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

  • February – On the border between Siberia and Manchuria, Japanese and Manchuko troops attack the Soviet Union but are defeated.
  • February - Communist troops in northern Shaanix advance east into Shanxi province, defeating troops of the Shanxi faction.
  • February - Soviet government in Shaanxi calls for an end to the Nationalist one-party dictatorship in a united effort to fight the Japanese.
  • February – A new regime in Tokyo proclaims a foreign policy that promotes Japanese dominance of all Asia.
  • March - Nanjing government institutes military draft.
  • March - Nationalist troops (Northeast faction) in Shaanxi reach ceasefire agreement with the Communists.
  • March - Counteroffensive by Shanxi troops turn back the Communists.
  • March - Mutual Defense Pact between Soviet Union and Outer Mongolia. The Soviet Union would defend Outer Mongolia in case of a Japanese attack.
  • April - Chinese government protests the Mutual Defense Pact between Soviet Union and Outer Mongolia.
  • May - Nanjing government announces a draft constitution.
  • June – Guangdong and Guangxi factions rebel against the Nanjing government.
  • July - Nanjing government mobilizes massive force against Guangdong and Guangxi provinces.
  • July - Chen Jidang (leader of Guangdong faction) steps down. Nanjing gains control of Guangdong province.
  • August - Communist Party expresses willingness to join the Nationalists in creating a democratic republic.
  • September - Li Zhongren (leader of Guangxi faction) accepts assignment from Nanjing. Nanjing gains control of Guangxi province.
  • September - Talks begin between the Nationalists and Communists to form a united front against Japan.
  • November – Japan and Germany sign the Anti-Comintern Pact.
  • October - Communist troops led by Zhang Guotao meet up with Mao Zedong's troops in Ganzu province. The entire Communist army in northwest China now number about 90,000.
  • November - Zhang Xueliang notifies Chiang Kai-shek that Nationalist troops (Northeast faction) under his command in Shaanxi province may be unreliable. Zhang asks Chiang to visit Xi'an to discuss ending the anti-Communist campaign.
  • December – Xi’an Incident. After arriving in Xi'an, Chiang Kai-shek is detained by Zhang Xueliang. After negotiations involving the Soviet Union, the Chinese Communists and the Nationalist leaders, Chiang is released on December 25. A condition of Chiang’s release is that the Nationalists would end civil war against the Communists and form a united front against Japan.