Chronography of China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong
Click here for events in Japan pre-1891
Here for events in N, S, Korea post 1945
Chang�an Avenue & Tiananmen Square
(1960) image here
Beijing urban expansion 1905 � 1999, 5 maps
China Shenyang suburb image here
Three Gorges Dam, River
China regains Hong Kong and
Macau; pro-democracy protests 1992-2019
China to recover Hong Kong and
in China 1993-2001
China and Taiwan, 1992-96
Japanese Lockheed bribery
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
7.0, Chinese� political developments 1952-58
6.0, Chinese threats to Taiwan 1955. See also 1945-49
5.0, Japan becomes self-governing nation
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
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
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
8/7/2022, Shinzo Abe, former Japanese PM,
was shot and killed by a disaffected Japanese naval veteran.
28/8/2020, Shinzo Abe, Japanese Prime Minister, resigned,
having broken the previous length of service record by four days.
15/6/2020, 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.
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.
12/8/2015, A large explosion in Tianjin, China, destroyed a
warehouse containing several hundred tons of hazardous chemicals. At least 50
died and over 700 injured.
7/9/2013, China announced plans for
a new Silk Road economic Belt, part of the Belt and Road initiative.
14/3/2013, Xi Jinping was named the new
President of China.
14/3/2011, Fears of a
meltdown at Fukushima nuclear plant, Japan. See Japan earthquake.
24/8/2008, The Beijing Olympics closed.
8/8/2008, The Beijing
Olympics opened. They continued until 24/8/2008.
13/4/2006, 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
28.0, Three Gorges Dam, River
20/5/2006, The Three Gorges Dam in China was completed, the
world�s largest hydro-electric dam.
1/6/2003, China began
filling the Three Gorges Dam, raising the water level
by over 100 metres.
1/8/1999, In China the Yangtze River
burst its banks, making 5 million homeless.
8/11/1997, 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
Mission 2005, the first joint Chinese-Russian military exercise, began an 8-day
programme on the Shandong Peninsula.
28/2/2004, In Taiwan, over 1 million
people formed a 500 km human chain to commemorate the 1947 massacre of 30,000
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
2001, Japan�s Liberal Democratic Party appointed populist
Koizumi as Prime Minister. Controversially, he paid homage at a
memorial to Japan�s war dead. Tanaka Mikiko became Japan�s first female
16/7/2001, 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.
9/2/2001, 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.
22/7/1999, China cracked down on the Falun Gong religious movement, which claimed
to have 70 million followers.
9/5/1999, Widespread protests in cities across China over the US accidental
bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia.
announced restrictions on Internet use, aimed especially at Internet cafes.
26/11/1998, Japan and China signed a joint declaration of
friendship and economic development.
19/5/1998, Uno Sosuke, Japanese Prime Minister, died.
27.0, China regains Hong Kong and Macau;
pro-democracy protests 1992-2019
24/11/2019, 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.
12/8/2019, 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 unrest� escalated after a woman was shot in the eye
by a police beanbag round during demonstrations at Hong Kong Airport.
16/6/2019, 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�.
15/12/2014, 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
4/12/2005, 250,000 people
in Hong Kong protested for democracy.
12/9/2005, The Hong Kong Disneyland resort officially opened.
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
Macau was handed back to China by Portugal.
The new airport
at Chek Lai Kok, Hong Kong, opened.
24/5/1998, In the first legislative
elections in Hong Kong since China took control, pro-democracy Parties took 60%
of the vote.
Hong Kong was handed back to China.�
forces began to leave Hong Kong.
9/7/1994, China announced its intention
to abolish Hong Kong�s Legislative Council once it took back the territory from
the UK in 1997.
9/7/1992, 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,
3/7/1989, Britain stated there would be no automatic right of abode in the UK
for Hong Kong citizens concerned about life under future Chinese rule.
and China agreed to the return of Macao to China in 1999.
signed an agreement to return Hong Kong to China in 1997.
26/9/1984, China and the UK signed an initial agreement to hand Hong
Kong back to China in 1997.
25.0, Liberalisation policies in China
27/12/2001, China was granted permanent normal trade
status with the USA.
11/12/2001. China joined the World Trade Organisation, following 15
years of negotiations.
12/9/1997, 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.
The last of the Chinese revolutionaries, Deng Xiaoping, died aged 92 (born 1904); weeks
of mourning followed.
3/9/1994, The USSR and China agreed to stop targeting nuclear
missiles at each other.
13/12/1993, A fire in textile factory in Fuzjou China,
27/3/1993, Ziang Zemin became President of the People�s
Republic of China.
3/3/1993. Rolls Royce announced plans to open a
showroom in China.
24.0, China and
8/3/1996, 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.
23/2/1995, The Taiwanese Parliament approved
compensation payments to� relatives of
indigenous Taiwanese massacred by Kuomintang troops after they evacuated from
mainland China in February 1947.
19/12/1992, 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 have� mental disabilities could be forcibly
15/4/1996, 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 4/9/1995.
police besieged the headquarters of the Aum
Shrnrinko cult near Mount Fuji, and arrested the leader Shoko Asuhara.
4/9/1995, 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 15/4/1996.
20/3/1995. 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.
17/1/1995. 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.
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.
8/9/1992, 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.
became the 125th Japanese monarch and Emperor.
23/12/1989, The Bank
of Japan announced a major interest rate rise, leading to the peak and bursting
of the Japanese �bubble� economy.
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
7/1/1989. 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 24/2/1989; 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.
6/8/1985, In Hiroshima, tens of thousands
marked the 40th anniversary of the bombing of the city.
17/3/1985, Expo '85,
World's Fair, opened at Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan. It ran until September 16.
15/4/1983, The first
non-American Disney theme park opened, near Tokyo.
7/10/1979, In Japanese general elections, the Liberal
Democrat Party won a narrow victory.
23(a), Japanese Lockheed bribery scandal 1974-76
26/7/1976, The former Prime Minister of Japan, Kakuei Tanbaka,
was arrested on charges that he accepted bribes from the Lockheed Aircraft
9/12/1974, Miki Takeo became Japanese Prime Minister.
26/11/1974, Kakuei Tanaka resigned as Prime Minister of
Japan after financial scandals emerged.
18/11/1974, US President Ford made the first ever visit by
a US President to Japan.
22.0, China 1990-92
18/1/1992, 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
1990, The Shanghai Stock
Exchange reopened, after a 41-year closure.
9/10/1990. Hundreds of Chinese queued to buy Big Macs
opened its first restaurant in Shenzhen.
4/4/1990, The Chinese People�s Congress approved the
Basic Law, effectively a Constitution for Hong Kong after the transfer from
Britain to China.
lifted martial law, imposed 11 months earlier after the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy
Square protests 1989
In China, seven students were shot after televised show trials following the Tiananmen Square protests.
21/6/1989 The first public executions of Tiananmen Square demonstrators began in
In China, the show trials of the
leaders of the Tiananmen Square
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.
17/5/1989, Over one million people gathered in central
Beijing to support the student pro-democracy demonstrators.
2/5/1989, China imposed martial law as pro-democracy
protestors camped in Tiananmen Square.
17/4/1989. Chinese students demonstrated in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, calling for
15/4/1989, In China, death of disgraced Party Chairman
He had been ousted in 1987� for failing
to suppress student protests calling for democracy and human rights. Students
eulogised him and began daily marches in Tiananmen Square calling for
protests in Tibet; Chinese crackdown there, 1987-91
Chinese authorities marked the 40th
anniversary of their �liberation� of Tibet with low-key celebrations..
8/3/1989, China declared martial law in Tibet.
7/3/1989. 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.
Chinese Army occupied Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, after large anti-Chinese
demonstrations by Tibetans.
2/10/1987, 6 Buddhist
monks in Tibet protesting against the Chinese occupation were killed by the
Chinese. On 6/10/1987 China banned all foreigners from visiting Tibet.
27/9/1987, Nationalist demonstrations broke out in Lhasa,
Tibet, against Chinese rule there imposed
in 1950 (see 7/10/1950). 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
governmental changes 1979-88
13/1/1988. 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
14/7/1987, Taiwan legalised opposition Parties.
Martial law was also lifted, for the first time in 38 years, and the press was
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 19/12/1992.
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
governmental changes 1978-86
14/5/1989, Gorbachev visited China, the first Soviet
leader to do so since the 1960s.
1/12/1988, The Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Qian Qichen,
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.
14/3/1988, Three days of conflict between China and
Vietnam began over the disputed Spratly Islands.
24/11/1987, Li Peng succeeded Zhao Ziyang as Chinese Prime
25/10/1987, At the 13th Communist Party Congress in
Xiaopoing resigned as Party leader.
Elizabeth II visited China, the first British monarch to visit the country.
announced that the so-called �barefooot
doctors�, farmers trained to giver local medical assistance� without leaving their agricultural work, and
recognised as such during the Cultural Revolution, were to be disbanded.
16/9/1985, In China, 10 Politburo members and 64
members of the Central Committee resigned to make way for younger replacements.
12/10/1983, 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.
25/5/1983, The USA agreed
to export high-technology items to China.
1/9/1982, At the 12th
Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing, Hua Guofeng, who had succeeded Chairman Mao,
was removed from the Politburo.
