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



  • January – Second communiqué between the PRC and the U.S. The United States establishes diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. The U.S. recognizes that there is only one China. Taiwan is part of China. The U.S. would end diplomatic relations with the Republic of China.
  • January – Deng Xiaoping visits the United States. The United States extends most-favored-nation status in trade to the People's Republic of China.
  • February – The People's Republic of China invades Vietnam. Chinese troops would withdraw in just one month.
  • February - In Taiwan, the United States closes its embassy in the Republic of China.
  • March - In mainland China, Wei Jingsheng is arrested for proposing democracy.
  • March - Deng Xiaoping introduces the Four Principles: keep to the socialist road, uphold the dictatorship of the proletariat, uphold the leadership of the Communist Party, and uphold Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought.
  • April - United States adopts the Taiwan Relations Act, providing support for the Republic of China.
  • July - Beijing government passes new laws to attract foreign investments.
  • October - Wei Jingshen is sentenced to 15 years in prison. Wei would be released in 1993 and expelled to the United States in 1997.
  • December - Democracy Wall in Beijing is closed down.
  • December - Formosa Magazine incident. In Kaoshsiung, leaders of the opposition are arrested for commemorating Human Rights Day. Years later, many of the arrested would become influential political figures in Taiwan.