Chronography of China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong

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Box Index:-

28.0, Three Gorges Dam, River Yangtse, 1997-2006

27.0, China regains Hong Kong and Macau; pro-democracy protests 1992-2019

26.0, China to recover Hong Kong and Macao, 1984-89

25.0, Liberalisation policies in China 1993-2001

24.0, China and Taiwan, 1992-96

23.0, Japan 1974-96

23(a), Japanese Lockheed bribery scandal 1974-76

22.0, China 1990-92

21.0, Tiananmen Square protests 1989

20.0, Anti-Chinese protests in Tibet; Chinese crackdown there, 1987-91

19.0, Taiwan governmental changes 1979-88

18.0, Chinese governmental changes 1978-86

17.0, China: Gang of Four, 1976-81

16.0, China 1974-75

15.0, Relic Japanese soldiers from World War Two, 1972-74

14.0, Japan 1970-76

13.0, Beijing consolidates its position at the United Nations 1971-72

12.0, China, 1969-72

11.0, Chinese Cultural Revolution 1965-68

10.0, Chinese military development, 1962-63

9.0, China cultural development 1959-62

8.0, Aftermath of Chinese occupation of Tibet 1958-65

7.0, Chinesepolitical developments 1952-58

6.0, Chinese threats to Taiwan 1955. See also 1945-49

5.0, Japan becomes self-governing nation again, 1951-57

4.0, Chinese occupation of Tibet 1950-52. See also 1958-65

3.0, China; Communist victory, separation of Taiwan 1945-49. See also 1955

2.0, Aftermath of World War Two; Japanese war crimes trials, 1945-49

1,0, Japan � the final surrender, 1945

0.0, The atomic bombing of Japan, 1945

-1.0, Air raids on the Japanese homeland began, 1944-45

-1.0(a), Capture of Okinawa, 1945

-1.0(b), Capture of Mandalay, 1945

-2.0, Japanese retreat 1942-44

-2.0(a) Guadalcanal 1942-3

-3.0, High point of the Japanese Pacific Invasion, 1942


8 July 2022, Shinzo Abe, former Japanese PM, was shot and killed by a disaffected Japanese naval veteran.

28 August 2020, Shinzo Abe, Japanese Prime Minister, resigned, having broken the previous length of service record by four days.

15 June 2020, Tensions along the ill-defined and disputed Himalayan border between India and China escalated. India accused China of annexing the Galwan Valley, some 60 square miles. China accused India of building military roads into disputed areas and of attempting to control more of Kashmir, including an area ceded by Pakistan to China that India claims. Some 20 soldiers died, mainly through falling into icy gorges.

1 January 2016, The two-child policy took effect in China, allowing couples in the country to have at most two children, replacing the controversial one-child policy. The change in law was announced by the ruling Communist Party on October 29 and passed the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on December 27, five days prior to its effect.

12 August 2015, A large explosion in Tianjin, China, destroyed a warehouse containing several hundred tons of hazardous chemicals. At least 50 died and over 700 injured.

7 September 2013, China announced plans for a new Silk Road economic Belt, part of the Belt and Road initiative.

14 March 2013, Xi Jinping was named the new President of China.

14 March 2011, Fears of a meltdown at Fukushima nuclear plant, Japan. See Japan earthquake.

24 August 2008, The Beijing Olympics closed.

8 August 2008, The Beijing Olympics opened. They continued until 24 August 2008.

13 April 2006, Gyaltsen Norbu was confirmed as the11th Panchen Lama, at a ceremony of 1,000 Buddhist monks and nuns in Hangzhou, China. The 16-year-old had been selected for this role 10 years earlier, and is known as the �Chinese Panchen�, to distinguish him from the Panchen previously chosen by the exiled Dalai Lama and kept in a secret safe location.


28.0, Three Gorges Dam, River Yangtse, 1997-2006

20 May 2006, The Three Gorges Dam in China was completed, the world�s largest hydro-electric dam.

1 June 2003, China began filling the Three Gorges Dam, raising the water level by over 100 metres.

1 August 1999, In China the Yangtze River burst its banks, making 5 million homeless.

8 November 1997, The main channel of China�s Yangtze River was blocked as construction work continued on the Three Gorges Dam.


2005, Japanese Prime Minister Junchiro Koizumi called a general election 2 years early after Bills to privatise Japan Post were voted down in the Upper House.The incumbent Liberal Democratic Party were re-elected with a landlide victory.

18 August 2005, Peace Mission 2005, the first joint Chinese-Russian military exercise, began an 8-day programme on the Shandong Peninsula.

28 February 2004, In Taiwan, over 1 million people formed a 500 km human chain to commemorate the 1947 massacre of 30,000 civilians.

2003, Japan sent troops to support the USA in the invasion of Iraq. This was the first time Japanese soldiesr had operated in a war zone since World war two, and it drew protests from those who felt this violated Japan�s pacifist stance.

2001, Japan�s Liberal Democratic Party appointed populist right-winger Junichito Koizumi as Prime Minister. Controversially, he paid homage at a memorial to Japan�s war dead. Tanaka Mikiko became Japan�s first female Foreign Minister.

16 July 2001, China and Russia signed a treaty of friendship.

2000, In Taiwan the Democratic Progressive Party candidate Chen Shui-bian became the country�s first non-Kuomintang President.

9 February 2001, The US submarine USS Greeneville accidentally struck and sunk the Ehime-Maru, a Japanese training ship operated by the Uwajima Fishery High School.

2000, Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi fell into a coma and was replaced by Yoshiro Mori. The Liberal Democratic Party remained in power, with its coalition oartners, after the 6/2000 general elections. Unemployment rose above 5% for the first time since World War Two.

22 July 1999, China cracked down on the Falun Gong religious movement, which claimed to have 70 million followers.

9 May 1999, Widespread protests in cities across China over the US accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia.

20 January 1999, China announced restrictions on Internet use, aimed especially at Internet cafes.

26 November 1998, Japan and China signed a joint declaration of friendship and economic development.

19 May 1998, Uno Sosuke, Japanese Prime Minister, died.


27.0, China regains Hong Kong and Macau; pro-democracy protests 1992-2019

24 November 2019, Elections were held in Hong Kong, after weeks of often-violent protests against the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, and her changes to the extradition laws. Opposition candidates won 17 of the 18 councils, having controlled none previously.

12 August 2019, After several weeks of low-key protests in Hong Kong, against a new law permitting extradition to mainland China (despite the �One Country Two Systems arrangement instituted in 1997 for 50 years) the unrestescalated after a woman was shot in the eye by a police beanbag round during demonstrations at Hong Kong Airport.

16 June 2019, Large protests in Hong Kong over a proposed new rule allowing extradition to mainland China. These protests continued on into July, although the new law was �suspended�.

15 December 2014, In Hong Kong police cleared away the barricades set up in September 2014 by pro-democracy demonstrators who were demanding free elections without preliminary screening of the candidates by Beijing. The Chinese President, Xi Jinping, had won against the Occupy Central movement, but popular discontent, by young educated students from affluent families remained.

4 December 2005, 250,000 people in Hong Kong protested for democracy.

12 September 2005, The Hong Kong Disneyland resort officially opened.

12 September 2004, In Hong Kong, pro-Democracy Parties did badly as voters seemed wary of offending China. Pro-Beijing Parties won 34 seats against 25 for the pro-Democracy Parties.

20 December 1999, Macau was handed back to China by Portugal.

6 July 1998, The new airport at Chek Lai Kok, Hong Kong, opened.

24 May 1998, In the first legislative elections in Hong Kong since China took control, pro-democracy Parties took 60% of the vote.

1 July 1997. Hong Kong was handed back to China.

29 August 1996. British forces began to leave Hong Kong.

9 July 1994, China announced its intention to abolish Hong Kong�s Legislative Council once it took back the territory from the UK in 1997.

9 July 1992, Chris Patten, last British Governor of Hong Kong, took office; the colony was to be handed back to China in 1997.

26.0, China to recover Hong Kong and Macao, 1984-89

3 July 1989, Britain stated there would be no automatic right of abode in the UK for Hong Kong citizens concerned about life under future Chinese rule.

13 April 1987, Portugal and China agreed to the return of Macao to China in 1999.

19 December 1984. Mrs Thatcher signed an agreement to return Hong Kong to China in 1997.

26 September 1984, China and the UK signed an initial agreement to hand Hong Kong back to China in 1997.


25.0, Liberalisation policies in China 1993-2001

27 December 2001, China was granted permanent normal trade status with the USA.

11 December 2001. China joined the World Trade Organisation, following 15 years of negotiations.

12 September 1997, Jiang Zemin was confirmed as Chinese Communist party general secretary by the Party�s 15th Congress. The liberalising policies started by the late Deng Xiaoping were to continue.

19 February 1997, The last of the Chinese revolutionaries, Deng Xiaoping, died aged 92 (born 1904); weeks of mourning followed.

3 September 1994, The USSR and China agreed to stop targeting nuclear missiles at each other.

13 December 1993, A fire in textile factory in Fuzjou China, killed 60.

27 March 1993, Ziang Zemin became President of the People�s Republic of China.

3 March 1993. Rolls Royce announced plans to open a showroom in China.


24.0, China and Taiwan, 1992-96

8 March 1996, China conducted military exercises in the Taiwan Strait, to intimidate Taiwanese voters in their upcoming elections. In these elections the pro-independence candidate Lee Teng-Hui won, but there was no subsequent formal declaration of independence.

23 February 1995, The Taiwanese Parliament approved compensation payments torelatives of indigenous Taiwanese massacred by Kuomintang troops after they evacuated from mainland China in February 1947.

19 December 1992, The first democratic General Elections in Taiwan (see 1986). The incumbent Kuomintang won, with 53% of the vote, but the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) made significant inroads. See 2000.


23.0, Japan 1974-96

1996, Japan repealed its Eugenic Protection Laws, under which females deemed to havemental disabilities could be forcibly sterilised.

15 April 1996, The USA returned some of its bases to Japan and promised to enforce better discipline amongst its troops, following a scandal in 1995 in which a child was raped. See 4 September 1995.

16 May 1995, Japanese police besieged the headquarters of the Aum Shrnrinko cult near Mount Fuji, and arrested the leader Shoko Asuhara.

4 September 1995, The alleged rape of a 12-year-old girl in Japan by three US servicemen caused widespread resentment against the US military presence in Japan. See 15 April 1996.

20 March 1995. Nerve gas was released on the Tokyo Subway by the Ayum Shrinkyo religious cult.Five separate trains were affected; 12 died and 5,500 were injured.

17 January 1995. 5.46 am, local time, earthquake in Kobe, southern Japan, killed 6,433, and injured 27,000. The quake measured 7.2 on the Richter Scale and made 300,000 homeless. Cost of damage was estimated at �63 billion. It was the worst quake to hit Japan since Tokyo, 1923.

18/71993, In Japan the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lost power after a 38-year rule. Corruption scandals were a major factor in this defeat. Morihiro Hosokawa, leader of the Japan New Party, formed a coalition that dod not include the LDP.

8 September 1992, The Japanese Cabinet approved sending peacekeeping troops to Cambodia. This was the first overseas deployment of Japanese forces since 1945.

1990, Japan amended its immigration law, opening up the labour market to foreign workers. This was in response to chronic labour shortages caused by a rapidly falling birth rate and ageing population.

12 November 1990, Crown Prince Akihito became the 125th Japanese monarch and Emperor.

21 October 1990, Japanese coastguard vessels repulsed two Taiwanese ships seeking to assert a Taiwanese claim on the Senkaku Islands. Anti-Japanese protests ensued in Hong Kong.

23 December 1989, The Bank of Japan announced a major interest rate rise, leading to the peak and bursting of the Japanese �bubble� economy.

24 July 1989, Japan�s Liberal Democratic Party suffered its first defeat in 30 years, forcing the resignation of Prime Minister Sosuke Uno. A scandal involving Uno�s former mistress ruined his career.

7 January 1989. Emperor Hirohito of Japan died, aged 87. He had ruled for more than 62 years. 500,000 people lined the streets for his funeral on 24 February 1989; US & British war veterans protested that their countries should not honour a war criminal. Hirohito had opposed war with the USA in the 1930s, he was also against the Japanese invasion of Manchuria and Japan�s alliance with Nazi Germany. In 1941 he proposed peace with Washington, but was persuaded by the War Minister and his generals to hit Pearl Harbour. He was buried near his father�s mausoleum in the Imperial Palace Gardens in Japan; his son Akihito, 55, succeeded him.

6 August 1985, In Hiroshima, tens of thousands marked the 40th anniversary of the bombing of the city.

17 March 1985, Expo '85, World's Fair, opened at Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan. It ran until September 16.

15 April 1983, The first non-American Disney theme park opened, near Tokyo.

7 October 1979, In Japanese general elections, the Liberal Democrat Party won a narrow victory.

23(a), Japanese Lockheed bribery scandal 1974-76

26 July 1976, The former Prime Minister of Japan, Kakuei Tanbaka, was arrested on charges that he accepted bribes from the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation.

9 December 1974, Miki Takeo became Japanese Prime Minister.

26 November 1974, Kakuei Tanaka resigned as Prime Minister of Japan after financial scandals emerged.

18 November 1974, US President Ford made the first ever visit by a US President to Japan.


22.0, China 1990-92

18 January 1992, Chinese leader Deng Xiao Ping stated that China should continue to focus on improving its economy, even at the �cost of embracing certain capitalistic models and ideas�. This was a marked reversal of the ideas of Chairman Mao.

1990, The Shanghai Stock Exchange reopened, after a 41-year closure.

9 October 1990. Hundreds of Chinese queued to buy Big Macs when McDonalds opened its first restaurant in Shenzhen.

4 April 1990, The Chinese People�s Congress approved the Basic Law, effectively a Constitution for Hong Kong after the transfer from Britain to China.

13 January 1990, China lifted martial law, imposed 11 months earlier after the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests.


21.0, Tiananmen Square protests 1989

22 June 1989, In China, seven students were shot after televised show trials following the Tiananmen Square protests.

21 June 1989 The first public executions of Tiananmen Square demonstrators began in China.

9 June 1989, In China, the show trials of the leaders of the Tiananmen Square demonstration began.

4 June 1989. Massacre in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, as troops opened fire and brought in tanks. On early morning Sunday 4th June the army entered the Square. 2,600 were killed and 10,000 injured as soldiers fired on demonstrators, and tanks drove over them.

17 May 1989, Over one million people gathered in central Beijing to support the student pro-democracy demonstrators.

2 May 1989, China imposed martial law as pro-democracy protestors camped in Tiananmen Square.

17 April 1989. Chinese students demonstrated in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, calling for democracy.

15 April 1989, In China, death of disgraced Party Chairman Hu Yaobang. He had been ousted in 1987for failing to suppress student protests calling for democracy and human rights. Students eulogised him and began daily marches in Tiananmen Square calling for democratic reforms.


20.0, Anti-Chinese protests in Tibet; Chinese crackdown there, 1987-91

23 May 1991, Chinese authorities marked the 40th anniversary of their �liberation� of Tibet with low-key celebrations..

8 March 1989, China declared martial law in Tibet.

7 March 1989. Chinese troops fired on Tibetan monks and civilians demanding independence in Lhasa. Some reports said hundreds died. China annexed Tibet in 1950, and protests for Tibetan independence had been growing since 1985.

10 March 1988, The Chinese Army occupied Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, after large anti-Chinese demonstrations by Tibetans.

2 October 1987, 6 Buddhist monks in Tibet protesting against the Chinese occupation were killed by the Chinese. On 6 October 1987 China banned all foreigners from visiting Tibet.

27 September 1987, Nationalist demonstrations broke out in Lhasa, Tibet, against Chinese rule there imposed

in 1950 (see 7 October 1950). Furthermore, China had been encouraging poor Han Chinese to resettle in Tibet, competing for job opportunities and housing with poorer indigenous Tibetans. The Chinese were at first taken by surprise, having believed that the Tibetans were subjugated and pacified.


19.0, Taiwan governmental changes 1979-88

13 January 1988. Chiang Ching Kuo, President of Taiwan since 1978, died. Lee Teng Hui became President of Taiwan. The first Taiwan-born leader of the country, he was a reforming technocrat who accelerated the pace of economic liberalisation.

14 July 1987, Taiwan legalised opposition Parties. Martial law was also lifted, for the first time in 38 years, and the press was granted freedom.

1986, First legally-recognised opposition Party was formed in Taiwan, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). This was after some 40 years as a One Party State, ruled by the Nationalist Kuomintang Government. See 19 December 1992.

1979, The US passed the Taiwan Relations Act, committing the USA to defending Taiwan against an attack by China � however if Taiwan provoked China first, by for example declaring full independence, then the USA would not be committed to defending Taiwan.


18.0, Chinese governmental changes 1978-86

14 May 1989, Gorbachev visited China, the first Soviet leader to do so since the 1960s.

1 December 1988, The Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Qian Qichen, visited Moscow.

12 April 1988. China�s National People�s Congress voted to allow private enterprise and the transfer of use of land between private individuals. They did not, however, allow outright private ownership of land.

14 March 1988, Three days of conflict between China and Vietnam began over the disputed Spratly Islands.

24 November 1987, Li Peng succeeded Zhao Ziyang as Chinese Prime Minister.

25 October 1987, At the 13th Communist Party Congress in Beijing, Deng Xiaopoing resigned as Party leader.

12 October 1986, Queen Elizabeth II visited China, the first British monarch to visit the country.

1985, China announced that the so-called �barefooot doctors�, farmers trained to giver local medical assistancewithout leaving their agricultural work, and recognised as such during the Cultural Revolution, were to be disbanded.

16 September 1985, In China, 10 Politburo members and 64 members of the Central Committee resigned to make way for younger replacements.

12 October 1983, The Chinese Communist Party began its biggest purge of membership since the Cultural revolution. The records of 40 million Party members were to be reviewed. The Anti Spiritual Pollution Campaign was launched, with the (initial) approval of Deng Xiaoping. It was an attempt to roll back economic reform and Western influence. Individualism and hedonism were condemned, as were academics who promoted alternatives to Communism.

25 May 1983, The USA agreed to export high-technology items to China.

1 September 1982, At the 12th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing, Hua Guofeng, who had succeeded Chairman Mao, was removed from the Politburo.

26 August 1980, Leadership changes in China consolidated the power of pragmatic reformers led by Deng Xiaopoing.

3 April 1979, China warned the USSR it would not seek to renew the 1950 Treaty of Friendship when it expired in1980.

17 February 1979, China launched an invasion of northern Vietnam. China had backed North Vietnam during the Vietnam war with the US-backed South, but since Hanoi�s victory in 1975, North Vietnam had aligned with the Soviet Union, and in January 1979 North Vietnam invaded Cambodia and ousted the Pol Pot regime, which China backed.

1 January 1979. Diplomatic relations were established between China and the USA.

12 August 1978, China and Japan signed a 10-year friendship treaty. In April 1978, Chinese fishing boats had been operating near the Japanese held, but Chinese/Taiwan claimed, Senkaku Islands. These boats were withdrawn before the treaty was signed.

11 February 1978, China lifted a ban on the works of Shakespeare, Dickens and Aristotle.


17.0, China: Gang of Four, 1976-81

25 January 1981. The Chinese �Gang of Four� and Mao Tse Tung�s 67 year old widow were sentenced to death.

20 November 1980, The trial for treason of the Gang of Four former Chinese leaders opened in Beijing.

22 July 1977. The �Gang of Four� were expelled from the Chinese Communist Party.

2 July 1977, In China Deng Xiaoping, 73, was restored to power.

11 October 1976. In China the �Gang of Four� were arrested, accused of plotting a coup.

7 October 1976, In China, Hua Guofeng succeeded Mao Zedong as Chairman. The �Gang of Four�, including Mao�s widow, were arrested and denounced for plotting to seize power.

29 October 1976, Chairman Hua of China repudiated messages of congratulations from Communist countries.

9 September 1976. Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Chinese Communist party for 40 years, died of a series of strokes, aged 82.

8 January 1976, Zhou En Lai, Chinese revolutionary and Prime Minister of China, 1949-76, died. Aged 77, he was succeeded by Hua Goufeng.


16.0, China 1974-75

1 December 1975, Gerald Ford became the second U.S. president to travel to China, where he met with Vice-Premier Deng Xiaoping.

8 August 1975, The Banqiao Dam in China failed during a fierce typhoon, killing over 200,000 people.

5 April 1975. Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai Shek died in Taiwan, aged 87.

14 September 1974. China sent two giant pandas, Chia-Chia and Ching-Ching, to London Zoo.

8/1973, The Chinese Communist Party launched the �Anti-Confucian Campaign�. The radical supporters of Mao Zedong ostensibly wanted to continue the suppression of traditional, anti-Communist, ideas, hence the name of the campaign. In fact it was an attack on the more moderate supporters of Zhou Enlai, who (just as Confucius attempted to restore traditional practices such as feudalism) wanted to water down the Cultural Revolution and rehabilitate pruged Party officials.

26 May 1974, UK Opposition leader Edward Heath met Chairman Mao of China to improve relations between the two countries.

29 March 1974, Chinese peasants digging a well unearthed a terracotta army of 8,000 figures and horses, buried over 2,000 years ago near Xi�an. They belonged to Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi, who first united China and built the Great Wall. The artisans who built the tomb were walled up within it, to safeguard its secrets.

19 January 1974, In a very brief war lasting less than a day, China drove the Vietnamese out of the Paracel Islands and occupied them.


15.0, Relic Japanese soldiers from World War Two, 1972-74

6 September 1974. At least one Japanese soldier was reported to be still roaming the forests of the central Philippines, left behind after World War Two.

10 March 1974, A Japanese soldier was found hiding on Lubang Island in the Philippines; he believed World War Two was ongoing and was waiting for relief by his own side.

24 January 1972, A Japanese soldier, Shoichi Yokoi, was found on Guam, unaware that World War Two had ended. His last two surviving companions had died in 1964. He lived until 1997.


14.0, Japan 1970-76

5 December 1976, In Japan, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party suffered losses in the general election.

3 June 1975, Eisaku Sato, Japanese politician, died aged 75.

13 April 1974, End of a strike by 6 million Japanese workers, which had begun on 11 April 1974.

29 September 1972, Japan and China formally ended the state of war between them that had existed since 1937.

14 May 1972, A treaty between the USA and Japan returned the Ryukyu and Senkaku Islands to Japanese sovereignty. However the US retained rights to operate a military base on Okinawa, with possible nuclear use, which the Japanese objected to.

13 May 1972, A fire devastated a department store in Osaka, Japan, killing 115 people.

17 February 1972, Japan protested to Taiwan after Taiwan formally announced the incorporation of the Senkaku islands into Taiwanese territory.

5 October 1971, Emperor Hirohito of Japan arrived in Britain on a tour of Europe.He was the first Japanese sovereign to leave Japan for over 2,000 years.He left the UK on 7 October 1971.

30 December 1971, China claimed the Senkaku islands, following Taiwan�s claim of 11 June 1971, as part of greater China.

11 June 1971, Taiwan claimed the Senkaku Islands, which had been occupied by Japan in 1895 (after Japan had overrun the larger Ryukyu Islands, including Okinawa. The Ryukyu Islands had been an independent kingdom until overrun by China in the 7thcentury and then by Japan in the 17th century. China had relinquished its claims to the Ryukyu Islands in 1874. From 1945 the Ryukyu and Senkaku Islands had been under US occupation.

25 November 1970, The Japanese novelist Yukio Mishima harangued 1,000 troops on the disgrace of losing World War Two, then tried to persuade them to form a private army and launch a military coup. When he realised this was not going to happen, Mishima committed seppuku, ritual suicide.

30 March 1970, Japanese students hijacked a Boeing 727 and flew to North Korea.


13.0, Beijing consolidates its position at the United Nations 1971-72

3 March 1972, Beijing, at a UN speech, claimed the territory of Hong Kong.

23 November 1971, The United Nations declared The People�s Republic of China to be the sole representative of China, ousting Taiwan from the UN Security Council.

25 October 1971, China was admitted to the United Nations; Taiwan was expelled from the UN to accommodate this.


12.0, China, 1969-72

13 March 1972, Britain resumed diplomatic links with China, and closed its consulate in Taiwan.

13 September 1971, Lin Paio, 65, Chinese Defence Minister who led an abortive coup against Mao Tse Tung, died in a plane crash in Mongolia as he attempted to escape.

15 July 1971, US President Nixon announced he would visit China in 1972.

15 April 1971, Britain restored the telephone link with China, which had been cut in 1949.

10 April 1971, US table tennis team arrived in China. On 14 April 1971, the US relaxed restrictions on trade and travel with China.

