, a new dynasty may arise. Its predecessor, by engaging in excessive warfare, tolerating corruption and being unable tp keep up public works, had forfeited the right to rule- in the traditional view, the dynasty as lost "the Mandate of Heaven." The administrators change, central authority is re-established, public works constructed, taxation modified and equalized, and land redistributed. After a prosperous period, disintegration reappears, inviting barbarian intervention or native revolt." -Columbia Encyclopedia, Fifth Edition, 1993.



20,000 BC- modern humans appear in the Ordos desert region.

5000 BC- Yangshao culture.

2500 BC- Lungshan culture. First writing develops.


2200-1767 BC- Xia Dynasty

-semi-legendary Emperor Yu builds irrigation channels, reclaims land.

-bronze weapons chariots, domestication of animals. Wheat, millet.

-the first writing develops.

2000 BC- Er-li-ton- China's first city.


1767-1122 BC- Shang Dynasty is the first documented in the heart of traditional China, in the northeast, between the Yellow, Wei and Yantze rivers,

-warrior aristocracy uses chariots.

-bureaucracy and defined social classes. First Chinese calendar and developed writing system.

-a uniform culture spreads throughout China.

-linguistic and ethnological diversity of the south and far west begin to arise because of difficulty of central government in controlling them.


1066-771 BC- Western Zhou Dynasty

-prosperous feudal agricultural society.

-written laws, money, an economy.

-iron implements; ox-drawn plough.

770-256 BC- Eastern Zhou Dynasty, centered along the Yangtze river in the east.

722-464- Spring and Autumn Era.

551-479- Confucius

-the states of Chi, Wu and Yuen form, north to soouth along the eastern seabord. Inland, the Chin rule a small state in the north, the Chu to the south.

-Lao Tzu

500- iron age begins.

470-391- Mozi, founder of Mohism.

Era of Warring States.

458-424- partitition of Qin

-in the heart of traditional China, in the northeast, between the Yellow, Wei and Yantze rivers, the Chu, Chin, Lu and Wu vie for control, dividing the area into a warring patchwork.

403-221- Era of warring states.

386-286- Zhuangzi.

371-289- Mencius.

-with Mencius, Lao-Tzu and Confucius are laid the foundations of an enduring Chinese culture.

338-325- Qing rulers use title of king.

230-221- Han, Qu, Jin and Qi states occupied by Qin armies.

249- The Kingdom of Qin is centred at Xanyiang, west of the Yellow River.


221-206 BC- Qin Dynasty. Though semi-barbarous the Qin establish the imperial system that will flourish during stable periods. The Chin empire stretches from the Great Wall in the north, occupies central-eastern and coastal China with a narrower strip extending to the South Cgina Sea.

-harsh rule of Shih-Huan-ti.

-feudalism replaced by bureaucratic government.

-written language.

-roads, canals.

221- Great Wall commissioned by first emperor.

-warring states brought into union. Central government emerges.

214 BC- first expansion of Chinese empire.

213- burning of the books.

210- death of the first emperor.

206- destruction of the imperial library.


206 BC- 9 AD- first Han Empire. The Han inaugurates a period of imperial rule, expansion, peace, stability and artistic achievement.

-rule is more relaxed.

-further unification.

206 BC- 220 AD- East and West Han Dynasties

202 BC- Liu Bang founds Han Dynasty.

191 BC book burning edict rescinded.

-westward expansion.

141 BC- legalists excluded from government careers.

124- BC- Imperial Academy established.

-Confucianism becomes the basis for the bureaucratic state.

127-101 BC- second expansion of Chinese Empire.

87 BC- regency established.

51 BC- peace between China and Hsiung-Nu.

9-23 AD- Interregnum of Wang Mang

-on its east coast, the Han dynasty stretches from the area of modern northern-most Viet Nam in the south to part of North Korea in the north. In the centre, it contains only the middle and coastal regions of modern China. The western region of Szechuan and the outlying area of Tibet still remainoutside its borders. Its northern area stretches from Korea westward into a long, narrow extension of conquered land in the Tarim Basin, north of Tibet, called Sinkiang (or Turkestan) as far as the Hindu Kush. Sinkiang enabled the Han to control the silk road.

-the ehtnic Han occupy northeastern China with the Yangtze river taking Hand settlement to the interior.