26/8/1980, Leadership changes in China consolidated
the power of pragmatic reformers led by Deng Xiaopoing.
3/4/1979, China warned the USSR it would not seek to renew the 1950 Treaty of
Friendship when it expired in1980.
17/2/1979, 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.
relations were established between China and the USA.
12/8/1978, China and Japan signed a 10-year friendship treaty
China lifted a ban on the works of Shakespeare, Dickens and Aristotle.
17.0, China: Gang of Four, 1976-81
25/1/1981. The Chinese �Gang of Four� and Mao Tse Tung�s
67 year old widow were sentenced to death.
20/11/1980, The trial for treason of the Gang of Four
former Chinese leaders opened in Beijing.
22/7/1977. The �Gang of Four�
were expelled from the Chinese Communist Party.
2/7/1977, In China Deng Xiaoping, 73, was restored
11/10/1976. In China the �Gang of Four� were arrested, accused
of plotting a coup.
7/10/1976, 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.
29/10/1976, Chairman Hua of China repudiated messages
of congratulations from Communist countries.
9/9/1976. Mao Zedong,
Chairman of the Chinese Communist party for 40 years, died of a series of
strokes, aged 82.
8/1/1976, 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
1/12/1975, Gerald Ford became the second U.S.
president to travel to China, where he met with Vice-Premier Deng Xiaoping.
Banqiao Dam in China failed during a fierce typhoon, killing over 200,000
5/4/1975. Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang
Kai Shek died in Taiwan, aged 87.
14/9/1974. China sent two giant pandas, Chia-Chia and
Ching-Ching, to London
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.
Opposition leader Edward Heath met Chairman Mao of China to improve
relations between the two countries.
29/3/1974, 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.
Japanese soldiers from World War Two, 1972-74
6/9/1974. At least
one Japanese soldier was reported to be still roaming the forests of the
left behind after World War Two.
10/3/1974, 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
24/1/1972, 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
5/12/1976, In Japan, the ruling Liberal Democratic
Party suffered losses in the general election.
3/6/1975, Eisaku Sato, Japanese politician, died aged
13/4.1974, End of a strike by 6 million Japanese
workers, which had begun on 11/4/1974.
29/9/1972, Japan and China formally ended the state of
war between them that had existed since 1937.
13/5/1972, A fire devastated a department store in Osaka,
Japan, killing 115 people.
5/10/1971, 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 7/10/1971.
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,
committed seppuku, ritual suicide.
30/3/1970, Japanese students hijacked a Boeing 727 and flew to North
consolidates its position at the United Nations 1971-72
3/3/1972, Beijing, at a UN speech, claimed the territory of Hong
23/11/1971, The United Nations declared The People�s Republic of China
to be the sole representative of China, ousting Taiwan from the UN Security
25/10/1971, China was admitted to the United Nations; Taiwan was expelled from the UN to accommodate this.
resumed diplomatic links with China, and closed its consulate in Taiwan.
13/9/1971, 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.
15/7/1971, US President Nixon announced he would visit
China in 1972.
15/4/1971, Britain restored the telephone link with China,
which had been cut in 1949.
10/4/1971, US table tennis team arrived in China. On 14/4/1971, the US relaxed
restrictions on trade and travel with China.
10/11/1970, The Great Wall of China was opened to tourists for the
10/7/1970, US Roman Catholic missionary, Bishop James Walsh, was released
after 12 years in a Shanghai prison.
19/10/1969, The USSR and China began talks in Beijing to settle their
boundary dispute along the River Issuri.
2/3/1969. 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
11.0, Chinese Cultural Revolution 1965-68
Chinese Cultural Revolution ended when President Liu was dismissed from his posts in the Party and the Republic.� The Cultural Revolution (see 3/9/1965),
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.
27/10/1967, China succeeded
a nuclear warhead from a guided missile.
15/10/1967. Henry Pu Yi, the last emperor of China from the age of 2, died in Peking aged 61.
22/8/1967, Red Guards set fire to the British
Embassy in Beijing.
17/6/1967. China exploded its first hydrogen bomb. �This raised tensions between China and the
26/1/1967, Red Guards besieged the Soviet Embassy in Beijing, alleging
mistreatment of Chinese students in Moscow.
8/1/1967, Rioting in
Shanghai, China, as workers went on strike.
5/12/1966, 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.
Chairman Mao of China announced a 'cultural
revolution'. On 18/8/1966 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
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.�
6/4/1966, Increased ferry tolls
sparked riots in Hong Kong.
17/5/1962, Hong Kong
built a wall to keep out Chinese migrants.
28/11/1959, The dockyard at Hong Kong closed, after
80 years of operation.
13/8/1965, Ikeda Hayato, Prime Minister of Japan, died.
22/6/1965, 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.
1/9/1963, About 100,000
people in two Japanese cities demonstrated against the presence of American
20/11/1960, 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
12/10/1960, Inajiro Asanuma, leader of the Japanese
Socialist Party, was assassinated because of his support for an anti-Communist
Treaty with the USA, see 19/1/1960.
19/1/1960, 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 12/10/1960.
military development, 1962-63
1/8/1965, 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
16/10/1964, China exploded a nuclear weapon at Lop Nor.
challenged the USSR for leadership of the Communist world.
recognised Communist China.
14/1/1964, 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
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.
21/11/1962, Ceasefire in the India-China border
20/10/1962, Chinese troops attacked Indian border positions.
border dispute escalated. China attacked Indian border posts on 20/10/1962.
On 28/10/1962 the USA pledged to send arms to India
9.0, China cultural development 1958-62
21/1/1962 . 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.
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.
22/9/1959. The United Nations refused to admit Communist
27/4/1959, Mao stepped down as China�s Chief of State,
but remained Chairman of the Communist Party.
The first television station in China
opened in Beijing.
23/5/1958, China, under Mao, began its Great Leap Forward. Peasant farmers were
grouped into huge communes of many thousands of families. 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.
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
9/3/1961, The Dalai
Lama appealed to the UN to restore the independence of Tibet.
19/4/1959, The Dalai Lama arrived in India.
31/3/1959, The Dalai Lama escaped to India. Tibet lost its independence to China in 1951.
dissolved the government of Tibet.
19/3/1959, China stepped up its shelling ot the Lama�s
Palace, killing many of his supporters camped around it.
17/3/1959, Chinese troops fired two shells at the
Lama�s palace; at 10pm that day the Lama fled the palace disguised as a
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
9/3/1959, 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.
31/7/1958. Kham tribesmen in eastern Tibet
rebelled against Chinese rule
political developments 1952-58
The USA reaffirmed its refusal to
recognise Red China.
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
simplification� in 1964.
31/12/1956, 90% of Chinese farms had been re-organised
into collectives, with land, implements and animals owned collectively, not
3/1/1956, The USSR gave technical aid to China.
17/7/1955. The Chinese writer Hu Feng was arrested for
publically criticising Communism as having a �blighting influence� on
31/3/1955, The Communist Party in China was purged.
15/6/1953, Chinese leader
was born onto a well-connected political family; his father was Xi Zhongxun.
25/10/1952, The USA blocked the entry of China to the United
Nations for the third year running. See 25/10/1971.
2/10/1952, China held a �Asia and Pacific Peace�
Conference, attended by delegates from 37 countries.
17/8/1952, A large Chinese delegation, led by Zhou Enlai,
visited the USSR for discussions.
threats to Taiwan 1955. See also 1945-49
7/2/1955, The US 7th fleet began an evacuation of
14,000 Chinese Nationalist troops and 18,000 Chinese civilians from the Tachen
Islands (see 17/1/1955). The evacuation was completed 6 days later, whereupon
the Chinese Communists took over the islands.
24/1/1955, 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.
17/1/1955, 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.
9/8/1954, Chinese Nationalists sank a Communist
gunboat off Taiwan.
becomes self-governing nation again, 1951-57
9/2/1957, Poland and Japan
resumed diplomatic relations.
18/12/1956. Japan joined the United Nations.
1955, In Japan,
The Liberal Democratic Party was set up.
8/5/1955. Hiroshima victims arrived in the USA
for plastic surgery.
100 died in a fire at a home for the elderly in Yokohama, Japan.
5/11/1954, 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.
The US and Japan signed a mutual defence pact.
Japan established a national defence force.
28/4/1953, Japan regained the right to self-governmemnt, which had been lost at
the end of World
Liberal Party won Japanese elections.
5/8/1952, Japan and China resumed
8/9/1951, The San Francisco Treaty of Friendship
between the US and Japan was signed.
occupation of Tibet 1950-52. See also 1958-65
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�
9/9/1951, Chinese troops occupied the Tibetan capital, Lhasa.
29/3/1951, The US completed a draft Peace Treaty with Japan,
which was circulated to the Allied Powers.
25/3/1951, China issued an ultimatum to Tibet, to choose between �peaceful liberation� or
�military annihilation�. Tibet chose to sign the 17-Point Agreement with China
25/12/1950. The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in the wake of the Chinese invasion.
17/11/1950, Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, was enthroned
as Tibetan head of State, aged 15.
13/11/1950, Tibet appealed to the UN for aid against Chinese aggression.
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.
17/10/1950, Chinese troops took Chamdo,
opening up the way to central Tibet.
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.
1/3/1950. Chiang Kai Shek became President in Formosa (Taiwan).
