Timeline of Chinese history

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This is a timeline of Chinese history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in China and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of China. See also the list of rulers of China, dynasties in Chinese history and years in China.

Dates prior to 841 BC, the beginning of the Gonghe Regency, are provisional and subject to dispute.

Prehistoric China[edit]

Year Date Event
780000 BC Peking Man died in modern Zhoukoudian.
20000 BC Pottery was used in Xianren Cave.[1]
7600 BC The Zhenpiyan culture appeared.
Pigs were first domesticated in China.[2]
7500 BC The Pengtoushan culture appeared.
Rice was first domesticated in China.
7000 BC The Peiligang culture appeared.
6600 BC The Jiahu symbols were first used at Jiahu.
6500 BC The Cishan culture appeared.
6000 BC Dogs were first domesticated in China.[2]
Cows were first domesticated in China.[2]
5000 BC The Baijia culture appeared.
Oxen were first domesticated in China.[2]
Sheep were first domesticated in China.[2]
4500 BC The Hemudu culture died out.
4000 BC Symbols were carved into pottery at Banpo.
3630 BC Silk was invented by the Yangshao culture.

Centuries: 30th BC · 29th BC · 28th BC · 27th BC · 26th BC · 25th BC · 24th BC · 23rd BC · 22nd BC · 21st BC

30th century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
3000 BC The Longshan culture appeared.
Water buffalo were first domesticated in China.
The plow was first used in China.

29th century BC[edit]

28th century BC[edit]

27th century BC[edit]

26th century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
2570 BC Silk was produced by the Liangzhu culture.

25th century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
2500 BC Battle of Banquan: The forces of Shennong were repelled by a force of tribes allied under the Yellow Emperor.
Battle of Zhuolu: A combined army of Chinese tribes under the Yellow Emperor defeated an Hmong invasion at Zhuolo.

24th century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
2366 BC Zhi became king of China.
2361 BC China made its first contact with Văn Lang.[3]

23rd century BC[edit]

22nd century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
2200 BC Great Flood (China): Yu the Great completed a drainage system which ended the periodic and destructive flooding of the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers.
The Nine Tripod Cauldrons were forged from metal given in tribute to Yu by the Nine Provinces.
2117 BC Tai Kang became king of the Xia dynasty.

21st century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
2075 BC Xiang of Xia became king of the Xia dynasty.
2047 BC Xiang was murdered and displaced as king on the orders of the warlord Han Zhou. His pregnant wife fled the capital Shangqiu.
Xiang's wife gave birth to a son, Shao Kang.
2007 BC The people of Shangqiu welcomed an army loyal to Shao Kang into the city. Han Zhou committed suicide.

Centuries: 20th BC · 19th BC · 18th BC · 17th BC · 16th BC · 15th BC · 14th BC · 13th BC · 12th BC · 11th BC · 10th BC · 9th BC · 8th BC · 7th BC · 6th BC · 5th BC · 4th BC · 3rd BC · 2nd BC · 1st BC

20th century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
1985 BC Zhu of Xia became king of the Xia dynasty.
1968 BC Zhu died. He was succeeded by his son Huai of Xia.
1924 BC Huai died. He was succeeded by his son Mang of Xia.
1906 BC Mang was succeeded by his son Xie.

19th century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
1900 BC The Erlitou culture appeared.
1890 BC Xie was succeeded by his son Bu Jiang.
1831 BC Bu Jiang abdicated in favor of his younger brother Jiong of Xia.
Mount Tai earthquake: An earthquake occurred at Mount Tai.
1810 BC Jiong was succeeded by his son Jin of Xia.

18th century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
1789 BC Jin was succeeded by his cousin, Bu Jiang's son Kong Jia.
1758 BC Kong Jia was succeeded by his son Gao of Xia.
1747 BC Gao was succeeded by his son Fa of Xia.
1728 BC Fa was succeeded by his son Jie of Xia.

17th century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
1675 BC Jie was succeeded by Tang of Shang.

16th century BC[edit]

15th century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
1500 BC The Erligang culture appeared.

14th century BC[edit]

13th century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
1290 BC Pan Geng became king of the Shang dynasty.
The capital of the Shang dynasty was moved from Zhengzhou to Yinxu.
1250 BC Wu Ding became king of the Shang dynasty.
Oracle bones were first used for divination.