10 November 1970, The Great Wall of China was opened to tourists for the first time.

10 July 1970, US Roman Catholic missionary, Bishop James Walsh, was released after 12 years in a Shanghai prison.

19 October 1969, The USSR and China began talks in Beijing to settle their boundary dispute along the River Issuri.

2 March 1969. Soviet and Chinese troops clashed on their border. Chinese troops attempted to occupy Damiansky island, one of the Ussuri river islands ceded by China to Tsarist Russia in 1860. China now maintained that the concession had been unfairly extracted and revoked it. Russia drove off the Chinese invasion.


11.0, Chinese Cultural Revolution 1965-68

13 October 1968, The Chinese Cultural Revolution ended when President Liu was dismissed from his posts in the Party and the Republic.The Cultural Revolution (see 3 September 1965), encouraging a return to basic Maoist principles, but also public criticism of all party members, had been too disruptive to China�s government and economy.

27 October 1967, China succeeded in laumching a nuclear warhead from a guided missile.

15 October 1967. Henry Pu Yi, the last emperor of China from the age of 2, died in Peking aged 61.

1 September 1967, Chinese civilians, including the Red Guards, were ordered to surrender their weapons to the Chinese Army, which would now be sole peacekeeper. Factory workers were to return to their jobs, and rural peasants were forbidden from going into the cities to foment revolution. Schools, suspended since May 1966, would re-open.

22 August 1967, Red Guards set fire to the British Embassy in Beijing.

17 June 1967. China exploded its first hydrogen bomb. This raised tensions between China and the USSR.

26 January 1967, Red Guards besieged the Soviet Embassy in Beijing, alleging mistreatment of Chinese students in Moscow.

8 January 1967, Rioting in Shanghai, China, as workers went on strike.

5 December 1966, Jiang Qing, wife of Chairman Mao, encouraged the Red Guards, the Chinese Army, to join the struggole of the Cultural Revolution. However the military was about the only organised tool of government still functioning inan orderly manner. Despite her best efforts., most units of the People;�s Liberation Army continued to maintain a degree of law and order. Otherwise, China was teetering on the brink of anarchy and civil war.

13 August 1966. Chairman Mao of China announced a 'cultural revolution'. On 18 August 1966 Mao appeared on the gallery of the Tiananmen Gate in Peking to a crowd of over a million Red Guards. Then the student Red Guards spread out into China to radicalise the towns and countryside.

3 September 1965, The Cultural Revolution began in China.A reassertion of Maoist principles, it began with a speech by Marshal Lin Biao urging pupils in schools and colleges to return to the basics of the Chinese Revolution and to purge liberal and Kruschevian trends in the Chinese Communist Party.See 13 October 1968.


6 April 1966, Increased ferry tolls sparked riots in Hong Kong.

17 May 1962, Hong Kong built a wall to keep out Chinese migrants.

28 November 1959, The dockyard at Hong Kong closed, after 80 years of operation.


13 August 1965, Ikeda Hayato, Prime Minister of Japan, died.

22 June 1965, The Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea was signed in Tokyo, almost twenty years after South Korea had been liberated from the Japanese Empire.

1964, Japan joined the OECD. Tokyo hosted the 1964 Olympics.

1 September 1963, About 100,000 people in two Japanese cities demonstrated against the presence of American nuclear submarines.

20 November 1960, In Japanese elections the Liberal Democratic Party increased its majority in the 467 member House of Representatives, gaining 13 seats for a total of 296; the Japan Socialist Party gained 23 for a total of 145. The leftist Democratic Socialists fell from 40 to 23. Ikeda told a news conference that the results showed that the Japanese people approved the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty that had been violently protested against in the Spring

12 October 1960, Inajiro Asanuma, leader of the Japanese Socialist Party, was assassinated because of his support for an anti-Communist Treaty with the USA, see 19 January 1960.

19 January 1960, President Eisenhower of the USA signed a Treaty of Mutual Co-operation and Security with Japan in Washington. This confirmed Japan as an integral member of the anti-Communist alliance. However there was popular anger against the USA, against the perceived growth of US influence over Japan, and the Japanese Government advised US President Eisenhower to cancel a planned visit. See 12 October 1960.


10.0, Chinese military development, 1962-63

1 August 1965, General Lo Jui-ching, the Chief of Joint Staff of the armed forces of the People's Republic of China, declared that the Chinese were ready to fight the United States again, as they had in the Korean War.

16 October 1964, China exploded a nuclear weapon at Lop Nor.

3 February 1964. China challenged the USSR for leadership of the Communist world.

27 January 1964. France recognised Communist China.

14 January 1964, In China, the nuclear processing facility at Lanzhou made its first delivery of enriched uranium, 90% uranium-235; China exploded its first atom bomb, 22-kilotons, on 16 October 1964.

1963, By the end of 1963, Chairman Mao was calling on all Chinese to �Learn from the People�s Liberation Army (PLA)�. With Lin Biao as Chinese Defence Minister from 1959, the PLA was now centred as the example of self sacrifice and dedication to collective values which all China should follow. The PLA now increasingly dominated Chinese politics.

21 November 1962, Ceasefire in the India-China border dispute.

20 October 1962, Chinese troops attacked Indian border positions.

8 September 1962. China-India border dispute escalated. China attacked Indian border posts on 20 October 1962. On 28 October 1962 the USA pledged to send arms to India


9.0, China cultural development 1958-62

21 January 1962 . In Communist China it was revealed that only �registered addicts � were allowed to buy or smoke cigarettes.

1960, The San Men Dam, Hunag He (Yellow) River, China, was completed.

18 October 1959, As China stepped up the persecution of the 20 million Christians within its borders, 68-year-old Bishop James E Walsh was arrested. He was imprisoned until 1971.

22 September 1959. The United Nations refused to admit Communist China.

27 April 1959, Mao stepped down as China�s Chief of State, but remained Chairman of the Communist Party.

2 September 1958. The first television station in China opened in Beijing.

23 May 1958, China, under Mao, began its Great Leap Forward. Peasant farmers were grouped into huge communes of many thousands of families. Some 74,000 such communes were created.The small garden plots, around 10 by 15 metres, that each household used to grow vegetables, were abolished. However this caused a rural food crisis and the plots were later returned in the early 1960s. Farming families were encouraged to build makeshift steel furnaces using household scrap metal, fuelled by firewood. This was disastrous as time was taken away from food production and the �steel� produced was very substandard. Crops rotted in the fields and some 14 � 40 million people starved to death. This was humiliating for Mao and he eased up on the Reforms until his Cultural Revolution in 1966. After Mao�s death in 1976, leaders such as Deng Xiaoping sought to correct his excesses by breaking up the communes and introducing market reforms.


8.0, Aftermath of Chinese occupation of Tibet 1958-65. See also 1950-52

1965, Tibet was officially made an �autonomous region� of China.

9 March 1961, The Dalai Lama appealed to the UN to restore the independence of Tibet.

19 April 1959, The Dalai Lama arrived in India.

31 March 1959, The Dalai Lama escaped to India. Tibet lost its independence to China in 1951.

28 March 1959, China dissolved the government of Tibet.

19 March 1959, China stepped up its shelling ot the Lama�s Palace, killing many of his supporters camped around it.

17 March 1959, Chinese troops fired two shells at the Lama�s palace; at 10pm that day the Lama fled the palace disguised as a soldier.

10 March 1959, Thousands of Tibetans protested in the streets of Lhasa over the influx of Chinese settlers, which had begun when Chinese troops entered eastern Tibet in October 1950.

9 March 1959, Chinese officials in Tibet ordered the Dalai Lama to go alone to the Chinese military headquarters the next day. This order traised suspicions and the Lama�s supporters formed a human shield around him the following day.

31 July 1958. Kham tribesmen in eastern Tibet rebelled against Chinese rule


7.0, Chinesepolitical developments 1952-58

9 August 1958. The USA reaffirmed its refusal to recognise Red China.

7 January 1957. President Khrushchev of the USSR welcomed China�s Prime Minister Chou En Lai. Behind the scenes, however, there was rivalry between the two countries. The USSR supported Manchurian and Vietnamese Communists, and there were differences on how Communism should be enforced. However Chou En Lai supported the USSR�s crackdown in 1956 in Hungary.

1956, Chinese characters were simplified in a bid to increase literacy. There was a second round of simplificationin 1964.

31 December 1956, 90% of Chinese farms had been re-organised into collectives, with land, implements and animals owned collectively, not privately.

3 January 1956, The USSR gave technical aid to China.

17 July 1955. The Chinese writer Hu Feng was arrested for publically criticising Communism as having a �blighting influence� on literature.

31 March 1955, The Communist Party in China was purged.

15 June 1953, Chinese leader Xi Jinping was born onto a well-connected political family; his father was Xi Zhongxun.

25 October 1952, The USA blocked the entry of China to the United Nations for the third year running. See 25 October 1971.

2 October 1952, China held a �Asia and Pacific Peace� Conference, attended by delegates from 37 countries.

17 August 1952, A large Chinese delegation, led by Zhou Enlai, visited the USSR for discussions.


6.0, Chinese threats to Taiwan 1955. See also 1945-49

7 February 1955, The US 7th fleet began an evacuation of 14,000 Chinese Nationalist troops and 18,000 Chinese civilians from the Tachen Islands (see 17 January 1955). The evacuation was completed 6 days later, whereupon the Chinese Communists took over the islands.

24 January 1955, Because of increasing tensions between China and Formosa (Taiwan), US President Eisenhower asked Congress for authority to protect Formosa; it was granted within four days by 409 votes to 3 in the House of Representatives.

17 January 1955, Chinese Communists began a heavy bombardment of Chinese Nationalists on the Tachen Islands just west of Taiwan. The next day Chinese Communist forces occupied the small island of Yikiang, which the Nationalists did not have the firepower to defend.

9 August 1954, Chinese Nationalists sank a Communist gunboat off Taiwan.


5.0, Japan becomes self-governing nation again, 1951-57

9 February 1957, Poland and Japan resumed diplomatic relations.

18 December 1956. Japan joined the United Nations.

1955, In Japan, The Liberal Democratic Party was set up.

8 May 1955. Hiroshima victims arrived in the USA for plastic surgery.

16 February 1955, Nearly 100 died in a fire at a home for the elderly in Yokohama, Japan.

5 November 1954, Burma and Japan signed a peace treaty.

7/1954, Defence of Hokkaido Island, excepting air and radar units, passed from the US to the Japanese military. The size limit of the Japanese military was raised from 120,000 to 165,000, and a ban on the employment of former officers of the Jaopanese Imperial Army was removed.

8 March 1954, The US and Japan signed a mutual defence pact.

27 September 1953, Japan established a national defence force.

28 April 1953, Japan regained the right to self-governmemnt, which had been lost at the end of World War Two.

1 October 1952, The Liberal Party won Japanese elections.

5 August 1952, Japan and China resumed diplomatic relations.

8 September 1951, The San Francisco Treaty of Friendship between the US and Japan was signed.


4.0, Chinese occupation of Tibet 1950-52. See also 1958-65

28 April 1952. Japan regained sovereignty.

26 October 1951, The Chinese news agency Xinhua announced that the Tibetan people had been �liberated from imperialist aggression and returned to the great family of the People�s Republic of China�

9 September 1951, Chinese troops occupied the Tibetan capital, Lhasa.

29 March 1951, The US completed a draft Peace Treaty with Japan, which was circulated to the Allied Powers.

25 March 1951, China issued an ultimatum to Tibet, to choose between �peaceful liberation� or �military annihilation�. Tibet chose to sign the 17-Point Agreement with China on 24 May 1951.

25 December 1950. The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in the wake of the Chinese invasion.

17 November 1950, Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, was enthroned as Tibetan head of State, aged 15.

13 November 1950, Tibet appealed to the UN for aid against Chinese aggression.

21 October 1950. Chinese forces occupied Tibet. China has always feared that if it did not control Tibet, India might gain influence there, giving it not only control of much of China�s water supply but also a commanding high position over the Chinese plains to the east.

17 October 1950, Chinese troops took Chamdo, opening up the way to central Tibet.

7 October 1950, 30,000 Chinese troops entered Tibet, meeting little opposition. 30,000 well trained and equipped Chinese troops confronted a Tibetan army of fewer than 4,000 trained soldiers.

1 March 1950. Chiang Kai Shek became President in Formosa (Taiwan).

27 February 1950, China and the USSR signed a joint agreement for exploiting oil in Sinkiang, for joint mining operations, and joint operation of a civil airline.

14 February 1950. China and the USSR signed a 30-year pact in Moscow.

1 January 1950, Radio Beijing announced that Tibet was to be �liberated�.


3.0, China; Communist victory, separation of Taiwan 1945-49. See also 1955

13 July 1950, Ma Ying-jeou, President of Taiwan, was born.

6 January 1950, Britain officially recognised Communist China.

8 December 1949, Taipei, Taiwan, was formally chosen as the capital of Nationalist China. Chiang Kai Shek�s Nationalist Government fled to Taiwan from China to escape the advancing Communists.

20 October 1949,Britain recognised the People�s Republic of China, under Chairman Mao.

6 October 1949, The USA granted South Korea US$ 10.2 million for military aid and US$ 110 million for economic aid for the year 1950.

1 October 1949. The Chinese Communists set up a government in Peking, The People�s Republic of China, under Mao. Taiwan remained independent. Chinese Party Chairman Mao Tse Tung made no secret of the fact that he considered Tibet part of China.

21 September 1949, The People�s Republic of China was officially proclaimed. The Chinese Nationalists, aware of the birden previously imposed in the indigenous Taiwanese by Chinese officials, now made efforts to reduce the tax burden, and reduced rents charged to tenant farmers. The Land to Tiller Act allowed landlords to keep 7.5 acres of irrigated land or 15 acres of dry land; the rest was bought by the Taiwanese Government for, mostly, resale to the peasants, under a shares, bonds, and instalment payments scheme. About 25% of the land was not resold but could be rented out as a ladder for new farmers to get going.

2 September 1949, The redistribution of land became an official part of Chinese Communist policy.

5 August 1949, The USA halted aid to China.

30 July 1949, The HMS Amethyst successfully sailed 140 miles down the Yangtse River overnight to escape Chinese Communist forces, see 20 April 1949.

26 May 1949. Chinese Communists captured Shanghai.

23 May 1949. Chinese Communists drove the Nationalists off the mainland to Taiwan.

22 April 1949, Chinese Communists captured Chaing Kai Sehk�s Nationalist capital, Nanjing,

20 April 1949, The HMS Amethyst was fired upon by Chinese whilst sailing up the Yangtse River with supplies for the British community in Nanking.She was trapped until the night of 30 July 1949 when she successfully sailed downriver 140 miles, under fire from further Chinese forces.

22 January 1949 The Chinese Communists under Mao Tse Tung captured Biejing. The Nationalists under Chaing Kai Shek were defeated at Huai Hai north of Beijing.

21 January 1949, Chiang Kai Shek resigned

15 January 1949. Chinese Communists captured Tientsin.

29 October 1948, Chinese Communist forces captured the important city of Mukden, and its arsenal, from Kuomintang forces.

1 September 1948. The North China People�s Republic was formed by the Communists, under Chairman Mao.

1947, Mao now governed large Communist enclaves, with a total population of some 10 million.

29 March 1948, Chiang Kai Shek was re-elected President of China by the Nanjing Assembly.

19 March 1947, Chinese Nationalists captured the city of Yenang.

28 February 1947, An anti-government protest in Taiwan was violently put down by the Kuomintang under Chiang Kai-shek with the loss of 18,000-28,000 lives. This was the beginning of the White Terror.

16 February 1947, Chiang Kai-shek introduced a number of measures to address China's economic crisis, including the repatriation of all Chinese assets held abroad, prohibiting dealings in gold and foreign currency and banning strikes and lockouts.

25 December 1946, The Guomintang Chinese Government adopted a new Constitution. However the Communists under Mao were now regrouping and would soon oust the Guomintang from power in mainland China.

15 November 1946, The Guomintang Chinese Government excluded all Communists from power.

4 November 1946, The new Chinese Guomintang Government signed a treaty of co-operation with the USA.

10 October 1946, In China the Kuomintang re-elected Chiang Kai Shek as President.

12 May 1946, A further truce between the Guomintang and the Communists in China took effect.

5 May 1946, In China, Communists and Nationalists clashed along the Yangtze River.

1 May 1946, The Guomintang Government returned to Nanjing.

28 April 1946, Chinese Communists captured the Manchurian rail hub of Tsisihar.

14 April 1946, A US-mediated truce between the Communists and the Guomintang broke down and the Chinese Civil war resumed.

25 October 1945, Taiwan was formally ceded by Japan to China. However the Chinese again exploited the territory, and having been seen as liberators in 1945, the local population soon began to resent them.

11 October 1945. Fighting broke out in China between the Nationalists under Chiang Kai Shek and the Communists under Mao Tse Tung.


2.0, Aftermath of World War Two; Japanese war crimes trials, 1945-49

7/1949, Evacuation of Japanese civilians from the Kuril Islands (Etorofu, Kunashir), and their relocation on Hokkaido, was now complete.

23 January 1949, General elections were held in Japan. The Democratic Liberal Party won 269 of the 466 seats.

23 December 1948, Hideki Tojo, Japanese Prime Minister 1941-44, who attacked Pearl Harbour and so provoked the entry of the USA into the War, was hanged as a war criminal.

14 December 1948, South Korea formed a Department of National Defence.

12 November 1948, The main War Crimes trials ended in Japan. Hideki Tojo and 6 others were sentenced to death by hanging; 16 received life imprisonment, and 2 were given shorter prison terms. The hangings were carried out on 23 December 1948.

7 October 1948, In Japan, Shigeru Yoshida formed a Democratic-Liberal Government.

7/1947,Evacuation of Japanese families living on the islands of Etorofu and Kunashir, Japanese territory before World War Two but now occupied by Soviet troops. Families were given 24 hours notice to pack and leave. They were taken by ship to Sakhalin, another larger island once divided between Japan and Russia but now entirely Russian-occupied, then relocated on the Japanese northernmost island of Hokkaido. Many of these families buried valuable items in their gardens, expecting to return soon to retrieve them.

3 May 1947, A new Constitution was approved in Japan by means of a referendum. Women voted in Japan for the first time. The Emperor�s powers were limited, and the country renounced the use of war. :Land reforms curbed the power of absentee landlords and land was redistributed.

3 March 1947, Japan adopted a new Constitution, renouncing war.

12/1946, Russia began relocating several thousand settlers to the southern portion of Sakhalin, formerly Japanese territory but now Soviet-occupied.

29 April 1946, Japanese General Hideki Tojo and 27 other members of the military were formally indicted by an Allied war crimes Court. There was international pressure to also try the Japanese Emperor, but the US feared that this would precipitate the disintegration of Japan as a nation and thereby require the continuedprolonged presence of a large US occupation force.

10 April 1946, Japan held elections for the new Diet (parliament). Under US influence, women now had the vote, transforming traditional Japanese hierarchies, and 34 women were elected.

23 February 1946, Lt. Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita, who led the Japanese conquest of Singapore and the Philippines, was executed by hanging in Manila for war crimes, followed by Lt. Col. Seichi Ohta, who headed security for Japan's �thought police� (kempei tai), also interpreter Takuma Higashigi.

11 February 1946, The appeal by Japanese General Masaharu Homma against his death sentence was rejected by the US Supreme Court.

4 February 1946, The US Supreme Court rejected the appeal by Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita against his death sentence by 2 to 6.

27 January 1946, In the Far East, more than 2,000 airmen went on strike at the slow pace of demobilisation.

19 January 1946, The Far East International War Crimes Tribunal was established. This enabled countires such as India and The Philippines, which had not been signatories to the surrender of japan, to be represented in the war crimes trials.

4 January 1946, General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers during the occupation of Japan, began a purge of the Japanese government, with the goal of removing �undesirable personnel� from office. Over two and a half years, 210,287 people were removed or barred from public office.

7 December 1945. The Japanese General Yamashita was sentenced to death as a war criminal � on the anniversary of Pearl Harbour � and was hanged the following month.

19 November 1945, General MacArthur ordered the arrest of 11 Japanese wartime leaders, including ex-Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka and General Sadao Araki.

22 September 1945, MacArthur issued instructions for setting up an International War Tribunal to try major Japanese war criminals.


1,0, Japan � the final surrender, 1945

15 September 1945, Japan was occupied by Allied forces under General MacArthur.See 28 April 1952, and 14 August 1945.

13 September 1945, Lieutenant General Hatazo Adachi of Japan surrendered. Just 13,000 of his orig8inal 65,000 men were left alive. He was sentenced to life imprisonment as a war criminal, and committed suicide in 1947.

11 September 1945, Japanese General Hideki Tojo attempted suicide when American troops arrived at his home to arrest him as a war criminal. Tojo shot himself below the heart with a revolver, but survived.

9 September 1945, Japanese forces in China formally surrendered to Chiank Kai Shek in Nanking.

5 September 1945. Singapore re-occupied by the British. See 15 February 1942.

4 September 1945, The Japanese garrison on Wake Island formally surrendered to the USA, see 23 December 1941..

3 September 1945, General Tomoyuki Yamashita formally surrendered the remaining Japanese troops in the Philippines to United States Army General Jonathan M. Wainwright, the same commander who was compelled to surrender to Yamashita at Corregidor in 1942.

2 September 1945, Formal surrender of Japan, see 14 August 1945. The Japanese Chief of Staff, General Yoshijiro Umezo, signed the surrender document on board the USS Missouri, in front of General McArthur.

1 September 1945. British troops took control of Hong Kong.

31 August 1945, Douglas MacArthur established the Supreme Allied Command in Tokyo.

30 August 1945, The British Royal Navy returned to Hong Kong.

29 August 1945, The Xinghua Campaign began in China.

28 August 1945. US troops landed in Japan.

19 August 1945. Soviet troops occupied Harbin and Mukden in Manchuria; 100,000 Japanese there surrendered.

18 August 1945 The Soviet invasion of the Kuril Islands began, opening with the Battle of Shumshu.

16 August 1945, Emperor Hirohito issued a decree at 4:00 p.m. local time ordering all Japanese forces to cease fire. The Japanese cabinet resigned.

14 August 1945. (1) Japan surrendered unconditionally. This marked the end of World War II. VJ day was officially celebrated on the following day, the 15th August. The Japanese surrender was officially accepted by General Douglas MacArthur on the US aircraft carrier Missouri on 2 September 1945. Between November 1944 and August 1945 nearly 70 japanese cities were pulverised, with around 300,000, mostly civilians, killed.

(2) The Soviet Union concluded a Treaty of Friendship with Nationalist China. This included handing over Manchuria, which the Soviets had conquered from Japanese forces, to China. However before the Soviets moved out, they stripped the region of all the military and industrial equipment they could move, and took this, along with many Japanese PoWs, back to Russia to support their own industrial reconstruction.

12 August 1945, Soviet forces occupied North Korea, Sakhalin and the Kurile islands.

For events in North & South Korea after 1945 see Appendix One below

10 August 1945, Emperor Hirohito of Japan announced he was prepared to surrender unconditionally. The US cancelled plans to drop two further atoms bombs, scheduled for 13 and 16 August.


0.0, The atomic bombing of Japan, 1945

9 August 1945 The second atomic bomb was dropped, on Nagasaki. 40,000 were killed here.The intended target, Kokura, was obscured by cloud.

For atom bomb development and tests after World War Two click here

Click here for images of Nagasaki, before and after the atomic bomb.

8 August 1945, The USSR, under Stalin, declared war on Japan. The USSR invaded Japanese-held Manchuria, and northern Korea.

7 August 1945, Radio Tokyo reported unspecifically about an attack on Hiroshima. The Americans were unable to immediately assess the results for themselves because of impenetrable cloud over the detonation site. Late in the day, Imperial Japanese headquarters referred to a "new type of bomb" used on Hiroshima, admitting that "only a small number of the new bombs were released, yet they did substantial damage.

6 August 1945. The first atomic bomb was dropped, on Hiroshima, Japan, from the B29 bomber Enola Gay. At 8.15 in the morning a nuclear chain reaction in the bomb built up a temperature of several million degrees centigrade. In 0.1 milliseconds a fireball at 300,000 degrees centigrade was created, and this expanded to 250 yards in diameter one second after detonation. The mushroom cloud reached 23,000 feet into the sky. 78,000 of the city�s population of 300,000 was killed, some instantaneously, by the blast, some later by the firestorm that the bomb created, and another 90,000 injured, many seriously.

5 August 1945, The U.S. Twentieth Air Force flew over twelve Japanese cities and dropped 720,000 pamphlets warning their populations to surrender or face devastation.

