Skip to content

Seven decades of communism in China

September 30, 2019

BEIJING, Sep. 30 (Reuters / EP) –

China will commemorate on October 1 its 70th anniversary as a People's Republic, seven decades in which, always under the baton of the Communist Party (CCP), it has moved from Marxism-Leninism to a consumer society through heartbreaking social changes. Now, he faces a new era with the rise and subsequent enthronement of Xi Jinping. Next, we review historical landmarks since 1949.

– 1949: Mao Tse Tung proclaims the People's Republic of China on October 1 in Beijing. The defeated Chiang Kai Shek nationalist government flees to Taiwan in December.

– 1950-1953: China supports North Korea against South Korea, backed by the United States, in the Korean War. At least 100,000 Chinese “volunteers” die.

– 1957: The Anti-Rightist Movement purges intellectuals and reformists who have liberal economic and political ideas. Veteran communists are later refined for opposing the Great Leap Forward.

– 1958-1961: The Great Leap Forward attempts to catapult China into the modern industrial era through the collectivization of agriculture and steelmaking in people's courtyards. An estimated 30 million people, mostly peasants, starve to death.

– 1959: Chinese troops crush an uprising in Lhasa after widespread resistance in Tibet against forced collectivization. The Dalai Lama flees to India, where he continues.

– 1966-1976: The Cultural Revolution unleashes the Red Guards teenagers, who with a fanatical devotion to Mao set out to destroy all the vestiges of China's “feudal” culture. The country disintegrates until almost anarchy before young people leave the countryside to “learn from the peasants.”

– 1971: The People's Republic of China joins the United Nations, displacing the Government of Taiwan, led by the Kuomintang nationalists, who until then had held the position of China.

– 1972: The president of the United States, Richard Nixon, makes a significant visit to China in the context of the Cold War.

– 1976: Mao dies. Members of the Veterans Party resist an attempt to take power from his wife, paving the way for Deng Xiaoping to take office.

– 1978: The “reform and opening” policy revives agriculture and farmers recover the right to cultivate their own plots. Over the next decade, food shortages disappear and foreign investment begins.

– 1978-1979: Posters of the 'Wall of Democracy' support political reform.

– 1979: The United States and China reestablish their diplomatic relations.

– 1985: China registers for the first time a trade surplus with the United States.

– 1989: Students and workers protest the political reform and against the cost of living in Tiananmen Square for weeks before the Army crushed the movement on June 4, killing hundreds, if not more, since still There is no conclusive balance.

– 1992: Deng revives the economic reform with his trip to the South.

– 1997: Deng dies and the British colony of Hong Kong returns to Chinese sovereignty. The tiny Macao, directed by the Portuguese, follows suit two years later.

– 1998: The financial crisis in Asia coincides with the reform of state-owned companies, leaving 30 million people without work.

– 2001: China joins the World Trade Organization (WTO).

– 2008: Protests erupt throughout the Tibetan plateau after the deadly riots of Lhasa, which triggers a repression against the Himalayan territory On August 8 of that year the Beijing Olympics kick off.

– 2009: Ethnic disturbances in the far western region of Xinjiang leave 197 people dead.

– 2012: Xi Jinping becomes the new head of the CCP, which catapults the Presidency of China the following year, starting a fight against corruption and critical movements, with dozens of senior officials imprisoned for bribes and activists jailed for subversion.

– 2013: Xi presents an economic initiative to recreate the old Silk Road, now called the Strip and Silk Road Initiative.

– 2013: China imprisons Bo Xilai, once the meteoric star of the CCP, for a corruption scandal that was uncovered by the murder of a British businessman at the hands of his wife.

– 2014: The hongkoneses rise in their first movement in favor of democracy since their return to China with the Umbrella Revolution, in which many wanted to see the Arab Spring of the Asian giant.

– 2015: The feared former head of national security Zhou Yongkang is jailed for life for crimes such as corruption and leaking state secrets.

– 2017: The president of the United States, Donald Trump, visits Beijing, but the following year the two countries embark on a trade war, which highlights the deterioration of ties between the two largest economies in the world.

– 2018: China changes its Constitution to include the socialist doctrine with Chinese characteristics of Xi and eliminate the limitation of mandates, which means that it can remain president until his death.

– 2019: Massive protests – and sometimes violent ones – in Hong Kong against a bill of extradition to mainland China are transformed into a new demand for political openness.