25-220- later Han Dynasty.

49- peace between China and southern Hsiung-Nu.

65- first Chinese reference to Buddhism.

89- regency introduced.

184- uprising of the Yellow Turbans.


220-265- the Three Kingdoms period of Wei, Shu and Wu. China divided among petty warring states and invasion by Hsiung-Ne barbarians from the north.

-Buddhism develops. Taoism and Buddhism begin to eclipse Confucianism. Indian innovations in mathematics, astronomy and architecture are developed.

-figure painting and decoration in art.


265-316- Western Chi'n Dynasty- founded by a Wei general.

-southeast expansion.

-feudalism returns with the loss of central authority.

316- loss of northern China to barbarian dynasties.


317-589- China divided.

350- (circa) -invaders set up dynasties in the north. Other dynasties set up in the south.

450- (circa) The Wei Empire in the north, inside the Great Wall; the Sung Empire occupies the centre and coastal regions. The Wei subject to pressure from the Hungs or Xiongnu in Mongolia.


The Sui.

581-618- Sui Dynasty.

-under the Sui and T'ang- a huge area, already imbued with Chinese culture, is consolidated under imperial rule.

-Buddhism and Taoism grow in influence.

-canal system formally established.

-civil service exams based on Chinese classics and a renewal of Confucianism.

-gradual re-union of regions.

592-618- sinification of Japan by Suiko administration.

600- Buddhism introduced to Tibet.

605-610- building of Grand Canal.

608-889- Tibetan Empire.

612-614- campaigns into Korea.

Tang Dynasty

618-907- Tang Dynasty.

-withdrawal from border regions with expansion and consolidation of the centre.

-civil service examinations based on Confucianism.

-age of the great poets.

624-649- reign of Tai-tsung.

630- defeat of the eastern Turks.

656- defeat of western Turks.

690-705- China's Empress Wu.

-gradual re-union of regions.

701-762- poet Li BPo.

713-755- reign of Hsuan-tsung. China's extent looks much as it did under the Han- except the eastern half occupies more of traditional, eastern China and part of Szechuan. A narrower land bridge of territory connects it westward to the Tarim Baisn, Sinkiang or western end of the empire, north of Tibet, and has expanded north into Turkestan. The land bridge that connects the eastern and western edges of the empire is bordered by the Yighurs on the north and by Tibet in the south.

750 (circa) invention of printing.

751- battle of Talas River.

755-763- rebellion of An Lushan.

768-824- Han Yu founds Neo-Confucianism.

780- tax reform.

821- peace between China and Tibet.

840- Uighur empire destroyed.

841-845- religious persecution.

850 (circa) invention of gunpowder.

879- looting of Canton.

907-960- Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms. China divided.

-period of official corruption, chaotic social change.

-first paper money printed.


960-1279 Song Dynasty.

-neo-Confucianism prevails over Buddhism and Taoism.

-central bureaucracy established.

-cultivation of tea and cotton.

-first military use of gunpowder.

Northern Song

960-1126-Northern Sung.

-literature, philosophy,

-movable type.

-Confucian canon is established.

-the novel established as an art form.

-Song rule central China- the Kichai, Jurchen and Tangut rule northern kingdoms. The Han Chinese have settled southward to occuoy all of southern China.

1004- peace between China and Liao.

1024- China produces world's first paper currency.

1044- peace between China and Hsi-hsia. Imperial China has shrunk back to the Song empire of the east. To the north, the Liao empire extends into Manchuria and the to the northwest is the state of Hsi Hsia.

1069-1076- Wang An-shih rules China.

1126- Juchen sacks Changan. Liao empire destroyed.

Southern Song

1127-1279- southern Song Dynasty.

1130-1200- Zhu Xi formalizes Confucian classics.

-the Liao Empire in the northeast is replaced by the Chim Empire extending from the Yellow Rover to manchuria. The Southern Sung Empire is confined to southeast China.

1135- Lin-an capital of Southern Song.

1141- peace between China and Chin.


1167-1227- Ghengis Khan.

1217- Mongols conquer Tarim Basin.

1221- Mongols conquer West Turkestan and Afghanistan.

1227- Mongols conquer Hsi-Hsia.

1229-1241- Ogodei, the Great Khan.