4 August 1945, The US dropped leaflets over Hiroshima, warning that their city was to be obliterated.

3 August 1945, The American government announced that every Japanese and Korean harbor of consequence had been mined, leaving Japan totally blockaded.

31 July 1945, On Tinian, the assembly of the Little Boy atomic bomb was completed.

30 July 1945, The Japanese submarine I-58 sank the USS Indianapolis, killing 833 seamen.

29 July 1945, Japan rejected a US ultimatum to surrender. The US estimated that 1 million Allied casualties would ensue from a land invasion of Japan.

27 July 1945, On the Philippine island of Tinian, the Little Boy atomic bomb began being prepared for use.

26 July 1945. In the war against Japan, the Allies issued their final terms for peace; the Potsdam Declaration. This failed to guarantee the post-surrender retention of the Japanese Emperor, Hirohito; which was the only guarantee the Japanese were seeking for surrender. Therefore the war continued, culminating in the dropping of atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In fact the Emperor was allowed to remain, post-surrender.

24 July 1945, US President Harry Truman told Joseph Stalin that a new and powerful weapon was ready to be deployed against Japan, but did not provide any specific information. Truman was relieved that Stalin did not ask for further details; in fact the Russians already knew from their spies. The atom bomb was used against Japan, but it was also intended to deter Russia from attempting to occupy Japan.


-1.0, Air raids on the Japanese homeland began, 1944-45

25 July 1945, The British 14th Army captured the railhead of Taunggyi in Shan State, north eastern Burma.

12 July 1945, Japan sought clearance from Russia for sending an envoy to Moscow, which would probably have been Prince Konoe. The Japanese Ambassador in Moscow, Naotake Sako, sought approval for this, but he warned that if the UK and USA insisted on unconditional surrender, Japan would fight to the end. Russia refused to make any decision.

10 July 1945, US military strategists began planning the invasion of mainland Japan, starting with Honshu and Kyushu.

4 July 1945, Britain gave consent to use the Atom Bomb against Japan.

25 May 1945, Heavy US bombing raid on Tokyo.

-1.0(a), Capture of Okinawa, 1945

22 June 1945. US troops captured Okinawa.

6 June 1945, The Japanese Supreme Council passed a resolution to fight to the end, to uphold Japanese national honour. The entire adult civilian population would be expected to back up the military in resisting any US invasion. However on 22 June 1945 Emperor Hirohito, despite initially appearing to accept this Resolution, told the Supreme council that they must take steps towards peace.

4 June 1945, US forces landed on the Oruku peninsula, Okinawa, in an attempt to outflank Japanese defensive positions.

3 June 1945, Japan made its first peace approach to the Russians through Yakov Malik, Russian Ambassador to Japan. He remained non-committal, despite continued Japanese overtures throughout June 1945.

1 June 1945, Heavy air raid on Osaka, Japan; 20 square km of the city was totally destroyed.

29 May 1945, Shuri, Okinawa, was captured

27 May 1945, Naha, capital of Okinawa, was captured.

20 May 1945, US. forces captured Malaybalay on Mindanao.

12 May 1945, The Japanese Supreme Council for the Conduct of War first discussed peace. They hoped that the USSR would want to see a strong Japan as a buffer between itself and the USA, and would be prepared to act as a mediator. In return, Japan would be prepared to surrender Port Arthur, Dairen, the South Manchurian Railways and the northern Kuriles.

3 May 1945, British forces took Rangoon, Burma.

17 April 1945, The Battle of the Hongorai River began in New Guinea.

8 April 1945, Cebu City fell to the Allies.

1 April 1945, The Battle of Okinawa began as US troops landed on the island. US victory came 83 days later.

-1.0(b), Capture of Mandalay, 1945

20 March 1945. Mandalay was recaptured from the Japanese.

16 March 1945, Iwo Jima was totally occupied by US forces; 4,590 US soldiers were killed, out of a force of 30,000 attacking 23,000 Japanese who were heavily dug in with underground bunkers. See 19 February 1945. Iwo Jima, just 750 miles from

Tokyo, could now be used as a base to bomb some 66 Japanese cities in an attempt to force a Japanese surrender.

9 March 1945, A night of major firebombing of Tokyo began. Around 100,000 died, mostly the elderly, women and children; men were away fighting a war that Japan was by then losing badly.

5 March 1945. The British captured the Japanese base of Meiktilla in Burma, cutting Japanese-occupied Burma in two.

4 March 1945, US General McArthur returned to the Philippines, fulfilling a promise that �we shall return� he made in 1942 when advancing Japanese troops forced him to flee on a torpedo boat.

2 March 1945 The British 14th army entered Mandalay, Burma.

24 June 1945, In Thailand, British bombers destroyed the two railway bridges over the notorious River Kwai, built with slave labour

13 June 1945, Australian forces captured Brunei City.

28 February 1945, Part of the US 41st Division landed at Puerto Princesa, Palawan. It met little resistance and the island was soon cleared.

27 February 1945, Allied forces reached Meiktila, Burma.

26 February 1945, The 19th Indian Division began to advance on Mandalay, Burma, from the north.

25 February 1945, Tokyowas devastated by a firestorm in a raid by 172 B-29 bombers.

21 February 1945, Japanese kamikaze airstrikes sank the US aircraft carrier Bismarck Sea and damaged the Saratoga.

20 February 1945, US marines captured the first airfield on Mindanao.

19 February 1945, US forces began the invasion of Iwo Jima, see 16 March 1945.

17 February 1945, Indian forces broke out of the bridgehead of Nyaungu against Japanese forces towards Mektila.

16 February 1945. (1) US Air Force began heavy raids on Tokyo.

(2) The US took Bataan, Philippines.

3 February 1945. The US recaptured Manila, which had fallen to the Japanese on 2 January 1942. Manila was not totally cleared of Japanese soldiers till 24 February 1945.

9 January 1945. Luzon in the Philippines was taken by the US from the Japanese.

7 January 1945, The US XXXIII Corps entered Schwegu, Burma.

4 January 1945, Severe Kamikaze attacks on US ships.

1 January 1945, Mindoro Island, Philippines, taken by US forces.

1944, In China the Uighurs declared independence. This lasted until Mao sent in Communist troops to reclaim the region. In 1941 the Uighur region was ethnically 80% Uighur, 9% Kazakh and 5% Han Chinese. After a rapid rise in the Han population in the 1950s, in 2007 the ethnic mix was 46% Uighur, 39% Han Chinese and 8% Kazakh. In 1947 there were around 220,000 Han Chinese and 3 million Uighurs; in 2007 there were 9.6 million Uighurs, but also 8.2 million Han Chinese.

15 December 1944, A US task force landed on Mindoro, a small island off south Luzon. By end-January 1945 the island was cleared of Japanese forces, providing useful airfields for the US campaign in the Philippines.

8 December 1944, The US began a massive bombardment of Iwo Jima, which lasted 72 days, in preparation for an amphibious invasion.

25 November 1944, The first Kamikaze (divine wind) suicidal attacks were made by Japanese pilots on US ships.

24 November 1944. US planes bombed Tokyo, for the first time since 18 April 1942.


-2.0, Japanese retreat 1942-44

19 November 1944, The Shinano, the largest Japanese aircraft carrier ever built, was formally commissioned. Thought capable of withstanding any bomb, she was sunk ten days later by the US submarine Archerfish, with four torpedo hits, with the loss of 1,435 lives. A further 1,000 sailors were rescued.

11 November 1944, Iwo Jima was bombarded by the U.S. Navy.

5 November 1944. The Japanese cruiser Nachi was sunk in Manila Bay by U.S. aircraft.

27 October 1944, The Japanese fleet suffered a crushing defeat in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, effectively ending its role as a fighting force.The Japanese lost 300,000 tons of combat ships as against US losses of just 37,000 tons. This was the world�s largest naval battle, which began on 22 October 1944, involving a total of 231 ships and 1996 aircraft.

25 October 1944, US escort carrier St Lo became the first ship sunk by a Japanese kamikaze attack.

20 October 1944. General Mac Arthur returned to the Philippines with 250,000 troops, fulfilling a promise ha made when his forces retreated from the Japanese.

1 August 1944. US forces captured the Pacific island of Tinian from the Japanese. Tinian was then developed as a US air force base, from which the mission to drop atom bombs on Japan was to depart (see 6 August 1945).

21 July 1944, Guam, in the western Pacific, was liberated by US Marines.It had been under Japanese occupation since December 1941.

20 July 1944. Tbe USA began to retake the island of Guam from the Japanese.

18 July 1944. Prime Minister Tojo of Japan resigned.

6 July 1944, Japanese Admiral Nagumo and General Saito committed suicide on Saipan. Before they died they ordered their troops to undertake a final suicide attack. The Japanese lost 26,000 men to the US losses of 16,500 dead and wounded. Resistance on Saipan now ended.

4 July 1944, Conclusion of the Battle of Kohima-Imphal. Crucial battle of the Burma campaign; the 14th Army under Slim fought the Japanese in Burma from 4 March 1944. Allied troops were supplied by air and held back the Japanese from the key towns of Kohima and Imphal.

26 June 1944, Naval fighting between the USA and Japan off the Marianas Islands.

19 June 1944, The USA took Saipan.It took over three weeks to defeat the Japanese, at a cost of 3,000 Americans dead and 17,000 wounded; 27,000 Japanese also died.The US did not attempt to capture all Pacific islands in their path to Japan, only selected ones, leaving other heavily-armed islands to �wither on the vine�.The Japanese fought fiercely and had no fear of death; many �Banzai�-charged the US soldiers, led by officers wielding swords.

18 June 1944, The Japanese 11th Army occupied the Chinese cities of Changsha and Chuchow.

15 June 1944. Air raids on Japan hit steel mills at Yawata.

13 June 1944. Fifteen US warships bombarded Saipan with 165,000 shells. Saipan, with Tinian (see 1 August 1944), was a small Pacific island halfway between Australia and Japan, occupied by the Japanese. 8,000 US marines landed on Saipan on 15 June 1944; Japanese troops hid in caves but were attacked with flame throwers. On 7 July 1944 3,000 cornered Japanese troops, along with hundreds of civilians jumped to their death rather than surrender.

11/ June 1944, Planes from US carrier ships softened up Saipan, Marianas Islands, prior to a US invasion.

17 May 1944, US and Chinese forces seized the airfield at Myitkyina, Burma, from the Japanese. Howebver strong Japanese resistance meant the city of Myitkyina was not captured until 3 August 1944.

29 April 1944, Aircraft from carrier ships destroyed the Japanese base at Truk, Caroline Islands.

28 April 1944, Second US attack on Truk in 10 weeks. 30 US aircraft were shot down but 25 of the pilots were rescued. However the Japanese fuel and ammunition depots were destroyed, making any Japanese flank attack on western New Guinea impossible,

24 April 1944, The Japanese evacuated New Guinea as US troops landed.

23 April 1944, Hollandia, New Guinea, fell to the Americans without much fighting.

22 April 1944, The US launched Operation Persecution, attacking the Japanese on the north coast of New Guinea.

18 April 1944, The 5th Brigade attacked Japanese defences near Kohima.

15 April 1944, The US began devising Operation Wed;lock, a spurious plan to attack the Kurile Islands, northern Japan. This was a diversionary tactic.

14 April 1944, British forces overcame a Japanese roadblock near Zubza, western Kohima trail, relieving the besieged 161st Indian Brigade.

12 April 1944, Japanese forces cut the road between Kohima and Imphal.

24 March 1944, Orde Wingate, British Army Commander who created and led the Chindits in Burma, was killed in a plane crash in the rainforest in Assam. The Chindits, from the Burmese for �mighty lion� struck deep behind Japanese lines, destroying railways and bridges.

9 March 1944, The U.S. 5th Marine Regiment took Talasea in New Britain unopposed.

7 March 1944, Japan launched an offensive from Burma into India.

5 March 1944. US troops under Stilwell defeated the Japanese 18th Division at Maingkwan and Walawbaum, Burma.

29 February 1944. US troops landed at Los Negros in the Admiralty Islands.

27 February 1944, The Battle of the Green Islands in the Solomon Islands ended in Allied victory.

21 February 1944. Hideki Tojo became Chief of Staff of the Japanese Army.

19 February 1944, The US Submarine Jack attacked a Japanese convoy 428 km west of Luzon, sinking four vessels.

15 February 1944, The US cleared the Solomon Islands of Japanese forces.

6 February 1944, The Japanese launched a counter-offensive in the Arakan, Burma, named Ha-Go. This offensive ceased on 26 February 1944.

5 February 1944, The first Chindit Brigade, 16th, set off from Ledo on foot.

4 February 1944. US warships shelled the Japanese homeland; the island of Paramishu.

31 January 1944, US forces made major amphibious landings on the Marshall Islands.

9 January 1944, The XV Indian Corps occupied Maungdaw, Burma.

2 January 1944, US forces launched Operation Dexterity, a seaborne assault on the Japanese stronghold of Saidor, New Guinea. The fort was captured; 1,275 Japanese were killed, against 55 US troops.

9 December 1943, The US military opened an airfield on Bougainville.

1 December 1943, The Cairo Declaration, issued by the USA, UK, and China, pledged independence for Korea �in due course�. The provisional Korean government in exile, in Chungking, south west China, asked for clarification of this vague phrase, but received none.

25 November 1943, US bombers attacked Shinchiku Airfield, Formosa.

23 November 1943. US forces retook Makin in the Gilbert Islands.

10 November 1943, The Allied Gilbert islands invasion fleet sailed from Pearl Harbour.

7 November 1943, Japanese counter attack at Bougainville.

1 November 1943, US forces retook Bougainville, in the Solomon Islands.

27/10;/1943, New Zealand troops landed on Stirling Island, central Solomons, unopposed.

25 October 1943, Japan celebrated the completion of the Burma-Thailand railway. Of the 46,000 Allied PoWs forced to work on it, 16,000 had died of starvation, disease and maltreatment. 50,000 Burmese labourers had also died during its completion.

6 October 1943, US forces landed unopposed on the central Solomon Island of Kolombangara.

2 October 1943, A Japanese counter attack in New Guinea was beaten off by Australian forces.

13 September 1943. General Chiang Kai Shek was elected President of the Chinese Republic.

5 September 1943, US and Australian troops seized Nazdab, New Guinea, where an airstrip was quickly built to facilitate an assault on Lae.

1 September 1943, Minami-Tori-shima, a Japanese coral atoll that included an airstrip, located approximately 1,600 km from Tokyo, was attacked by the US in the first successful strike of the new Fast Carrier Task Force.

25 August 1943, US forces captured New Georgia in the Solomon Islands.

15 August 1943. US forces landed on Kiska Island, Aleutians. However the Japanese forces they expected to find there had already evacuated under cover of foggy nights in July 1943.

29 July 1943, The Aleutian island of Kiska was evacuated by the remaining 5,183 Japanese officers, enlisted men and civilians who had occupied the American territory. U.S. ships had been diverted away from the island between July 23rd and 26th, when American radar detected what appeared to be a convoy seven reinforcement ships. With the U.S. warships away from Kiska, the Japanese escaped to their own rescue ships within 55 minutes. When Allied troops arrived on August 15, they were surprised to find that the island was deserted.

17 July 1943, Japan commenced counter attacks on US forces in New Georgia; they gained some ground against the US.

16 July 1943, The Battle of Mount Tambu began in New Guinea.

4 July 1943, US troops made further landings in New Georgia, at Rice Anchorage on the northern coast.

3 July 1943, US troops established a beachhead near Munda, New Georgia.

2 July 1943, Allied forces on New Georgia began the drive on Munda Point.

1 July 1943, US troops secured Viru, on the south west coast of New Georgia.

30 June 1943, US troops landed on Rendova Island, off New Georgia. There were also landings in the Trobriand Islands, and the US began constructing airstrips.

29 June 1943, US forces landed in New Guinea.

23 June 1943, US troops occupied Kiriwina Island, largest of the Trobriand Group.

22 June 1943, US troops occupied Woodlark Island, Trobriand Island group.

21 June 1943, US Marines landed unopposed at Segi Point, southernmost tip of New Georgia.

8 June 1943, The Japanese began to evacuate Kiska Island.

2 June 1943, US troops completed the recapture of Attu Island, Aleutian Islands, from Japan.

30 May 1943, The US completed the capture of Attu Island from the Japanese. Mist and mud had hampered progress.

28 May 1943, Japanese forces launched a suicide attack against US troops at Attu Island.

11 May 1943, US forces began to recapture Attu in the Aleutian Islands, from Japan.

29 April 1943, Wingate and his Chindit troops completed their withdrawal back from Burma into India

15 April 1943, General Slim took control of Allied troops in Burma. His attaclks on the Japanese were hampered by exhaustion and malaria amongst his troops.

18 April 1943, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Navy and the architect of the December7 1941, attack on Pearl Harbour, was killed when the plane that he was on was shot down by U.S. Army fighter pilot Thomas Lanphier, Jr. US naval intelligence had decoded a Japanese message that included the itinerary for an inspection tour that Yamamoto was making of the Solomon Islands.

24 March 1943, Wingate was ordered to return from Burma back into India. Air supply was becoming difficult an dthe Japanese now seized all boats on the Irawaddy River.

11 March 1943, The US assisted the Chinese in creating an air force there, to counter Japanese threats to push up the Yangtze River.

7 March 1943, Japanese attacks on the Allies at Rathedaung, Burma.

4 March 1943, The Battle of the Bismarck Sea ended (began 2 March 1943). A Japanese convoy carrying troops to Papua New Guinea was sunk by Allied forces.

-2.0(a) Guadalcanal 1942-3

9 February 1943. The USA reported that Japanese resistance in Guadacanal and the Solomon Islands had ceased.

7 February 1943, The Japanese completed their withdrawal from Guadalcanal.

14 January 1943. The Japanese began withdrawing from Guadalcanal.

10 January 1943, The US began an assault on Mount Austin, Guadalcanal.

21 August 1942, The Battle of the Tenaru was fought on Guadalcanal, resulting in Allied victory.

15 November 1942, The naval battle of Guadalcanal ended in US victory. On the battle's final day the Japanese battlecruiser Kirishima and destroyer Ayanami were sunk by the American battleship USS Washington, while the Americans lost the destroyers Benham and Walke.

12 November 1942, The naval battle of Guadalcanal began.

27 October 1942, The Battle of Goodenough Island ended in Australian victory.

18 August 1942, Japanese troops landed at Taivu, 32 km east of Guadalcanal, as a diversionary operation.

7 August 1942. The USA attempted a landing on the Japanese-occupied southern Solomon Islands. US troops invaded Guadalcanal. This was Operation Watchtower.

Guadalcanal fighting


2 February 1943. Japan made a last-ditch effort to recapture the Solomon Islands.

1 February 1943. Japan successfully repulsed an attack by Indian troops on the garrison at Donbaik, Burma.

17 December 1942, The US submarine Drum mined the waters around Japan.

14 December 1942, US troops made an attack on Buna Village, Papua New Guinea, but found the Japanese had already evacuated it.

11 January 1943, Britain made a treaty with China, renouncing all British territorial rights in China.

2 January 1943, US troops finally captured Buna Station, Papua New Guinea, against fierce Japanese resistance.

22 December 1942, In Burma the Japanese withdrew from the Buthidaung-Maungdaw lone, which they had established and fortified on 24 October 1942.

19 December 1942. British troops advanced in the Malay peninsula, pushing the Japanese back into Burma.

30 November 1942, Battle of Tassafaronga, Guadalcanal. A naval clash in which Japan technically won, causing more damage t the US than it suffered. However this victory did nothing to help the Japanese garrison on Guadalcanal, now very short of food.

23 November 1942, Lieutenant General Tomitaro Horii of Japan died. He was replaced by Hataze Adachi. The Japanese in New Guinea were already in retreat by now, under heavy attack by US forces, and had lost Rabaul air base to the Allies.

3 November 1942, Australian forces were pushing back the Japanese, denying the chance of taking Port Moresby. This day the Australians recaptured Kokoda.

25 October 1942, Japan dropped plans for Operation 21, an invasion of eastern India.

12 October 1942, Battle of Cape Esperance, off Guadalcanal. A US supply convoy was intercepted by Japanese forces, who were beaten off by US air attacks.

1 October 1942, US General MacArthur issued further orders, to push along the Kokoda Trail, Papua New Guinea, and cut the Japanese off.

27 September 1942. Japanese forces pulled back in New Guinea as the allies advanced.

15 September 1942, US troops landed at Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

29 August 1942, Australian troops forced back on the Kokoda Trail, Papua New Guinea.

28 August 1942, Australian attack on Japanese troops at Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea. Despite the arrival of Japanese reinforcements the next day, they were forced to retreat back to Rabaul on 6 September 1942.

10 August 1942, US submarine S-44 sank the Japanese heavy cruiser Kako near Kavieng, as it withdrew from the Battle of Savo Island.


-3.0, High point of the Japanese Pacific Invasion, 1942

29 July 1942, Japanese forces took Kokoda from the Australians, after 4 days fierce fighting.

22 July 1942, Japan, seeing how easily they had overrun Burma, began to consider a thrust into India, along the Assam frontier, capturing Imphal and the port of Chittagong. This was Operation 21.

20 June 1942, A Japanese submarine shelled Vancouver island. This was the only time Canadian ;land territory came under fire; little damage was done.

8 June 1942. Battle of Midway Island (4-8 June). The Japanese withdrew after 4 days of shelling. See 27 May 1942. The Japanese ability to mount strategic attacks in the Pacific was effectively ended. The US lost 500 men, the Japanese lost 3,500 men. The Japanese shelled the Australian cities of Newcastle and Sydney.

31 May 1942 Japanese submarines attempted, unsuccessfully, to enter Sydney Harbour, Australia.

8 May 1942. The Battle of the Coral Sea. The Japanese and the US each lost an aircraft carrier(US carrier, the Lexington), and the Japanese turned back from an invasion of Port Moresby, New Guinea. This was the first Allied success in the Pacific, and saved Australia from a Japanese invasion.


7 May 1942, Madagascar was occupied by British troops to forestall any Japanese invasion.

6 May 1942. The Japanese captured Corregidor.

5 June 1942, Japanese Admiral Yamamoto realised the surprise factor had failed and ordered a withdrawal from Midway.

3 June 1942, The Japanese launched a diversionary attack on the Aleutians but did not draw US forces away from Midway.

30 May 1942, US Task Force 17 set sail from Pearl Harbour to join Task force 16 against the Japanese at Midway Island,

28 May 1942, US Task Force 16 sailed to intercept the Japanese fleet bound for Midway Island.

27 May 1942, A Japanese fleet left Japan on operation M.1, the capture of Midway Island. They hope to repeat the surprise factor of Pearl Harbour; however the US had cracked the Japanese radio codes and were ready, see 8 June 1942

2 May 1942. The Japanese captured Mandalay.

10 May 1942, Final Allied surrender of The Philippines.

9 May 1942, Japanese forces took Dalirig on Mindanao.

26 April 1942, The world�s worst coalmine disaster occurred at Honkeiko Colliery, China. 1,572 were killed.

25 April 1942, American troops arrived in New Caledonia to assist in defence of the archipelago.

18 April 1942, US planes bombed Tokyo and other Japanese cities; the �Doolittle Raids�. See 24 November 1944.

17 April 1942, Japanese forces in Burma reached Yenangyaung. The main oilfields in Burma were destroyed to prevent them from falling into Japanese hands.

12 April 1942, Japanese forces captured Migyaungye, Burma, close to the oilfields there. The Allies began to destroy the oil installations on 15 April 1942.

10 April 1942, The Bataan Death March. Some 75,000 Filipino and US troops captiured by the Japanese at Bataan were forced to march 137km in 6 days. Many hundreds died during the march.

9 April 1942. The Japanese captured Bataan

8 April 1942, Japanese forces landed on Lorengau in the Admiralty Islands.

5 April 1942, Easter Sunday. Japanese aircraft attacked Colombo, Sri Lanka, and sank two British cruisers.

3 April 1942, Final Japanese push to capture Bataan, with the Allied defences crumbling.

31 March 1942, The Battle of Christmas Island was fought. Japanese soldiers were able to occupy Christmas Island without resistance, although the American submarine Seawolf damaged the Japanese cruiser Naka.

24 March 1942, Japan began intensive bombing of Bataan and Corrigedor.

23 March 1942, The Japanese occupation of the Andaman Islands began.

18 March 1942, US troops occupied the New Hebrides, to guard against a Japanese attack on the wqest coast of Australia.

12 March 1942, US troops occupied New Caledonia.

10 March 1942. Rangoon, Burma, fell to the Japanese.

9 March 1942, The Dutch East Indies campaign ended in decisive Japanese victory. The Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies began.