27/2/1950, China and the USSR signed
a joint agreement for exploiting oil in Sinkiang, for joint mining operations,
and joint operation of a civil airline.
14/2/1950. China and the USSR signed a 30-year pact in
1/1/1950, Radio Beijing announced that Tibet was to be �liberated�.
Communist victory, separation of Taiwan 1945-49. See also
13/7/1950, Ma Ying-jeou,
President of Taiwan, was born.
Britain officially recognised Communist China.
Taiwan, was formally chosen as the capital of Nationalist China. Chiang Kai
Government fled to Taiwan from China to escape the advancing Communists.
20/10/1949,� Britain recognised the People�s Republic of China,
The USA granted South Korea US$ 10.2
million for military aid and US$ 110 million for economic aid for the year
1/10/1949. 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.
The People�s Republic of China was officially proclaimed.
redistribution of land became an official part of Chinese Communist policy.
The USA halted aid to China.
30/7/1949, The HMS Amethyst
successfully sailed 140 miles down the Yangtse
River overnight to escape Chinese Communist forces, see 20/4/1949.
26/5/1949. Chinese Communists captured Shanghai.
23/5/1949. Chinese Communists drove the Nationalists off the mainland to
20/4/1949, 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 30/7/1949 when she successfully sailed downriver 140 miles, under fire from
further Chinese forces.
22/1/1949 The Chinese Communists
Tse Tung captured Peking.
Nationalists under Chaing Kai Shek were defeated at Huai Hai
north of Beijing.
21/1/1949, Chiang Kai Shek
15/1/1949. Chinese Communists
29/10/1948, Chinese Communist
forces captured the important city of
Mukden, and its arsenal, from Kuomintang
1/9/1948. The North China People�s Republic was
formed by the Communists, under Chairman Mao.
29/3/1948, Chiang Kai Shek
was re-elected President of China by the Nanjing Assembly.
captured the city of Yenang.
28/2/1947, �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.
16/2/1947, 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.
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.
The Guomintang Chinese Government excluded all Communists from power.
The new Chinese Guomintang Government signed a treaty of co-operation with the
China the Kuomintang re-elected Chiang Kai Shek as President.
further truce between the Guomintang and the Communists in China took effect.
clashed along the Yangtze River.
The Guomintang Government returned to Nanjing.
US-mediated truce between the Communists and the Guomintang broke down and the
Chinese Civil war resumed.
11/10/1945. 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
General elections were held in Japan. The Democratic Liberal Party won 269 of
the 466 seats.
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.
South Korea formed a Department of National Defence.
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
7/10/1948, 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.
3/5/1947, 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
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.
10/4/1946, 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.
23/2/1946, 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.
27/1/1946, In the Far
East, more than 2,000 airmen went on strike at the slow pace of demobilisation.
4/1/1946, 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
Yamashita was sentenced to death as a war criminal � on the
anniversary of Pearl Harbour � and was hanged the following month.
25/10/1945, Taiwan was formally ceded by
Japan to China.
1,0, Japan �
the final surrender, 1945
19/11/1945, General MacArthur ordered the arrest of 11
Japanese wartime leaders, including ex-Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka and General Sadao
15/9/1945, Japan was occupied
by Allied forces under General MacArthur.� See 28/4/1952, and 14/8/1945.
13/9/1945, 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.
11/9/1945, 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.
forces in China formally surrendered to Chiank Kai Shek in Nanking.
5/9/1945. Singapore re-occupied by the British. See 15/2/1942.
The Japanese garrison on Wake Island formally surrendered to the USA, see
Tomoyuki Yamashita formally
surrendered the remaining Japanese troops in the Philippines to United States
Jonathan M. Wainwright, the same commander who was compelled to
surrender to Yamashita
at Corregidor in 1942.
2/9/1945, Formal surrender of Japan, see 14/8/1945. The
Japanese Chief of Staff, General Yoshijiro Umezo, signed the surrender document
on board the USS Missouri, in front of General McArthur.
1/9/1945. British troops took control of Hong Kong.
MacArthur established the Supreme
Allied Command in Tokyo.
30/8/1945, The British Royal Navy returned to Hong Kong.
29/8/1945, The Xinghua
Campaign began in China.
28/8/1945. US troops landed in Japan.
19/8/1945. Soviet troops occupied Harbin and Mukden in
Manchuria; 100,000 Japanese there surrendered.
18/8/1945 The Soviet invasion of the Kuril Islands began,
opening with the Battle of Shumshu.
Hirohito issued a decree at 4:00
p.m. local time ordering all Japanese forces to cease fire. The Japanese
14/8/1945. (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 2/9/1945. 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
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.
forces occupied North Korea, Sakhalin and the Kurile islands.
For events in North & South Korea after 1945 see Appendix One below
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
atomic bombing of Japan, 1945
9/8/1945 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.
8/8/1945, The USSR,
declared war on Japan. The USSR invaded Japanese-held Manchuria, and northern Korea.
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
6/8/1945. 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.
5/8/1945, The U.S.
Twentieth Air Force flew over twelve Japanese cities and dropped 720,000
pamphlets warning their populations to surrender or face devastation.
4/8/1945, The US
dropped leaflets over Hiroshima,
warning that their city was to be obliterated.
American government announced that every Japanese and Korean harbor of
consequence had been mined, leaving Japan totally blockaded.
31/7/1945, On Tinian,
the assembly of the Little Boy atomic bomb was completed.
30/7/1945, The Japanese submarine I-58 sank the USS
Indianapolis, killing 833 seamen.
rejected a US ultimatum to surrender. The US estimated that 1 million Allied
casualties would ensue from a land invasion of Japan.
27/7/1945, On the
Philippine island of Tinian, the Little Boy atomic bomb began being prepared
26/7/1945. 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.
Truman told Joseph Stalin that a new and powerful weapon
was ready to be deployed against Japan, but did not provide any specific
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.
raids on the Japanese homeland began, 1944-45
British 14th Army captured the railhead of Taunggyi in Shan State,
north eastern Burma.
10/7/1945, US military strategists began planning the
invasion of mainland Japan, starting with Honshu and Kyushu.
-1.0(a), Capture of
22/6/1945. US troops
4/6/1945, US forces
landed on the Oruku peninsula, Okinawa, in an attempt to outflank Japanese
1/6/1945, Heavy air
raid on Osaka, Japan; 20 square km of the city was totally destroyed.
20/5/1945, US. forces captured Malaybalay on Mindanao.
forces took Rangoon, Burma.
17/4/1945, The Battle of the Hongorai River began in
8/4/1945, Cebu City
fell to the Allies.
1/4/1945, The Battle of
Okinawa began as US troops landed on the island. US victory came 83 days
-1.0(b), Capture of
was recaptured from the Japanese.
16/3/1945, 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 19/2/1945. Iwo Jima, just 750 miles from
could now be used as a base to bomb some 66 Japanese cities in an attempt to
force a Japanese surrender.
9/3/1945, 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.
5/3/1945. The British
captured the Japanese base of Meiktilla in Burma, cutting Japanese-occupied Burma in two.
4/3/1945, 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.
2/3/1945 �The British 14th army
entered Mandalay, Burma.
Thailand, British bombers destroyed the two railway bridges over the notorious
River Kwai, built with slave labour
Australian forces captured Brunei City.
Tokyo� was devastated by a firestorm in a
raid by 172 B-29 bombers.
kamikaze airstrikes sank the US aircraft carrier Bismarck Sea and damaged the
marines captured the first airfield on Mindanao.
19/2/1945, �US forces began the invasion of Iwo Jima, see 16/3/1945.
forces broke out of the bridgehead of Nyaungu against Japanese forces towards
16/2/1945. (1) US Air Force began heavy raids on Tokyo.
(2) The US took Bataan, Philippines.
3/2/1945. The US recaptured Manila, which
had fallen to the Japanese on 2/1/1942. Manila was not totally cleared of
Japanese soldiers till 24/2/1945.
9/1/1945. Luzon in the
Philippines was taken by the US from the Japanese.
Kamikaze attacks on US ships.
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
15/12/1944, 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.
8/12/1944, The US
began a massive bombardment of Iwo Jima, which lasted 72 days, in preparation
for an amphibious invasion.
25/11/1944, The first
Kamikaze (divine wind) suicidal attacks were made by Japanese pilots on US
24/11/1944. US planes
bombed Tokyo, for the first time
-2.0, Japanese retreat 1942-44
19/11/1944, 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
11/11/1944, Iwo Jima was bombarded by the U.S. Navy.
Japanese cruiser Nachi was sunk in Manila Bay by U.S. aircraft.
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 22/10/1944, involving a total of 231 ships
and 1996 aircraft.
25/10/1944, US escort
carrier St Lo became the first ship sunk by a Japanese kamikaze attack.
20/10/1944. General Mac
Arthur returned to the Philippines with 250,000 troops, fulfilling a
promise ha made when his forces retreated from the Japanese.
1/8/1944. 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 6/8/1945).
21/7/1944, Guam, in the western Pacific, was liberated
by US Marines.� It had been under
Japanese occupation since December 1941.
20/7/1944. Tbe USA began to retake the island of Guam
from the Japanese.
