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



  • Early 1956 - Nationalization of industry and commerce in the People's Republic of China is completed.
  • February – Joseph Stalin is denounced in the Soviet Union. Khrushchev criticizes the personal cult and crimes of Joseph Stalin. Significant divergences between the Soviet and Chinese communist parties.
  • Spring - Nearly all peasant households in mainland China are now living on collective farms.
  • April - The Chinese Communist Party publishes a response to Khrushchev's criticism of Joseph Stalin.
  • May –Hundred Flowers movement.  To encourage criticism of the Communist Party, Mao Zedong makes a speech to let a hundred flowers bloom and let a hundred schools contend.
  • September – Eighth Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. Reference to Mao Zedong Thought is deleted. Emphasis on economic progress. Considered the culmination of the initial  ‘golden years’ of the People's Republic of China. Many post-1978 policies of the Party are a direct continuation of those advocated in 1956.
  • November – Soviet troops invade Hungary to prevent the country from leaving the Warsaw Pact.