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

  • January - Large numbers of Nationalist troops and officials begin to retreat to Taiwan.
  • January - Nationalist troops in Tianjin surrender.
  • January - George Marshall resigns as Secretary of State of the United States. Marshall is replaced by Dean Acheson.
  • January - Chiang Kai-shek withdraws from his office of the president. Chiang names Li Zongren acting president.
  • January - Commander of Nationalist forces in Beijing turns over the city peacefully to the Communists.
  • January - Nationalist government moves from Nanjing to Guangzhou. Most foreign ambassadors choose to stay in Nanjing.
  • February – Chiang Kai-shek orders the remainder of the government’s gold reserves transferred to Taiwan.
  • February – Li Zongren attempts to negotiate with the Communists from Nanjing.
  • March – Mao Zedong arrives in Beijing.
  • April - First stage of a three stage land reform in Taiwan. Land rent is limited to 37.5 percent of the annual yield of the main crops.
  • April– Negotiations between the Nanjing government and the Communists begin in Beijing. Agreement cannot be reached.
  • April – Communist forces cross the Yangtze River.
  • April - Negotiating team from Nanjing defects to the Communists. Li Zongren leaves Nanjing and goes to Guilin in Guangxi province.
  • April - Communist forces capture Nationalist capital Nanjing.
  • May - Implementation of martial law in Taiwan. Martial law would not be lifted until 1987.
  • May – Communist forces enter Shanghai. There is no resistance.
  • June - Provincial government in Taiwan issues the New Taiwan (NT) dollar.
  • June – Mao Zedong publishes his essay “On the People’s Democratic Dictatorship.” China will be an ally of the Soviet Union. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union is the best model.
  • July - U.S. vice consul in Shanghai is beaten by the police and dies in detention.
  • August - U.S. Ambassador Stuart leaves China.
  • August – The United States issues the White Paper on U.S.-China policy.
  • September - The Republic of China files a formal complaint at the United Nations against the Soviet Union for supporting the communist insurrection, in violation of the Sino-Soviet Treaty of 1945.
  • October - The People’s Republic of China is established.
  • October - The Soviet Union recognizes the People's Republic of China.
  • October - The People's Republic of China recognizes Outer Mongolia as an independent country.
  • October – Nationalist forces succeed in defending the island of Jinmen (Quemoy), ensuring Nationalist control of Taiwan.
  • November - Li Zhongren goes to the United States via Hong Kong.
  • December - Nationalist government moves capital of the Republic of China to Taipei, Taiwan.
  • December - Chiang Kai-shek arrives in Taipei.
  • December - Mao Zedong arrives in Moscow to meet with Stalin.