18/7/1944. Prime Minister Tojo of Japan resigned.
of the Battle of Kohima-Imphal. Crucial battle of the Burma campaign; the 14th
Army under Slim
fought the Japanese in Burma from 4/3/1944. Allied troops were supplied by air
and held back the Japanese from the key towns of Kohima and Imphal.
fighting between the USA and Japan off the Marianas Islands.
19/6/1944, 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
18/6/1944, The Japanese 11th Army occupied the Chinese
cities of Changsha and Chuchow.
15/6/1944. Air raids
on Japan hit steel mills at Yawata.
13/6/1944. Fifteen US warships bombarded Saipan with
165,000 shells. Saipan, with Tinian (see 1/8/1944), was a small Pacific island
halfway between Australia and Japan, occupied by the Japanese. 8,000 US marines
landed on Saipan on 15/6/1944; Japanese troops hid in caves but were attacked
with flame throwers. On 7/7/1944 3,000 cornered Japanese troops, along with
hundreds of civilians jumped to their death rather than surrender.
17/5/1944, 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 3/8/1944.
28/4/1944, 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,
24/4/1944, The Japanese evacuated New Guinea as US
23/4/1944, Hollandia, New Guinea, fell to the
Americans without much fighting.
22/4/1944, The US launched Operation Persecution,
attacking the Japanese on the north coast of New Guinea.
18/4/1944, The 5th Brigade attacked Japanese defences
15/4/1944, The US began devising Operation Wed;lock, a
spurious plan to attack the Kurile Islands, northern Japan. This was a
14/4/1944, British forces overcame a Japanese
roadblock near Zubza, western Kohima trail, relieving the besieged 161st Indian
12/4/1944, Japanese forces cut the road between Kohima
24/3/1944, 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.
9/3/1944, The U.S. 5th Marine Regiment took Talasea
in New Britain unopposed.
launched an offensive from Burma into India.
29/2/1944. US troops landed at Los Negros in the
27/2/1944, The Battle of the Green Islands in the
Solomon Islands ended in Allied victory.
21/2/1944. Hideki Tojo became Chief of Staff of the Japanese Army.
19/2/1944, The US
Submarine Jack attacked a Japanese
convoy 428 km west of Luzon, sinking four vessels.
15/2/1944, The US cleared the Solomon Islands of
4/2/1944. US warships
shelled the Japanese homeland; the island of Paramishu.
31/1/1944, US forces
made major amphibious landings on the Marshall Islands.
2/1/1944, 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.
1/12/1943, 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
25/11/1943, US bombers attacked Shinchiku Airfield,
23/11/1943. US forces retook Makin in the Gilbert
1/11/1943, US forces
retook Bougainville, in the Solomon Islands.
27/10;/1943, New Zealand troops landed on Stirling
Island, central Solomons, unopposed.
25/10/1943, 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.
6/10/1943, US forces landed unopposed on the central
Solomon Island of Kolombangara.
2/10/1943, A Japanese counter attack in New Guinea was
beaten off by Australian forces.
Chiang Kai Shek was elected President of the Chinese Republic.
US and Australian troops seized Nazdab, New Guinea, where an airstrip was
quickly built to facilitate an assault on Lae.
1/9/1943, 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.
25/8/1943, US forces captured New Georgia in the Solomon
15/8/1943. 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
29/7/1943, 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.
29/6/1943, US forces
landed in New Guinea.
23/6/1943, US troops occupied Kiriwina Island, largest
of the Trobriand Group.
22/6/1943, US troops occupied Woodlark Island,
Trobriand Island group.
2/6/1943, US troops
completed the recapture of Attu Island, Aleutian Islands, from Japan.
28/5/1943, Japanese forces launched a suicide attack
against US troops at Attu Island.
11/5/1943, US forces began
to recapture Attu in the Aleutian Islands, from Japan.
4/3/1943, The Battle of the Bismarck Sea ended (began 2/3/1943). A Japanese
convoy carrying troops to Papua New Guinea was sunk by Allied forces.
9/2/1943. The USA
reported that Japanese resistance in Guadacanal and the Solomon Islands had
Japanese completed their withdrawal from Guadalcanal.
Japanese began withdrawing from Guadalcanal.
21/8/1942, The Battle
of the Tenaru was fought on Guadalcanal, resulting in Allied victory.
15/11/1942, 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.
12/11/1942, The naval battle of Guadalcanal began.
27/10/1942, The Battle
of Goodenough Island ended in Australian victory.
18/8/1942, Japanese troops landed at Taivu, 32 km east of
Guadalcanal, as a diversionary operation.
7/8/1942. The USA attempted a landing on the Japanese-occupied
southern Solomon Islands. US troops invaded Guadalcanal. This was
2/2/1943. Japan made
a last-ditch effort to recapture the Solomon
1/2/1943. Japan successfully repulsed an attack by
Indian troops on the garrison at Donbaik, Burma.
17/12/1942, The US
submarine Drum mined the waters
11/1/1943, Britain made a treaty with China,
renouncing all British territorial rights in China.
troops advanced in the Malay peninsula, pushing the Japanese back into Burma.
23/11/1942, 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.
3/11/1942, Australian forces were pushing back the
Japanese, denying the chance of taking Port Moresby. This day the Australians
27/9/1942. Japanese forces pulled back in New
Guinea as the allies advanced.
submarine S-44 sank the Japanese heavy cruiser Kako near Kavieng, as it
withdrew from the Battle of Savo Island.
point of the Japanese Pacific Invasion, 1942
29/7/1942, Japanese forces took Kokoda from the
Australians, after 4 days fierce fighting.
20/6/1942, A Japanese submarine shelled Vancouver
island. This was the only time Canadian ;land territory came under fire; little
damage was done.
8/6/1942. Battle of Midway Island (4-8 June). The
Japanese withdrew after 4 days of shelling. See 27/5/1942. 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.
submarines attempted, unsuccessfully, to enter Sydney Harbour, Australia.
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
7/5/1942, Madagascar was
occupied by British troops to forestall any Japanese invasion.
6/5/1942. The Japanese
5/6/1942, Japanese Admiral Yamamoto realised the surprise
factor had failed and ordered a withdrawal from Midway.
3/6/1942, The Japanese launched a diversionary attack on the
Aleutians but did not draw US forces away from Midway.
30/5/1942, US Task Force 17 set sail from Pearl Harbour to join
Task force 16 against the Japanese at Midway Island,
28/5/1942, US Task Force 16 sailed to intercept the Japanese
fleet bound for Midway Island.
27/5/1942, 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 8/6/1942
2/5/1942. The Japanese
26/4/1942, The world�s worst coalmine disaster occurred at
Honkeiko Colliery, China. 1,572 were killed.
25/4/1942, American troops
arrived in New Caledonia to assist in defence of the archipelago.
18/4/1942, US planes bombed Tokyo and other Japanese cities;
the �Doolittle Raids�. See 24/11/1944.
17/4/1942, Japanese forces
in Burma reached Yenangyaung. The main
oilfields in Burma were destroyed to prevent them from falling into Japanese
10/4/1942, 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.
9/4/1942. The Japanese
troops occupied New Caledonia.
Burma, fell to the Japanese.
9/3/1942, The Dutch East
Indies campaign ended in decisive Japanese victory. The Japanese occupation of
the Dutch East Indies began.
8/3/1942. Java surrendered to the Japanese.
7/3/1942. British forces
withdrew from Rangoon. Bandung,
Java, also fell to the Japanese, effectively giving all of Java to Japan.
5/3/1942, 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,
2/3/1942, The Japanese
began heavy air strikes on New Guinea
in preparation for an invasion.
28/2/1942. The Japanese
landed on Java, Indonesia.
27/2/1942, The Battle of the
Java Sea, in which the Dutch navy was
destroyed in defence of Australia. The Japanese were now able to occupy
22/2/1942. Civilians were
evacuated from Rangoon as fighting
raged 80 miles north east of the city.
20/2/1942, Bali, east of
Java, was invaded by Japan.
19/2/1942. The Japanese
bombed the Australian city of Darwin.
16/2/1942, Japanese forces in Borneo occupied the town of
Sintang, West Kalimantan. In Sumatra, Palembang fell to Japanese forces.
15/2/1942. Singapore occupied by the Japanese. See 5/9/1945. 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.
12/2/1942. The Japanese
captured Bandjermasin, the main town on the south coast of Borneo.
31/1/1942. The Japanese laid
siege to Singapore. They landed on
Singapore on 9/2/1942.
23/1/1942, Japanese forces
captured the port of Rabaul, New Britain.
18/1/1942, Japanese forces
captured Tavoy, Burma.
16/1/1942, In the Battle of
Muar in Malaya, the Japanese 5th Infantry Division crossed the Muar River and
captured Muar itself.
14/1/1942, The Battle of
Gemas was fought in Malaya, resulting in tactical Australian victory.
11/1/1942. 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.
10/1/1942. The Japanese
invaded the Dutch East Indies.
4/1/1942, The Japanese 14th Army captured Guagua in the
2/1/1942. Manila captured by the Japanese. The US recaptured it on
1/1/1942, The British
withdrew from Sarawak.
25/12/1941. Hong Kong surrendered to the Japanese. 6,000 troops laid down arms after a 7-day battle.
23/12/1941, Wake Island (US territory) surrendered to the
Japanese, see 4/9/1945.
22/12/1941, General Wavell met with Chiang Kai Shek at Chonqquing.
