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

  • January - Communist Party issues a directive to set the rural economy free. Prices of agricultural goods are allowed to float on the free market.
  • February - Three economic zones are set up at the Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta and Xiamen.
  • March – Economic scandal in Hainan Island. Large scale smuggling of cars involving many corrupt officials is revealed.
  • March - Liu Binyan publishes A Second Kind of Loyalty, praising those Communists who dare to criticize the Party. Liu would later be expelled from the Party in 1987.
  • March – Thousands of elderly officers retire from the People's Liberation Army.
  • April – Beijing government announces plans to lay off a significant portion of the armed forces.
  • May - Hu Yaobang gives interview to Hong Kong journalists criticizing conservative members of Party leadership.
  • October - Deng Xiaoping indicates that some portions of the Chinese population should be allowed to get rich first.