China: History

  1. 221 BC

    Most of China becomes united for the first time under King Ying Zheng. During his reign, the first Great Wall of China is built.

  2. 1271

    Mongols conquer China and rule until 1368. Beijing becomes the capital.

  3. 1368

    The Ming Dynasty overthrows the Mongols and establishes a sophisticated agricultural economy and a strong, centralized bureaucracy.

  4. 1842

    After losing the First Opium War, China cedes Hong Kong to the British, and Western countries are given special commercial privileges.

  5. 1899

    The Boxer Rebellion begins in Northern China as an anti-foreigner movement and aims to re-establish traditional rule. This effort is thwarted by Western powers, including Russia and Japan, who extract further concessions from the weakened government. 

  6. 1911

    A military revolt leads to the end of the Qing monarchy and the formation of a republic.

  7. 1949

    The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) conquers most of the country, forcing the Kuomintang (KMT) to move to Taiwan, where the KMT establishes a provisional government called the Republic of China.

  8. 1958

    The government introduces the "Great Leap Forward", which is a five year program through which farming is victorious and leader Mao Zedong proclaims the founding of the People's Republic of China.

  9. 1979

    The government introduces a one-child policy to try to slow population growth.

  10. 1986-1990

    China's "Open-Door policy" opens the nation to foreign investment and encourages the development of a market economy and the private sector.

  11. 1989

    Stock markets open in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

  12. 1994

    China abolished the official renminbi (RMB) currency exchange rate and fixes its first floating rate since 1949.

  13. 1997

    Hong Kong reverts to Chinese rule after 150 years under British control.

  14. 2004

    China signs a trade agreement with 10 southeast Asian countries.

  15. 2006

    The controversial Three Gorges Dam project is completed. It is the world’s largest hydropower project.

  16. 2008

    China introduces a $586 billion stimulus package to combat the effects of a slowing global economy.

  17. 2010

    China overtakes Germany as the world's largest exporter.

  18. 2015

    China abandoned its 35-year old one child policy, raising the limit on families to raising two children.

  19. 2015

    China's economic growth drops to its lowest in 25 years to 6.7%. One of the major drivers for the significant drop in growth is the decreasing demand for raw materials from China in the world markets.


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