(Thailand) signed a treaty with Japan permitting the entry and transit of
Japanese troops. This facilitated the Japanese invasion of Burma.
and Dutch forces occupied East Timor. Malaya was evacuated and the Japanese
attacked Hong Kong.
17/12/1941. Sarawak, Borneo, was invaded by the Japanese.
14/12/1941, Japan and Siam
(Thailand) signed a ten-year co-operation treaty.
13/12/1941, The Japanese
controlled the mainland area of Hong
Kong, and Kowloon; Hong Kong
Island was still British-held.
12/12/1941. The Japanese
captured the island of Guam, see 20/7/1944.
10/12/1941. 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.
9/12/1941, US air force
bombed Luzon, Philippines.
See also France-Germany,
from 1/1/1870, 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
8/12/1941. 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.
7/12/1941. 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 8/12/1941,
�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.
26/11/1941, Japanese naval forces set sail for Pearl
Prelude to war in the Pacific; Japan
and the USA, 1939-41
conducted its first practice blackout.
expiry of a 6-week deadline, set by the Japanese military on 6/9/1941, 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.
17/10/1941. General Tojo appointed Prime Minister of Japan.
20/9/1940, Taro Aso, 59th Prime Minister of Japan,was
born� in Iizuka, Fukuoka, Japan.
1/8/1941, The US
imposed an embargo on oil sales to Japan.
30/7/1941, The US
gunboat Tutuila was bombed by Japanese aircraft. Japan later apologised for the
29/7/1941, The Vichy
French Government gave Japanese forces use of the air bases in Indo China.
27/7/1941. Japanese troops moved into Cambodia and Thailand,
and captured Saigon.
announced that Vichy France had consented to Japanese �protection� of the
French colonies in Indo-China.
18/7/1941, Yosuke Matsuoka
was replaced as Japanese Foreign Minister by Teijiro Toyoda.
called up over one million conscripts, and pulled its merchant ships out of the
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.
Rear Admiral Takijiro
Onishi gave Isoroku Yamamoto a draft of the Pearl Harbour
7/11/1940. Britain, the USA, and Australia agreed on the
defence of the Pacific.
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.
22/9/1940. Japanese forces entered Indo-China.
22/7/1940, In Japan,
Fumimaro Konoe, out of office since 1939, was reappointed Prime
Minister. He declared his intention to establish a �New Order� across East
4/1/1939. The fascist Baron Hiranuma became Prime
Minister of Japan.
22/2/1940, The 5-year-old Tenzin Gyatso
was enthroned as the 14th Dalai Lama in Tibet. Gyatso was born on 6/6/1935, 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.
15/6/1933, China and Tibet
ended a two-year war, agreeing to settle upon their pre-war border.
Battle of Nomonchan, Manchuria
13/4/1941. 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
20/8/1939. At Khalikhin Gol (see 5/6/1939) 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 31/8/1939 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
was now a Soviet hero, and the Japanese resolved to conquer south and east, not
north towards Russian territory.
5/6/1939, Soviet military commander Zhukov
arrived at the Khalkhin Gol military
conflict between Soviet-Mongolian forces and Japanese-Manchurian forces. On
12//5/1939 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.
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 20/8/1939.
Japanese invasion of China, 1937-41. See also Japanese occupation of
26/7/1940, US President Roosevelt imposed
sanctions on Japan in retaliation for Japanese air raids on US missions and
churches in China.
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.
fell to the Japanese.
21/10/1938. The Japanese occupied Canton.
troops landed in force on the
Chinese mainland, and advanced swiftly on
27/9/1938. The League of Nations
denounced Japanese aggression in China.
11//7/1938. Soviet and Japanese troops clashed on the Manchukuo border.
Japanese advanced along the Hangchow Railway through Shansi Province towards
the Yellow River.
captured the Chinese port of Qingdao.
troops captured Hankow, China.
protested to Japan about attacks on Royal Navy ships on the Yangtse River.
12/12/1937, Japan captured Nanjing, China, see 7/12/1937. They massacred over
100,000 of the city�s population.
7/12/1937. Japan attacked Nanjing, bitter fighting followed. Japan occupied Nanjing
on 12/12/1937. Defeated Chinese soldiers
who surrendered were nevertheless killed, and women and children were raped and
27/10/1937, Japan announced the capture of Pingding, Shanxi
Province after a three-day battle.
29/9/1937. 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.
28/9/1937. The League of
Nations condemned the Japanese invasion of China.
Japanese bombed the Chinese Nationalist capital of Nanjing.
14/8/1937. 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.
troops took Beijing, see 7/7/1937.
10/7/1937, In China, Chiang Kai-shek
made a radio address to millions announcing the Kuomintang's policy of
resistance against Japan.
7/7/1937. 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 11/7/1937, 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 29/7/1937, starting
the 1937-45 War.
Chinese Communists, Long March
11/8/1936, Chiang Kai Shek entered Canton, China.
20/10/1935. 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.
16/10/1934. Mao Tse Tung's
began.� See 20/10/1935.
17/7/1932, In China Chiang Kai Shek began an anti-Communist
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.
7/7/1936, In Japan,
17 officers implicated in a failed coup (see 26/2/1936) were executed.
attempted coup in Tokyo, Japan. A group of Army officers killed the Prime
Makoto, and the Finance Minister, Takahashi Korekiyo. The coup was
22/3/1934, Major fire in Hakodate, Japan, killed 1,500
25/7/1932. The USSR, Poland, and Japan
signed a non-aggression pact.
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
25/11/1936. 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 6/11/1937.
31/5/1933, Japan and China signed an armistice.
Japanese troops withdrew to north of the Great Wall of China.
25/2/1933. Japan withdrew from the League of Nations in protest at a�
vote condemning the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. Japan now occupied all of China north of the Great Wall.
23/2/1933, From occupied Manchuria, Japan invaded
China's Jehol Province with 30,000 Japanese troops and 1,000 from Manchukuo
troops withdrew from Shanghai after an armistice was agreed.
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.
8/1/1932. An assassination attempt was made on the Japanese Emperor
2/1/1932. The Japanese proclaimed the Republic of Manchukuo in Manchuria.
The Japanese set up a puppet government of
Manchuria based in Mukden.
21/9/1931, The Japanese took Kirin, China. By early 1932 they
controlled three coastal provinces.
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
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
Tse Tung, faced multiple threats from this and the Communist
his ability to deal with the Japanese invasion.
18/2/1931, 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 18/9/1931.
Fighting against the Communists
Chiang Kai Shek defeated the Communists, in northern China.
17/6/1931. In China, the British arrested Nguyen Ai Quoc,
also known as Ho
Chi Minh, founder of the Indo-Chinese Communist Party.
22/10/1930, Rebels massacred 8,000 in Shanghai, China.
2/9/1930, In Beijing, rebels under Yen Hsi-chan took
10/7/1930, In China, Communist troops attacked the city
6/2/1928. 50,000 fled as Communists
19/12/1927, In China, 600 Communists
were executed by the Nationalists.
15/12/1927, China broke off diplomatic relations with
the USSR. This was after
an attempted Communist uprising in Guangzhou.
14/12/1927. Chiang Kai
Shek�s forces suppressed an attempted Communist
coup in Canton.
1/12/1927, Chiang Kai Shek
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.
19/9/1927, 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.
7/9/1927, Mao Tse Tung
led a Communist
uprising in the rural province of Hunan.
1/8/1927, The Nanchang Army
uprising against the Kuomintang. The Chinese Communist Party considers this the
date of the founding of the Red Army.
police raided the Soviet Embassy in Beijing, seizing incriminating
evidence of subversion. Several Communist leaders were later executed.
24/3/1927, In China,
the Guomindang took Shanghai. Jiang Jeishi now began negotiations with
wealthy Shanghai bankers and turned on his former Communist allies.
21/3/1927. 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.
1926, Japan passed a �Peace Preservation Law�, to �regulate extremist
movements�; this facilitated the suppression of Communist groups.
9/3/1932. 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
14/11/1930, 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.
22/4/1930, 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.
21/1/1930, The London Naval
22/12/1929. China and Russia agreed to withdraw troops from the
border as their dispute over the eastern railway ended.
30/11/1929, Soviet planes bombed the Manchurian town of
occupation protests in Korea.
9/9/1929. Heavy fighting between Russia and China on
broke off diplomatic relations with China
and began to mobilise troops on the border.
2/7/1929, The Giichi Tanaka Government in� Japan fell.
26/6/1929. The Japanese
government signed the anti-war Kellogg-Briand
pact, the last government to sign it.
10/11/1928, 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.
Chinese Kuomintang Government established; end of Chinese Civil War
20/12/1928. The UK
recognised the Kuomintang
government of China.
6/10/1928. Chiang Kai-Shek became President of Nationalist China.
severed all relations with China.
19/7/1928, China annulled the �unequal treaties�
formerly made with European powers.
8/6/1928, Beijing fell
forces under Chiang
Kai Shek, ending the Chinese
3/5/1928, Chinese Nationalist
forces suffered major losses against the Japanese.
19/4/1928. The Japanese
occupied Shantung, China.
7/4/1928, Chinese Nationalists
launched an offensive to capture Beijing.
31/1/1927, 12,000 British troops were ordered to China
to defend British nationals in Shanghai, where the civil war was posing a threat to foreigners.