8 March 1942. Java surrendered to the Japanese.

7 March 1942. British forces withdrew from Rangoon. Bandung, Java, also fell to the Japanese, effectively giving all of Java to Japan.

5 March 1942, The Dutch announced the evacuation of Batavia in the face of the Japanese advance. Java could no longer be held. The Japanese entered Pegu in Burma, just 40 miles from the capital, Rangoon.

2 March 1942, The Japanese began heavy air strikes on New Guinea in preparation for an invasion.

28 February 1942. The Japanese landed on Java, Indonesia.

27 February 1942, The Battle of the Java Sea, in which the Dutch navy was destroyed in defence of Australia. The Japanese were now able to occupy Java.

22 February 1942. Civilians were evacuated from Rangoon as fighting raged 80 miles north east of the city.

20 February 1942, Bali, east of Java, was invaded by Japan.

19 February 1942. The Japanese bombed the Australian city of Darwin.

16 February 1942, Japanese forces in Borneo occupied the town of Sintang, West Kalimantan. In Sumatra, Palembang fell to Japanese forces.

15 February 1942. Singapore occupied by the Japanese. See 5 September 1945. The base was supposed to be impregnable, but all its guns pointed out to sea; the Japanese came overland. The base was running out of water and surrendered, but the British did not know the Japanese were almost out of ammunition. The Japanese now had a massive arsenal of guns and ammunition.

12 February 1942. The Japanese captured Bandjermasin, the main town on the south coast of Borneo.

11 February 1942, Japanese forces crossed the Salween River in Burma.

31 January 1942. The Japanese laid siege to Singapore. They landed on Singapore on 9 February 1942.

23 January 1942, Japanese forces captured the port of Rabaul, New Britain.

22 January 1942, Belatedly, Allied reinforcements reached Singapore

19 January 1942. Japanese invaded Burma.

18 January 1942, Japanese forces captured Tavoy, Burma.

16 January 1942, In the Battle of Muar in Malaya, the Japanese 5th Infantry Division crossed the Muar River and captured Muar itself.

14 January 1942, The Battle of Gemas was fought in Malaya, resulting in tactical Australian victory.

11 January 1942. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was captured by the Japanese.The Japanese also landed on the northern tip of the Celebes this day, and within a month controlled all the island except the remote interior.

10 January 1942. The Japanese invaded the Dutch East Indies.

4 January 1942, The Japanese 14th Army captured Guagua in the Philippines.

3 January 1942, The Allies set up the South West Pacific Command

2 January 1942. Manila captured by the Japanese. The US recaptured it on 3 February 1945.

1 January 1942, The British withdrew from Sarawak.

30 December 1941, The Battle of Kampar began in Malaya.

28 December 1941, General Wavell took command of the Allied defence of Burma.

25 December 1941. Hong Kong surrendered to the Japanese. 6,000 troops laid down arms after a 7-day battle.

23 December 1941, Wake Island (US territory) surrendered to the Japanese, see 4 September 1945.

22 December 1941, General Wavell met with Chiang Kai Shek at Chonqquing.

21 December 1941, Siam (Thailand) signed a treaty with Japan permitting the entry and transit of Japanese troops. This facilitated the Japanese invasion of Burma.

18 December 1941, British and Dutch forces occupied East Timor. Malaya was evacuated and the Japanese attacked Hong Kong.

17 December 1941. Sarawak, Borneo, was invaded by the Japanese.

14 December 1941, Japan and Siam (Thailand) signed a ten-year co-operation treaty.

13 December 1941, The Japanese controlled the mainland area of Hong Kong, and Kowloon; Hong Kong Island was still British-held.

12 December 1941. The Japanese captured the island of Guam, see 20 July 1944.

10 December 1941. Japanese forces off Malaya sank two major British naval vessels, the Repulse and Prince of Wales, thereby eliminating British naval power from the Far East for some time. Also on this day the Japanese occupied Aparri, a major port in northern Luzon, Philippines. US forces retook it in June 1945. Japan invaded Malaya.

9 December 1941, US air force bombed Luzon, Philippines.

See also France-Germany, from 1 January 1870, for European events of World War Two

See also USA for World War Two, 1940s, Pacific


Pearl Harbour 1941 � USA enters Wor;ld War Two against Japan

8 December 1941. Britain and the USA declared war on Japan. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic also declared war on Japan, and China declared war on all the Axis powers. Britain declared war on Finland, Rumania, and Hungary.Siam (Thailand) agreed to the passage of Japanese forces through its territory to attack British Malaya.

7 December 1941. Japanese attack on the USA fleet in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii. Pearl Harbour was taken entirely by surprise and within 2 hours 360 Japanese warplanes had destroyed 5 battleships, 14 smaller craft, and 200 aircraft. 2,400 people, many of them civilians, were killed. However the Japanese failed to find and destroy America�s all-important aircraft carriers, both of which were away on manoeuvres. The Japanese force then turned west to strike the British in the East Indies, Australia, and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The US Congress met to declare war in emergency session on 8 December 1941,

much to the relief of Britain. Hitler, meanwhile, was pleased because he imagined that this would distract the US away from the War in Europe.

26 November 1941, Japanese naval forces set sail for Pearl Harbour


Prelude to war in the Pacific; Japan and the USA, 1939-41

22 October 1941, Tokyo conducted its first practice blackout.

18 October 1941, The expiry of a 6-week deadline, set by the Japanese military on 6 September 1941, for the completion of negotiations with the USA. By the end of September 1941 Japanese oil reserves had fallen to 15 million barrels, and the military wanted to go to war in SE Asia to secure more oil. However there were concerns in Japan about the reaction of America to this invasion. The President of the Japanese National Planning Board stated that domestic oil production could be increased for a fraction of the cost of a war. The pacifist Prince Konoye also opposed war. But when the 18 October deadline passed without result, Konoye resigned and General Tojo became Minister of War. Tojo was less militant than many of his colleagues and extended the deadline for a result of the Japan-US negotiations for a further 6 weeks, to 25 November; again no agreement was achieved.

17 October 1941. The belligerent General Tojo was appointed Prime Minister of Japan. He replaced Prince Konoe, who had resigned the previous day after failing t make headway in negotiations with the US and facing strong pressure from the Japanese military.

13 September 1941, Three days of war games held at the Naval War College, Tokyo, ended. They had been staged to develop possible Japanese strategy in the Pacific.

6 September 1941, Japan now aimed to be fully bready for war with the US by end October 1941. Meanwhile Prince Konoe continued talks with the US to buy time.

29 August 1940, Vichy France acceded to Japanese demands to station their forces in northern Indo-China.

1 August 1941, The US imposed an embargo on oil sales to Japan.

30 July 1941, The US gunboat Tutuila was bombed by Japanese aircraft. Japan later apologised for the incident.

29 July 1941, The Vichy French Government gave Japanese forces use of the air bases in Indo China.

27 July 1941. Japanese troops moved into Cambodia and Thailand, and captured Saigon.

26 July 1941, Britain and the USA froze Japanese assets. US codebreakers had been reading Japanese government communications and along with Britain and The Netherlands were convinced of Japanese aggressive intentions. Japan was now cut off from 90% of its oil supplies, and felt it had no option but to invade the oil-rich Dutch East Indies.

24 July 1941, Japan announced that Vichy France had consented to Japanese �protection� of the French colonies in Indo-China.

18 July 1941, The belligerent Yosuke Matsuoka, who had advocated an attack on the USA. was replaced as Japanese Foreign Minister by the more moderate Teijiro Toyoda. This move was intended to appease the US and keep them out of a war with Japan.

2 July 1941, Japan called up over one million conscripts, and pulled its merchant ships out of the Atlantic.

29 June 1941,Germany demanded that Japan open an attack on Russia. Japan considered this on 2 July 1941, but their preference was merely to maintain their military presence in Manchukuo as a rear guard against a Russian attack whilst they thrust southwards where greater resources for their economy were to be found. They would only mount a greater attack on Russia if Russia increased its threat to them.

5 June 1941, Heavy Japanese air raid on Chonqquing, where the Chinese Nationalists had moved their capital to in 1937 when the Japanese invaded China. Many died of suffocation as the underground tunnels they were sheltering in collapsed.

11 May 1941. Japan demanded that the US cease aid to China and restore normal trade links with Japan. The US declined these demands but continued negotiating with Japan so as to avoid war; japan meanwhile, not yet ready for war, was happy to continue talking.

10 March 1941, Japanese Rear Admiral Takijiro Onishi gave Isoroku Yamamoto a draft of the Pearl Harbour attack plan.

7 November 1940. Britain, the USA, and Australia agreed on the defence of the Pacific.

27 September 1940. Imperial Japan signed a 10-year military and economic alliance with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. This was greatly disturbing to both the USSR and the USA; Japan and Russia had been enemies since the 1905 war, and Hitler�s alliance with Russia, signed in 1939,was looking more uncertain.. The USA now realised that entering the war on the side of the Allies would now entail a war in the Pacific.

22 September 1940. Japanese forces entered Indo-China.

20 September 1940, Taro Aso, 59th Prime Minister of Japan,was bornin Iizuka, Fukuoka, Japan.

22 July 1940, In Japan, Prince Fumimaro Konoe, out of office since 1939, was reappointed Prime Minister. He declared his intention to establish a �New Order� across East Asia.

16 July 1940, The Japanese Army toppled the moderate Government of Admiral Yonai and replaced it with one headed by Prince Konoe.

4 January 1939. The fascist Baron Hiranuma became Prime Minister of Japan.


22 February 1940, The 5-year-old Tenzin Gyatso was enthroned as the 14th Dalai Lama in Tibet. Gyatso was born on 6 June 1935, the day the 13th Dalai Lama died, and was beloved to be his reincarnation, in a sequence going back 544 years. Lhasa�s wise men located Gyatso in 1938 and in traditional manner Gyatso had to pick out various objects that had belonged to his predecessor from amongst a collection of similar objects; he picked them without hesitation.

15 June 1933, China and Tibet ended a two-year war, agreeing to settle upon their pre-war border.


1939, Battle of Nomonchan, Manchuria

13 April 1941. Stalin signed a neutrality pact with Japan; Russia was concerned that Japanese conquests in Manchuria had brought Japanese forces up to Russian territory. Whilst this meant that Russian troops from Siberia could be used to resist the German threat, it also freed Japanese troops for action against China.

20 August 1939. At Khalikhin Gol (see 5 June 1939) Zhukov launched a surprise attack against the Japanese, having mounted an elaborate deception that he intended to merely reinforce existing battle lines and dig in.Both sides fought hard and suffered heavy losses. The Japanese sustained 61,000 casualties and the Soviets saw 7.974 killed and 15,251 wounded. By 31 August 1939 the battle was over. Germany had signed a pact with Russia, and was poised to invade western Poland. It was in both the Soviet and Japanese interests to agree a ceasefire, which Japan now requested. Zhukov was now a Soviet hero, and the Japanese resolved to conquer south and east, not north towards Russian territory.

5 June 1939, Soviet military commander Zhukov arrived at the Khalkhin Gol military conflict between Soviet-Mongolian forces and Japanese-Manchurian forces. On 12/ May 1939 a Mongolian cavalry regiment had crossed the Khalkhin Gol River (regarded by Manchuria as the frontier) and grazed their horses on the steppe as far as the large village of Nomonchan, 20 kilometres from the river; Mongolia regarded this village as the frontier.

See for more details.

The nearest Mongolian railway station was 650 km away, meaning any Soviet reinforcements faced a 5-day round trip along poor dirt roads; the Japanese underestimated the strength of forces that Zhukov could muster. See 20 August 1939.


Japanese invasion of China, 1937-41. See also Japanese occupation of Manchuria 1931-36

26 July 1940, US President Roosevelt imposed sanctions on Japan in retaliation for Japanese air raids on US missions and churches in China.

31 March 1939. Japan annexed the Spratly Islands, formerly a French possession though in fact of no utility to France. France did not contest the action. However Japan then commenced improving the naval facilities on the Islands, which were just 700 miles from Singapore.

24 December 1938, Hangzhou fell to the Japanese.

21 October 1938. The Japanese occupied Canton.

12 October 1938, Japanese troops landed in force on the Chinese mainland, and advanced swiftly on Canton.

27 September 1938. The League of Nations denounced Japanese aggression in China.

11 July 1938. Soviet and Japanese troops clashed on the Manchukuo border.

6 March 1938, The Japanese advanced along the Hangchow Railway through Shansi Province towards the Yellow River.

10 January 1938, Japan captured the Chinese port of Qingdao.

24 December 1937. Japanese troops captured Hankow, China.

22 December 1937, Britain protested to Japan about attacks on Royal Navy ships on the Yangtse River.

12 December 1937, Japan captured Nanjing, China, see 7 December 1937. They massacred over 100,000 of the city�s population.

7 December 1937. Japan attacked Nanjing, bitter fighting followed. Japan occupied Nanjing on 12 December 1937. Defeated Chinese soldiers who surrendered were nevertheless killed, and women and children were raped and murdered.

8 November 1937, Japan captured Shanghai.

27 October 1937, Japan announced the capture of Pingding, Shanxi Province after a three-day battle.

29 September 1937. In the face of a full-scale Japanese invasion of China, Chiang Kai Shek, the Chinese leader, came to an agreement with his Communist rival, Mao Zedong.

28 September 1937. The League of Nations condemned the Japanese invasion of China.

25 September 1937. The Japanese bombed the Chinese Nationalist capital of Nanjing.

23 August 1937, Japan began a major offensive against Shanghai.

14 August 1937. Hundreds were killed in a Chinese air raid on Shanghai.1,000 died as Chinese aircraft, intending to bomb Japanese warships in the harbour, in fact bombed the International Concession; their bombs fell short of the target.Many Chinese refugees were killed, and foreign powers made urgent plans to evacuate their nationals as Japanese land forces closed in.

29 July 1937. Japanese troops took Beijing, see 7 July 1937.

25 July 1937, First major battle between Chinese and Japanese forces, at Langfang, south of Beijing.

10 July 1937, In China, Chiang Kai-shek made a radio address to millions announcing the Kuomintang's policy of resistance against Japan.

7 July 1937. The Marco Polo Bridge Incident. Japanese soldiers were exercising near the Marco Polo Bridge, south-west of Beijing, under the Boxer Protocol of 1901 which permitted foreign troops to be stationed in the Beijing area. However they were attacked by Chinese forces. A ceasefire was arranged on 11 July 1937, however the Japanese Foreign Minister, Konoe, nevertheless announced plans to mobilise five divisions in northern China. In response Chiang Kai Shek, reversing his previous appeasement policy which he had followed in response to Japan�s efforts to remove northern China from Chinese control, now reinforced Chinese forces. Japanese forces then took control of Beijing, on 29 July 1937, starting the 1937-45 War.


Chinese Communists, Long March

11 August 1936, Chiang Kai Shek entered Canton, China.

20 October 1935. Mao Zedong�s troops completed their �Long March� and arrived in the comparative safety of Yan�an in remote north-west China (Shenxi province). Of the 100,000 that set out from Kiangsi province 364 days and 6,000 miles earlier, only 10,000 battered and emaciated survivors remained. They had fought all the way, broken through ten encircling armies, crossed 11 provinces and 24 rivers.The Communists could now regroup to fight Chinese Nationalists and the Japanese occupiers.

16 October 1934. Mao Tse Tung's 'Long March' began.See 20 October 1935.

17 July 1932, In China Chiang Kai Shek began an anti-Communist drive.


9 July 1937, Japan, just two days after the outbreak of war with China, introduced a system of universal healthcare, to supplement the existing scheme which covered industrial employees only. Between end-1938 amd end-1944 the number of citizens covered by this universal health insurance rose from 500,000 to 40 million. The aim was to ensure a healthy population, ready to fight in war.

7 July 1936, In Japan, 17 officers implicated in a failed coup (see 26 February 1936) were executed.

26 February 1936, An attempted coup in Tokyo, Japan. A group of Army officers killed the Prime Minister, Saiko Makoto, and the Finance Minister, Takahashi Korekiyo. The coup was thwarted.

22 March 1934, Major fire in Hakodate, Japan, killed 1,500 people.

25 July 1932. The USSR, Poland, and Japan signed a non-aggression pact.

15 May 1932, The Japanese Prime Minister, Ki Tauyoshi Inukai, was assassinated. He was succeeded by the Governor-general of Korea, 73-year old Makoto Saito.


Japanese occupation of Manchuria, 1931-36. See also Japanese invasion of China 1937-41

25 November 1936. Germany and Japan agreed to protect world civilization from the Bolshevik menace, and signed the Anti-Comintern Pact, organised by Ribbentrop.Germany recognised the Japanese puppet state in Manchuria.See 6 November 1937.

9 December 1935, Thousands of Chinese students demonstrated in Beijing against the ineffectiveness of the Kuomintang response to Japanese encroachment into China.

19 December 1934, Japan renounced the Washington Treaty, which had limited naval armaments.

17 April 1934, Japan issued a statement claiming it alone had responsibility for po;litical relations and military security in the western Pacific region.

31 May 1933, Japan and China signed an armistice. Japanese troops withdrew to north of the Great Wall of China.

25 February 1933. Japan withdrew from the League of Nations in protest at avote condemning the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. Japan now occupied all of China north of the Great Wall.

23 February 1933, From occupied Manchuria, Japan invaded China's Jehol Province with 30,000 Japanese troops and 1,000 from Manchukuo

5 May 1932. Japanese troops withdrew from Shanghai after an armistice was agreed.

28 January 1932. The Japanese occupied Shanghai, start of a full scale invasion of China. Ostensibly in revenge for a Chinese boycott of Japanese goods, the Japanese were aware of possible US attacks in defence of China. They warned the US that any attempt to interfere in their operations in China would result in war.

8 January 1932. An assassination attempt was made on the Japanese Emperor Hirohito.

2 January 1932. The Japanese proclaimed the Republic of Manchukuo in Manchuria.

24 September 1931, The Japanese set up a puppet government of Manchuria based in Mukden.

21 September 1931, The Japanese took Kirin, China. By early 1932 they controlled three coastal provinces.

18 September 1931. Japan besieged Mukden as it invaded Manchuria.The Japanese set up a puppet state called Manchukuo, which was returned to China in 1945 after World War Two.The Kwantung (Japanese) Army had started the incident, by blowing up wagons on the South Manchuria railway, near the Chinese garrison at Mukden, then blaming the Chinese.However the plot was supported by military leaders in Tokyo.See 18 February 1931.

3 August 1931, Heavy rainfall along the Yangtze River burst a dam which flooded 104,000 square kilometres of farmland. Widespread famine followed. The 37-year old leader of China, Mao Tse Tung, faced multiple threats from this and the Communist rebellion, undermining his ability to deal with the Japanese invasion.

18 February 1931, The Mukden Incident, an explosion on a railway line near Mukden, gave the Japanese an excuse to occupy Manchuria.�� The Chinese were driven out of Manchuria.See 18 September 1931.


Fighting against the Communists, 1926-31 (see also Kuomintanng 1925-28 below)

31 July 1931, Chiang Kai Shek defeated the Communists, in northern China.

17 June 1931. In China, the British arrested Nguyen Ai Quoc, also known as Ho Chi Minh, founder of the Indo-Chinese Communist Party.

4 November 1930, In China, Chiang Kai Shek defeated rival forces in the Central Plains War.

22 October 1930, Rebels massacred 8,000 in Shanghai, China.

2 September 1930, In Beijing, rebels under Yen Hsi-chan took power.

10 July 1930, In China, Communist troops attacked the city of Hankow.

6 February 1928. 50,000 fled as Communists raided Peking.

19 December 1927, In China, 600 Communists were executed by the Nationalists.

15 December 1927, China broke off diplomatic relations with the USSR. This was after an attempted Communist uprising in Guangzhou.

14 December 1927. Chiang Kai Shek�s forces suppressed an attempted Communist coup in Canton.

1 December 1927, Chiang Kai Shek (also, Jiang Jieshi) married Song Meiling (Sung Mei Ling), a wealthy and Christianised US educated member of one of China�s wealthiest families. He had earlier divorced his previous wife.

19 September 1927, A Communist uprising in Guangdong (Canton) was easily crushed. However under a new leader, Mao Zedong, it would develop into a stronger Party based on peasant support.

7 September 1927, Mao Tse Tung led a Communist uprising in the rural province of Hunan.

1 August 1927, The Nanchang Army uprising against the Kuomintang. The Chinese Communist Party considers this the date of the founding of the Red Army.

6 April 1927, Chinese police raided the Soviet Embassy in Beijing, seizing incriminating evidence of subversion. Several Communist leaders were later executed.

1926, Japan passed a �Peace Preservation Law�, to �regulate extremist movements�; this facilitated the suppression of Communist groups.


9 March 1932. The last emperor of China, Pu Yi, was installed as head of the Japanese puppet government in Manchuria.

1930, Japan adopted the Western metric system of weights and measures.

14 November 1930, Hamaguchi Yuko, Prime Minister of Japan, was shot and wounded by an agitator following widespread public anger at his acceptance of Japanese naval reductions according to the terms of the London Naval Conference.

22 April 1930, The London Naval Treaty committed the USA, Britain, Japan France and Italy to limit the tonnage of submarines they possessed and extended a moratorium on the construction of new capital ship until 1936.

21 January 1930, The London Naval Conference opened.

22 December 1929. China and Russia agreed to withdraw troops from the border as their dispute over the eastern railway ended.

30 November 1929, Soviet planes bombed the Manchurian town of Pokutu.

11 November 1929, Anti-Japanese occupation protests in Korea.

9 September 1929. Heavy fighting between Russia and China on their border.

17 July 1929. Russia broke off diplomatic relations with China and began to mobilise troops on the border.

2 July 1929, The Giichi Tanaka Government inJapan fell.

26 June 1929. The Japanese government signed the anti-war Kellogg-Briand pact, the last government to sign it.

10 November 1928, Hirohito was ernthroned as the 124th Emperor of Japan, continuing a line dating back to 660 BCE. He ruled until his death in 1989, aged 87.

4 June 1928, Marshal Chang was killed when his train was mined. The assassination was done by Japanese Kwantung Army staff who wanted to secure Manchuria for Japan.


Chinese Kuomintang Government established; end of Chinese Civil War, 1925-28

20 December 1928. The UK recognised the Kuomintang government of China.

6 October 1928. Chiang Kai-Shek became President of Nationalist China.

7 September 1926, Kuomintang troops entered Wuchang, Hupeh Province.

22 July 1928. Japan severed all relations with China.

21 August 1926, Kuomintang troops took Changsha, Hunan Province.

19 July 1928, China annulled the �unequal treaties� formerly made with European powers.

8 June 1928, Beijing fell to Nationalist forces under Chiang Kai Shek, ending the Chinese civil war.

3 May 1928, Chinese Nationalist forces suffered major losses against the Japanese.

19 April 1928. The Japanese occupied Shantung, China.

12 April 1927, Chiang Kai Shek massacred his former Communist allies in Shanghai.

7 April 1928, Chinese Nationalists launched an offensive to capture Beijing.

24 March 1927, In China, the Kuomintang took Shanghai. Jiang Jeishi now began negotiations with wealthy Shanghai bankers and turned on his former Communist allies.

22 March 1927, Kuomintang troops entered Shanghai, Kiangsu P{rovince.

21 March 1927. The victorious army of Chiang Kai-Shek entered Shanghai. In April 1927 he mounted an offensive against trade unionists and Communists, driving them into the countryside.

Kuomintang turn agaist their former allies, the Communists (see also above, 1926-31)


24 February 1927, Kuomintang forces entered Hangchow, Chekiang Province.

31 January 1927, 12,000 British troops were ordered to China to defend British nationals in Shanghai, where the civil war was posing a threat to foreigners.

16 October 1926, A troopship exploded on the Yangtze River, China, killing 1,200 people.

10 October 1926, Kuomintang troops entered Wuchang, Kiangsi Province.

7/1926, The Kuomintang began a campaign northwards from their base in Canton, Kwangtung Province, against the Northern Chinese warlords. This was the Northern Expedition.

Start of the Northern Expedition


1 January 1926, The Nationalist government was established in southern China.

30 November 1925, The US sent warships to Hankow, China, to stop attacks by Communist Chinese on foreigners.

7 September 1925. Anti-British rioters were shot in Shanghai. Protests had begun in May over working conditions in Japanese owned factories in Shanghai, and British police shot and killed demonstrating workers on 30 May 1925.

12 March 1925, In China, Kuomintang leader Dr Sun Yat Sen died.General Chiang Kai Shek became the new leader. Discontent within China at the Unequal Treaties with Western powers grew, and China started a boycott of British trade and shipping.

20 January 1925, The UK and China made the Treaty of Peking.

15 January 1925, In China, strikes at Shanghai weer suppressed by British and French troops. This sparked revolutionary unrest, and US troops now arrived to protect their nationals and economic interests.