12th century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
1200 BC Wu Ding's wife, the general and high priestess Fu Hao, died and was buried at the tomb of Fu Hao in Yinxu.
1192 BC Wu Ding died. He was succeeded by his son Zu Geng of Shang.
1170 BC Geng Ding became king of the Shang dynasty.
1147 BC Geng Ding was succeeded by his son Wu Yi of Shang.
1112 BC Wu Yi was killed by lightning while out hunting. He was succeeded by his son Wen Ding.
1101 BC Wen Ding was succeeded by his son Di Yi.

11th century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
1076 BC Di Yi died.
1075 BC Di Yi was succeeded as king of the Shang dynasty by his son King Zhou of Shang.
1050 BC King Wen of Zhou died.
1047 BC Zhou took Daji as his concubine.
1046 BC Battle of Muye: The forces of the predynastic Zhou, led by King Wu of Zhou and aided by Shang dynasty defectors, dealt a bloody defeat to Shang forces at Muye, near Yinxu.
Zhou committed suicide by burning himself with his jewels on the Deer Terrace Pavilion.
1043 BC Wu died.
1042 BC Wu was succeeded by his son King Cheng of Zhou.
1034 BC Chinese bronze inscriptions came into use.
1021 BC Cheng died.
1020 BC Cheng was succeeded by his son King Kang of Zhou.

10th century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
1000 BC The Classic of Poetry was compiled.
996 BC Kang died.
976 BC King Mu of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
964 BC Mu led an unsuccessful expedition against the Quanrong.
922 BC Mu died. He was succeeded by his son King Gong of Zhou.

9th century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
900 BC Gong died.
899 BC Gong's son Ji Jian, King Yi of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
892 BC Yi died.
891 BC Yi's uncle, Mu's son King Xiao of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
886 BC Xiao died.
885 BC Yi's son Ji Xie, King Yi of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
878 BC Ji Xie died.
877 BC Ji Xie's son King Li of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
842 BC A popular revolt forced Li into exile near Linfen.
841 BC The Gonghe Regency came into power.
828 BC Li died.
827 BC Li's son King Xuan of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.

8th century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
782 BC Xuan died.
781 BC Xuan's son King You of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
779 BC You took Bao Si as his concubine.
771 BC The Marquess of Shen, whose daughter Bao Si had replaced as queen, led an attack on Haojing in alliance with the Quanrong. You and Bao Si's son Bofu were killed.
770 BC You's son King Ping of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
Ping moved the Zhou capital east to Luoyang.
720 BC Ping died.
719 BC Ping's grandson King Huan of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
707 BC Battle of Xuge: Huan, in coalition with the Zhou vassal states Chen, Cai and Wey, led a punitive expedition against Zheng. The coalition was defeated and Huan was wounded.

7th century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
697 BC Huan died.
696 BC Huan's son King Zhuang of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
685 BC Duke Huan of Qi became duke of Qi.
682 BC Zhuang died.
681 BC Zhuang's son King Xi of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
677 BC Xi died.
676 BC Xi's son King Hui of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
652 BC Hui died.
651 BC Hui's son King Xiang of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
645 BC The Qi chancellor Guan Zhong died.
632 BC Battle of Chengpu: Jin and its allies decisively defeated a coalition led by Chu.
630 BC Sunshu Ao was born.
619 BC Xiang died.
618 BC Xiang's son King Qing of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
613 BC Qing died.
612 BC Qing's son King Kuang of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
607 BC Kuang died.
606 BC Kuang's brother King Ding of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.

6th century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
600 BC Knife money came into use.
595 BC Battle of Bi: Chu decisively defeated Jin at Bi, near modern Xingyang.
586 BC Ding died.
585 BC Ding's son King Jian of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
575 BC Battle of Yanling: A numerically superior Chu force was defeated by Jin in modern Yanling County. King Gong of Chu was injured.
572 BC Jian died.
571 BC Jian's son King Ling of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
551 BC Confucius was born.
548 BC The earliest surviving reference to Go appeared.
545 BC Ling died.
544 BC Ling's son Ji Gui, King Jing of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
The Chinese people were first divided into a caste system of four occupations.
543 BC The Zheng prime minister Zichan established the state's first written civil code.
520 BC Jing died. He was succeeded by his son King Dao of Zhou.
Dao was murdered by his brother.
519 BC Dao's brother Ji Gai, King Jing of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
515 BC King Liao of Wu was killed by the assassin Zhuan Zhu.
514 BC King Helü of Wu became king of Wu.
506 BC Battle of Boju: Wu decisively defeated a numerically superior Chu force at Boju.

