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



  • January - Mao Zedong publishes "On The New Democracy" - vision for a New China.
  • January - Clash of Nationalist troops (Shanxi faction) and Communists in Shanxi province.
  • February - Communists defeat Nationalist troops in Hebei province.
  • March – Wang Jingwei establishes a national government in Nanjing as an alternative to the Nationalist government in Chongqing.
  • April – Communist forces are ordered to expand and set up new bases freely, independent of the Nationalist government.
  • May – Germany attacks Belgium and France.
  • May – Soviet pilots fighting in China return to the Soviet Union.
  • June – After intense fighting involving 200,000 Japanese troops, the Japanese capture Yichang, gateway of river transport into Sichuan province.
  • June - France surrenders to Germany. Colonial government cuts off supply route from Vietnam into China.
  • July - Demanded by Japan, Britain shuts off supplies into China through Burma. The Burma road would be reopened after Japan signs the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy in September.
  • August – Operation 100 Regiments. In Shanxi and Hebei provinces, Communist forces launch an attack by 104 regiments in Japanese occupied territories. The Japanese retaliated by adopting the “kill all, burn all, destroy all” strategy. This is the second of the only two major engagements against the Japanese by the Communists in the war. It is later criticized by Party leaders for exposing the strength of Communists forces and would be the last major attack by the Communists before the war ends.
  • August - Communists drive out Nationalist gorilla forces in Shandong province.
  • September - Japanese troops allowed into northern part of Vietnam.
  • September - Soviet Union refuses requests for arms shipment from the U.S. into China via Vladivostok.
  • September - Japan signs the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy.
  • October - In central China, the Communist New Fourth Army establishes a base in northern Jiangsu province by eliminating over 10,000 Nationalist troops.
  • October – Nationalist government orders all Communist troops, both the New Fourth and the Eighth Route armies, to concentrate north of the Yellow River. The order is not obeyed.
  • December - Communists agree to move the New Fourth Army north of the Yangtze River, but disagree on the route.