25 December 1926. Emperor Hirohito ascended the Japanese throne after the death of his father Emperor Yoshihito.He died in January 1989 after 62 years as Emperor.

29 March 1925. Japan passed a Bill for universal male suffrage.

22 March 1925, Radio broadcasting began in Japan.

19 March 1925. Britain established a large naval base at Singapore. This reinforced links with the British colonies such as Hong Kong, but Japan saw it as a threat.

15 April 1924, The Japan Times called for a boycott of California if the United States passed the Immigration Act, putting the blame for the Bill on that State.

31 January 1924, Japanese Prime Minister Kiyoura Keigo dissolved the National Diet and called for new elections. A brawl broke out during the morning session over accusations that the government had failed to protect a train that prominent opposition leaders were riding on when it was pelted with rocks and timbers.


Start of Communism in China

5 November 1924, The last Manchu Emperor, Pu-Yi, 18, was evicted from his palace in Beijing by the Christian warlord Feng Xuyiang who took control of the city. Pu-Yi had been compelled to abdicate in 1912, when he was aged 6, by the Revolutionary Government in Nanking after the Wuchang uprising, ending 268 years of Manchu rule and over 2000 years of imperial tradition. He was allowed to continue living in his palace in the Forbidden City, and was temporarily restored to the throne by General Xun�s coup in 1917, but was dethroned after 12 days. Pu-Yi now sought refuge in the Japanese concession at Tien-Tsin.

3 November 1924, Feng Yuxiang's troops entered Tianjin.

25 October 1924, In China, President Tsao Kun resigned.

13 August 1924, Severe flooding in China, 50,000 killed.

31 May 1924. China recognised the USSR.

21 January 1924 The Chinese Kuomintang Congress admitted the Communists.

6 October 1923, Soviet agent Mikhail Borodin arrived iun China to assist Sun Yat Sen�s Kuomintang Government.

13 June 1923, Li Yuanhung, President of the Chinese Government in Beijing, was oiusted by warlord Cao Kun.

9 August 1922, Chinese Nationalist leader Sun Yat Sen fled southern China for Hong Kong after his defeat by warlord Chen Jiongming.

23 July 1921. The first congress of the Chinese Communist Party was held in Beijing.

1 July 1921, The Chinese Communist Party was founded, assisted by Russian Comintern agents. Their first meeting was in Shanghai this day. The police were soon on their trail, and they fled to a lake resort 100 miles away. At this point the Chinese Communist Party has 57 members, mostly anarchists.

25 July 1919, The Soviet Assistant Foreign Commissar, Leo Karakhan, issued the Karakhan Manifesto. This renounced all former Tsarist rights and privileges in China. Although Russia did not hand over the Chinese eastern Railway (it in fact sold it to the Japanese in 1935), this Manifesto did much to convince the Chinese radicals that Soviet Russiawas their only ally.


27 December 1923, Emperor Hirohito of Japan narrowly escaped assassination.

1 September 1923. An earthquake magnitude 7.9 in Japan left the cities of Tokyo and Yokohama in ruins and killed over 300,000 people. The epicentre was just outside Tokyo. Half of Tokyo�s houses were destroyed, a million of its people made homeless, and 132,807 killed in Tokyo alone. Altogether 143,000 died and 2.5 million were made homeless.

17 August 1923. The defence treaty between Japan and the UK (see 30 January 1902 and 23 August 1914) was replaced by a four power agreement between the USA, France, Japan, and the UK.

7/1922, The Japanese Communist Party was formed, as a branch of the Comintern. It remained an illegal organisation with few members until 1945. In Japanese elections in 1946 the Japanese Communist Party secured 2.1 million votes and 5 seats in the Lower House. The Party was again suppressed in the 1950s with the outbreak of the Korean War. Subsequently the Party, relegalised, gradually gained ground and in 1980 secured 20 seats woth nearly 10% of the vote.

3 March 1922, Over 1,000 Japanese Burakumin (a hereditary class of social outcasts, who performed menial and despised tasks such as slaughterers, executioners and tanners) formed the Suiheisha, or National Levellers Association. They appealed for equal Human Rights in Japanese society. Their numbers grew to over 40,000, but they became notorious for kidnappings and mock trials of those believed to have discriminated against the Burakumin. Eventually growing Japanese Nationalism forced the Suiheisha to disband in 1940.

4 February 1922, Japan agreed to return the Shandong Peninsula to China, whilst retaining some mines and commercial interests.

1 February 1922, Death of the Japanese statesman Yamagata Aritomo (born 14 June 1838). He played a key role in the rise of Japan as a military power in the early 20th century. He was Chief of Staff during the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-05. Because of this War he developed the �Plan of National Defence� in case of another war with either Russia or America. This Plan formed the basis of Japan�s entry into World War Two. Yamagata died in disgrace after public censure for meddling in the Crown Prince�s marriage.

25 November 1921. Hirohito became Regent in Japan.

10 April 1921, Sun Yat Sen was elected President of China.

21 December 1920, Widespread famine in China 7 November 1920 to 21 December 1920.

15 December 1920. China and Austria were admitted to the League of Nations.

17 October 1919, Zhao Ziyang, Chinese politician, was born (died 17 January 2005).

15 September 1919. China ended its war with Germany.

4 May 1919. News that the Treaty of Versailles been signed reached China. However, despite the fact that China had declared war on Germany in August 1917, and had over 200,000 soldiers to fight with the Allies, the Treaty stated that German concessions in China would not be returned to the Chinese but would be given to Japan. There were large anti-foreigner demonstrations in China. Over 3,000 students gathered in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, to protest at Japan�s continued occupation of Shantung after World War One had ended.

1 March 1919, Anti Japanese colonialism demonstrations in Seoul, Korea, which were violently suppressed by the Japanese.

17 August 1918, After rioting occurred, the Japanese Government requisitioned rice stocks.

2 August 1918. British, French, and US forces landed at Archangel to support White Russians against the Bolsheviks. Japan invaded Siberia.

6 April 1918. US, British, and Japanese troops landed at Vladivostock.

26 February 1918, 604 were killed in Hong Kong when the stands at the Hong Kong Jockey Club collapsed and caught fire.

6 July 1916. Russia and Japan signed a peace treaty.

4 July 1916, Ikugo Toguri, the voice of Japanese propaganda radio during World War two, was born (died 26 September 2006).

22 March 1916, In China, President Yuan Shikai died.


China, Japan on Allied side against Germany, World War One.

15 September 1917. China offered the Allies 15,000 troops to fight on the Western Front.

14 August 1917. China declared war on Germany and Austria.

14 March 1917, China broke off diplomatic relations with Germany.

18 January 1915. Japan made �21 Demands� on China, which if accepted would virtually give Japan sovereignty over China.

29 November 1914, Japanese forces seized German territory at Kiaochow, China, thereby winning favour with the Allies.However Japan then went on to try and establish a virtual protectorate over most of China.

7 November 1914. The German fortified city of Qingdao (Tsingtao)in China surrendered to the Japanese.

2 September 1914. The Japanese began landing forces at Lungkow, 150 miles north of Tsingtao.

27 August 1914, Japanese forces began a blockade of Kiaochow Bay, China, to force the surrender of the German stronghold of the town of Tsingtao there.

For European events of World War One see France-Germany

23 August 1914. Japan declared war on Germany. This was due to the treaty of mutual defence concluded between Japan and the UK on 30 January 1902. The Germans had not responded to an ultimatum by Japan issued 14 August 1914.See 17 August 1923.

14 August 1914, Japan demanded that Germany withdraw warships from the China and Japan region by15 September 1914,


Death of Meiji Emperor Mutsuhito. Japan creating further links with the West.

21 November 1913, Death of Tokugawa Keiki, last of the Japanese shoguns who controlled the country from 1603 to 1867.

20 February 1913. Great fire in Tokyo.

7 August 1912. Japan and Russia reached agreement on their spheres of influence in Mongolia and Manchuria.

30 July 1912, In Japan, Meiji Emperor Mutsuhito died aged 60, after a 45-year reign during which Imperial power was restored to Japan (the Meiji Restoration). He was succeeded by his son, Yoshihito, aged 33, who reigned until 1926.

3/1912, The Japanese Tourist Bureau was formed, now known as the Japan Travel Bureau.

28 June 1911, Japan signed a commercial treaty with France.

3 April 1911, Japan and Britain signed a commercial treaty.

21 February 1911, Japan and the US signed a commercial treaty in Washington.


5 November 1913, A joint declaration by Russia and China recognising the autonomy of Outer Mongolia (Mongolia) under Chinese suzerainty.

8 July 1913, China agreed to grant independence to Mongolia.

6 December 1911. Russia announced that Mongolia was a Russian protectorate.


Conflict in China as Republican administration set up, after end of Manchu Dynasty

6 October 1913, Yuan Shikai became President of China.

8 April 1913. China�s first parliament opened, in Beijing.

3 September 1913, In China Yuan Shikai captured Nanjing.

22 February 1913. Death of the Dowager Empress of China.

10 August 1912, The Republic of China's provisional government enacted its election law, creating a lower house of Parliament, and limiting voting rights to male citizens aged over 21, had two years residency in their district, and met property and educational restrictions.

14 April 1912, China's President Yuan Shih-kai issued a manifesto asking the five separate race groups in the nation to unite through intermarriage.

11 March 1912, Chinese Republican Government established in Lanchow, capital of Kansu Province. This was one of the last areas to see the new Republican administration established.

2 March 1912, As rioting broke out in response to the fall of the Manchu Dynasty in China, Beijing was placed under martial law. Foreign troops arrived the next day to protect the citizens of their respective nations.

29 February 1912, Military revolt in Beijing.

12 February 1912, The Chinese Manchu dynasty came to an end when the weeping Empress, Dowager Longyu, read out an edict of abdication on behalf of the 5-year-old Chinese boy-Emperor, Pu-Yi. However the Imperial family were allowed to continue to live in the Forbidden City, with a stipend of US$ 4million a year.

1 January 1912. The Republic of China was officially proclaimed.

29 December 1911, Chinese revolutionary Dr Sun Yat Sen (1866-1925) became the first President of the Republic of China.

22 December 1911, A Chinese Republican Government was established in Kaifeng, capital of Honan Province.

7 December 1911, China abolished men�s pigtails.

2 December 1911, Chinese Republicans captured Nanking.

22 November 1911. Chinese Republican Government established in Chengtu, capital of Szechuan Province.

16 November 1911, In China, Prime Minister Yuan Shikai formed a Cabinet.

30 October 1911, Guided by the Regent, Prince Chun, the Emperor Pu Yi granted China a constitution. This was to combat growing support for the rebel Republican army of Sun Yat Sen.

28 October 1911, China's new National Assembly demanded three reforms: a cabinet of ministers without Manchu nobility; an amnesty for persons who committed political offences, and a permanent constitution.

22 October 1911, A Chinese Republican Government was established in Sian, capital of Shansi Province.


Fall of the Chinese Manchu Dynasty, 1905-11

10 October 1911, The Imperial Manchu Dynasty, which had ruled China since 1644, was forced to abdicate �voluntarily� and a Kuomintang Republic was proclaimed at Wuchang, under Sun Yat-Sen.

May 1911, The Imperial Dynasty of China was brought down � by a decision to nationalise the railways. This was disliked by the local gentry, who owned the railways. It was also distasteful to the Nationalists because a US$ 6 million foreign loan had been taken out to finance this nationalisation.

2 December 1908. In China, the child emperor Pu Yi succeeded to the throne, aged 2. His father, the Regent Prince Chun, held the real power.Pu Yi was forced to abdicate in 1912 aged 5 as Republican forces gained strength in China.

15 November 1908. Death of the Chinese Empress Dowager Cixi, at 37 years of age. Her suspicious demise (she was not unhealthy) greatly reduced the chances of a smooth transition to a constitutional monarchy in China.

11 April 1906, Having occupied Taiwan since the Sino-Japanese War of 1895, Japan now appointed military commander Sakuma Samata to �control and pacify� the island�s indigenous population. Tribal land was confiscated and entire villages forcibly relocated; resistance was countered by collective punishment. Villages were bombed and hit with nerve gas, and concentration camps set up behind electrified fences.

7 February 1906. Pu Yi, last Emperor of China, was born in Beijing.

20 August 1905, Chinese revolutionary Sun Yat Sen, exiled from China in 1895, had travelled the world in order to muster support to bring down the Manchu Dynasty. This day in Tokyo he formed the first Chapter of the T�ung Meng Hui, a union of all secret organisations aimed at overthrowing the Manchus.


Increasing Japanese influence over Korea

22 August 1910. Japan formally annexed Korea.

4 July 1910. Russia recognised Japanese occupation of Korea in return for a free hand in Manchuria.

26 October 1909, Ahn Jung-geun, a Korean nationalist and independence activist, shot dead Hirobumi Ito, the Japanese colonial governor of Korea, on a station platform at Harbin.

25 July 1907. Japan made Korea a protectorate. The Korean Emperor Kojong (I T�ae Wang) who had ruled since 1864 abdicated 19 July 1907, aged 55 under pressure from Japan, who was occupying Korea.


China takes control of Tibet (see 1904-06 below)

17 August 1912, Britain called on China not to send a military expedition to Tibet.

2 August 1912, Tibetans were routed by Chinese soldiers at Lhasa.

4 April 1912. A Chinese Republic was declared in Tibet.

23 February 1910. The Dalai Lama and several noted Tibetans fled from Lhasa to India, as Chinese troops occupied Tibet.


31 January 1910. China abolished slavery. In 1906 Chou Fu, Viceroy at Nanking, called on the Emperor of China to abolish slavery. At that time all Chinese citizens had tio belong to one of four clsasses. These were 1) the Bannermen (ruling class, 2) Free Chinese subjects, 3) Outcasts, 4) Slaves; there were severe penalties for not fulfilling the duties of their class. Fu�s recommendations were finally accepted in 1910, despite opposition from Manchu nobles. However the former slaves were still compelled to live in their ,master�s households for the rtest of their lives, although as �free labourers�.

19 July 1907, Kojong, Emperor of Korea for 43 years, aged 55, abdicated under pressure from the Japanese, who were occupying his country.

10 June 1907, France and Japan signed a treaty guaranteeing equal trading rights for both in China, and recognising Japan�s �special interests� in Manchuria, Fukien and Mongolia.

1 January 1907. In China, 4 million people were starving due to heavy rains and crop failure.

15 November 1906, Japan launched what was then the world�s largest battleship, the Satsuma.

20 September 1906, In China, an imperial edict ordered the end of the use of heroin within 10 years.

18 September 1906, Typhoon hit Hong Kong, killing some 10,000 peopole.

3 February 1906. Japan decided to double the size of its navy by 1908.

9 May 1905, The Chinese Government announced that it was taking control of the Imperial Customs Service, removing Robert Hart from office, who had been its Inspector-General since 1863.

24 August 1904, The Chinese leader, Deng Xiaoping, was born in Sichuan Province.


Russo-Japanese War 1904-05. Russia defeated, Japan makes territorial gains in Manchuria region

20 February 1908, Russian General Stossel was sentenced to death for surrendering to the Japanese.

15 April 1907. Japan handed Manchuria back to China under the Treaty of Portsmouth, which ended the Russo-Japanese War.

5 December 1906, Russian Admiral Niebogatov went on trial, accused of surrendering ships to the Japanese.

5 September 1905. The Treaty of Portsmouth (New Hampshire) was signed, ending the Russo-Japanese war. Japan acquired south Sakhalin from Russia, also the Russian leasehold territories in South Manchuria. Russia also recognised Japanese dominance in Korea, which led to Japan formally annexing Korea as a colony in 1910. Russia refused to pay any indemnities, sparking angry demonstrations in Tokyo (7 September 21905). This Treaty marked the start of Japanese expansion into China, which aroused unease in Washington.

29 August 1905. Russia and Japan agreed peace. An armistice was arranged for 31 August 1905. A peace treaty was signed between Russia and Japan on 5 September 1905 at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA.

5 August 1905, The preliminary meeting of the Japanese and Russian peace negotiators, at President Roosevelt�s home at Oyster Bay, New York State.


Russia defeated by Japan

31 July 1905. The Russian governor of Sakhalin Island surrendered to the Japanese.

29 July 1905, In negotiations promoted by US President Roosevelt to end the Russo-Japanese War, the US Secretary of State, William Howard Taft, made a secret agreement with Japan. Japan could have a free hand in Korea in return for it not interfering with US activities in The Philippines.

8 June 1905, US President Roosevelt sent notes to both Japan and Russia urging them to end the conflict and offering his services as mediator.

27 May 1905. The Russian fleet was annihilated by the Japanese at the Battle of Tsushima. Tsar Nicholas II had sent a fleet of 38 ships on an 18-month voyage from the Baltic to the Far East, including 7 battleships and 6 cruisers. This was met in the Tsushima Straits by Admiral Togo who commanded a fleet of similar size. Battle began on the afternoon of the 27 May and recommenced at dawn on the 28th. All but 3 of the 38 Russian ships were sunk or captured; Japanese losses were just 3 torpedo boats. The Russian fleet was too late to save Port Arthur in any case, which had surrendered to Japan on 2 January 1905. Along with the hunliating defeat at Mukden (10 March 1905) the Tsar now had to accept a humiliating treaty allowing extensive Japanese territorial gains in northern China. The rest of the world now had to accept Japan as a major power, although until 1854 Japan had been a feudal state closed to the rest of the world.

30 March 1905, President Roosevelt was asked to mediate in the Far East war between Japan and Russia.

10 March 1905. The Japanese defeated the 200,000 strong Russian army at Mukden. Japan was on the verge of overextending its land forces, and Russia might have been able to gain the upper hand against them, with its large reserves, However unrest at home in Russia prevented this.

19 February 1905, The Japanese began fighting the Russians for control of Mukden.

13 February 1905. The Japanese laid siege to Vladivostock.

1 January 1905. Russians defending Port Arthur finally capitulated to the Japanese; the effort had cost the lives of 60,000 Japanese troops.

5 December 1904. The Japanese destroyed the Russian fleet at Port Arthur.

30 November 1904, The Japanese made headway against the Russians at Port Arthur, at the cost of 12,000 casualties.

25 October 1904, Japan began a heavy bombardment of the Russian-held forts at Port Arthur, under siege since June.

For Dogger Bank Incident, October 1904, see Russia

4 September 1904, Japanese forces captured Liao-Yang. 200,000 Japanese troops defeated 150,000 Russians. Japan suffered the heavier casualties, at 18,000 to 16,000.

11 August 1904, The Russian fleet in harbour at Port Arthur was now vulnerable to Japanese gunfire from the hills near the town. Several Russian ships attempted to escape to sea but were forced back in harbour by the Japanese Navy.

6 July 1904, Russia sent two battle cruisers into the Red Sea to stop passage of ships belonging to nations they believed friendly to Japan, including Germany and Britain. After protests, Russia ordered these ships to desist on 3 September 1904.

26 June 1904. Japanese forces inflicted a heavy defeat on the Russians at Telissu.

30 May 1904, Japan captured Dairen, Manchuria, from Russia.

25 May 1904. In a major battle of the Russo-Japanese war at Nanshan, near Port Arthur, 4,500 Japanese and 3,000 Russians died. Oku sealed off Port Arthur by land and sea.

1 May 1904. The Battle of the Yalu marked the start of the Russo-Japanese War.

13 April 1904. Russia lost its flagship battleship Petropavlosk and 600 men to a mine in an ill-fated sortie from Port Arthur.

28 March 1904, Japanese troops captured the Korean town of Chengju from the Russians.

6 March 1904, Japan bombarded Vladivostok.

10 February 1904. Night attack by the Japanese crippled the Russian fleet at Port Arthur.

9 February 1904, Japan landed troops at Chemulpo (Inchon), near Seoul, Korea; within three weeks they had advanced to the Yalu River, border of Manchuria.

8 February 1904. The Russo-Japanese war broke out.This was provoked by Russian penetration into Manchuria and Korea.By 1898 Russia had secured the Pacific ice-free port of Port Arthur and had linked it to the Trans-Siberian railway going to Vladivostock and beyond.Japan ousted the Russians from Seoul, Korea.The Russian army numbered 1,000,000 peacetime standing, plus 4,500,000 reserves; the Japanese army only comprised 150,000 men with 900,000 reserves. However the Russians faced a huge logistical problem because most of their forces had to be transported from Europe. The Trans-Siberian railway, still incomplete, was not up to the job.In an effort to resist the |Japanese they sent their Baltic Fleet around the Cape to the Pacific; en route they sank two British North Sea trawlers, thinking they were Japanese warships. See 30 January 1902. Fighting started when the Japanese attacked Port Arthur without warning, sinking two battleships and a cruiser, trapping the rest of the fleet in port. Only after this event did Japan declare war on Russia.

6 February 1904. Japan announced that due to what it saw as Russian provocation and delaying tactics, it was recalling its ambassador from Moscow.


British domination of Tibet 1903-06

27 April 1906. China reluctantly granted Britain control of Tibet, following the occupation of the capital Lhasa by British troops. However see 1910 above

7 September 1904, A treaty between the UK and Tibet gave Britain trading posts in Tibet and a promise that the Dalai

Lama would not cede territory to a foreign power such as Russia.

3 August 1904, Tibet�s religious leader, the Dalai Lama, fled Lhasa as Lord Curzon�s forces entered the city.

2 August 1904, The British had faced resistance by Tibetans against colonial expansion.On this day the British, successful against Tibet, entered Lhasa. See 7 September 1904. Britain was concerned about growing Russian influence over Tibet. In May 1904 the last serious Tibetan resistance, in the Karo Pass, had been overcome. 3,000 Tibetans had taken up position behind a wall connecting two forts fired on advancing British, Sikh and Ghurkha forces. However the Sikhs outflanked the Tibetans whilst the Ghurkhas climbed a precipice to fire down on them. The Tibetans fled, leaving 400 dead.

31 March 1904. British forces underMacDonald killed some 300 Tibetans attempting to halt a British mission to Tibet.

12 December 1903, A British expedition entered Tibet.


Japan forges alliance with UK, after abandoning one with Russia, 1901-02

25 June 1902, Yasuhito, Prince Chichibu, member of the Japanese royal family and Japanese Imperial Navy admiral; was born in Tokyo. The second son of Emperor Yoshihito and younger brother of the Emperor Hirohito, he was second in line for succession during Yoshihito's reign from 1912 to 1925, but never the crown prince. He died of tuberculosis in 1950.

20 March 1902, France and Russia formally stated that they had no objections to the Anglo-Japanese alliance of 30 January 1902, but reserved the right to protect their own interests in China and Korea.

30 January 1902. Japan and the UK concluded a mutual defence alliance. See 8 February 1904 and 23 August 1914. Each country agreed not to sign treaties with third nations without consulting the other; if one country was attacked the other guaranteed to remain neutral, and furthermore if a second country attacked, each would aid the other. Each needed an ally in the region. British interests in China were threatened by other countries, especially Germany, whilst Japan was under threat from Russian expansion in Manchuria.

7 December 1901, Japan abandoned negotiations with Russia, and started to arrange an alliance with Britain.

25 November 1901, Prince Hirobumi Ito of Japan, whilst visiting St Petersburg, sought Russian acceptance of Japanese claims in Korea.


7 November 1901, Li Hung Chang, Chinese statesman, died (born 16 February 1823).

3 August 1901, Pavel Mil, Soviet administrator who guided the development of the Chinese Communist Party in the 1920s, was born.

29 April 1901. Birth of Crown Prince Hirohito. Later Emperor of Japan.

27 March 1901, Eisaku Satu, Prime Minister of Japan 1964-72, was born (died 1975).


Boxer rebellion, China, 1899-1902

7 January 1902, Following the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion, the Chinese Imperial Court returned to Beijing.

7 September 1901. The Peace of Peking ended the Boxer Rising in China. It was signed by a Manchu prince, Li Hung-Chang, and eleven European powers. Under this Treaty, ten Chinese officials were to be executed and 100 others punished, China gave formal apologies, Chinese civil service exams were suspended in 45 cities (so as to penalise the Chinese middle class), the European Legation quarter was to be expanded and fortified, and permanently garrisoned with troops, and key railway posts were to be manned by Western troops to ensure access to Beijing from the sea, and a large indemnity was to be paid by China.

26 May 1901, China announced that it had agreed with the Eight-Nation Alliance (six European superpowers, also Japan and the USA) on the indemnity to be paid for damages from the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. Economists estimated that it would take China 39 years to pay the reparations amount of 450 million taels (�67,500,000 or $175,500,000) along with four percent annual interest, and that China would have to raise 23,000,000 taels in tax revenues each year in order to avoid default.