5th century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
500 BC Cast iron was first invented in China.
486 BC King Fuchai of Wu ordered the building of the Han Canal.
484 BC Wu Zixu died.
482 BC King Goujian of Yue captured the Wu capital in a surprise assault.
477 BC Ji Gai died.
475 BC Ji Gai's son King Yuan of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
473 BC Wu was annexed by Yue.
470 BC Mozi was born.
469 BC Yuan died.
468 BC Yuan's son King Zhending of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
465 BC Goujian died.
441 BC Zhending died. He was succeeded by his son King Ai of Zhou.
Ai was murdered and succeeded as king by his younger brother King Si of Zhou.
Si was murdered by his brother King Kao of Zhou.
440 BC Kao became king of the Zhou dynasty.
432 BC The tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng was constructed.
426 BC Kao died.
425 BC Kao's son King Weilie of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
403 BC Partition of Jin: Weilie recognized the Jin nobles Marquess Wen of Wei, Marquess Lie of Zhao and Marquess Jing of Han as marquesses, granting de jure independence from Jin to the states of Wei, Zhao and Han.
402 BC Weilie died.
401 BC Weilie's son King An of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.

4th century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
400 BC Gan De was born.
Shi Shen was born.
The earliest surviving Chinese maps appeared.
The first Chinese star catalogue was compiled.
389 BC The Zuo Zhuan was published.
386 BC The city of Handan was founded to serve as the Zhao capital.
381 BC The Chu prime minister Wu Qi was murdered by nobles at the funeral of King Dao of Chu.
376 BC An died.
375 BC An's son King Lie of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
Zheng was annexed by Han.
370 BC Zhuang Zhou was born.
369 BC Lie died.
368 BC Lie's brother King Xian of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
361 BC Duke Xiao of Qin became duke of Qin.
356 BC Xiao's adviser Shang Yang implemented a legal code in Qin based on the Canon of Laws, established punishment for complicity in a crime, established a system of military ranks, and implemented policies encouraging the cultivation of unsettled land.
354 BC Battle of Guiling: Wei laid siege to the Zhao capital Handan.
353 BC Battle of Guiling: The Wei army fled Handan in response to reports of a Qi attack on their capital Daliang and were defeated by Qi forces at Guiling, in modern Changyuan County.
342 BC Battle of Maling: Qi dealt Wei a bloody defeat.
The crossbow was first used in China.
338 BC Xiao died. He was succeeded by his son King Huiwen of Qin.
Shang Yang and his family were executed by dismemberment on charges of treason.
321 BC Xian died.
320 BC Xian's son King Shenjing of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
319 BC The Confucian Mencius became a Qi official.
316 BC Sun Bin died.
Shu was conquered and annexed by Qin.
Ba was conquered and annexed by Qin.
315 BC Shenjing died.
314 BC Shenjing's son King Nan of Zhou became king of the Zhou dynasty.
311 BC Huiwen died.
310 BC Huiwen's son King Wu of Qin became king of Qin.
Xun Kuang was born.
307 BC King Wuling of Zhao ordered the Zhao cavalry to begin wearing clothes fashioned after those of the Donghu and Xiongnu peoples.
Wu died.
306 BC Wu's brother King Zhaoxiang of Qin became king of Qin.
305 BC Zou Yan was born.

