February - Mao Zedong gives the speech ‘On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People’, inviting criticism of the the Communist Party.
May – The first ‘big character’ poster appears on a college campus in Beijing. Some posters criticize the government and advocate democracy and freedom. Intellectuals speak out with volume and intensity.
June – The Hundred Flowers campaign is terminated. The Anti-Rightist campaign is launched. Deng Xiaoping is put in charge of suppression. Challenging the Communist Party is prohibited. Many students and intellectuals are sent to do hard labor. Thousands would not be released until 1978.
September - At the Third Plenum of the Central Committee, initial decisions are made to launch the Great Leap Forward of economic and industrial developments.
October – The Greater, Faster, Better and More Economical campaign. Millions of peasants are mobilized to participate in a gigantic program of water conservation and other public works.
October - Soviet Union launches the satellite Sputnik.
October - Secret agreement for the Soviet Union to help the People's Republic of China develop their own atomic bomb.
November - While attending celebrations of the Bolshevik Revolution in Moscow, Mao Zedong announces his support of the Soviet Union as leader of the communist camp.