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.