1234- Mongols conquer Chin.


1279-1368- Yuan Dynasty established by Ghengis Khan.

-Chinese institutions are retained. Important improvements to roads and canals.

-Confucian ideals discouraged.

Kublai Khan.

1260-1294 Emperor Kublai Khan, grandson of Gengis. A China-based empire reaches its most massive extent, a pan-Eurasian domain composed of Khanates. The Great Khanate includes all of China proper, the Central Asian Khanate includes most of Tibet; the Khante of the Golden Horse extends from Central Asia, through southern Russia to Moscow; the Persian Khante covers Persia and Mespotamia.

1281- Mongols fail to conquer Japan.

1300 (circa) visit of Marco Polo.

1355- rebellion of the Red Turbans.


-revolts in Mongolia and South China end Yuan Dynasty. Mongols expelled.

1364-1644- Ming Dynasty.

-restoration of Chinese culture by a study of Sung life.

-contact with European traders and missionaries.

1368-1398- first Ming Emperor.

Early East-West Contacts.

1405-1433- voyages of Cheng Ho- Ming explorations of Southeast Asia and Africa.

-loss of territories acquired during early Ming expansion.

1406- construction begins on the Forbidden Palace.

-increased contacts with the west.

1419- death of Tsong-Kha-Pa.

1421- Beijing becomes capital of China.

1424- death of Yung-lo Emperor.

1449- Oirats raid China.

-with the disintegration of the Mongol Empire, neither Tibet nor the north-western Sinkiang-Tarm Basin region are ruled by China. The Ming Empire occupies traditional China in the east and center and a long strip of Manchuria, north of Korea.

1514- the coming of the Westerners.

1522- tax reform.

1550- Tartars raid China.

1557- Portuguese take Macao.

-but European inroads tend to be stymied by nationalist foreign policy.

Advance of the Manchu

-Manchu peoples expanding steadily southward from Manchuria.

1600- the Ming Empire stretches from Peking and Mukden in the Northeast to the border with Tibet in the northwest to Siam and Annam in the southwest to the China Sea and the Pacific in the southeast.

1601- Matteo Ricci meets Chinese Emperor.

1607- peace between China and Japan.

1618- fighting between the Manchus and China.

-unification of the Manchu tribes of China by Nurhachi.

1640- the Manchu control Manchuria and Inner Mongolia.


1644- The Ming overthrown by Manchu rebel band. Suicide of the last Ming Emperor. Manchus enter Beijing which is made capital of the Qing Dynasty

1645- the Manchu control northeast China from Beijing in the north to Nanking in the south.

1644-1911- The Manchu Qing (Ch'ing) Dynasty.

-territorial expansion but weakening of Chinese power.

1650- the Manchu control southeast China and northwest China.

1660- the Manchu control southern central China.

1661-1722- the K'ang-hsi Emperor

1675-1683- Qing conquest of south China.

1685- Manchu (Qing) complete conquest of Taiwan.

-empire expands to include Tibet, Manchuria, Mongolia, Taiwan, parts of Turkestan.

1690-1730- Manchu control Outer Mongolia, Sinkiang and Tibet.

1720-1751- Tibet becomes a manchurian protectorate.

1735-1796- the Ch'ien-Lung Emperor. China at its greatest territorial extent.

-Manchu Empire consists of most territory of modern China plus inner and outer Mongolia. It retains Sinkiang and Tibet. Manchuria and Central Asia northwest of Sinkiang have been lost to Russia. Korea alternates as a Japanese or Manchu protectorate.

1757- Zungaria is placed under military administration.
1759- the Court of Colonial affairs administers Tibet as a protectorate (1720-1751); Eastern Turkestan militarily (1759); Zungaria militarily (North West, 1757); Mongolia is administered feudally; Manchuria too is handled by the Court of Colonial affairs.

-tributary states are Korea, Nepal, Burma, Siam ab

Inroads by the West and Opium Wars.

1793- the Lord McCartney mission to China.

-Qing opposition to trade with west relaxes.

1834- Guangzhu opened to sea trade.

1839-1842- opium wars. Britain forces its way into Chinese trade, extracting concessions.
France, Germany and Russia follow suit.

-Ching regime weakened by internal disputes.

