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Timeline of Chinese history
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Timeline of Chinese history

The following is a timeline of the history of China:

For a summary table of the dynasties in Chinese history and their dates, check here.

Table of contents
1 Ancient China
2 Imperial China
3 Modern China
4 See also
5 Mnemonics
6 External links

Ancient China

Date Ruling entity King Events Other people/events
2500 BC Sanhuangwudi   This period is part of the Chinese mythology  
Xia Dynasty      
-1523 Shang Dynasty   First records of Chinese characters  
-1122 Zhou Dynasty King Wu of Zhou    
-771   End of Western Zhou  
-770   Beginning of Eastern Zhou  
-722   Spring and Autumn Period  
-551   Lao Zi
-551   Confucius
-403   Warring States Period  
-260   Battle of Changping

Imperial China

Date Ruling entity Emperor Events Other people/events
-255 Qin Dynasty    
-246 Qin Shi Huang Di  
-221 Start of construction of the Great Wall
-210 Burial of the Terracotta Army  
-202 Han Dynasty
(Western Han)
Han Gao Zu    
Xin Dynasty Wang Mang    
25 Han Dynasty
(Eastern Han)
105     Cai Lun, inventor of paper
106 Han Shangdi    
184   Yellow Turban Rebellion  
200   Battle of Guandu  
208   Battle of Red Cliff  
Three Kingdoms      
222 Cao Pi (Wei)
Liu Bei (Shu)
Sun Quan (Wu)
Battle of Yi Ling  
234 Battle of Wuzhang Plain  
250 Introduction of Buddhism in China  
Jin Dynasty      
291   War of the Eight Princes  
383   Battle of Feishui  
Southern and Northern Dynasties      
475   Bodhidharma arrives in China  
581 Sui Dynasty      
Tang Dynasty      
627 Li Shi Min    
635 First Christian missionaries arrive in China: Nestorian monks from Asia Minor and Persia, building Daqin Pagoda.  
684 Wu Ze Tian    
756   An Lushan Rebellion  
845   Mass persecution of Buddhism  
Five Dynasties
and Ten Kingdoms
Song Dynasty      
1214   Battle of Beijing  
1254     Marco Polo
1260 Kublai Khan  
1271 Yuan Dynasty  
1273 Battle of Xiangyang
1279 Battle of Yamen
1289 Franciscan friars begin mission work in China
Ming Dynasty Hongwu    
1371   Zheng He
1399 Jianwen  
1403 Yongle  
1406 Construction of the Forbidden City begins
1449   Battle of Tumu Fortress  
1516   First Portuguese settlement in Macau  
1556   Earthquake in Shaanxi and Gansu. 850,000 casualties  
1582   Jesuits begin mission work in China  
1616   Nurhaci founds the Qing Dynasty in Manchuria  
1619   Battle of Sarhu  
1627   First Manchu expedition to Korea  
1637   Second Manchu expedition to Korea  
Qing Dynasty Shunzhi    
1662 Kangxi    
1680 First Portuguese governor in Macau  
1711 The British East India Company establishes a trading post in Guangzhou  
1723 Yongzheng    
1793 Lord Macartney, first British envoy to Beijing  
1814 First recorded Chinese convert to Christianism  
1821 Daoguang    
1839 First Opium War  
1842 Treaty of Nanjing
1851 Xianfeng Taiping Rebellion  
1856 Second Opium War  
1858 Treaties of Tianjin
1860 Beijing Convention
1862 Tongzhi    
1875 Guangxu    
1876 Chefoo Convention  
1884 Franco-Chinese War  
1885 Battle of Foochow
1894 First Sino-Japanese War Battle of Yalu River
1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki
1898 Hundred Days' Reform Coup by Empress Dowager Cixi
1900 Boxer Rebellion  
1911 Wuchang Uprising  

Modern China

Date Ruling entity Head of State Events Other people/events
1912 Republic of China Sun Yat Sen    
Yuan Shikai    
1919   May Fourth Movement  
1921   Foundation Communist Party of China  
1926   Northern Expedition  
1927   Kuomintang-Communist split
  Nanchang Uprising
1931   Chinese Soviet Republic Mukden Incident
1932 Lin Sen Japan declares Manchukuo in Manchuria, independent from China
  Long March
1936 Xian incident Japan establishes the Mengjiang
1937 Second Sino-Japanese War Marco Polo Bridge Incident
Battle of Nanjing
1938 Battle of Tai er zhuang
1940 Battle of Hundred Regiments
Chiang Kai-Shek  
1945 The nationalist government is one of the founding members of the UN
1947 February 28 Incident  
1949 Kuomintang retreats to Taiwan  
1971 The PRC replaces the ROC as a permanent member of the UN Security Council  
Yen Chia-jin    
Chiang Ching-Kuo    
1979 Taiwan Relations Act passed by the United States Congress  
Lee Teng-hui    
1996 Large PRC military maneuvers in Taiwan Strait ROC Presidential Election 1996
2000 ROC Presidential Election 2000  
Chen Shui-bian    
2001 Accession to World Trade Organization  
2003 SARS outbreak  
2004 ROC Presidential Election 2004  
1949 People's Republic of China Mao Zedong Founding of the People's Republic of China  
1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir Korean War
1951 Occupation of Tibet
1956 Hundred Flowers campaign  
1958 Great Leap Forward  
1959 Three Years of Natural Disasters
Sino-Soviet split
1962 Sino-Indian War  
1964 State Council decrees it is acceptable to abbreviate most characters listed in the Plan for Character Simplification The PRC detonates its first atomic bomb
1966 Cultural Revolution The Little Red Book
1969 Opening of the first subway line in Beijing: 17 stations
1970 First satellite launch, using Long March rocket  
1971 The PRC replaces the ROC as a permanent member of the UN Security Council  
1972 Richard Nixon visits China. Shanghai Communiqué  
1974 Discovery of the Terracotta Army  
1976 Tiananmen incident Death of Zhou Enlai
Hua Guofeng of Deng Xiaoping Period    
1977 Beijing Spring  
1978 Start of Chinese economic reforms Democracy Wall Movement
1979 One child policy
USA and PRC establish full diplomatic relations Visit of Deng Xiaoping to Washington, D.C
Border-war with Vietnam  
1980 First Special Economic Zones Trial of the Gang of Four
Hu Yaobang of Deng Xiaoping Period    
1984 Margaret Thatcher in China, signs Sino-British Joint Declaration, to handover of Hong Kong to the PRC in 1997  
Zhao Ziyang of Deng Xiaoping Period    
1989 Tiananmen Square protests of 1989  
Jiang Zemin of Deng Xiaoping Period  
1991 First McDonald's restaurant in Beijing  
1996 Large PRC military maneuvers in Taiwan Strait  
1997 Hong Kong handover, becomes a Special Administrative Region Death of Deng Xiaoping
1999 Macau handover  
2000 The PRC passes Japan as the country with which the USA has the largest trade deficit  
2001 Accession to World Trade Organization Beijing elected to hold the 2008 Summer Olympics
2002 16th Party Congress  
2003 Hu Jintao SARS outbreak Shenzhou 5, PRC's first manned space mission

See also


三皇五帝夏商周 sān huáng wǔ dì xià shāng zhōu
春秋戰國秦漢流 chūn qiū zhàn guó qín hàn liú
三國魏晉南北隋 sān guó wèi jìn nán běi suí
唐宋元明清民收 táng sòng yuán míng qīng mín shōu

(Compare with British monarchs mnemonics)

External links