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



  • January - Taipei government permits freedom of the press.
  • January – Chiang Ching-kuo dies in Taiwan. Lee Teng-hui succeeds as President of Republic of China.
  • March – In Beijing, National People’s Congress passes laws and regulations on private enterprises. The Congress also amends the constitution regarding land use rights.
  • March - At the National People's Congress, Hainan island, one of the most corrupt provinces, is permitted to become a Special Economic Zone.
  • April - Li Peng replaces Zhao Ziyang as Premier of the People's Republic of China. Zhao remains General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party.
  • May - Zhao Ziyang proposes significant price reforms. Rumors of pending price hikes and high inflation cause widespread panic buying in mainland China.
  • July - Lee Teng-hui elected chairman of the Nationalist Party.
  • September - Zhao Ziyang reverses his decision on price reforms
  • November - Liu Xiaobo publishes an article severely criticizing Mao Zedong, calling Mao a monster. Liu supports democracy, human rights and peaceful reform of the Beijing government. Liu would be arrested in 2009 for his role in proposing the Charter 08 manifesto. After being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 while in prison, Liu would die from illness in captivity at a hospital in 2017.
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