1/1/1927. In China the Kuomintang established a
government at Hankow.
16/10/1926, A troopship exploded on the Yangtze River,
China, killing 1,200 people.
6/9/1926, In China, Chiang Kai Shek captured Hankow.
1/1/1926, The Nationalist government was established in China.
30/11/1925, The US sent warships to Hankow, China, to
stop attacks by Communist
Chinese on foreigners.
7/9/1925. 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
12/3/1925, 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.
20/1/1925, The UK and China made the Treaty of Peking.
15/1/1925, In China, strikes at Shanghai weer
suppressed by British and French troops. This sparked revolutionary unrest, and
US troops now arrived to p[rotect their nationals and economic interests.
25/12/1926. Emperor Hirohito ascended the Japanese throne after the death of his father Emperor Yoshihito.� He died in January 1989 after 62 years as
29/3/1925. Japan passed a
Bill for universal male suffrage.
22/3/1925, Radio broadcasting began in Japan.
19/3/1925. 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.
15/4/1924, 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.
31/1/1924, 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.
Communism in China
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.
3/11/1924, Feng Yuxiang's troops entered Tianjin.
25/10/1924, In China, President Tsao Kun resigned.
13/8/1924, Severe flooding in China, 50,000 killed.
31/5/1924. China recognised the USSR.
21/1/1924 The Chinese Kuomintang Congress admitted the
23/7/1921. The first congress of the Chinese Communist Party
was held in Beijing.
1/6/1921, The Chinese Communist Party was founded.
25/7/1919, 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 Russia�
was their only ally.
27/12/1923, Emperor Hirohito of Japan narrowly escaped assassination.
1/9/1923. 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.
17/8/1923. The defence
treaty between Japan and the UK (see 30/1/1902 and 23/8/1914) 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.
3/3/1922, 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.
4/2/1922, Japan agreed to return the Shandong Peninsula to
China, whilst retaining some mines and commercial interests.
1/2/1922, Death of the
Japanese statesman Yamagata Aritomo (born 14/6/1838). 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.
25/11/1921. Hirohito became Regent in Japan.
10/4/1921, Sun Yat Sen was elected President of China.
21/12/1920, Widespread famine
in China 7/11/1920 to 21/12/1920.
15/12/1920. China and Austria were admitted to the League of
17/10/1919, Zhao Ziyang, Chinese politician, was born (died
15/9/1919. China ended its war with Germany.
4/5/1919. 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.
1/3/1919, Anti Japanese colonialism demonstrations in
Seoul, Korea, which were violently suppressed by the Japanese.
17/8/1918, After rioting occurred, the Japanese Government
requisitioned rice stocks.
2/8/1918. British, French, and US forces landed at Archangel to support White Russians
against the Bolsheviks. Japan invaded Siberia.
6/4/1918. US, British, and Japanese
troops landed at Vladivostock.
26/2/1918, 604 were killed in Hong Kong when the stands at
the Hong Kong Jockey Club collapsed and caught fire.
6/7/1916. Russia and Japan signed a peace treaty.
4/7/1916, Ikugo Toguri, the voice of Japanese propaganda
radio during World War two, was born (died 26/9/2006).
22/3/1916, In China, President Yuan Shikai died.
China, Japan on Allied side against Germany, World
offered the Allies 15,000 troops to fight on the Western Front.
declared war on Germany and Austria.
14/3/1917, China broke
off diplomatic relations with Germany.
18/1/1915. Japan made �21 Demands� on China, which if accepted
would virtually give Japan sovereignty over China.
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.
7/11/1914. The German
fortified city of Qingdao (Tsingtao)� in
China surrendered to the Japanese.
Japanese began landing forces at Lungkow, 150 miles north of Tsingtao.
forces began a blockade of Kiaochow Bay, China, to force the surrender of the German stronghold of the town of Tsingtao
For European events of
World War One see France-Germany
declared war on Germany. This was
due to the treaty of mutual defence concluded between Japan and the UK on
30/1/1902. The Germans had not responded to an ultimatum by Japan issued
14/8/1914.� See 17/8/1923.
demanded that Germany withdraw warships from the China and Japan region
Meiji Emperor Mutsuhito. Japan creating further links with the West.
21/11/1913, Death of Tokugawa Keiki,
last of the Japanese shoguns who
controlled the country from 1603 to 1867.
20/2/1913. Great fire
7/8/1912. Japan and Russia reached agreement on their spheres
of influence in Mongolia and Manchuria.
30/7/1912, 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
Japan signed a commercial treaty with France.
Japan and Britain signed a commercial treaty.
Japan and the US signed a commercial treaty in Washington.
5/11/1913, A joint declaration by Russia and China
recognising the autonomy of Outer Mongolia (Mongolia) under Chinese suzerainty.
6/10/1913, Yuan Shikai became President of China.
8/7/1913, China agreed to grant independence to Mongolia.
first parliament opened, in Beijing.
3/9/1913, In China Yuan Shikai captured Nanjing.
22/2/1913. Death of the Dowager Empress of China.
10/8/1912, 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
14/4/1912, China's President Yuan Shih-kai issued a manifesto
asking the five separate race groups in the nation to unite through
11/3/1912, Chinese Republican
Government established in Lanchow, capital of Kansu Province. This was one of
the last areas to see the new Republican administration established.
2/3/1912, 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
29/2/1912, Military revolt in Beijing.
12/2/1912, The Chinese Manchu dynasty came to an end when the
Dowager Longyu, read out an edict of abdication on behalf of the
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.
1/1/1912. The Republic of
China was officially proclaimed.
29/12/1911, Chinese revolutionary Dr Sun Yat Sen (1866-1925) became
the first President of the Republic of
22/12/1911, A Chinese Republican Government was established in
Kaifeng, capital of Honan Province.
7/12/1911, China abolished men�s pigtails.
6/12/1911. Russia announced that Mongolia was a Russian
2/12/1911, Chinese Republicans captured Nanking.
22/11/1911. Chinese Republican Government established in
Chengtu, capital of Szechuan Province.
16/11/1911, In China, Prime Minister Yuan Shikai formed a Cabinet.
30/10/1911, 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.
28/10/1911, 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.
22/10/1911, A Chinese Republican Government was established in
Sian, capital of Shansi Province.
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.
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.
Japanese influence over Korea
formally annexed Korea.
4/7/1910. Russia recognised Japanese
occupation of Korea in return for a free hand in Manchuria.
26/10/1909, Ahn Jung-geun, a Korean nationalist and
independence activist, shot dead Hirobumi Ito, the Japanese colonial governor of Korea, on a station platform at
25/7/1907. Japan made Korea a protectorate. The
Korean Emperor Kojong
(I T�ae Wang) who had ruled since 1864 abdicated 19/7/1907, aged 55
under pressure from Japan, who was occupying Korea.
control of Tibet (see 1904-06 below)
Britain called on China not to send a military expedition to Tibet.
were routed by Chinese soldiers at Lhasa.
4/4/1912. A Chinese Republic was declared in Tibet.
Dalai Lama and several noted Tibetans fled from Lhasa to India, as Chinese
troops occupied Tibet.
31/1/1910. 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
2/12/1908. 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
15/11/1908. 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.
Emperor of Korea for 43 years, aged 55, abdicated under pressure from the
Japanese, who were occupying his country.
and Japan signed a treaty guaranteeing equal trading rights for both in China,
and recognising Japan�s �special interests� in Manchuria, Fukien and Mongolia.
15/4/1907. Japan handed Manchuria back to China
under the Treaty of Portsmouth, which ended the Russo-Japanese war.
1/1/1907. In China, 4 million people were starving due to heavy
rains and crop failure.
launched what was then the world�s
largest battleship, the Satsuma.
20/9/1906, In China, an imperial edict ordered the end of the use of heroin within 10
18/9/1906, Typhoon hit Hong Kong, killing some 10,000
11/4/1906, Having occupied Taiwan since the Sino-Japanese War
of 1895, Japan now appointed military commander Sakuma Samata to �control and
pacify� the island�s aboriginal 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.
7/2/1906. Pu Yi,
last Emperor of China, was born in Beijing.
3/2/1906. Japan decided to
double the size of its navy by 1908.
9/5/1905, The Chinese Government
anno8unced that it was taking control of the Imperial Customs Service, removing
Robert hart from office, who had been its Inspector-General since 1863.
War 1904-05. Russia defeated, Japan makes territorial gains in Manchuria region
Stossel was sentenced to death for surrendering to the Japanese.
5/12/1906, Russian Admiral
Niebogatov went on trial, accused of surrendering ships to the
5/9/1905. 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 (7/9/21905). This Treaty marked the
start of Japanese expansion into China, which aroused unease in Washington.
29/8/1905. Russia and Japan agreed peace. An armistice was arranged for
31/8/1905. A peace treaty was signed between Russia and Japan on 5/9/1905 at
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA.
31/7/1905. The Russian
governor of Sakhalin Island
surrendered to the Japanese.
27/5/1905. 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 2/1/1905. Along with the hunliating
defeat at Mukden (10/3/1905) 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.
30/3/1905, President Roosevelt was asked to mediate in the Far East war between Japan and Russia.
10/3/1905. The Japanese defeated the
200,000 strong Russian army at Mukden.