Rebellions against Western Inroads.

1850-1873 the Taiping and other rebellions.

1858-1860- opium wars.

1860- Anglo-French march on Beijing.

-defeated in the opium wars, China is forced to open up to foreign trade.

1860-1870s- the Self-Strengthening Movement.

1884-1885- the Sino-French War.

1894-1895- Sino-Japanese War.

-Japan seizes Korea and Taiwan.

-Great Britain and the Unites States encourage the Open Door plaice- allowing all nations equal access to foreign trade. However, foreign nations decide instead to carve out separate fiefdoms.

1898- Hundred Days of Reform under K'ang Yu-Wei.

Boxer Rebellion.

1898-1900- Boxer Rebellion- massive protest against foreign intrusion encouraged by he Empress Tzu Hsi.

1905- Civil Service exams abolished.


1911- explosion of a bomb at Wuchang sets off the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty by Sun Yat Sen.

1912- Abdication of the last Manchu Emperor.

Republic of China.

1912- Republic of China founded by Sun Yat Sen.

-reign of the warlords.

-Sun Yat Sen resigns.

1912-1916- Yuan Shih-k'ai. First president of the Republic of China. His repressive rule causes revolts by adherents of Sun Yat Sen.

World War One and the Invasion of Japan.

1914-1915- Japan seizes the German leasehold in Shantung and makes the Twenty-one Demands

1917- China enters the war on the side of the allies.

1916- Yuan dies; China begins to break up into warlord states.

1919- at Versailles, China fails to prevent Japanese from getting Shantung.

1919- May Fourth Movement protests decision at Versailles.

1921-1922- Washington Conference- Japan finally agrees to withdraw from Shantung. Open door policy and China's territorial integrity are affirmed.

Nationalist-Communist Alliance.

1921- founding of Chinese Communist party. Sun Yat Sen , failing to get support from the west, obtains support from the USSR and allies with Communists.

-anti-western government gains momentum.

Revival of Sun and the Kuomintang

1924- reorganization of Sun Yat Sen's Kuomintang which governs Guangzhou and gets loyalty of southern provinces, northern warlords and national government in Beijing.

1926-1928- Northern Expedition of Chian Kai-Chek, the reunification of China under the Kuomintang. He turns against the Communists, executing their leaders.

1928- Chiang Kai-Shek makes Nanjing capital of a re-unified China.

Civil War: Nationalists fight the Communists.

-nationalists fight Communists.

1931- Japan occupies Manchuria

-Chiang forces out the Communist government in Jiangxi.

1934-1935- Mao Zedong's Long March. Communists occupy Shaanxi in northwest China.

1936- Communists kidnap Chiang and force him into an alliance against Japan.

1937- Japan invades China.

Second War with Japan.

1937-1945- the Second Sino-Japanese War.

1940- north China, Yantze Valley and coastal region under Japanese control ruled by the Wang-Wei puppet regime.

1941- after Pearl Harbour, China receives US aid.

1946-1949- Chinese Civil War.

Japanese withdrawal: Second Stage of Civil War.

-in the wake of the Japanese withdrawal, Communists and Nationalists clash in full-scale civil war.

1946- US fails to mediate the Communist-Nationalist conflict. Renewal of Civil War.

-Russians, withdrawing from Manchuria, leave military equipment to the Communists.

1948- Communists gain control of Manchuria

-Chiang's US-supported nationalists appear to be winning outside Manchuria.

-nationalist repression and incompetence leads to public support for the Communists.

1949- Jan.- Beijing falls to Communists.

-August- US wihtdraws aid from Nationalists.


1949- Oct 1- Communist victory over the Chiang Kai-Chek regime. People's Republic of China under Mao Zedong is proclaimed with capital at Beijing.

1950- nationalists defeated. They withdraw to Taiwan.

1950- China allies with North Korea in Korean War, atttempts to stem a drive by UN forces toward Manchurian border.

-China reoccupies Tibet- the outliers of the modern Chinese empire are Manhcuria, Mongolia, Sinkiang in the north west and Tibet in the southwest.

-land reform; improved, more equitable food distribution, more effective police protection

-1953- China emerges as a regional diplomatic power at end of Korean War.

Five Year Plan.

1953-57- First Five-Year Plan.

-nationalization, collectivization.

