March - Lee Teng-hui becomes Vice President of Republic of China when Chiang Ching-kuo is re-elected President by the National Assembly.
April – Fourteen coastal cities of the People's Republic of China are opened for preferential treatment of foreign investors: Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Dalian, Qinhuangdao, Yantai, Qiangdao, Lianyungang, Nantong, Ningbo, Wenzhou, Fuzhou, Zhanjiang, and Beihai.
May – At the National People’s Congress, the concept of “one country – two systems” becomes fundamental state policy.
July – First British “green paper” announcing indirect partial elections of the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, a British colony.
October – Chinese Communist Party decides to reduce the number of state enterprises. Market economy would be emphasized.
November - Hu Yaobang states that Marxism is not the solution to all of China's problems.
December – Joint Declaration signed between the People’s Republic of China and Great Britain concerning the future of Hong Kong. China will resume sovereignty on July 1, 1997. Hong Kong’s social and economic system will be maintained. Hong Kong would become a special administrative region with a high degree of autonomy.