19/2/1905, The Japanese began fighting the Russians for control of Mukden.
13/2/1905. The Japanese laid siege to
1/1/1905. Russians defending Port Arthur finally capitulated to the Japanese; the
effort had cost the lives of 60,000 Japanese troops.
5/12/1904. The Japanese destroyed the
Russian fleet at Port Arthur.
30/11/1904, The Japanese made headway against the Russians at Port Arthur, at the
cost of 12,000 casualties.
For Dogger Bank
Incident, October 1904, see Russia
4/9/1904, Japanese forces captured Liao-Yang.
26/6/1904. Japanese forces inflicted a heavy defeat on the
Russians at Telissu.
25/5/1904. 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.
1/5/1904. The Battle of the Yalu marked the start of the Russo-Japanese War.
lost its flagship battleship Petropavlosk and 600 men to a mine in an ill-fated
sortie from Port Arthur.
6/3/1904, Japan bombarded Vladivostok.
10/2/1904. Night attack by the Japanese crippled the Russian fleet
at Port Arthur.
9/2/1904, Japan landed troops at Chemulpo
(Inchon), near Seoul, Korea; within three weeks they had advanced to the Yalu
River, border of Manchuria.
8/2/1904. 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 30/1/1902. 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
domination of Tibet 1903-06
reluctantly granted Britain control of Tibet, following the occupation of the
capital Lhasa by British troops. However
see 1910 above
7/9/1904, A treaty between the UK and Tibet gave Britain trading posts in Tibet and a promise that the Dalai
would not cede territory to a foreign power such as Russia.
3/8/1904, Tibet�s religious leader, the Dalai Lama, fled Lhasa as Lord Curzon�s
forces entered the city.
2/8/1904, The British had faced resistance by Tibetans against colonial expansion.� On
this day the British, successful against Tibet,
entered Lhasa. See 7/9/1904. 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.
forces under� MacDonald killed some 300
Tibetans attempting to halt a British mission to Tibet.
12/12/1903, A British expedition entered Tibet.
24/8/1904, The Chinese leader, Deng Xiaoping, was born in Sichuan
30/1/1902. Japan and the UK
concluded a mutual defence alliance.
See 8/2/1904 and 23/8/1914. 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.
7/12/1901, Japan abandoned
negotiations with Russia, and started to arrange an alliance with Britain.
25/11/1901, Prince Hirobumi Ito of Japan, whilst visiting St Petersburg, sought
Russian acceptance of Japanese claims in Korea.
7/11/1901, Li Hung Chang, Chinese statesman, died (born
3/8/1901, Pavel Mil,
administrator who guided the development of the Chinese Communist Party in the
1920s, was born.
29/4/1901. Birth of Crown Prince
Hirohito. Later Emperor of
27/3/1901, Eisaku Satu,
Prime Minister of Japan 1964-72, was born (died 1975).
Boxer rebellion, China, 1899-1902
the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion,
the Chinese Imperial Court returned to Beijing.
7/9/1901. 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.
26/2/1901, 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.
26/10/1900, Two months after fleeing from Beijing to Xian,
Dowager Cixi re-established the Imperial Court to rule China.
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.
7/8/1900, In China, European forces captured
Yang-tsun from the Boxers, after losing 700 men
26/7/1900, In China, European forces captured Tianjin
from the Boxer rebels.
troops, also from the US and Japan, occupied Tianjin, as the Boxer Rebellion
24/6/1900, In China, Boxer rebels made further attacks
on foreign embassies.
23/6/1900, 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
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.
20/6/1900. 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.
Empress of China ordered that all foreigners in the country were to be killed.
17/6/1900. 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.
forces invade China to deal with the Boxer threat
13/6/1900, When three Chinese Boxers came too close to
the German legation, one of them, a young man, was captured by the German
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
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.
3/6/1900, The railway
between Beijing and Tianjin was cut by Boxer rebels.
representing foreign powers in China requested troops to protect them from
increasing threats from Chinese nationalists.
France, Germany and the US warned China
to suppress the Boxer movement, or face invasion.
20/3/1900, 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.
27/1/1900, European diplomats demanded that China curb
9/2/1899, 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.
ambitions in Manchuria, Korea, as China weak; curbed by China, with European
10/11/1903. 10,000 Chinese troops moved into Manchuria.
8/4/1902. Russia signed an agreement with China, promising
to withdraw its troops from Manchuria.
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 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchuria
seized south Manchuria from China.
21/5/1900. Russia annexed Manchuria.
27/3/1900, 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.
30/12/1899, 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.
21/9/1898, In China the Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi seized
power, and began reversing the reformist policies of her nephew Emperor
China leased the New Territories (Hong
Kong) to Britain for 99 years.
25/4/1898, 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.
14/11/1897, 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
1/2/1902, Foot binding was declared illegal in China.
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
5/3/1898, Zhou Enlai,
Chinese Premier, was born.
28/3/1897, The Japanese Yen went on the Gold Standard.
19/1/1896, The first motor vehicle was operated in Japan. It was a motorcycle
made in Germany.
1/8/1895. The people of Gutian in Fujian Province, destroyed
churches and killed more than ten Australian and British missionaries,
including women and children.
2/6/1895, Japan took formal
possession of Formosa (Taiwan) from
29/5/1895, The Japanese landed near Keelung on the northern
coast of Taiwan, and in a five-month campaign swept southwards to Tainan.
17/4/1895. 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 23/4/1895 Russia, France, and Germany intervened, forcing Japan to hand back the Liaodong Peninsula.
30/11/1895. China and Russia made a secret treaty so
that Russia could build the Trans-Siberian railway through Manchuria to the
port of Vladivostock.
defeated China at Port Arthur.
1/8/1894. War was formally declared between China and Japan.
27/7/1894, Korea declared
war on China.
forces sank the Kowshing, a British ship carrying Chinese forces to
26/12/1893. Mao Tse Tung,
Chinese Communist leader, was born
in Hunan.� He was the son of a peasant
28/10/1891, A severe earthquake hit Osaka, Japan; 10,000 were
31/10/1887, Chiang Kai-Shek, Chinese military leader and
politician, was born in Fenghua, Chekiang province.
9/6/1885, 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 26/10/1884.
17/11/1884. Chinese Turkestan was given provincial status, and
renamed Xinjiang, or New Frontier.
26/10/1884, China declared war on France after France
bombarded Taiwan as reprisal for China�s refusal to acknowledge the French
Protectorate of Indo-China, see 9/6/1885.
11/9/1883, Anti-European riots in Canton, China
25/8/1883, 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.
22/5/1882, The USA signed a treaty with Korea recognising its independence from China, Russia, and Japan.
27/2/1876, 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.
26/4/1875, Synghman Rhee, South Korean statesman, was
22/2/1875, Tensions between London and Beijing increased
Margary, a British official, was killed by bandits close to the
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.
24/10/1871. In Los Angeles, 19 Chinese were killed in anti-Chinese riots.
1/6/1871, 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.
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
12/11/1866, Sun Yat Sen, President of China, was born.
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.
4/7/1871. Russian troops occupied the Ili area of Chinese
7/8/1865. 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
7/9/1865 Ya�qub Beg captured Kashgar, slaughtering
some 4,000 Han Chinese.
28/5/1858. Russia acquired from China the territory on the
left (north) bank of the middle and upper River Amur, along with the territory
on both sides of the lower Amur. This was under the Treaty of Aigun.
19/7/1864, 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.
20/8/1862, US mercenary Frederick
Townsend Ward led Imperial Chinese forces to victory over the
Taiping rebels at Tzeki, near Shanghai.
3/3/1857, Britain and France declared war on China, using the killing of a missionary as a
7/9/1853, Shanghai fell to
rebels as the Taiping Rebellion
19/3/1853, Taiping (Heavenly Peace) rebels in China, a Protestant movement, challenged the
ruling Manchu Ch�ing dynasty by taking the city of Nanjing. See 19/7/1864.
of the reign of boy-King Kojong in Korea (ruled until 1907).
19/10/1851, Myeongseong, Empress
of Korea, was born.
22/8/1849, 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
14/11/1860, China, under duress from Western powers,
signed the Beijing Convention, ratifying the Treaty of Tainjin (1858)
24/10/1860. China gave
way to trade demands from Britain and France after fighting. Beijing was
captured on 6/10/1860.
18/10/1860, 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.
Anglo-French force invading China captured Beijing
and French forces took the port of Tianjin.
French and British bombarded Sinho, to force China to admit their diplomats.
Treaty of Tientsin ended the Anglo-Chinese War. China agreed to open up more
ports to trade.
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)
Emperor of China, died.
25/7/1845. China granted
Belgium equal trading rights with Britain, France, and the USA. See 24/10/1844.
24/10/1844. 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.
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.
In accordance with the Treaty of Nanjing
(see 29/8/1842) Shanghai was opened up to foreign trade.
Britain and China signed the British
Supplementary Treaty; an addition to the Treaty of Nanjing (29/8/1842), giving Britain favourable trading terms
with China. See 3/7/1844.
1908, The opium trade finally
into China (selected years). One chest contained 150 lbs (67 kg) of opium, netting
the importer a profit of �20 in 1820.
again banned opium smoking, the cause of the Opium War. However the
Chinese already had an insatiable appetite for it, and� ignored this decree. Opium smuggling into
China was rampant, run by gangsters such as the Triads.
