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



  • January - Hu Yaobang submits his resignation as General Secretary of the Communist Party. Hu is accused of tolerating spiritual pollution, opposing leftism, contributing to total Westernization, and encouraging consumer demand. Zhao Zhiyang becomes Acting Secretary General. Li Peng becomes Premier.
  • January - The Communist Party launches the anti-liberalization campaign.
  • January - Fang Lizhi, vice-president of the University of Science and Technology, is removed from his post. Fang is also expelled from the Communist Party.
  • January - Liu Binyan is expelled from the Communist Party.
  • July - Martial law revoked in Taiwan. Martial law was put in place in 1949, on the eve of Communist takeover of the mainland.
  • August - Wu Zuguang and other intellectuals are asked to resign from the Communist Party.
  • August - Rampant inflation in mainland China.
  • October to November – Thirteenth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. China is declared to be at the initial stage of socialism in which market reforms are permitted. Zhao Ziyang highlights the idea of continuing economic reform while holding up the Four Cardinal Principles. Deng Xiaoping is opposed to political reform.
  • November - Students in many mainland cities demonstrate against corruption and ask for democracy.
  • November - Taipei government lifts ban on traveling from Taiwan to mainland China.