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

  • Mongols conquer China and rule until 1368. Beijing becomes the capital.
  • The Ming Dynasty overthrows the Mongols and establishes a sophisticated agricultural economy and a strong, centralized bureaucracy.

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

  • 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. 

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

  • The government introduces a one-child policy to try to slow population growth.
  • China's "Open-Door policy" opens the nation to foreign investment and encourages the development of a market economy and the private sector.

  • Stock markets open in Shanghai and Shenzhen.
  • China abolished the official renminbi (RMB) currency exchange rate and fixes its first floating rate since 1949.

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

  • China signs a trade agreement with 10 southeast Asian countries.
  • The controversial Three Gorges Dam project is completed. It is the world’s largest hydropower project.
  • China introduces a $586 billion stimulus package to combat the effects of a slowing global economy.

  • China overtakes Germany as the world's largest exporter.

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

  • 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.

  •  The government passes a new cyber security law, giving it more control over the data of foreign and domestic firms.

  • National People's Congress annual legislative meeting votes to remove a two-term limit on the presidency from the constitution, allowing Xi Jinping to remain in office for longer than the conventional decade for recent Chinese leaders.

  • China announces it will impose 25% trade tariffs on a list of 106 US goods, including soybeans, cars, and orange juice, in retaliation for similar US tariffs on about 1,300 Chinese products.

  • Hong Kong sees start of months of anti-government and pro-democracy protests, involving violent clashes with police, against a proposal to allow extradition to mainland China.

  • Outbreak of Covid-19 coronavirus in Hubei province spreads worldwide.


BBC News open_in_new
Britannica open_in_new