3rd century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
300 BC Erya was published.
The Guodian Chu Slips were produced.
293 BC Battle of Yique: Qin dealt a bloody defeat to a Wei-Han alliance.
278 BC Qin conquered the Chu capital Ying.
The Chu poet Qu Yuan wrote Lament for Ying and drowned himself in the Miluo River.
262 BC April Battle of Changping: Zhao intercepted a Qin invasion of the commandery of Shangdang .
260 BC July Battle of Changping: Qin forces encircled the Zhao army, forcing its surrender. The Zhao general Zhao Kuo was killed in action.
July Battle of Changping: The captured Zhao soldiers were executed.
256 BC Nan submitted to Zhaoxiang and took the title Duke of West Zhou.
Nan died. His territory was annexed by Qin.
The Dujiangyan irrigation system was built.
251 BC Zhaoxiang died.
250 BC The first drawings of the repeating crossbow appeared in Chu records.
13 September Zhaoxiang's son King Xiaowen of Qin became king of Qin.
15 September Xiaowen died. He was succeeded by his son King Zhuangxiang of Qin.
247 BC 7 May Zhuangxiang died. He was succeeded by his son Qin Shi Huang.
246 BC The Zhengguo Canal was completed by Zheng Guo of Qin.
230 BC Qin's wars of unification: Qin invaded Han.
227 BC Jing Ke failed in an assassination attempt on Qin Shi Huang.
223 BC Qin conquered Chu.
222 BC Qin conquered Yan.
Qin conquered Zhao.
221 BC The Heirloom Seal of the Realm was carved.
220 BC Qin Shi Huang took the title Qin Shi Huang, first emperor of China.
Construction began on the Great Wall of China.
Chancellor Li Si standardized the Chinese writing system with the creation of Small Seal Script.
214 BC The Lingqu Canal was built.
213 BC Burning of books and burying of scholars: All copies of the Classic of Poetry, the Book of Documents and works of the Hundred Schools of Thought were ordered burned.
210 BC 10 September Qin Shi Huang died, probably from mercury poisoning.
Qin Shi Huang was buried with the Terracotta Army in the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor.
October Qin Shi Huang's son Qin Er Shi succeeded him as emperor of China.
209 BC The Xiongnu chanyu Modu Chanyu established the Xiongnu Empire on the Eurasian Steppe.
July Dazexiang Uprising: Military officers Chen Sheng and Wu Guang began a rebellion for fear of being executed after failing to arrive at their posts.
December Dazexiang Uprising: Chen Sheng and Wu Guang were assassinated by their own men.
208 BC Li Si was executed on charges of treason. Zhao Gao, who had framed him, was appointed chancellor in his stead.
207 BC Battle of Julu: Chu forces led by the warlord Xiang Yu defeated a numerically superior Qin force, killing a large fraction of the Qin army.
October Zhao Gao had Qin Er Shi killed. Qin Er Shi's nephew Ziying succeeded him.
The Chu general Emperor Gaozu of Han entered the Qin capital Xianyang.
December Ziying killed Zhao Gao.
December Ziying surrendered to Gaozu.
206 BC Feast at Hong Gate: Gaozu fled a banquet after it became clear that Xiang Yu had invited him there to be killed.
Xiang Yu led an army into Xianyang, burned the Epang Palace and killed Ziying and the royal family.
205 BC Battle of Jingxing: Han forces dealt a decisive defeat to a numerically superior Zhao army at Jingxing Pass.
204 BC The Qin general Zhao Tuo established the state of Nanyue.
202 BC Battle of Gaixia: Han forces destroyed the Western Chu army led by Xiang Yu in modern Suzhou.
Gaozu took the title emperor and established his capital in Luoyang.

2nd century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
200 BC Battle of Baideng: The Xiongnu encircled and besieged a superior Han force.
The multi-tube seed drill was invented.
195 BC 1 June Gaozu died. He was succeeded by his son Emperor Hui of Han.
193 BC The Han chancellor Xiao He died.
190 BC Chang'an became the eastern terminus of the Silk Road to Europe.
188 BC Hui died. He was succeeded by his son Emperor Qianshao of Han.
186 BC Zhang Liang died.
184 BC Qianshao was deposed and killed on the orders of the Empress Dowager Empress Lü Zhi. He was succeeded by his brother Emperor Houshao of Han.
180 BC Lü Clan Disturbance: Houshao was deposed by imperial officials led by Chen Ping and Zhou Bo. He was succeeded by his uncle, Gaozu's son Emperor Wen of Han.
168 BC The Mawangdui Silk Texts were buried at Mawangdui.
157 BC Summer Wen died. He was succeeded by his son Emperor Jing of Han.
141 BC 9 March Jing died. He was succeeded by his son Emperor Wu of Han.
140 BC Wu adopted Confucianism.
139 BC The Eight Immortals of Huainan published the Huainanzi.
135 BC Han campaigns against Minyue: The Han dynasty invaded Minyue after a plea for assistance from its vassal state Nanyue.
Southward expansion of the Han dynasty: The Han dynasty annexed Minyue.
133 BC June Battle of Mayi: A Han deception failed to lure the Xiongnu into an ambush at Mayi.
125 BC Zhang Qian returned to the Han court to report on his travels to the kingdoms of Dayuan, Kangju, the Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek Kingdoms, Parthia and Mesopotamia.
119 BC January Battle of Mobei: A Han expedition into the Orkhon Valley began which would deal a decisive and bloody defeat to the Xiongnu.
111 BC Han campaigns against Minyue: The Minyue rump state of Dongyue was invaded and annexed by the Han dynasty.
Han–Nanyue War: The Han dynasty conquered and annexed Nanyue.
109 BC Han campaigns against Dian: The Han dynasty invaded and annexed the Dian Kingdom.
108 BC December Battle of Loulan: Han forces attacked the Loulan Kingdom at Lop Nur.
102 BC Han forces laid siege to Kokand.

