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

  • January - Agreement reached for Richard Nixon's visit to China.
  • March – Outline of Project 571. Detailed plan of a coup to overthrow Mao Zedong is drawn up by Lin Biao's son Lin Liguo.
  • April – Ping Pong Diplomacy. Beijing indicates the American table-tennis team would be allowed to play friendly matches in China.
  • June – Last public appearance of Lin Biao.
  • July - Henry Kissinger secretly visits Beijing.
  • July – Announcement of Richard Nixon’s plan to visit China in February 1972.
  • September – Lin Biao killed in a coup. Lin's aircraft crashes in the Mongolian People’s Republic, on its way to the Soviet Union.
  • October – People’s Republic of China replaces Republic of China as sole representative of China at the United Nations.
  • November - Deng Xiaoping writes a letter of support to Mao Zedong.