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Objective chronological listing of significant events leading up to modern China.



  • January – Meeting in Zunyi. The First Red Army reaches the town of Zunyi in Guizhou province and joins up with the Fourth Red Army. With only about 40,000 troops, the First Red Army had lost about half its strength since leaving Ruijin. Mao Zedong begins to gain control of the Party. Communist Party adopts Mao’s military and political strategies.
  • January - Communist army in Guizhou province moves towards Sichuan province.
  • January - Troops loyal to Nanjing government enter northern Sichuan from Hubei province.
  • January - Communists defeated by troops of Sichuan faction in an attempt to cross the Yangtze.
  • February - Communists turn back east and recapture Zunyi. First major victory after leaving Ruijin.
  • March - Germany begins to rearm.
  • April – Communist forces enter Yunnan province, followed by Nationalist troops loyal to Nanjing.
  • May – Communist forces cross the Golden Sand River into Sichuan province.
  • May - At a meeting of the Politburo, Mao Zedong becomes leader of the Communist army.
  • June - Communist army led by Mao Zedong links up with troops led by Zhang Guotao in the mountains west of Chengdu. Mao has about 20,000 troops and Zhang has over 60,000.
  • June - Communist leadership decides to advance north.
  • June - Under Japanese pressure, the provinces of Hebei and Chahar become de facto autonomous regions. Chinese troops withdraw from those regions.
  • July - Comintern Congress in the Soviet Union calls for a worldwide united front against facism.
  • August - In Moscow, representatives of the Chinese Communist Party calls for a united front in China against Japan. No mention of overthrowing the Nanjing government.
  • August - Disagreements between Mao Zedong and Zhang Guotao. Communist forces decide to split up in their advance north.
  • August - Communist troops led by Zhang Guotao turn back south.
  • September – In the British colony of Hong Kong, Nationalists and Communists begin secret negotiations to form a united front against Japan.
  • September - Communist force led by Mao Zedong reach Gansu province with just over 10,000 troops.
  • October – Italy invades Ethiopia.
  • October - Zhang Gutao attempts to establish a Communist Central in Sichuan province separate from Mao Zedong.
  • October - End of the Long March. Mao Zedong enters northern Shaanxi province with less than 10,000 troops and meet up with local Communist forces.
  • October – Chiang Kai-shek proposes a secret military treaty with the Soviet Union against Japan.
  • November - Communist leadership in Shaanxi province re-establish radio contact with Moscow.
  • December - Wayaopao Resolution. The Chinese Communist Party resolves to form a United Front with the Nationalists in a war against Japan.