1st century BC[edit]

Year Date Event
100 BC Steel was first used in China.
91 BC Sima Qian completed the Records of the Grand Historian.
87 BC 29 March Wu died. He was succeeded by his young son Emperor Zhao of Han, with Huo Guang, Jin Midi and Shangguang Jie acting as regents.
86 BC Jin Midi died.
74 BC Zhao died.
18 July The Prince of Changyi was appointed emperor by Huo Guang.
14 August The Prince of Changyi was deposed.
Huo Guang appointed Wu's great grandson, then a commoner, Emperor Xuan of Han.
67 BC December Battle of Jushi: Han forces defeated the people of the Gushi culture, at that time subject to the Xiongnu, at Jiaohe in modern Turpan.
60 BC The Protectorate of the Western Regions was established.
49 BC Xuan died.
48 BC Xuan's son Emperor Yuan of Han became emperor of the Han dynasty.
Consort Ban was born.
40 BC The earliest surviving Chinese record of the treadle-operated tilt hammer appeared.
37 BC Jing Fang died.
36 BC December Battle of Zhizhi: A Han force breached and destroyed a fortress occupied by the Xiongnu chanyu Zhizhi Chanyu at Taraz, killing him.
33 BC Yuan died. He was succeeded by his son Emperor Cheng of Han.
30 BC The earliest surviving mention of the wheelbarrow appeared.
18 BC Liu Xiang compiled the Biographies of Exemplary Women.
7 BC Cheng died. He was succeeded by his nephew Emperor Ai of Han.
1 BC Ai died.
Ai's young cousin Emperor Ping of Han was appointed emperor of the Han dynasty, with Wang Mang acting as regent.

Centuries: 1st · 2nd · 3rd · 4th · 5th · 6th · 7th · 8th · 9th · 10th · 11th · 12th · 13th · 14th · 15th · 16th · 17th · 18th · 19th · 20th

1st century[edit]

Year Date Event
1 The first model of a stern-mounted rudder was produced.
2 A census counted fifty-nine million people in the Han empire.
3 Ping established a national school system.
6 3 February Ping died after being poisoned by Wang Mang, who became acting emperor.
8 Liu Xin completed a star catalogue and calculated the length of the year.
9 Wang Mang declared himself emperor of the Xin dynasty.
Wang Mang introduced the well-field system of land distribution and agricultural production.
10 Wang Mang introduced an income tax of ten percent for professionals and skilled laborers.
Wang Mang outlawed the private use of crossbows.
12 Wang Mang abandoned the well-field system under pressure from the aristocracy.
17 Wang Mang imposed government monopolies on liquor, salt, iron, coinage, forestry, and fishing.
Mother Lü initiated a rebellion against a county magistrate in Haiqu County, near modern Rizhao.
18 Yang Xiong died.
23 Battle of Kunyang: Lülin forces broke the siege of Kunyang, in modern Ye County, by a vastly superior Xin army.
6 October Lülin rebels stormed the Weiyang Palace and killed Wang Mang. The Gengshi Emperor of Han ascended the throne.
25 Red Eyebrows Rebellions: The Gengshi Emperor was executed.
Red Eyebrows Rebellions: The Red Eyebrows appointed Liu Penzi their emperor.
5 August The Han warlord Emperor Guangwu of Han took the title emperor.
27 Red Eyebrows Rebellions: The Red Eyebrows surrendered to the Han dynasty.
31 Du Shi invented waterwheel-powered bellows.
33 A blockade of the Yangtze River by the rebel Gongsun Shu was broken by Han castle ships.
43 Second Chinese domination of Vietnam: Vietnam fell into Han control.
52 The Yuejue Shu was written.
57 29 March Guangwu died. He was succeeded by his son Emperor Ming of Han.
58 The Han chancellor Deng Yu died.
65 Ming's half brother Liu Ying converted to Buddhism.
68 The Buddhist White Horse Temple was established in Luoyang.
73 February Battle of Yiwulu: A punitive Han expedition against the Xiongnu captured territory in the area of modern Hami City.
75 Ming died. He was succeeded by his son Emperor Zhang of Han.
83 Wang Chong correctly theorized the nature of the water cycle.
87 Yuan An was appointed situ.
88 Zhang died. He was succeeded by his son Emperor He of Han.
89 June Battle of the Altai Mountains: Han and allied forces defeated the army of the Northern Chanyu and accepted the surrender of two hundred thousand Xiongnu soldiers in the Altai Mountains.
97 The Han general Ban Chao sent the envoy Gan Ying to the outskirts of the Roman Empire.
100 Xu Shen completed the Shuowen Jiezi.