26 February 1901, Two leaders of China�s Boxer Rebellion were publically executed in Beijing, ending the 2-year rebellion against foreigners. Japanese soldiers led the men to their death. In January 1901 10,000 allied troops captured Beijing and ended a 56-day Boxer siege of the foreign legations. The Chinese Dowager Tzu Hsi shared the beliefs of the Boxers, the Society of Righteous Harmony Fists, and refused to act against them. She has now fled Beijing; China had to pay an indemnity for the deaths of 1,500 foreigners in the rebellion, and to accept Western troops permanently stationed in Beijing.

26 October 1900, Two months after fleeing from Beijing to Xian, Empress Dowager Cixi re-established the Imperial Court to rule China.


Western forces invade China to deal with the Boxer threat

16 October 1900, The UK and Germany signed the Anglo-German Treaty, agreeing to maintain the territorial integrity of China and to support the �open door� free trade policy of the USA. However this was rather less to benefit China than a cynical policy to retain access to China in the face of growing Japanese and Russian influence there.

14 September 1900, 62,000 foreign troops now occupied Beijing. However isolated attacks by the Boxers continued on Chinese Christians, providing the troops with a ready excuse for more retaliation.

15 August 1900, European troops began looting Beijing, not only attacking the Boxers but also pillaging the property of non-combatant Chinese. The Peking Observatory was looted, and many artistic and cultural items were stolen.

14 August 1900. 10,000 European troops entered Beijing and ended the 56-day Boxer siege of the legations there.The Chinese Dowager fled Beijing, and accepted the foreign powers� terms.These included punishment of 96 senior officials, large reparations in gold, an expression of regret, and the acceptance of a string of foreign forts on Chinese territory.Some Boxer leaders were beheaded in public.

7 August 1900, In China, European forces captured Yang-tsun from the Boxers, after losing 700 men

26 July 1900, In China, European forces captured Tianjin from the Boxer rebels. They now looted the city, destroying or stealing millions of dollars worth of goods.

21 July 1900, The Chinese Emperor appealed for �mediation�, from France, Germany, the USA and Japan, over the European invasions following the Boxer rebellion. However Europe tended to blame Chine itself for the Boxer attacks.

30 June 1900, European troops, also from the US and Japan, occupied Tianjin, as the Boxer Rebellion progressed.

29 June 1900, The Chinese Imperial Court issued a declaration blaming foreigners for the troubles within China. Effectively a declaration of war, this emboldened the Boxers to even greater ferocities against the Europeans there. In Manchuria the Roman Catholic Archbishop and others were burnt alive after taking refuge in the cathedral in Mukden.

24 June 1900, In China, Boxer rebels made further attacks on foreign embassies.

23 June 1900, The Hanlin Academy library in Beijing adjacent to the British Legation, China's largest collection of works, housing thousands of centuries-old publications, burnt down. Soldiers under the command of General Chang Fu Shiang set fire to the academy while attacking the British embassy; the library burned to the ground, but the winds blew the flames away from the embassy, which survived unscathed.

20 June 1900. The Boxer troops, and Dong Fuxiang�s Gansu troops, began attacks on legations, churches, and other foreign establishments. They murdered the German Ambassador in Peking.

19 June 1900, The Chinese Imperial Government, due to the fact that foreign troops were now firing on Chinese citizens, delivered notes to the foreign legations, stating that relations with these governments were now broken off and that Imperial troops would escort the foreigners to the port of Tianjin to depart. Many were tempted to accept this offer, but did not because that would mean abandoning many Chinese staff to certain slaughter.

18 June 1900, The Empress of China ordered that all foreigners in the country were to be killed.

17 June 1900. In response to the growing Boxer threat, the allied troops of Germany, Britain, France, the USA, Italy, France, Austria, and Japan captured the Dagu forts.

Western forces invade China to deal with the Boxer threat


Boxer attacks intensify

16 June 1900, Foreign legations in Beijing were now virtually under siege as angry Boxer rebels controlled the streets. This day a large fire in Beijing, set by the Boxers, destroyed much of the Western Quarter, also many famous landmarks.

13 June 1900, When three Chinese Boxers came too close to the German legation, one of them, a young man, was captured by the German guards. Baron von Ketteler, the German minister thrashed the Boxer with his cane, ordered his guards to extend the beating, and warned the Chinese Foreign Ministry (the Zongli Yamen) that the boy would die. Over the next few days, the foreign diplomats began shooting at Chinese nationals near the Beijing Legation Quarter. Von Ketteler himself would be killed on June 20. The same day, communication between the foreign embassies and the rest of the world was halted as their telegraph lines were severed.

10 June 1900, Western forces under Admiral Seymour set out from Tianjin to protect the Beijing Legations form the Boxers.

9 June 1900, In China, the Boxers destroyed the Beijing race course, which had been a social centre for Westerners there.

3 June 1900, The railway between Beijing and Tianjin was cut by Boxer rebels.

30 May 1900, Diplomats representing foreign powers in China requested troops to protect them from increasing threats from Chinese nationalists.

28 May 1900, Boxer attacks on foreigners and Chinese Christians continued, the Boxers becoming more confoident that they had the tacit approval of the Imperial Court.This day they attacked Fengtai railway station, on the Beijinbg-Tianjin line, besieging the staff and cutting the telegraph lines. The Chinese Government did indeed respond in an ambivalent manner.

Boxer attacks intensify


7 April 1900, Britain, France, Germany and the US warned China to suppress the Boxer movement, or face invasion.

20 March 1900, The USA, Britain, Germany, France, Japan and Russia agreed to an �open door� policy in China that would avoid each one carving out exclusive areas of influence, whch might lead to the partition of China. However anti-foreigner sentiment was already growing fast in China.

27 January 1900, European diplomats demanded that China curb the Boxers.

9 February 1899, The Boxer Rebellion gained momentum in China. Lack of rain had caused crops to fail, and Boxer pamphlets blamed the Churches for �standing in the way of Heaven and angering the Gods�. The Boxer publicity blamed �blue-eyed barbarians� for angering the ancestors and said railways, electric wires and ships must be destroyed. Britain, France, Germany and Russia had forced territorial concessions from China. The Boxers, or �society of harmonious fists�, were a secret society, originally formed to promote boxing, who became dedicated to removing foreign influence from China.


Russian ambitions in Manchuria, Korea, as China weak; curbed by China, with European support, 1898-1903

10 November 1903. 10,000 Chinese troops moved into Manchuria.

30 October 1903, Russia re-occupied Mukden, in violation of their promise to vacate Manchuria. This alarmed both China and Japan.

8 April 1902. Russia signed an agreement with China, promising to withdraw its troops from Manchuria.


Russia extends its influence in Manchuria, to exclude Japan from the region; China weak.

2 April 1901, A proposed agreement between Russia and China for Russian occupation of Manchuria was cancelled by China, after Chinese appeals for support from Britain, Japan and Germany. For details see

15 March 1901, Germany�s Chancellor von Bulow declared that the Anglo-German agreement of October 1900, to restrain foreign aggression and maintain open trade, did not apply to Manchuria. Britain retaliated by ending its initiative to form an Anglo-German-Japanese bloc to halt Russian penetration of Manchuria.

4 September 1900, Russia seized south Manchuria from China.

19 July 1900, Russia inflicted a heavy defeat on the Chinese on the River Amur.

26 June 1900. Japan mobilised 20,000 troops ostensibly to suppress the Boxer rebellion. In reality Japan wanted to seize as much land as possible in mainland Asia, before Russia got there.

25 June 1900, Russia mobilised its army in eastern Siberia for actions against China. The excuse was Boxer instigated attacks on Russian territory across from Manchuria; in reality Russia wanted to occupy Manchuria, in part so as to exclude Japan from that area.

21 May 1900. Russia annexed Manchuria.


Russia extends its influence in Korea, alarms Japan.

27 March 1900, A Russian fleet arrived at Korea. Russia was taking advantage of a weak China to increase its influence in Manchuria and Korea. This was alarming to Japan.

18 March 1900, Japan coerced the Korean Government into blocking a Russian initiative to gain a concession for a navalbase at the Korean port of Masampo. Japan was moving towards war with Russia and annexation of Korea.


30 December 1899, A British missionary was murdered in China, close to Tsinan. As a result the British consul in Shanghai ordered that three Chinese should be beheaded, also one to be strangled, another to serve 10 years in prison, and another to be banished; furthermore, three village elders were to be flogged. This incident illustrates the weakness of the Chinese State at the time against British colonialism.

21 September 1898, In China the Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi seized power, and began reversing the reformist policies of her nephew Emperor Guangxu.

1 July 1898, China leased the New Territories (Hong Kong) to Britain for 99 years.

25 April 1898, Under the Nishi-Rosen Protocol, Russia and Japan agreed that neither would interfere in Korean internal affairs, although Japan would be allowed to develop its economic interests there.

14 November 1897, German forces occupied Qingdao (Tsing-Tao) in China following the murder of several German missionaries. This invasion sparked a rush by other European powers for trade and territorial concessions in China.


Foot-binding curbed in China, 1897-1902

1 February 1902, Foot binding was declared illegal in China.

30 June 1897, The Shanghai Foot Emancipation Society was founded. It was one of several such organisations dedicated to eliminating the custom of foot-binding which had been practiced on young aristocratic Chinese girls, leaving them in some cases scarcely able to walk. This practice dated from the 10th century AD; in China bound (small) feet were considered a mark of beauty, and also a sign that the woman was wealthy enough not to have to work. It also made her totally dependent upon her husband. As Christianity penetrated China in the 1880s a move to make women equal in status to men began, and to eliminate foot-binding. The Hundred Days Reform in 1898 also aimed to stop this practice. By 1899 some 800,000 Chinese people has joined anti-foot-binding societies. However the practice continued into the 20th century, and in 1949 the Communist administration found it necessary to ban the practice, still underway in remote rural areas. China retains a ban on foot-binding today.


5 March 1898, Zhou Enlai, Chinese Premier, was born.

28 March 1897, The Japanese Yen went on the Gold Standard.

19 January 1896, The first motor vehicle was operated in Japan. It was a motorcycle made in Germany.

1 August 1895. The people of Gutian in Fujian Province, destroyed churches and killed more than ten Australian and British missionaries, including women and children.

2 June 1895, Japan took formal possession of Formosa (Taiwan) from China.

29 May 1895, The Japanese landed near Keelung on the northern coast of Taiwan, and in a five-month campaign swept southwards to Tainan.

17 April 1895. Japan and China signed the Peace Treaty of Shimonoseki. China recognised the independence of Korea (although Japan did not have to recognise this), and ceded Formosa (Taiwan), the Pescadores Islands, and the Liaodong Peninsula, to Japan. China also had to pay a huge indemnity to Japan, and allow Japanese trade in four treaty ports, which would be exempt from Chinese taxation. Rivalry between Japan and China over Korea had started this war; the immediate cause was the assassination of a pro-Japanese politician in Korea, which gave Japan an excuse to send in troops. Japan opened hostilities without declaring war, by sinking a Chinese troopship and machine-gunning the survivors. However on 23 April 1895 Russia, France, and Germany intervened, forcing Japan to hand back the Liaodong Peninsula.

30 November 1895. China and Russia made a secret treaty so that Russia could build the Trans-Siberian railway through Manchuria to the port of Vladivostock.

21 November 1894. Japan defeated China at Port Arthur.

1 August 1894. War was formally declared between China and Japan.

27 July 1894, Korea declared war on China.

25 July 1894, Japanese forces sank the Kowshing, a British ship carrying Chinese forces to Korea.

26 December 1893. Mao Tse Tung, Chinese Communist leader, was born in Hunan.He was the son of a peasant farmer.

28 October 1891, A severe earthquake hit Osaka, Japan; 10,000 were killed.

31 October 1887, Chiang Kai-Shek, Chinese military leader and politician, was born in Fenghua, Chekiang province.

9 June 1885, The Treaty of Tientsin was signed, under which China recognised the French Protectorate of Indo-China in return for France agreeing to respect China�s southern border. See 26 October 1884.

17 November 1884. Chinese Turkestan was given provincial status, and renamed Xinjiang, or New Frontier.

26 October 1884, China declared war on France after France bombarded Taiwan as reprisal for China�s refusal to acknowledge the French Protectorate of Indo-China, see 9 June 1885.

11 September 1883, Anti-European riots in Canton, China

25 August 1883, A Treaty was signed at Hue recognising Tonkin, Cochin China and Annam as French Protectorates. However China rejected the Treaty and resisted French interference in the region.

22 May 1882, The USA signed a treaty with Korea recognising its independence from China, Russia, and Japan.

27 February 1876, Japan and Korea signed the Treaty of Kanghwa. Until 1873 Korea, governed by the xenophobic Regent Taewon-Gun, had rejected diplomatic approaches by Japan. In 1875 Japanese gunboats off Kanghwa Island, near Seoul, were fired upon by the Koreans. Japan used this incident to force closer commercial and political links with Korea, backed up by the Japanese Navy. The Treaty of Kanghwa encouraged Western powers to also seek closer links with Korea, ending its isolation and its status as a vassal state of China.

26 April 1875, Synghman Rhee, South Korean statesman, was born.

22 February 1875, Tensions between London and Beijing increased after Augustus Margary, a British official, was killed by bandits close to the Burma-China border.

1/1875, Chinese Emperor Mu Zung died aged 19. He was succeeded by his cousin Zaitian as the Guangxu Emperor.

10/1874, China agreed to pay compensation to Japan, and Japan withdrew its invasion force from Taiwan.

4/1874, Japan invaded Taiwan, justifying the action because of the murder of 54 Japoanese sailors who had been shipwrecked there in 1871.

24 October 1871. In Los Angeles, 19 Chinese were killed in anti-Chinese riots.

1 June 1871, US Rear-Admiral John Rodgers attempted to emulate Commodore Perry�s opening up of Japan to US trade, by arriving off Seoul in his ship, the Colorado. His ship[s were fired upon as he approached Fort Chojijin on the Salee River. Receiving no apology for this, Rodgers then destroyed the fort, then left believing he had made his point of US domiinance. However the Koreans beliebved they had repulsed the enemy. It was not until 1876 that Japan succeeded in forcing open Korea to trade and then only for Japan. US trade with Korea only began in 1883.

21 June 1870, The Teintsin Massacre. Many Chinese resented the arrival of Christian missionaries, and to stir up trouble they spread rumours that the foreigners were sorcerers. At Tientsin the French Sisters of Mercy ran an orphanage and gave small cash rewards to people who brought in homeless or unwanted children; this gave rise to rumours of child kidnap and abuse. This day an angry Chinese crowd led by a magistrate assembled outside the orphanage; the French consul ordered his guards to fire on the crowd to disperse it. The Chinese now stormed the orphanage, killing 18 Europeans including the consul and 10 nuns. France demanded punishment as both Rome and France protested. Western naval ships sailed to Teintsin, 16 Chinese were executed amd China made an official apology to France.

12 November 1866, Sun Yat Sen, President of China, was born.

14 October 1866, French troops occupied Ganghwa Island, Korea, in retaliation for the execution of French Jesuit priests.

6 September 1866, Three British tea clippers reached London within hours of each other after a 16,000 mile race from China. The Serica, Taiping and Ariel left Foochow at the end of May 1866 ; the 200 foot clippers were the fastest ships yet built, sailing at over 20 mph.


Russian gains from China 1858-71

4 July 1871. Russian troops occupied the Ili area of Chinese Turkestan.

7 August 1865. In the continuing Muslim rebellion in Chinese Turkestan, Ya�qub Beg captured the oasis towns of Kucha and Aksu and took the ruler Burhanuddin as prisoner. On 7 September 1865 Ya�qub Beg captured Kashgar, slaughtering some 4,000 Han Chinese.

28 May 1858. Russia under Czar Alexander II acquired from China large swathes of territory, over which they generally already had de facto control. These included land to the north of the Amur River and east of thye Ussuri River, to the Pacific coast, also land between Lake Baikal and the present-day frontier woth western Choina and the NW Mongolian frontier. Russia was exploiting the weakness of the Chinese State at the time, with both Eng;land and France waging war against it. This was the Treaty of Aigun. It was signed by a local Chinese Commander, in the city of Aigun, locsate edon the Amur River. However the Manchu Dynasty refused to recognise this Treaty. Then, further incursions into China by the English and French, even to the looting of the Forbidden City, also the Taiping Rebellion, gave China little choice but to sign the Treaty of Peking, on 14 November 1860, affirming the transfer of territories form China to Russia.


19 July 1864, The British Army under General Gordon assisted Tseng Kuo Fan�s Army to sack Nanjing. Hung Hsiu Chuan committed suicide by poison as over 100,000 were killed, and the Taiping Rebellion was finally ended. See 19 March 1853.

20 August 1862, US mercenary Frederick Townsend Ward led Imperial Chinese forces to victory over the Taiping rebels at Tzeki, near Shanghai.

3 March 1857, Britain and France declared war on China, using the killing of a missionary as a pretext.

7 September 1853, Shanghai fell to rebels as the Taiping Rebellion continued.

19 March 1853, Taiping (Heavenly Peace) rebels in China, a Protestant movement, challenged the ruling Manchu Ch�ing dynasty by taking the city of Nanjing. See 19 July 1864.


1863, Start of the reign of boy-King Kojong in Korea (ruled until 1907).

19 October 1851, Myeongseong, Empress of Korea, was born.


22 August 1849, Amaral, the Portuguese Governor of Macao, was assassinated for his pro-Chinese policies.


Second Opium War, West uses military force to open China to trade

14 November 1860, China, under duress from Western powers, signed the Beijing Convention, ratifying the Treaty of Tainjin (1858)

24 October 1860. China gave way to trade demands from Britain and France after fighting. Beijing was captured on 6 October 1860.

18 October 1860, The Old Summer Palace in Beijing was looted, then destroyed and burnt by British soldiers, in revenge for the killing of British negotiators by the Chinese.

6 October 1860, An Anglo-French force invading China captured Beijing

25 August 1860, British and French forces took the port of Tianjin.

12 August 1860, The French and British bombarded Sinho, to force China to admit their diplomats.

29 June 1858, The Treaty of Tientsin ended the Anglo-Chinese War. China agreed to open up more ports to trade.

31 March 1858, China gave in to British and French demands for trade concessions.

1856, The Second Opium War began as Western powers made more demands on China to open up to trade. Western troops seized Canton (Guangzhou)

25 February 1850, Daoguang, Emperor of China, died.

25 July 1845. China granted Belgium equal trading rights with Britain, France, and the USA. See 24 October 1844.

24 October 1844. France and China signed the Treaty of Whampoa, opening up Chinese ports to French trade. French traders came under French, not Chinese, law, and the French gained the right to build Catholic churches in the treaty ports of China.

3 July 1844. China and the USA signed the Treaty of Wanghiya, giving US citizens similar rights to those of the UK in the Treaty of Nanjing signed in 1843. US traders now had access to the same five Chinese trading ports as Britain did.

17 November 1843. In accordance with the Treaty of Nanjing (see 29 August 1842) Shanghai was opened up to foreign trade.

8 October 1843, Britain and China signed the British Supplementary Treaty; an addition to the Treaty of Nanjing (29 August 1842), giving Britain favourable trading terms with China. See 3 July 1844.


Opium Wars

1908, The opium trade finally ceased.

Opium imports into China (selected years). One chest contained 150 lbs (67 kg) of opium, netting the importer a profit of �20 in 1820.


















1 December 1843. China again banned opium smoking, the cause of the Opium War. However the Chinese already had an insatiable appetite for it, andignored this decree. Opium smuggling into China was rampant, run by gangsters such as the Triads.

29 August 1842. The Opium War (1839-1842) between Britain and China ended (see 26 January 1841) with the Treaty of Nanjing. China ceded Hong Kong Island in perpetuity to Britain and opened up five ports to foreign trade. There was further humiliation for the Chinese; they were to pay US$21million over the next 5 years for the opium they destroyed, which started the war. On 5 April 1843 Queen Victoria proclaimed Hong Kong a British Crown Colony.

26 January 1841. Hong Kong was proclaimed British territory. It was occupied by British troops as the Opium War with China continued. It was ceded by China on 20 January 1841, in what the Chinese termed the �Unequal Treaties�.The much larger area known as the �New Territories� was leased from China until 1997.This area contained Hong Kong�s water supplies and the whole territory was returned to China then.

See 5 July 1840, and 29 August 1842.

20 January 1841, Hong Kong was ceded to Britain by China, see 26 January 1841.

5 July 1840. In the Opium War (see 4 September 1839), British naval forces bombarded Dinghai on Zhousan Island and then occupied it. See 26 January 1841. This war is not just about opium but the right to force China to open its ports to British trade.

20 February 1840, In the UK, Palmerston ordered the British Navy to attack China in order to prevent the suppr4ession of the opium trade.

30 January 1840, The Emperor of China, Emperor Daoguang, forbade all trade with Britain. This was an effort to curb the flood of opium entering China.

3 November 1839, Britain began to assemble an expeditionary military force as relations with China deteriorated over the opium trade issue.

4 September 1839. The British fired the first shots on the Chinese in the Opium War, see 24 March 1839. On 3 November 1839 British and Chinese forces clashed near the Bogue Forts at the mouth of the Pearl River. The formal declaration of the Opium War was in June 1840. see 5 July 1840.

21 May 1838, In an attempt to placate Liu Zexu,European traders offered to surrender 1,034 chewsts of opium, valued at US$ 725,000. This was a fraction of the total estimated exiting stock of 20,000 chests, and Liu Zexu contemptuously refused this offer. Had the Chinese been prepared to offer free trade in return for the abolition of the opium trade this offer woiuld have been speedily accepted by the Europeans, However China suspected the British of expansionist plans, not without basis in fact, and this would have destabilised Chinese society.

17 May 1838, Liu Zexu summoned the Hong Kong opium merchants to ascertain the names of the opium dealers, whom he then threatened with execution.

24 March 1839. The Chinese blockaded foreign owned opium factories. This was to force the factories to hand over their opium stocks for destruction. The Chinese destroyed 20,000 chests of opium belonging to British traders, worth US$ 12 million. Opium had been imported from India to China since the 17th century, but was now ruining the Chinese economy. European tea imports from China had been paid for in silver but the merchants forced them to accept opium instead. The British also refused to hand over sailors who killed a Chinese peasant in a drunken pub brawl. News of this reached London on 5 August 1839, and on 23 August 1839 the British assembled a fleet of warships off Hong Kong. See 4 September 1839.

10 March 1839, An imperial Chinese official named Lin Zexu arrived at Canton with orders from Emperor Daoguang to eradicate the opium trade.

12 December 1838. In China, a riot broke out when British and American opium traders drove away Chinese officials intending to execute a native opium dealer in front of the foreign owned opium factories.

3 December 1838, Lin Zexu was appointed by Chinese Emperor Daoguang to halt the opium trade.

16 February 1823, Li Hung Chang, Chinese statesman, was born (died 7 November 1901).

1799, China made opium illegal.

30 August 1785, Lin Tse Hu, Chinese official whose attempt to halt the opium trade led to the Opium War, was born in Hou-Kuan, Fukien Province, China (died 1850).

1729, China banned the sale and smoking of opium.


Emperor Qianlong

9 February 1796, Qianlong, 6th emperor of the Qing dynasty and the leader of China at its pre-modern peak of power, size, and prestige, abdicated in the 61st year of his reign in favor of his 35-year-old son. Though, until his death three years later, Qianlong continued to exercise power from behind the scenes, his abdication was crucial to his dynasty�s legitimacy. Qianlong abdicated one day before the length of his reign would have matched that of his illustrious grandfather, Emperor Kangxi. Kangxi�s unprecedentedly long reign was viewed as a kind of golden age, and Kangxi was still held in high regard. For Qianlong to outshine his grandfather would have been viewed as immodest, reflecting badly on the House of Aisin Gor. His abdication preserved respect for the imperial office. He was succeeded by his 36-year-old son Chia Ch�ing who ruled until his death in 1820.

1775, The Yangtze Delta area of China was now the most economically developed region of the country.

1736, Chi�en Lung became Emperor of China aged 25, commencing the Ch�ing Dynasty that endured until 1796. He extended Chinese control far into central Asia. He also spent huge amounts of money on imperial leisure.

8 October 1735, Qianlong succeeded Yongzheng as Emperor of China.


1724, The huge Chinese encyclopedia, Gujin Tushu Jicheng, was printed using movable type.

1723, Emperor Yongzheng acceded, ruled intil 1735.


Emperor Qing Kangsi

20 December 1722, Qing Kangxi, Emperor of China, born 1654, died after the longest reign in China.

1720, Tibet became a dependency of China. Apart from foreign and military affairs, China largely left Tibet alone until te 20th century.

