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



  • February –Hu Yaobang becomes general secretary of the Communist Party.
  • February - According to a Communist Party resolution, the Cultural Revolution caused severe damages to the country. Mao Zedong is determined to bear main responsibilities. However, Mao’s overall merits are considered to outweigh his mistakes. There is no mention of the Great Leap Forward and the massive famine that caused the deaths of tens of millions.
  • May - Shenzhen is declared the first Special Economic Zone.
  • May - Memorial service for Liu Shaoqi in Beijing.
  • September – In mainland China, the constitution is amended to restrict freedom of speech. Freedom to hang up wall posters, conduct debates, hold demonstrations, and the right to strike are abolished.
  • September – Zhao Ziyang replaces Hua Guofeng as premier of People’s Republic of China.
  • November to December – The Gang of Four are put on trial.
  • December - Hua Guofeng asks to resign as Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party. His resignation is officially announced in June 1981.
  • December - Democracy in Taiwan. First competitive elections in the Republic of China for the National Assembly and the Legislative Yuan.