2nd century[edit]

Year Date Event
105 Cai Lun invented papermaking.
13 February He died.
He's infant son Emperor Shang of Han was made emperor with empress dowager Deng Sui acting as regent.
106 Shang died.
Shang's young cousin Emperor An of Han became emperor, with Deng Sui acting as regent.
111 Ban Zhao completed the Book of Han.
120 Zhang Heng completed a star catalogue which also argued for a spherical moon that reflects light.
125 Zhang Heng invented the first hydraulic-powered armillary sphere.
The earliest known Chinese depiction of a mechanical distance-marking odometer was drawn.
30 April An died.
The Marquess of Beixiang became emperor of the Han dynasty.
The Marquess of Beixiang died.
An's son Emperor Shun of Han became emperor of the Han dynasty.
132 Zhang Heng invented a seismometer capable of indicating the direction of earthquakes.
Cai Yong was born.
142 The Cantong qi was published.
144 Shun died. He was succeeded by his infant son Emperor Chong of Han, with empress dowager Liang Na and her brother Liang Ji acting as regents.
145 Chong died.
Chong's young third cousin Emperor Zhi of Han became emperor of the Han dynasty, with Liang Na acting as regent.
146 Liang Ji poisoned Zhi, killing him.
1 August Emperor Huan of Han became emperor of the Han dynasty.
147 Lokaksema was born.
148 The Buddhist missionary An Shigao arrived in China.
166 A Roman envoy arrived at the Han capital Luoyang.
Disasters of the Partisan Prohibitions: Several ministers and some two hundred university students, who had opposed the influence of corrupt eunuchs at the royal court, were arrested.
168 Huan died.
Emperor Ling of Han became emperor of the Han dynasty.
172 Battle of Jwa-won: Goguryeo forces destroyed an invading army of the Xuantu Commandery in Manchuria.
177 Cai Wenji was born.
179 The earliest known reference to The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art appeared.
180 Ding Huan invented the rotary fan.
184 Yellow Turban Rebellion: The Taoist sect leader Zhang Jue called on his followers in the Han provinces to rebel against the government.
Winter Liang Province Rebellion: The Qiang people launched a rebellion against Han authority in the area of modern Wuwei.
185 Zhi Yao first translated Buddhist texts into Chinese.
189 13 May Ling died.
Ling's son the Prince of Hongnong became emperor of the Han dynasty.
Forces loyal to the warlords Yuan Shao and Yuan Shu massacred some two thousand eunuchs in the Han capital Luoyang.
28 September The Han general Dong Zhuo deposed the Prince of Hongnong as emperor and appointed his brother Emperor Xian of Han in his stead.
190 February Campaign against Dong Zhuo: A coalition led by Yuan Shao gathered at Hangu Pass in anticipation of an expedition against Dong Zhuo.
192 22 May Dong Zhuo was assassinated by his foster son Lü Bu.
194 Sun Ce's conquests in Jiangdong: The warlord Sun Ce attacked and conquered territory administered by Lu Kang.
198 Winter Battle of Xiapi: The allied forces of the warlords Cao Cao and Liu Bei defeated an army loyal to Lü Bu in Xuzhou.
200 November Battle of Guandu: Forces loyal to Cao Cao dealt a bloody defeat to Yuan Shao near the confluence of the Bian and Yellow Rivers.