29/8/1842. The Opium
War (1839-1842) between Britain and China ended (see 26/1/1841) 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$21million over the next 5 years for the opium they destroyed, which started
the war. On 5/4/1843 Queen Victoria
proclaimed Hong Kong a British Crown Colony.
Kong was proclaimed British territory. It was occupied by British troops as
the Opium War with China continued. It was ceded by China on 20/1/1841,
in what the Chinese termed the �Unequal Treaties�.� The much larger area known as the �New
Territories� was leased from China until 1997.�
This area contained Hong Kong�s water supplies and the whole territory
was returned to China then.
See 5/7/1840, and 29/8/1842.
Kong was ceded to Britain by China, see 26/1/1841.
5/7/1840. In the Opium War (see
4/9/1839), British naval forces bombarded Dinghai on Zhousan Island and then
occupied it. See 26/1/1841. This war is not just about opium but the right to force China to open its ports to British
In the UK, Palmerston
ordered the British
Navy to attack China in order to prevent the suppr4ession of the opium trade.
The Emperor of China, Emperor Daoguang, forbade all trade with Britain.
This was an effort to curb the flood of
opium entering China.
began to assemble an expeditionary
military force as relations with China
deteriorated over the opium trade
British fired the first shots on the Chinese in the Opium War, see
24/3/1839. On 3/11/1839 British and Chinese forces clashed near the Bogue Forts
at the mouth of the Pearl River. The formal declaration of the Opium War
was in June 1840. see 5/7/1840.
21/5/1838, In an
attempt to placate �Liu Zexu,� European traders offered to surrender 1,034
chewsts of opium, valued at US$ 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.
17/5/1838, Liu Zexu summoned the Hong Kong opium
merchants to ascertain the names of the opium dealers, whom he then threatened
24/3/1839. 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 5/8/1839, and on 23/8/1839 the British assembled a fleet
of warships off Hong Kong. See 4/9/1839.
imperial Chinese official named Lin Zexu
arrived at Canton with orders from Emperor Daoguang to eradicate the opium trade.
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.
3/12/1838, Lin Zexu was appointed by Chinese Emperor Daoguang to halt the opium trade.
16/2/1823, Li Hung Chang,
Chinese statesman, was born (died 7/11/1901).
1799, China made opium illegal.
30/8/1785, 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.
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.
as Emperor of China.
1724, The huge Chinese encyclopedia, Gujin Tushu Jicheng, was printed using
1723, Emperor Yongzheng acceded, ruled intil
Emperor Qing Kangsi
20/12/1722, 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
1696, China launched an invasion of Outer Mongolia.
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 in the Amur region.
5/2/1661, Emperor Kangxi
began his reign in China; 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,whouldnever 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 as Emperor Shen Zong.
1557, The Portuguese first obtained
permission from China to trade at Macao.
8/1517, The Portuguese became the
first Europeans to visit Taiwan.
They called it Ilha Formosa, meaning
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
the records of these voyages they could find, on the grounds that the expense,
and lives lost, did not justify the rewards.
30/7/1470, 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.
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
1433, Zheng He died (1371-1433) died.
abrubtly halted its overseas
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
colony� decades 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
5/8/1424, Emperor Chu Ti, also known as Yongle
Tsu, died (born 2/5/1360). 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
1/1368, Zhu Yuanzhang, founder of the Ming (=
Brilliant) Dyansty, proclaimed himelf Emperor. He made Nanjing the
capital of China.
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.
29/11/1394, 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.
11/10/1335, Yi Seong-gye, founder of the Joseon Dynasty, was born in Korea.
2/5/1360, Emperor Chu Ti, also known as Yung Lo
Tsu, was born. See 5/8/1424.
1355, Nanking was recaptured from the Mongols by 27-year-old Chinese patriot Chu Yuan Chang.
19/3/1279, 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
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.
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
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
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
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.
16/11/1161, 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
1141, The Jurchen
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
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 9/1/1127.
1101, The Chinese Sung Emperor Hui
Tsung acceded, aged 19, to begin a 24-year reign.
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.
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,
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. 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
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
935, The Goryo Kingdom� was established in Korea, reuniting the
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.
In China, fall of the T�ang Dynasty. Zhu Wen
established the Later Liang Dynasty.
This was the first of northern China�s Five
the next 50 years China was divided into many warring states.
The Khitan Empire was set up in southern Manchuria.
The Wu State was founded in Yangzhou, southern China by Yang Xingmi.
The T�ang Dynasty suppressed the Huang Zhao rebellion, with the help of
the Shatuo Turkic tribes. However T�ang power was
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.
Buddhism was banned in China.
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
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.
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.
757, General An Lushan
was assassinated. However see 762.
755, General An Lushan,
rather inevitably, turned on his Chinese ruler Emperor Tang Xuanzong
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.
713, The Chinese Emperor Ming Huang acceded to the
throne; he ruled until 756. He promoted the arts and learning.
16/12/705, 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.
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.
639, In Tibet, King Sbrong Tsan Sgam Po
introduced Buddhism from
India, and founded Lhasa.
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
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).
Sui Gong Di
succeeded Sui Yang Di
as Emperor of China.
Turkic tribes invaded China.
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.
Death of Emperor Wen
Di. Accession of Emperor
Yang Di. His rule was despotic and he was deposed in 617.
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,
Emperor, conquered southern China. Northern State power now combined with southern rice resources.
587, End of the Nan Liang Dynasty.
585, Emperor Xiaojing
Xiaoming as ruler of the Nan
581, The Sui
Dynasty replaced the Northern
Zhou Dynasty. The first ruler was Sui Wen Di.
End of the Northern Qi Dynasty.
succeeded Wu Cheng Di
as ruler of the Northern Qi Dynasty.
Nan Xiao Ming
Di succeeded Nan
Liang Xuan Di as ruler of the Nan
Wu Cheng Di
succeeded Xiao Zhao Di
as ruler of the Northern Qi Dynasty.
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.
End of the Western Wei Dynasty.
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.
Wei Ging Di
succeeded Wei Fei Di
as ruler of the Western Wei.
Liang Yuan Di
succeeded Liang Yu Zhang
Wang as ruler of the Liang Dynasty.
In northern China the Eastern Wei
Dynasty was replaced by the Northern Qi Dynasty.
Qi Wen Xuan
was the first Northern Qi ruler..
Wen succeeded Emperor
Wu as ruler of the Liang
The Northern Wei
Kingdom split into east and western States. The east was the more innovating
part; the west remained traditionalist.
534, Rapid growth of Buddhism in China 477-534.
400, There were now
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.
Xiao Wu Di
succeeded An Ding Wan
as ruler of the Northern
succeeded Xiao Zhuang Di
as ruler of the Northern
Xiao Zhuang Di
succeeded Xiao Ming Di
as ruler of the Northern
The earliest known pagoda in China
was built at the Sung Yuen Temple in Honan. The structure derived from the tall
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.
Qi He Di
succeeded Qi Dong Hun
Hou as ruler of the Southern Qi Dynasty.
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
465, Song Qian Fei Di
and then Song Ming Di
became rulers of the Song
452, Tai Wu Di was
succeeded by Nan An Wang,
and then by Wen Cheng Di,
as ruler of the Northern
450, Death of Cui Hao, main
architect of the Northern
Wei administrative reforms.
439, The Northern Wei
Kingdom began to unite the whole of
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
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
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
Xiu as ruler of the Wu Kingdom.
263, The Wei Kingdom conquered the Shu Han Kingdom.
260, Nanjing University
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,
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 ina� series of pinprick raids. The Shu army was also hit by disease and
food shortages. Zhuge Liang himself
died in his camp. Demoralised, the Shu
army� began 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
221, Liu Bei, a Chinese
warlord who was related to the Han Dynasty, proclaimed
himself Emperor.The Shu Han Kingdom
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,
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
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;
in Shu, and Sun in Wu.
190, Accession of Xiandi, the last Han Emperor.
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
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.
58, Emperor Ming-Ti of China introduced Buddhism.
48, Guang Wu Di
re-established Chinese rule over Inner Mongolia.
27, The Red Eyebrow Movement
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
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.
4/10/23, 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 6/10/23. His attempts to
curb usury and promote social welfare had aroused considerable hostility.
17, China imposed a tax on
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.
10/1/9, Wang Mang assumed
the title of Emperor of China, replacing the Han Dynasty by the new H�sin Dynasty.
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
15/8/1 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.
27/8/7 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
17/4/7 BCE, Emperor
Chengdi of China died, without an heir.
28/11/8 BCE, Wang
Mang became Regent
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.
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
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
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
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 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 the� Chinese script, the system of weights and
measures, and the legal system, were standardised.
246 BCE, Zhao Zheng
succeeded 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.
287 BCE, China�s
northern States began building a defensive wall.
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.
479 BCE, Death of
Kung Fu-tse, Chinese philosopher (born 551 BCE).
27/9/551 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
771 BCE, The Zhou capital was moved east
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 resored 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
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.
Death of King
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
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
4000 BCE, Earliest evidence of Feng Shui
building practice in China. Certain dwellings and graves were aligned on
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
Many dates for China here
from �Why the West Rules � For Now�, Ian Morris, Profile Books, 2011
Back to top