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



  • February to March – Fifth National People’s Congress. Constitution of the People's Republic of China is revised to produce the third constitution since 1949. The new constitution guarantees freedom of speech and other freedoms.
  • March - In Taiwan, Chiang Ching-kuo is elected President by National Assembly of the Republic of China.
  • April – Central Committee calls for the removal of the rightist ‘label’ from those persecuted twenty years earlier in the anti-rightist campaign. Over 100,000 people would benefit; many had been in jail for years.
  • May - Practice is the only criterion for truth. An article in the Guangming Daily signifies Deng Xiaoping's course of reform and his deviation from Mao's doctrines.
  • November - The popular movement in Tiananmen Square suppressed in April 1976 is reclassified as revolutionary and acceptable.
  • November - End of communes. Peasants in a village in Anhui province make a secret agreement to divide up communal land without official authorization. This eventually results in an end to all communes in China.
  • December – The reform era is officially launched. People's Republic of China would concentrate on economic reform and the Four Modernizations: agriculture, industry, defense and science.
  • December - The Fifth Modernization. Using big-character posters in Beijing, Wei Jingsheng asks for the Fifth Modernization - democracy - in addition to the four modernizations. Wei would be arrested in March 1979.
  • December - Announcement is made to formalize relations between People's Republic of China and the United States on January 1979. The U.S. would sever diplomatic relations with Republic of China.
  • December - In Taiwan, the Republic of China postpones democratic elections.