-USSR helps with expansion of railroads and industry.

1955-Chiang Kai Chek reaffirms claims on China from Taiwan. US supports Taiwan against China, declaring that it would respond to a direct military attack on Taiwan.

1956- Soviets take a more moderate path with de-Stalinization, beginning an ideological divergence from China.

1958- "off-shore islands" crisis.

Great Leap Forward,

1958-1959- The Great Leap Forward.

-massive industrialization.

-empowerment of local authority.

-expansion of cooperatives into rural communes, disrupting family life but creating a massive labour force.

1959-1961- successive crop failures destroy gains of the Great Leap Forward, pointing to error of industrializing at the expense of agricultural development. Mao resigns as Chairman of the Communist party but still remains the most powerful individual in China.

1960- withdrawal of Soviet advisers and economic aid. Military build-up and clashes on China-Soviet border.

1964- China's first atomic bomb tested.

The Cultural Revolution.

1966- Mao inaugurates the Cultural Revolution.

-students mobilized to destroy the intellectual elite, the bureaucracy and all remnants of China's past - all of which were condemned as 'bourgeois'.

-emphasis is placed on agriculture.

-purge of Liu Shao-chi.

-China gives military support to North Viet Nam against the U.S..

-China's foreign policy, previously ideological, becomes more diplomatic, sending aid to underdeveloped countries around the world.

1967- founding of ASEAN- Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

-China's first hydrogen bomb tested.

1969- Sino-Soviet border conflict

Detente with U.S.

1970- GNP increases dramatically.

-Lin Bao plots to assassinate Mao but dies in a plane crash while fleeing China in 1971

1971- Nixon announces plan to visit Beijing. US drops its objection to China having a seat in the UN. UN expels Taiwan nationalist delegation.

1972- US President Nixon visits Beijing. Bilateral commitment to work toward peace in Asia and develop economic, cultural and diplomatic ties.

1973- Cultural Revolution: massive propaganda attacks on Confucianism and cultural exchange with the west.

Deng's Moderates vs. The Gang of Four.

1976- many policies of Mao and the Cultural Revolution are rescinded. Emphasis shifts away from agriculture, to small factories and local self-sufficiency.

-a moderate faction develops with Deng Xiaoping and Premier Chou en Lai- facing radicals from the cultural revolution led by the Gang of Four- Mao's wife, Jiang Qing, Yao Wen Yan, Wang Hongwen and Zang Jiao. Mao mediates between the two factions.

-Gang of Four warns Mao that Deng's 'Four Modernizations' would eliminate the gains of the Cultural Revolution.

-April- Gang of Four gets Deng and his supporters purged.

Sept.- death of Mao.

Oct.- a coalition of military and political leaders purges Gang of Four. Hua Go Feng becomes chairman.

1977- Deng is rehabilitated, becomes deputy to Chairman Hua Go Feng but is in fact the most powerful. His plan is to build up the economy and strengthen ties with the west.

1978- Deng is virtually the leader of china.

1979- Jan 1- full diplomatic relations restored with U.S.

-Deng has four coastal cities named special economic zones in order to bring in foreign trade, investment and technology.

-border war with Viet Nam over Viet Nam's invasion of Cambodia.

1980- Deng chooses Zhao Ziyang to replace Hua Go Feng.

1981- China replaces Taiwan on the IMF and in the World Bank.

-rapid industrialization. Limited profit-taking is allowed as an incentive. Some private industry and foreign investment is permitted.

-Deng liberalizes academic debate

-wider trade relations with the west.

-because of Deng's reforms, the CCP loses much of its influence.

1982- reformist Hu Yaobang is made General Secretary.

1984- Hong Kong to be returned to China in 1997 according to Anglo-Chinese accord.

-14 more cities are named Special Economic Zones.

-decollectivization of cooperative farms to increase output.

-one-child policy is moderated due to protests and infanticide.

-many who'd been purged in the Cultural Revolution are rehabilitated.

-economic growth rates of 10% lead to social stratification rather then to a universal increase in living standards.

1987- reformist General Secretary Hu Yaobang is replaced by Zhou Ziang after student demonstrations.

-Zhou Ziang is replaced by Li Peng.

Tianamen Square.

1989- April- death of reformist Hu Yaobang leads to student protests.

