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



  • January - End of unequal treaties. The United States and Britain sign new treaties with China as equals.
  • January – The German Sixth Army surrenders to Soviet forces at Stalingrad.
  • February - Soon Mayling, wife of Chiang Kai-shek, addresses the U.S. Congress.
  • March - In the Communist Party, Mao Zedong becomes chairman of both the Politburo and the Secretariat. Political cleansing continues. Thousands are arrested.
  • April – The Japanese attack Nationalist guerrilla forces in the area bordering Shanxi, Hebei and Henan provinces. The guerrilla bases suffer heavy losses and are eliminated.
  • April - Soviet Union agrees to withdraw troops from Xinjiang province.
  • April - Nationalist troops enter Xinjiang province.
  • May – In the Soviet Union, the Communist International is dissolved.
  • May – Axis forces in North Africa surrender.
  • April – A large Japanese force moves up the Yangtze from Hubei and Hunan provinces. The Japanese attack is beaten back.
  • June - Negotiations between Nationalists and Communists fail.
  • June - The U.S. State Department contemplates sending a mission to the Communists areas.
  • June - Operation Cartwheel. U.S. forces advance in the South Pacific.
  • July - Initial conception of Mao Zedong's Thought in the Communist Party.
  • July - In the Soviet Union,German forces defeated at the Battle of Kursk.
  • July – Allied forces land in Sicily.
  • July - Nationalist attacks on Communist bases in northwest China is called off.
  • August - Generals in eight provinces conspire to replace Chiang Kai-shek.
  • August - Most Nationalist forces in Shandong province eliminated by the Communists.
  • September - Italy surrenders.
  • September - Chiang Kai-shek requests replacement of Joseph Stilwell, but later reluctantly allows him to stay.
  • October - Chinese troops (the X Force) launch an attack from India into northern Burma. Engineers follow behind to build a road that would bring supplies to China.
  • November – Battle of Chengde. From November to December, Japanese forces attack Changde in Hunan province. The city is lost and recaptured after fierce battles. The Japanese suffer about 20,000 casualties, while the Chinese lose about 50,000 men.
  • November – The Cairo Declaration. Signed by the United States, Britain, and China, the declaration announces that Manchuria and Taiwan would be returned to China after the war.
  • November - The Tehran Conference. The United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union agree allied efforts would be concentrated on the war in Europe.