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



  • January - Fourth National People's Congress. Zhou Enlai reaffirms the Four Modernization program to modernize agriculture, industry, defense and science. Deng Xiaoping becomes vice premier and vice chairman of the Military Affairs Commission. Mao Zedong does not attend.
  • February - Zhou Enlai becomes seriously ill. Deng Xiaoping takes over many of Zhou's responsibilities.
  • April - Chiang Kai-shek dies in Taiwan.
  • April - Communist forces captures Saigon, capital city of South Vietnam.
  • May – Last Politburo meeting chaired by Mao Zedong. The Gang of Four is denounced.
  • June – Zhou Enlai’s last public appearance.
  • June - Jiang Qing submits a written self-criticism to the Politburo and admits to the existence of a “Gang of Four.”