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MODERN HISTORY OF CHINA

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

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  • May – The Cultural Revolution Group is set up.
  • May – May Seventh Cadre Schools. Mao Zedong calls for the re-education of the intellectuals by the workers, peasants and soldiers.
  • May - The May 16 Circular is issued by the Communist Party Central Committee. Official beginning of the Cultural Revolution. The Cultural Revolution would last ten years, affect millions of people and lead to the deaths of tens of thousands of people.
  • May - The first Red Guard units are established in Beijing.
  • June – All classes are suspended so students can devote themselves to the Cultural Revolution.
  • July - Mao Zedong swims in the Yangtze River. The well-publicized event signifies Mao's return to power.
  • July - Professors and teachers in Beijing publicly humiliated by Red Guards.
  • August – Cultural Revolution Group becomes the supreme ruling body of the Chinese Communist Party, supplanting the Political Bureau.
  • August - 16 point directive calls for overthrow of those in authority taking the capitalist road.
  • August – Lin Biao becomes sole vice chairman of the Central Committee. Mao Zedong announces his support of the Red Guards. Liu Shaoqi relegated to eighth place in the Committee.
  • August – A million students and teachers attend the first mass rally in Tiananmen Square. Mao personally greets the students. Lin Biao makes the speech to destroy the four olds: old ideas, old culture, old customs, and old habits of the exploiting classes.
  • August - Cultural icons are publicly humiliated. The famous writer Lao She commits suicide.
  • October - Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping forced to make self-criticisms.
  • November – Students and teachers destroy thousands of cultural artifacts at the Confucius Temple in Qufu, Shandong province.
  • December - In Taiwan, the first export processing zone is established in Kaohsiung.
  • December – First large-scale demonstration in Beijing in which Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping are publicly denounced.
  • December – “Kangping Road incident” in Shanghai. Beginning of nationwide violence.

1966