19 March 1715,Pope Clement XI issued a Papal Bull againstt Chinese ancestor worship.

1696, China launched an invasion of Outer Mongolia.

7 September 1689, China signed the Treaty of Nerchinsk with Russia. This was the first treaty signed by China with another country as opposed to a vassal state. The Treaty settled border disputes with Russia in the Amur region.

1683, China took possession of Taiwan from the Dutch. China heavily exploited this new territory, appointing absentee landlords who confiscated land from the local people and forced them to work as serfs.

5 February 1661, Emperor Kangxi began his reign in China, then aged 7; he ruled for over 61 years. �������


1650, Death of Prince Dorgon (born 1612). he was the uncle of the child-Emperor and so exercised real power. He made compulsory for all male Chinese the �queue�hairstyle,shaved at the front and a pigtail at the back. This clashed with the Confucian ideal that hair,as a gift from your parents,whould never be cut. Thousands of Chinese were executed for defying the �Queue Order�.

1645, Construction of the Potala Palace, the largest Buddhist monastery in Tibet, began.

25 April 1644, China�s last Ming Emperor committed suicide, as rebels led by Li Zi Cheng reached the gates of Beijing. The Manchu Qing Dynasty began. The Manchus invaded Korea, which became a vassal State to China.

1643, Abahai (born 1592), Manchu leader, 8th son of Nurhaci, died. He rose to supremacy over the other senuor Manchu princes, becoming sole leader. Under his rule, from his capital at Mukden Abahai extended the Manchu empire into Korea and Mongolia, and raided northern China. In 1636 Abahai proclaimed himself Emperor of the Qing Dynasty; then invaded China in 1644.

1636, The Qing Dynasty was founded by the Manchus.

1634, The English established a trading post at Canton.

1626, Manchu leader Abahai, 8th son of Nurhaci, (1592-1643) succeeded him as ruler.

30 September 1626, Manchu leader Nurhaci died (born 1559)

1625, The Manchus established their capital at Mukden.

1624, The Dutch established a trading post in Taiwan.

3/1619, The Qing defeated the Ming at the Battle of Sarhu.

1616, Manchu leader Nurhaci became Great Jin (khan) of China.


Attemnpted, unsuccessful, invasions of Korea by Japan, 1592, 1597

1597, Japan again attempted an invasion of Korea. They were again defeated and pulled out by 1599, but Korea was devastated in the fighting. China was also weakened, with riots against the tatxatioin levied to fight Japan, and its NE frontier made more vulnerable; however Japan became isolationist and developed its economy.

1593, Japan pulled its forces out of Korea following Chinese military intervention. Japanese land forces had prevailed against the Korean army, but well-armoured Korean naval forces had repulsed the Japanese navy. Korea although victorious was devastated,and the cost of intervention bore heavily on China, provoking riots against increased taxation and leaving the country weakened on its strategic north-eastern frontier.

8 February 1593, A Chinese and Korean army took Pyongyang from the Japanese.

23 May 1592, Japan began an invasion of Korea.


1588, Famine and lawlessness in China.

1581,The �Single Whip� tax reforms in China now entailed all taxes being based on property ownership, as recorded in a central register, and payable in silver. The aim was both to simplify the tax system and to avoid inflation which had been caused by the debasement of a paper currency after the inflow of Spanish and Japanese silver.

1573, In China, Wan Li became Emperor at age 10. He ruled for 47 years to 1620 as Emperor Shen Zong.

1566, End of reign of Jiajang (acceded 1522).

1557, The Portuguese first obtained permission from China to trade at Macao.

August 1517, The Portuguese became the first Europeans to visit Taiwan. They called it Ilha Formosa, meaning �beautiful island�.


China bans sea voyages, after Zheng He

1500, It became a capital offence for any Chinese to go to sea in a ship with more than two masts, without special permission. This was a further measure aimed at erasing the era of Zheng He�s voyages.

1477, Courtiers tentatively suggested reviving the voyages of Zheng He. In response a group of civil servants led by Liu Daxia destroyed all the records of these voyages they could find, on the grounds that the expense, and lives lost, did not justify the rewards.

30 July 1470, Hongzhi, Emperor of China, was born.

1464, Revolts broke out across Ming China, as a result of famine. They were harshly suppressed by the rigid Ming government, with the aid of 160,000 troops. However further such rebellions broke out, in 1466, 1467 and 1475.

1436, Emperor Zhengtong denied a request from Nanjing shipyards for craftsmen to maintain Zheng He�s ships. However Zhengtong was only 9 years old at this time and the real decision was made by his advisors.

1433, Zheng He died (1371-1433) died.

1433, China abrubtly halted its overseas exploration, even banning the construction of seagoing ships. One factor was the cost of these expeditions, draining the Chinese Treasury. Zheng He�s voyages involved some 60 large ships, several hundred smaller ones, almost 30,000 sailors, and extensive gifts given as tools of diplomacy. The cost wasa met by increased money printing and a rise in mining activities within China.


Zheng He�s ships could probably have reached North and South America (although they almost certainly did not), making the Americas a Chinese colonydecades before Columbus got there. In fact Columbus might never have sailed, because the large Chinese ships also had the capability to reach Europe, making vassal states in Europe also.

However the great fleet of Zheng He was left to rot at Nanjing shipyards, and in 1436 a request for craftsmen to maintain these ships was denied. By 1500 the ships had rotted beyond repair.

1424, Emperor Yongle died, and his successor�s first act was to halt overseas voyages. The Indian Ocean States then stopped sending tribute, so Zheng He was sent out again in 1431.

5 August 1424, Emperor Chu Ti, also known as Yongle or Ch�eng Tsu, died (born 2 May 1360). Under his rule China sent out exploration fleets, between 1403 and 1433, under the command of the Muslim eunuch Cheng Ho (Zheng He). These expeditions reached Java, southern India, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and eastern Africa as far south as Zanzibar. He also maintained peaceable relations with the Mongols and other peoples, as far as the Amur River and west to Herat and Samarkand.

1421, China transferred the capital from Nanjing to the Forbidden City in Beijing.

1416, Zheng He�s ships reached Aden.

1405, Zheng He sailed from Nanjing to Sri Lanka. He led a fleet of nearly 300 ships, with 27,000 sailors.

1405, Chinese Emperor Yongle announced plans to send ambassadors to �the various countries of the Western (Indian) Ocean�, to create diplomatic links, bestow rewards, and exact tribute.


1/1368, Zhu Yuanzhang, founder of the Ming (= Brilliant) Dyansty, proclaimed himelf Emperor. He made Nanjing the capital of China. The Mongols were evicted from China.

1332, China experienced very heavy rains and severe flooding. Up to seven million may have died. There wasd also a run of 35 consecutive secere winters at this time.

1/1328, Zhu Yuanzhang, founder of the Ming Dyansty, was born in poverty. He joined a Buddhist monastery as a teenager but that too was poor and he had to beg for food on the streets. Soon, this monastery was burnt down in China�s civil wars.


29 November 1394, The capital city of the Joseon Dynasty in present-day Korea was moved from Gaegyeong (now Gaeseong) to Hanseong (now Seoul).

1392, The Yi Dynasty, which ruled Korea until 1910, was founded by warlord Yi Songgye. He was a General under the Goryo regime.

11 October 1335, Yi Seong-gye, founder of the Joseon Dynasty, was born in Korea.


Yuan Dynasty

2 May 1360, Emperor Chu Ti, also known as Yung Lo or Ch�eng Tsu, was born. See 5 August 1424.

1355, Nanking was recaptured from the Mongols by 27-year-old Chinese patriot Chu Yuan Chang.

1287, The Mongolian hegemony permitted safer travel across Asia. This year the first recorded visit by a person born in China to Europe was made. Rabban Sauma, a Turk born in China, visited Naples and then travelled on to Paris where he met French King Philip IV. He then visited Bordeaux and met King Edward I of England.

19 March 1279, The last Song child-Emperor was defeated by the Mongols at the Batlle of Yamen, a naval battle off the coast of southern China.

1274, End of the seige of Xiangyang (now, Xiangfan, Hubei Province). The Mongols had been besieging the city for 6 years, and finally triumphed when they brought in counterweight trebuchets, that could catapult huge stones up to 1 metre in diameter.

1267, Beijing was founded as a city called Khanbelig, founded by Kublai Khan.

1260, Yuan Dynasty founded, by Kublai Khan, a 44-year-old grandson of the late Ghenghis Khan. It endured until 1368.


1243, The earliest evidence for footbinding in China; tiny shortened slippers from the tomb of Huang Sheng, a 7-year-old girl buried this year. Original 13 c footbindoing made the feet slimmer, but by the 17 c it was also being used to make the feet shorter, grossly distorting and twisting the toes back under the sole.


Mongol attacks

1234, The Song Emperor proposed an alliance with the Mongols against the Jurchen. As before, this resulted in the Mongols taking over the Jurchen Empire and bringing China to its knees. However China was saved from total annihilation because Genghiz Khan had died in 1227, replaced by his son Ogodei. Other family members feared that allowing Ogodei to take over China would make him too powerful, so the Mongol chiefs launched major raids into Europe, to distract from the China adventure.

1215, The Mongols under Genghiz Khan raided and burnt Beijing.

1211, The Mongols attacked the Qin Empire, subduing it by 1215.

1205, The Mongols began conquering the Xi Xia Kingdom in NW China, fully subduing it by 1209.

1194, The Yellow River burst its banks, once again, destroying the dikes that brought coal and food to Kaifeng, and carried its manufactured products out. This natural disaster had occurred several times before, but now the Chinese State was weakened by wars with the Mongols and Jurchen, and recovery was much harder.


1191, A ban on Chinese intermnarrying with Jurchen (which hads been woidely disregarded anyway0 was rescinded.

1161, Battle of Zaishi; Southern Song repulsed a Jurchen Jin invasion .This victory, along with that off the Shandong Peninsula, allowed the Song Rmpire to survive another century before its conquest by the Mongols in 1279.

16 November 1161, The Jurchen Jin dynasty planned a seaborne invasion of southern Song China. Some 70,000 soldiers embarked on transport ships. Their commander, Zheng Zia, was not intending to undertake a sea battle, a form of warfare which his horseborne steppe warriors had no experience. However the invasion fleet was intercepted by a squadron of Song warships, commanded by Li Bao, in the islands off the Shandong Peninsula. The Song warships included �tower ships�; these had a trebuchet to hurl missiles. They also had inflammable gunpowder missiles that set fire to enemy ships. Many Jurchen soldiers drowned as they leapt off burning ships, including Zheng Zia.

1153, The Jurchen Jin moved their capital from Manchuria to Beijing.

1141, The Jurchen Jin Empire in northen China was established, with the Song Chinese Empire now ruling a reduced territory in the south. The two empires signed the Treaty of Shaoxing and peaxe was established for the enxt 20 years.

1132, China, Song Dynasty, established its first permament navy, at Dinghai.

9 January 1127, Kaifeng in northern China was captured by the Jurchen, after a siege that began in 12/2216,. The Jurchen�s military technology and capability was rapidly developing. They also captured the Song Emperor.

1125, Jin Dynasty founded by the Jurchens.

1115, The �wild Jurchens� of Manchuria offered to ally with Emperor Hui Tsung to help fight the Khitans, who also lived to the north of China. This was a tactical error by Hui Tsung, who was more a lover of high culture than a skilled statesman, for soon the Jurchens turned against him and were themselves attacking northern China, see 9 January 1127.

1101, The Chinese Sung Emperor Hui Tsung acceded, aged 19, to begin a 24-year reign.

1100, Chinese farmland was held very unequally. The wealthiest 14% of the population owned 77.5% of the farmland.

1071, Eastern Tibet disintegrated into small states, paving the way for penetration by China.

1068, Chinese Emperor Shen Tsung began a 17-year reign. He was a radical reformer.

30 April 1063, Renzong, Emperor of China, died.

1038, The Western Xia in north-west China declared independence.

Winter 1018/19, Some 100,000 Liao soldiers, a mix of Khitan mounted bowmen and Chinese peasand conscripts, began an invasion of Goryo Kingdom, Korea. Goryo had an army twice that soize but most were poorly-trained foot militaia with just basic equipment. Gang Gam Chan, Goryo military commander, failed to stop the Chinese advancing towards the Goryo capital, Kaesung, but subjected them to constant harassment as they advanced further into enemy territory. Tye Khitan commander, Xiao Baiya, became increasingly nervous and finally he turned tail and made for home. The Koreans now attacked the hungry exhausted Chinese as they withdrew; Goryo�s continued existence was assured, and Gang Gasm Chan hailed as a national hero.

1013, Fuel riots in Kaifeng. Ironworks had stripped entire forests around the city for charcoal, driving the price of firewood beyond affordability of many households. Fortunately Kaifeng was close to coal deposits, which were soon after this utilised for fuel.

1004, The earliest mention of gunpowder, in China. Gunpowder, a mixture of saltpetre (potassium nitrate, the white powder that forms in organic-rich environments protected from rainfall, sulphur and charcoal, powdered together, is explosive because the potassium nitrate provides the oxygen for very rapid combustion; gunpowder is stable at room temperature but can be set off by temperatures above 300 C. Daoist alchemists had reportedly discovered a crude form of gunpowder as early as 850, whilst loking for the elixir of life, and by 950 this burning black powder was being catapulted as a weapon, although at this date its explosive power was limited.

Gunpowder gave the West the gun, which was to demolish the ancient chivalric knightly horse-based warfare of the Mediaeval period, and give the infantry the upper hand. Gunpowder likewise demolished the power of the Japanese Samurai, when the gun entered Japanese society. Early guns (cannon) were in use in Europe by 1326, but were low-powered and inaccurate until metallurgists found how to cast strong barrels to contain and direct larger explosive charges, from the 1400s.

993, The Khitan, nomadic horsemen from central Asia who now ruled much of northern China, now began attempts to conquer te Korean Kingdom of Goryeo.

979, The Song Dynasty conquered the Northern Han State.

978, The Wu-Yue State suyrrendered to the Song Dynasty.

975, The Song Dynasty conquered the Southern T�ang Kingdom and Hunan province.

971, The Southern Han fell to the Song Dynasty.

965, Northern Song armies conquered the Later Shu Kingdom.

960, The Song Dynasty, which ruled China until 1279, was established by Chao K�uang-yin who began to reunite China. However the Khitan could not be fully driven out of northern China and were allowed to continue ruling there. He ruled until 976 as (Sung) T�ai Tsu. The Song Dynasty overlapped with the Mongol Yuan Dynasty, which began in 1260.


951, The Chu State was taken over by the Southern T�ang. The Later Zhou Dynasty was founded by Guo Wei. The Northern Han Dynasty was founded by Lui Min, in northern China.

950, The fall of the Later Han Dynasty.

947, The Khitan Empire adopted the dynastic name �Great Liao�. The Later Jin Dynasty fell to the Later Han Dynasty, founded by Gaozu of Later Han.

945, The Southern T�ang Dynasty conquered the Min Kingdom.

942, End of the Southern Han Dynasty.

935, The Goryo Kingdomwas established in Korea, reuniting the peninsula.

935, Later Shu, one of theTen Kingdoms, was founded by Meng Zhixiang.

927, Chu State, one of the Ten Kingdoms, was founded by Ma Yin.

925, The Shu Kingdom (one of the Ten Kingdoms) fell to the Later T�ang.

924, The Qi State in north west China fell to the Later T�ang Dynasty.

923, The Later Liang Dynasty fell to the Later T�ang Dynasty (founded by Li Cunxu).

921, During the Later Liang Dynasty, the Khitan stated that they had �pacified all barbarian tribes�.

908, Khitan Mongols under Ye-lu a-pao-chi began to conquer Inner Mongolia and adjacent areas of China. The Khitan, or Qidan, peoples, gavfe rise to the name Cathay in Europe.

T�ang Dynasty

907, In China, fall of the T�ang Dynasty. Zhu Wen established the Later Liang Dynasty. This was the first of northern China�s Five Dynasties; for the next 50 years China was divided into many warring states.

905, The Khitan Empire was set up in southern Manchuria.

902, The Wu State was founded in Yangzhou, southern China by Yang Xingmi.

884, The T�ang Dynasty suppressed the Huang Zhao rebellion, with the help of the Shatuo Turkic tribes. However T�ang power was weakend.

874, Peasant revolt against the T�ang rulers after a severe drought. In 880 Hunag Zhao, a peasant rebel turned General, usurped the throne from the T�ang Emperor.


845, Buddhism was banned in China. Emperor Wuzong was opposed to Buddhism, and he took steps to regulate the monasteries, weeding out unregistered and �undesiorable� monks, from 842 onwards. He was concerned at both the financial resoucres being consumed by these monasteries and their growing influence over Chinese morals, both political and family-related. In 845 some 4.600 monsateries, and 40,000 temples and shrines, were destroyed, and 260,500 monks laicised. Millions of acres of (tax-exempt) Buddhist-owned farmland was confiscated.


18 November 763, Forces of the Tibetan Empire under Trisong Detsan occupied the T�ang Chinese capital Chang�an for 16 days. Chang�an, formerly a city of one million people, was virtually obliterated. The Tibetans then withdrew but made repeated attacks through to 784, at which point both sides were exhausted from fighting. A new Sino-Tibetan peace treaty was concluded, defining a mutual border (with considerable territorial gains for Tibet). China now sought alliance with the Uighurs to regain territory from Tibet, and China managed to regain control of Nanzhao Territory from Tibet. In 821 China and Tibet made a new peace treaty, which this time endured. China recognised Tibetan sovereignty, and Tibet acknowledged the sovereignty, and regional hegemony, of China.

744 � 840, Establishment of the Uighur Empire in what is now Mongolia. The Uigjhurs generally supported a weaker Chinese State in return for large tribute oayments, so both sides benefitted. The Uighurs were aware that it was in their interests for the T�ang Dynasty to continue. However in 840 the Uighiur Empire was split by ba siccession dispute, and Kirghiz tribes form thr nprth invaded and looted the Uighiur capital, Karabalgashun. The fall of the Uighur empire therefore gravely weakened the T�ang Dynasty.


805-820, Rule of Xianzong, He was interested in Chan Buddhism, and encouraged major translation projects of Buddhist textx into Chinese.

762-769, Rule of Daizong. He authorised large sukjms of money to be spent on the creation of Buddhist monasteries.

762, Emperor Tang Xuanzong, sixth emperor of the T�ang Dynasty, ruler 712-756, born 685, died. The 755 rebellion rebellion of An LuShan, a frontier General, forced his abdication. The dynasty was restored, with reduced power, in 763.

However the Turkic rebellion was only curbed by inviting in other Turkic military men in from the steppes and eventually further rebellions and Turkic incursions ensued. Tax revenues fell as disorder grew, and eventually in 907 a warlord ended the T�ang Dynasty by murdering a teenage Emperor and seizing power.


General An Lushan, 740-755

757, General An Lushan was assassinated. However see 762.

755, General An Lushan, rather inevitably, turned on his Chinese ruler Emperor Tang Xuanzong (see 740), creating civil war within China. Xuanzong and Yuhian fled; facing demands from the military for the execution of Yuhuan, Xuanzong had her strangled by his chief eunuch, to keep her out of the soldier�s hands.

7/751, Battle of Talas, on the Talas River in modern-day Kazakhstan. Chinese expansion westwards had met Islamic Arab expansion estwards. Local Uighurs asked the Arabs for protection. The Arab army under Ziadh Ibn Salih was bosletered by Uighurs and Tibetans, giving it numerical superiority over the Chinese forcres led by Korean-born General Gao Xianzhi. The Chinese were attacked in the rear by Turkic nomadic horsemen, the Karluks, and defeated. Many Chinese were taken prisoner, including two experts in papermaking. From the Arab world, papermaking technology then reached the West. Maenwhile China plunged ointo civil war and abandoned iyts expansion intio central Asia, leaving the region to be Islamicised.

746, Emperor Tang Xuanzong began to favour Taoism over Buddhism.

740, Emperor Tang Xuanzong fell in love with a woman known as Guifei (meaning �consort; real name Yuhuan) who was formerly his son�s wife. Yuhuan demanded that Xuanzong favour a certain General An Lushan, aTurkic soldier but fighting on the Chinese side. General Lushan was allowed to accumulate great power and huge armies, However see 755.


733, China,under the T�ang Dynasty, now had 17,680 civil servants.


722, Continued Tibetan raids were repulsed by China, and in 730 the Tibetan King recognised Chinese sovereignty, diplomatic relations were established, and a mutual border demarcated. Hpowever Tibetan hostilities recommenced in the 740s, mainly in the Gansu region. The Chinese won a major victory against them at Gilgit, and in 755 the Tibetan King died. His successor accepted Chinese hegemony and the Tibetan threat seemed over for now.


713, The Chinese Emperor Ming Huang acceded to the throne; he ruled until 756. He promoted the arts and learning.

16 December 705, Empress Wu Zhou of China died. Born in 625, she became a junior concubine in the palace of Emperor Taizong in 638; on his death in 649 she became very close to his successor, Kao Tsung. In 655 she became Empress. By 660 Emperor Kao Tsung was very ill and Wu Zhou was effective ruler of China. Between 655 and 675 China conquered Korea. In 690 Wu Zhou officially became Empress. In February 705 Chinese government ministers forced her to abdicate in favour of her son, Chung Tsung.

694, Empress Wu Zhou Tian conquered the kingdom of Khotan, western China.

690, Empress Wu Zhou Tian became Empress of China, founding the Zhou Dynasty. She was the only woman in history to rule China. She ruled until her death in 705.

668, The Buddhist Silla Kingdom of Korea, backed up by China, conquered the other two kingdoms on the peninsula, Paekche, and Koguryo in the north, unifying the region. However by the late 700s the Silla Kingdom broke up.

663, Battle of Baekgang. China had remained unable to subdue the Gogyureo Kingdom of Korea, despite growing Chinese power. Hiowever there were two other smaller Koirean kingdoms, Silla and Baekje, and these offered China tye chance to open a second front against Goguryeo. China allied with Silla and fought against Goguryeo and its ally Baekje. Meanwhile Japan felt threatened by growing Chinese power in Korea, and assembled a fgleet to carry 40,000 troops to aid Baekje. At this time Chinese and Silla forces were besieging the the Baekje capital, Churyu. The Jaoanese fleet sailed to the mouth of the Geum River, intendiong to sail upstream to relieve Churyu. However the river estuary was blocked by a smaller Chinese fleet, which sent the Japanese fleet into disarray. The Chinese fired burning arrows at the Japanese ships, setting many on fire and drowning many Japanese sailors. Eventually Baekje was defeated, and Silla went on to contrioo the whole Korean Peninsula. Japan prepared elaborate defences on its home island for a Chinese invasion that never came.

649, Emperor Taizong, second emperor of the T�ang Dynasty, ruler since 627 (born 600), died. He was succeeded by his weak-willed son who was heavily influenced by Empress Wu.

644, The Chinese T�ang Dynasty mounted an invasion of the Goguryo Kingdom in Korea.


Tibetan expansion, 600s.

639, In Tibet, King Sbrong Tsan Sgam Po introduced Buddhism from India, and founded Lhasa. He expanded Tibetan influence, attacking the Tuhuyun nomads who grazed theor herds around Lake Kokonor. These nomads were finally expelled around 665. However this removed the only buffer State between Tibet and China. Tibet now attacked China, seizing the Tarim Basin, and, despite pushbacks by Chinese forces, gaining control of large parts of Sichuan by 680.


631, Nestorian Christianity reached China (see also Christian Missionary). The first Nestroain Church was built in China in 638.


630, Emperor Taizong exploited civil strife within the Turkic tribes to extend Chinese rule deeper into the Asian steppes. Meanwhile the Chinese explorer Xuanzang reached India on his overland travels west. He returned to China having visited as far west as what is now Persia, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan in 645.

627, Chinese Emperor Kao Tsu abdicated after a 9-year reign. He was succeeded by his son who ruled as Emperor Taizong until 649.

624, The T�ang Court officially adopted Buddhism. The Emperors�s son, Taizong, subdued rebellons in northern China,consolidating their power.

621, In China, an imperial bureau was established to regulate the manufacture of porcelain.

618, In China the T�ang Dynasty began; it lasted until 907. This dynasty was founded by an official of the Sui Dynasty, Li Yuan, who now began ruling as Emperor Kao Tsu (meaning, High Progenitor).

T�ang Dynasty

617, Sui Gong Di succeeded Sui Yang Di as Emperor of China.The economic burden of China�s foreign conquets was now becoming very heavy, leading to extensive rebellions in northern China.

615, Turkic tribes invaded China.