1989- Tianamen Square- Government massacre of democracy protesters. Thousands arrested. Zhou Ziang is replaced with Jiang Zemin. Deng has set a sharp limit to the CCP's loss of influence.

-all political opposition is suppressed by Jiang Zemin.

-the west imposes economic sanctions, sending China's economy into decline.

1990- economic sanctions are futile and the west relaxes them.

-June- hundreds of dissidents are freed. US restores China's 'most favoured nation status'.

The State market Economy.

-after Tianamen Square, China resolves to focus on economic progress and avoid political turmoil

-government gradually brings in a state-controlled market economy.

-1992- China joins the UN coalition in the First Gulf War.

1996- China, Russia, Kazakstan, Kygyztsan and Tajikstan meet to cooperate in dealing with ethnic and relgious tensions in one another's countries.

1997- death of Deng Xiaoping. He is succeeded by Jiang Zemin.


-separatist riots in Xinjiang

1998- Zhy Ronji succeeds Li Peng as Premier. He institutes structural and financial reforms after the Asian Financial Crisis.

-Britain hands over Hong Kong to China. Portugal hands over Macao- all as part of the 'One China' policy.

1999- China outlaws the Falun Gong as a threat to internal stibility.

2000- crackdown on government corruption.

2001- China, Russia and four Central Asian countries form the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to combat ethnic and religious militants and enhance trade. They are known as the Shanghai Five.

June- China and Taiwan carry out simultaneous -and hostile- military exercises and demonstrations.

-massive poverty and underemployment in the interior results in job creation programs and infrastructure spending.

Nov- China admitted to the WTO.

2002- Feb.- US President Bush makes a state visit to Beijing.

Nov.- President Hu Jintao replaces outgoing Communist Party head Jiang Zemin.


2003- March- Hu Jintao becomes president, replacing Jiang Zemin.

2003- March-April. China and Hong Kong hit by the Sars Virus- believed to have started in Guangdong Province.

June- China and India agree on status of Tibet and Sikkim in cross-border trading agreement.

July-August- 1/2 million in Hong Kong protest, forcing the retraction of an anti-subversion bill.

2004- September- Jiang Zemin stands down as army chief.

November- China signs a trade deal with 10 Southeast Asian countries, creating a huge potential trading bloc.

2005- China passes a law allowing the use of force if Taiwan attempts independence.

April- mass protests in China at a Japanese textbook which downplays Japanese atrocities in China during World War II- threatening Sino-Japanese relations.

-nationalist Taiwan president Lien Chan visits China. The first visit between Taiwan and Chinese heads of state since 1949.

August- joint military exercises held by Russia and China.

2006- May- Three Gorges Dam under construction- world's largest hydro-electric power project.

2006- July- China-Tibet railway opens.

August- official news agency decalres 18 million people affected by the worst drought in 50 years.

November- China-Africa summit in Beijing. African heads of state gather as deals are signed with China valued at $2 billion.

Government reports deteriorating environmental conditions threatening health and safety.

2007- January- China tests a missile, shooting down an old weather satellite. US and Japan are apprehensive about Chinese military build-up.

China and Africa

February- President Hu Jintao tours eight African countries as the West criticizes China for dealing with corrupt and repressive regimes.

April- Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao becomes first Chinese leader to address Japan's parliament as both countries agree to attempt reconciliation over historical conflicts.

June- hundreds found working as slaves in brick factories; Beijing introduces new labour legislation.

July- China's food and drug chief is executed for taking bribes. International community worries about the safety of Chinese food and drug exports- as well as exports of lead-bearing toys and
other products.

2008- January- worst snowstorms in decades affect 100 million people.

Renewed Tibetan Protests Repressed by Chinese Army

2008- March 10- on the anniversary of the 1959 uprising, demonstrations against Chinese rule by Tibetan youth movement are violently repressed by Chinese military- dozens killed. Dalai Lama condemns violent resistance, insisting on peaceful means.

March 14- protests against China turn violent.

-China blocks of all transportation links to Tibet in Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai provinces. Resistance spreads outside of Llasa, throughout Tibet. Police clash with protesting monks and nuns in Sichuan.

-spotlight on upcoming Chinese Olympics draws international focus on China's treatment of Tibet.
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