China | People's Republic of China Is Established
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- People's Republic of China Is Established
- China Is Condemned for Poor Treatment of Tibetans
- President Nixon's Visit to China Establishes New Relations
- Student Demonstrators Are Killed at Tiananmen Square
- China Becomes an Economic Power, but Continues to Suppress Personal Liberties
- Natural Disasters Ravage China
- China Hosts a Successful Olympics
- Space Exploration, Government Reforms, and Military Crackdowns
- Tension Reignites with Asian Neighbors Over Islands
- Transfer of Power, Bo Xilai Sentenced to Life in Prison
- New Air Defense Zone Declared and Increased Tension with Vietnam
- Chinese Hackers Indicted by the United States
- China Signs Gas Accord with Russia, Faces Hong Kong Protests, Participates in South Sudan Mission
- China and U.S. Reach Landmark Agreement on Climate Change
- China, South Korea, and Japan Hold First Foreign Minister Talks in Three Years
- China Ends One-Child Policy, Meets with Taiwan for First Time in Sixty-Six years
People's Republic of China Is Established
Japan's surrender to the Western Allies in 1945 touched off civil war between the Kuomintang forces under Chiang and Communists led by Mao Zedong, who had been battling since the 1930s for control of China. Despite U.S. aid, the Kuomintang were overcome by the Soviet-supported Communists, and Chiang and his followers were forced to flee the mainland, establishing a government-in-exile on the island of Formosa (Taiwan). The Mao regime proclaimed the People's Republic of China on Oct. 1, 1949, with Beijing as the new capital and Zhou Enlai as premier.
After the Korean War began in June 1950, China led the Communist bloc in supporting North Korea, and on Nov. 26, 1950, the Mao regime sent troops to assist the North in its efforts to capture the South.
In an attempt to restructure China's primarily agrarian economy, Mao undertook the “Great Leap Forward” campaign in 1958, a disastrous program that aimed to combine the establishment of rural communes with a crash program of village industrialization. The Great Leap forced the abandonment of farming activities, leading to widespread famine in which more than 20 million people died of malnutrition.