612, Koguryo, in modern-day Korea, opened negotiations with the Turkic tribes to raid China; the Sui Emperor of China was forced to act, and sent a large army to vanquish Koguryo. However poor planning, bad leadership and adverse weather ensured the failure of the Chinese force. In 613 the Emperor sent a second army, with the same result, and again this happened to a third army in 614. The ongoing costs of raising a fourth army brought about rebellions in China that rocked the State.

604, Death of Emperor Wen Di. Accession of Emperor Yang Di. His rule was despotic and he was deposed in 617.

4 August 598, Emperor Sui Wen Di ordered his youngest son, Yang Liang, to conquer Korea during the rainy season, with a Chinese army (300,000 men).

589, Emperor Sui Wen Di, first Sui Emperor, conquered southern China. Northern State power now combined with southern rice resources.

587, End of the Nan Liang Dynasty.

585, Emperor Xiaojing succeeded Emperor Xiaoming as ruler of the Nan Liang Dynasty.

581, The Sui Dynasty replaced the Northern Zhou Dynasty. The first ruler was Sui Wen Di.

579, End of the Northern Qi Dynasty.

565, Hou Zhu succeeded Wu Cheng Di as ruler of the Northern Qi Dynasty.

562, Nan Xiao Ming Di succeeded Nan Liang Xuan Di as ruler of the Nan Dynasty.

561, Wu Cheng Di succeeded Xiao Zhao Di as ruler of the Northern Qi Dynasty.

557, Start of the Northern Zhou Dynasty; the first ruler was Xiao Min Di. In southern China the Liang Dynasty ended, and the Chen Dynasty began; the first Chen ruler was Chen Wu Di.

556, End of the Western Wei Dynasty.

555, Start of the Nan Lang Dynasty; the first ruler was Nan Liang Xuan Di. Liang Yuan Di was succeeded by Liang Zheng Yang Hou and then Liang Jing Di.

554, Wei Ging Di succeeded Wei Fei Di as ruler of the Western Wei.

551, Liang Yuan Di succeeded Liang Yu Zhang Wang as ruler of the Liang Dynasty.

550, In northern China the Eastern Wei Dynasty was replaced by the Northern Qi Dynasty. Qi Wen Xuan was the first Northern Qi ruler..

549, Emperor Jin Wen succeeded Emperor Wu Di (acceded 502) as ruler of the Liang Dynasty.

534, The Northern Wei Kingdom split into east and western States. The east was the more innovating part; the west remained traditionalist.


629, Buddhist pilgrim Xuan Tang travelled to India, not returning to China until 645.

534, Rapid growth of Buddhism in China 477-534.







over 30,000

2 million


10 million








1 million



400, There were now about one million Buddhists in China. However in the politically-unstable north of China the Buddhists tended to cluster in the cities for protection. This rendered them liable to government control. In 400 the Northern Wei, strongest of the northern Chinese kingdoms, set up a government department to �supervise� Buddhists, and in 446 began persecution of them. In southern China the Buddhists enjoyed more freedom, and in 402 an Emperor even no longer required them to bow to him.

Buddhist pigrims began to travel outside of China, mainly to vist India and SE Asia to obtain copies of Buddhist scriptures. An early siuch pilgrim was Fa Xian, who in 399 travelled overland to India, then visited Sri Lanka and then (probably) Java, returning toi Shandong on a 200-day voyage.


532, Xiao Wu Di succeeded An Ding Wan as ruler of the Northern Wei Dynasty.

530, Guang Wang succeeded Xiao Zhuang Di as ruler of the Northern Wei Dynasty.

528, Xiao Zhuang Di succeeded Xiao Ming Di as ruler of the Northern Wei Dynasty.

522, The earliest known pagoda in China was built at the Sung Yuen Temple in Honan. The structure derived from the tall Indian stupa.

502, End of the Southern Qi Dynasty. End of the rule of Qi He Di. Start of the Liang Dynasty. Chinese Emperor Liang Wu Di began a 47-year reign.

501, Qi He Di succeeded Qi Dong Hun Hou as ruler of the Southern Qi Dynasty.

496, The ruling Tuoba family of the Northern Wei Dynasty changed their name to Yuan.

493, The Northern Wei capital moved to Luoyang.

479, End of the Song Dynasty; start of the Southern Qi Dynasty in southern China. Qi Gao Di was the first ruler of the Qi Dynasty.

471, Xiao Wen Di succeeded Xian Wen Di as ruler of the Northern Wei.

465, Song Qian Fei Di and then Song Ming Di became rulers of the Song Dynasty.

452, Tai Wu Di was succeeded by Nan An Wang, and then by Wen Cheng Di, as ruler of the Northern Wei.

450, Death of Cui Hao, main architect of the Northern Wei administrative reforms.

439, The Northern Wei Kingdom began to unite the whole of northern China.

430, Emperor Feng Ba was succeeded as ruler by Feng Hong as Emperor of the Northen Yan; one of the states competing for control of China.

427, The Korean King Changsu made Pyongyang the capital of the country.

424, Song Wen Di succeeded Song Shao Di as Song Emperor.

420, End of the Jin Dynasty; Liu Yu (Emperor Wu of Lui Song) became first Emperor of the Song Dynasty.

416, Emperor Gong succeeded Emperor An of the Jin Dynasty.

396, Emperor An succeeded Emperor Xiaowu as ruler of the Jin Dynasty.

393, Gao Zu succeeded Tai Zu as Emperor of the Later Qin Empire in China.

380s, The Kingdom of the Northern Wei (also known as the Tuoba Wei, after the Tuoba clan, who governed the State) was set up by the Xianbei. They reunified northern China.

383, At the Battle of Feishui (Fei River), the Jin Dynasty defeated the Former Qin Dynasty. Fu Jian, founder of the Former Qin Dynasty dynasty, had expanded his rule into territories north of the Yangtse River, then turned his attention southwards.He took the Jin satellite States of Former Yan and Sichuan, then found further expansion blocked by the Eastern Jin . Xiaowu of the Eastern Jin could only muster an army of 80,000 to meet the Former Qin army of 900,000; however Xiaowu�s army was well disciplined, against Fu Jian�s largely reluctant-conscript army,many recruited from conquered territories. The two armies met on opposite banls of the Fei River, with Fu Jian on the north bank. The river was too deep to ford at this point, so the armies could not engage. The Jin Generals sent a message to the Qin camp asking them to move upriver to a point where they could do battle. The Qin commanders were sceptical, because moving their huge 900,000 strong army would be logistically difficult, but they agreed, confident of destroying the smaller 80,000 Jin army when they did meet. However Fu Jian�s troops, undisciplined, were unnerved by the move, and the Jin shouted out that it was a retreat; this rumour spread amongst the Qin troops and soon it was believed by all of them. Fu Jian�s army fled in a hopeless disorganised rabble, and was slaughtered by the Jin.

365,In China, Emperor Fei succeeded Emperor Ai.

361, In China, Emperor Ai succeeded Emperor Mu,

350, One region in northern China slaughtered over 200,000 central Asians in an orgy of ethnic cleansing. Between 265 and 287, over 250,000 central Asians had migrated into China as climate change made the central Asian steppes colder and drier. These new arrivals were sometimes welcomed for the extra manpower they provided; at other times they were seen as a political threat to the State.

349, The Mou-Jong (Mongols) conquered northern China.

317, Yuandi became the first Eastern Jin Emperor. The Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420) brought a period of stability fo China.

316, The Xiongnu sacked the city of Chang�an, capitalof the Chinese Western Jin Dynasty. Jin Mindi, Emperor, (acceded 313) surrendered, ending the dynasty.

314, The Jin Dynasty abandoned northern China to the Xiongnu.

311, Luoyang, the Chinese capital,was sacked by a confederation of barbarians led by the Huns.The Chinese Emperor was captured.

307, Jin Huai Di became Emperor of China.

304, The Hun Lui Yan invaded China and established the Han Kingdom,beginning the Sixteen Kingdoms Era in China.

291, The Western Jin allowed steppe people from north of the Great Wall to settle inside China�s borders.

290, Jin Hui Di succeeded Jin Wu Di as Emperor of China.

280,The Wu Kingdom was subsumed by the Jin Dynasty, ending the Three Kingdoms Period. China was now united again under Sima Yao.

274, The Jin Dynasty conquered the Eastern Wu.

265, Emperor Wu of Jin founded the Jin Dynasty.

264, Sun Hao succeeded Sun Xiu as ruler of the Wu Kingdom.

263, The Wei Kingdom conquered the smaller Shu Han Kingdom.

260, Nanjing University was founded.

249, Collapse of the Wei Dynasty. Its territory was taken by the Western Jin.

243, Sun Liang became ruler of the Kingdom of Wu.

239, In the Chinese Wei Kingdom, Qi Wang succeeded Wei Ming Di.

234,Zhuge Liang�s Fifth Northern Expedition. Liang�s commander Sima Yi had organised food supplies. Sima Yi,Wei Kingdom, established an impregnable position along the Wei River, and gradually wore down the Shu forces inaseries of pinprick raids. The Shu army was also hit by disease and food shortages. Zhuge Liang himself died in his camp. Demoralised, the Shu armybegan a retreat to carry their revered leader�s body hume. Sima Yi hesitated to pursue, unsure whether :Liang was really dead, or it was a ploy to lure him into a fight and defeat him. In any case the Shu fell to infighting as they straggled back south in disarray.

228, Zhuge Liang, Shu Kingdom, began a series of �Northern Expeditions� to defeat the Wei and reunify China. There were major logistical problems, including marches through rugged terrain and sparse food supplies.

226, Death of Chinese Emperor Cao Pi (born 186).

222, The Wu Kingdom was established.

221, Liu Bei, a Chinese warlord who was related to the Han Dynasty, proclaimed himself Emperor.The Shu Han Kingdom was established.

220, End of the Eastern Han Dynasty.It was succeeded by the Three Kingdoms (, Wei Wu, and Shu Han) and then the Jin Dynasty. Cao Cao�s son Cao Pi forced Xiandi to abdicate; by 222, Cao Pi, Liu Bei and Sun Quan all declared themselves Emperor; the unity of China under the Han Dynasty was over.

208, Battle of the Red Cliffs. Han Dynasty Minister Cao Cao attempted to subdue rebellious warlords Lui Bei and Sun Quan in the south of China. Cao Cao needed to win control of the Yangtze River, but his army was unused to naval fighting. He advanced to the Yakngtze overland, then captured a fleet of river boats, and sailed down to meet the warlords. However Cao Cao�s army was unable to fight on moving ship decks, and encountered unfamiliar diseases in southern China, causing many to fall sick. Cao Cao lashed some ships together to stabilise the decks but Zhou Yu, commander of the warlords� armies, then sent fireships into Cao Cao�s immobilised fleet. The massive casulaties this caused, and mass illness, caused Cao cao to decide on a rapid retreat north. China then became divided into the Three Kingdoms, led by the three combatants at Red Cliffs; Cao Cao in Wei, Liu in Shu, and Sun in Wu.

190, Accession of Xiandi, the last Han Emperor. Under his reign internecine court fighting increased, wealth disparities grew, and Xianbei raids on the northern frontier intensified.

189, Eunuch rule in China ended by General Dong Zhuo.

184, A rebellion by the Yellow Turban peasants weakened the Han Dynasty.

168, Accession of Emperor Lingdi (ruled to 189). He was aged 12 upon accession, and Duo Maio was appointed Regent. However Duo Miao was concerned at the power of the Eunuch Faction and plotted to have them massacred. The plot was betrayed and Duo Maio was forced to commit suicide. Several hundred of Duo Miao�s supporters were executed, and the power of the Eunuch Faction was greatly increased. The Han Empire was in serious decline.


148, A Parthian monk, An Shigao, made the first translation of Buddhist textx into Chinese.

58, Emperor Ming-Ti of China introduced Buddhism.


146,Accession of Emperor Huandi (ruled to 168).

125, Chinese General Pan Yong reconquered the Tarom Basin from the Hsuing-Nu of central Asia.

125, Chinese Emperor Shaodi was assassinated by the Eunuch Faction, who were increasing in power.

89, The northern Hsuing-Nu confederation collapsed, allowing Chna to regain control under General Bao (32 -102). Bao became Protector-General of the Western Region, controlling the Silk Road.

88, The Han Dynasty abolished the State monopolies on iron and salt.

48, Guang Wu Di re-established Chinese rule over Inner Mongolia.

27, The Red Eyebrow Movement was defeated.

25, Collapse of the H�sin Dynasty. The Han Dynasty was restored in China. Accession of Emperor Guang Wu Di, first Emperor of the Eastern Han Dynasty; ruled until 57. He moved the capital east again, from Chang�an to Luoyang. There were continual threats from the Qiang, a farmer-herder-nomadic people just to the west of China, who were growing in numbers and continually taking over land in the western frontier region of China. By 145-150, western Chinese landowners were having to organise their own defences, seemingly forgotten by the State. There was dissatisfaction with the ruling Han Dynasty, although the tax burden was also less onerous.

25, Accession of Emperor Gengshi; he was overthrown before the end of the year, and replaced by Guang Wu Di. Gengshi failed to mollify the Red Eyebrows, and he also alienated the nobility and beaurocrats by moving the Chinese capital from Luoyang back west to Chang�an.

4 October 23, After disastrous floods in China as the Yellow River changed course several times between 2AD and 11 AD, causing famine, starving rebel peasants, the so-called Red Eyebrows, joined forces with Han loyalists and stormed the Chinese Imperial Palace. Emperor Wang Mang attempted to marshal magical forces in defence, in vain, and he was killed in fighting on 6 October 23. His attempts to curb usury and promote social welfare had aroused considerable hostility.

17, China imposed a tax on slave-holding.

12, Wang Mang�s land reforms were reversed after major protests.

9, Wang Mang nationalised Chinese land, breaking up large estates and establishing state granaries. He also forbade the private sale of slaves, and reorganised command of China�s regions. He imposed greater central State control, reinstating some State monopolies.

10 January 9, Wang Mang assumed the title of Emperor of China, replacing the Han Dynasty by the new H�sin Dynasty.

3 February 6, Chinese Emperor P�ing suddenly died; some suspected Wang Mang of poisoning him. Wang Mang arranged for the youngest of some 50 possible successors, a 1 year old baby, to be the new Emperor; Wang Mang became Acting Emperor.

15 August 1 BCE, Emperor Ai di of China died. Wang Mang became Regent once more, at the behest of Wang Mang�s aunt, the Empress Dowager. Wang Mang quickly arranged for his 14 year old daughter to be the Empress of the new Chinese Emperor, P�ing Di. See also Homosexuality.

1 BCE, Accession of Emperor Ping Di; he ruled to 6 CE.

27 August 7 BCE, Under the rule of Emperor Ai di of China, Wang Mang resigned the regency. Ai di disliked Wang Mang, and he was sent to his country estates.

7 BCE, Ai di became Emperor; he ruled to 1 BCE. Both Chengdi and Ai di created numerous marquisates in the provinces, which were governed by sons of the kings of the re-emerging kingdoms (see 49 BCE). This weakened central control,and also caused dissent amongst Chinese nobles, who felt their family members should have been awarded these marquisates.

17 April 7 BCE, Emperor Chengdi of China died, without an heir.

28 November 8 BCE, Wang Mang became Regent of China.

14 BCE, Peasant revolt in China.

33 BCE, In China, Chengdi became Han Emperor; he ruled to 7 BCE. Having no male heir, he was succeeded by his half-nephew Ai di.

49 BCE, Yuandi became Emperor; he ruled to 33 BCE. Economic cutbacks continued, and some semi-independent Kingdoms earlier suppressed by the Han began to reassert themselves.

55 BCE, Breakup of the Xongnu Confederacy; southern States became tributary to China.

73 � 49 BCE, Emperor Siuan Ti succeeded Tchao Ti.

86 � 74 BCE, Emperor Tchao Ti succeeded Wu Di.


Reign of Wu Ti

87 BCE, Wu Ti died; a period of disorder followed in China.

100 BCE, Chinese maritime explorers first reached the coast of India.

108 BCE, Wu Ti conquered Choson.

111 BCE, China invaded Annam.

115 BCE, Chinese armies invaded the Lop Nor region and Tarim basin.

140 BCE, The Chinese Han Dynasty Emperor, Wu Ti, began a 53-year reign during which he conquered parts of Tonkin and Korea. He also sent his emissariy, Chang Ch�ien, far to the west to Bactria and Sogdiana, to seek alliances against the Huns (Hsiung Nu).

Accession of Wu Ti


139 BCE, In response to raids by the Hsuing-Nu, the Chinese Imperial Envoy, Zhang Qian, travelled ascross central Asia seeking allies against these raiders. Zhang Qian was captured by the Hsuing-Nu and held for some years before he managed to escape.

154 BCE, Seven feudal princes rebelled against the Han Dynasty.The rebellion was suppressed, with difficulty.

177 BCE, Raids by nomadic Hsuing-Nu tribes began to threaten the northern borders of China.

180 BCE, Wen-Ti became Chinese Emperor; his reign provided 23 years of internal stability.

190 BC, Establishment of the Choson Kingdom, which occupied northern Korea and south Manchuria. It was heavily influenced by Chinese culture. It began to conquer southern Korea but was itself overrun by the Chinese Han Dynasty in 108 BC.

200 BCE, Accession of the first Han Emperor, Gaodi.

��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������202 BCE, The last Qin Emperor died. He was succeeded by a minor official, inaugurating the Han Dynasty.

210 BCE, Shi Huangdi died. Rebellions within the Qin Empire.

212 BCE, The Qin Empire banned �non-scientific books�, and standardised and simplified the Chinese script. All books not about agriculture, medicine or divination were supposed to be destroyed. Fortunately for historians today, some were not.

215 BCE, The Great Wall of China, 1,400 km long, was completed. Each tower along the Wall could accommodate a small garrison, with enough provisions for a 4-month siege. Beacons placed every 18 km allowed a signal, by smoke in day or fire at night, to be sent the 2,400 km length of the Wall in 24 hours. However the Chinese Empire could, even without the Wall, easily see off any threats from northern tribes. The Wall did, though, provide a place to send troublemakers to work, and kept the Chinese Army well away from the capital where it might mount a coup.

221 BCE, Start of the Qin Dynasty. China was united (the unification/consolidation process began around 231 BCE) under Zhao Zheng, now known as Qin Shi Huangdi, or First Emperor. This ended the Warring States Period (221). The Great Wall was built, along with roads and canals, also theChinese script, the system of weights and measures, and the legal system, were standardised.

238 BCE, Death of Xunxi, Chinese philosopher, born 298 BCE.

246 BCE, Zhao Zheng (Zheng the Upright) ucceeded his father to the Qin throne. With sound advice from his chancellor, Li Si, Zhao negan to conquer the other Warring States. He overran Zhao and Yan, then Qin forces captured Wei, and in 223 he overcame Chu State. The last State, Qi, fell in 221 BCE, and China was united once more.

256 BCE, End of the Zhou Dynasty. Last Zhou ruler deposed by the Qin

287 BCE, China�s northern States began building a defensive wall.

289 BCE, Death of Mengzi (sometimes westernised as Mencius), born 372 BCE. He was a follower of Confucius, and wrote down a large number of �sayings�, or proverbs

342 BCE, The Wei Army was attacking .the Han Kingdom, an ally of the Qi. The Qi now supported the Han by mounting an attack on the Wei capital, Daliang. The Wei king was forced to recall his army from the Han (where ot had been on the verge of victory). The Wei forces were now too large for the Qi to attack directly, so the Qi withdrew from Dailang, with the Wei in pursuit. The Qi deliberately left deserted camps, each successive one with a diminishing number of camp fires, and abandoned weaponry, so the Wei concluded that Qi forces must be shrinking due to desertions. The Wei stepped up ther pace of pursuit, and were ambushed and routed at a narrow pass by the Qi. Wei now became a vassal Stste of Qi.

353 BCE, Wei was defeated by Qi armies at Guiling.

356 BCE, The first Great Wall was built, to protect against Hun invasions. Wei became temporarily powerful enough to force four other Warring States to attend its Court, but this victory was short-lived.

364 BCE, Wei State was again defeated at the Battle of Shimen. Chu now declined and the capital of Wei was moved east to Dalian.

366 BCE, The Qin State won a major victory against Han and Wei forces.

380 BCE, Chu, the most southerly of the Warring States, had become powerful through annexation of neighbouring smaller States.


403 BCE, Start of the Warring States Period in China. Seven principal States continually manoeuvred to weaken each other, sometimes erupting into full-scale war.This situation lasted until 221 BCE.


End of Eastern Zhou Period This period is also known as the Spring and Autumn Period, from the Spring and Autumn Annsals, which ceased neing kept at 481 BCE, although extended in a form until 464 BCE in the Zuozhuan.

479 BCE, Death of Confucius (Kung Fu-tse), Chinese philosopher (born 551 BCE).

27 September 551 BCE, Confucius was born.

565 BCE, Lao Tse founded the belief system of Taoism.

604 BCE, Lao Tse, Chinese philosopher, born.

643 BCE, Death of Qi Huan Gong, acceded 685 BCE;as Qi Emperor, The Qi Empire held real power in the region.

700 BCE, The Zhou Emperors had little real power, with actual control residing with the �Ba� (Senior Ones) from neighbouring States.


End of Western Zhou Period;start of Eastern Zhou Period

771 BCE, Armies from northern China destroyed the Zhou capital of Hao, on the Wei River. The Zhou capital was moved east to Luoyang, marking the start of the Eastern Zhou Period. China fragmented into perhaps as many as 148 separate States.

771, BCE, Rebellious vassal-state peoples, the Rong and Shen, attacked and killed King Yu. They installed his estranged son, Ping, on the throne (Ping had earlier joined the rebel forces).

842 BCE, King Li was forced into exile by conflict.

885 BCE, Conflict in China between different ruling Lords. King Yih was deposed, but restored by one of his Lords.

1027 BCE, King Wu of the Zhou defeated the last Shang ruler, Di Xin.

1041 BCE, The Duke of Zhou won the conflict for power (1043 BCE) but, realising he could not fully control his domain, set up semi-independent city states ruled by other members of the Zhou clan.

1043 BCE, Wu Wang died, His son, Cheng, was too young to rule, so Wu�s younger brother, the Duke of Zhou, agreed to act as Regent (or launched as coup for power). King Wu�s two older brothers joined forces with the remnants of the Shang Dynasty to overthrow the Duke of Zhou.

1046BCE, Battle of Muye. The Shang Dynasty (see 1766 BCE) was overthrown by the Zhou Dynasty, a Chinese speaking people from the Shanxi area. Due to a collapsing economy and popular unrest, the Shang ruler Di Xing was unable to muster a decent sized army to meet Wu Wang�s soldiers. Di Xing even resorted to assembling an army of 170,000 slaves, whom he exhorted to defend �their� country; unsupriusingly they immediately defected to the enemy side. This prompted many of the actual soldiers in Di Xing�s Army to also defect; those who stayed loyal were slaughtered.


Wu Wang, son of Wen Wang, was the first Zhou ruler. Start of a flourishing of Chinese art, literature and philosophy; the start of Confucianism. The Zhou Dynasty endured until 256 BCE. Start of the Western Zhou Period, which lasted until 771 BCE.

1100 BCE, First Chinese dictionary was compiled.

1192, Death of King Wuding.

1250, Wuding became king.

1300, The final Shang Dynasty capital, Anyang, was established, on the Yellow River.

1766 BCE, Start of Shang Dynasty in China (see 1122 BCE); earliest recorded dynasty in China. Emerging from the earlier Hsia (Xia) Neolithic culture (see 2205 BCE), the Shang was centred on the Henan area; it was differentiated from the �barbarians to the north� by sophisticated bronze tools,ancestor worship, and an established warrior aristocracy with chariots.

1900 BCE, The city of Erlitou, in the Yellow River valley, rose to prominence, hosting a population of 25,000 by 1700 BCE.

2205 BCE, Start of the Hsia Culture in China (see 1766 BCE).

2697 BCE, Start of reign of Huang-Ti, the �Yellow Emperor�. According to legend, his wife was the first to unwind a silkworm cocoon and make silk.

2850 BCE, Supposed start of reign of Emperor Fu-Hi, first Emperor of China.

3500 BCE, Urban centres developed in China. Cities had walls and rammed-earth platforms. Social stratification began with the wealthy trading in luxury items.

4000 BCE, Earliest evidence of Feng Shui building practice in China. Certain dwellings and graves were aligned on astronomical principles.

7000 BCE, Start of sedentary agriculture, in Yellow River Basin, China.

8500 BCE, Estimated date of earliest known Chinese pottery.

9000 BCE, Evidence of hunter-gatherer and fishing lifestyle from caves in central China.


Many dates for China here from �Why the West Rules � For Now�, Ian Morris, Profile Books, 2011


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