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



  • January - Zhou Enlai travels from Xi'an to Chongqing for negotiations. The Communist Party calls for the formation of a coalition government.
  • January - Chinese forces from India (X Force) and China (Y Force) join up at Muse, Burma. Road transport from India to China is open.
  • February – Yalta Agreement. Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin meet at Yalta in Soviet Crimea. In exchange for joining the war against Japan, the Soviet Union would reclaim privileges in Manchuria including the use of ports and railroads . Outer Mongolia would be recognized as an independent state. Details of the agreement not disclosed to the Chinese government until June.
  • February – U.S. forces capture Manila.
  • March - Negotiations between the Communists and Nationalists to form a coalition government end in failure.
  • March - Japanese launch last ditch effort to capture airbases in central China. After two months of fighting, the effort ends with limited success.
  • April - The Soviet Union breaks neutrality pact with Japan.
  • April - U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt dies of illness.
  • April - Seventh Congress of the Communist Party. Mao Zedong becomes absolute leader. The Party now commands an armed force of about one million in Communist controlled areas. The Congress calls for the formation of a coalition government with the Nationalists and free elections.
  • May – May Fourth Directive of the Chinese Communist Party on land reform. Land is to be transferred from landlords and rich peasants to peasants who do not own land.
  • May – Sixth Party Congress of the Nationalist Party. The Congress passes resolution to end political tutelage and one-party rule, elections and legalization of all political parties. Rejects Communist requests for a coalition government.
  • May – Germany surrenders to the Allies.
  • May - Chinese troops begin an offensive in Guangxi province as the Japanese retreat north. For the first time in the war, the Chinese have military superiority over the Japanese.
  • June - China is informed of details of the Yalta agreement reached in February among the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union. China objects to the agreement.
  • June - Nationalist and Communist forces clash in various parts of China.
  • June - In San Francisco, the Republic of China is the first country to sign the United Nations Charter.
  • August 6 – The United States drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.
  • August 8 – The Soviet Union declares war on Japan.
  • August 9 - 1.5 million Soviet and Mongolian troops launch an attack into Manchuria shortly after midnight.
  • August 9 – The United States drops a second atomic bomb over Nagasaki, Japan.
  • August 10 - Japan agrees to surrender.
  • August 10 - Communist forces launch attacks to occupy territories in northern and central China.
  • August 11 – Communist forces move towards Manchuria to link up with the Soviet army.
  • August 14 – The Sino-Soviet Treaty. China accepts terms of the Yalta Agreement. Outer Mongolia would be recognized as an independent state. Soviet Union would not interfere in Manchuria. Soviet troops would leave Manchuria in three months. The treaty would be nullified in 1952 by the Republic of China for Soviet support of the Communists in the Chinese civil war.
  • August 15 – Emperor Hirohito announces the Japanese surrender.
  • August 28 – Mao Zedong goes to Chongqing for talks with Chiang Kai-Shek.
  • September - Formal surrender of Japanese troops in Nanjing. Over one million Japanese troops are stationed in China at the time.    Throughout the eight-year war, the Chinese military suffered over three million casualties (mostly Nationalists) including the deaths of 268 generals (one Communist). Incalculable numbers of civilians were killed.
  • September - Nationalist troops transported by U.S. planes to Beijing and Tianjin.
  • September - U.S. troops land in Tianjin.
  • October - U.S. troops land in Qingdao.
  • October – The Nationalists and the Communists issue a communiqué. The two sides agree to establish a political democracy, unify China’s armed forces under Chiang Kai-shek, and convene a political consultative conference to establish a democratic government.
  • October –Soviet officers in Manchuria deny Nationalist troops permission to land in Dalian and Port Arthur, citing the Yalta Agreement.
  • October - Transported by the U.S. Navy, Nationalist troops land in Taiwan, a Japanese colony since 1895.
  • October - Assisted by the U.S., Nationalist troops land in Qinhuangdao, south of the Manchurian border and begin an advance up north, encountering Communist resistance along the way.
  • November – In Manchuria, 2,000 Communist troops allowed into Changchun by the Soviet army.
  • November - Over 100,000 Communist troops attack Nationalist controlled cities in Shandong province.
  • November - U.S. Ambassador to China Patrick Hurley resigns, citing disagreements with the State Department over the situation in China.
  • December – George Marshall arrives from the U.S. as mediator between the Nationalists and the Communists.