3rd century[edit]

Year Date Event
204 The warlord Gongsun Kang established the Daifang Commandery on the Korean Peninsula.
208 Winter Battle of Red Cliffs: Forces loyal to the warlords Liu Bei and Sun Quan decisively repelled Cao Cao in an attempted invasion across the Yangtze River.
211 September Battle of Tong Pass (211): Cao Cao defeated an alliance of anti-Han rebels in modern Tongguan County, securing his control over Guanzhong.
215 Liu Bei's takeover of Yi Province: Liu Zhang, the governor of Yi Province in modern Sichuan and Chongqing, surrendered Chengdu to Liu Bei.
Battle of Xiaoyao Ford: A plague outbreak forced Sun Quan to abandon the attempted conquest from Cao Cao of a fortress at Hefei.
219 Battle of Han River: Liu Bei ambushed and dealt a bloody defeat to Cao Cao's army in Hanzhong.
September Battle of Fancheng: Cao Cao repelled an attack by Liu Bei's general Guan Yu in modern Fancheng District, at great cost to both sides.
December Lü Meng's invasion of Jing Province: Liu Bei's generals Shi Ren and Mi Fang defected to Sun Quan, surrendering to his general Lü Meng the main defense posts of Jingzhou.
220 10 December End of the Han dynasty: Cao Cao's son Cao Pi forced Xian to abdicate the throne and declared himself emperor of Cao Wei.
221 Liu Bei declared himself emperor of Shu Han.
Battle of Xiaoting: The Shu Han generals Wu Ban and Feng Xi attacked and destroyed an Eastern Wu army at Wu Gorge.
222 Sun Quan declared himself king of Eastern Wu.
Battle of Xiaoting: Eastern Wu forces attacked and burned the Shu Han camps and dealt serious casualties during their retreat.
223 10 June Liu Bei died. He was succeeded by his son Liu Shan, with Li Yan and chancellor Zhuge Liang acting as regents.
225 Autumn Zhuge Liang's Southern Campaign: The rebel leader Meng Huo surrendered Nanzhong to Zhuge Liang.
226 29 June Cao Pi died. He was succeeded by Cao Rui, who may have been his son or his wife Lady Zhen's by a previous marriage to Yuan Xi.
228 Battle of Jieting: Cao Wei forces encircled and destroyed a Shu Han army guarding the supply line for an invasion in modern Qin'an County.
Battle of Shiting: A Cao Wei army was lured into an ambush by Eastern Wu in modern Qianshan County and dealt heavy casualties on its retreat.
232 Cao Zhi died.
234 Autumn Battle of Wuzhang Plains: Shu Han forces made an orderly retreat from Cao Wei forces on the Wuzhang Plains after Zhuge Liang fell ill and died.
239 22 January Cao Rui died. He was succeeded by his young adopted son Cao Fang, with Cao Shuang and Sima Yi acting as regents.
244 April Battle of Xingshi: Shu Han forces stalled a Cao Wei invasion at Mount Xingshi in the modern Changqing National Nature Reserve.
247 Jiang Wei's Northern Expeditions: Cao Wei pushed back an invasion by the Shu Han general Jiang Wei across the Tao River.
248 Eastern Wu forces killed the Vietnamese rebel Lady Triệu.
249 Incident at Gaoping Tombs: Sima Yi took control of the Cao Wei capital Luoyang during Cao Fang and Cao Shuang's absence.
252 Sun Quan died. He was succeeded by his young son Sun Liang, with the general Zhuge Ke acting as regent.
254 Sima Yi's son, the regent Sima Shi, deposed Cao Fang, who was succeeded by Cao Pi's grandson Cao Mao.
255 Ma Jun invented the south-pointing chariot.
258 Sun Liang was deposed by the regent Sun Chen.
Sun Liang's brother Sun Xiu was made emperor of Eastern Wu.
260 Coup of Cao Mao: Cao Mao was murdered in a failed attempt to kill the regent Sima Zhao at his residence.
Cao Cao's grandson Cao Huan was made emperor of Cao Wei.
263 November Conquest of Shu by Wei: The Cao Wei general Deng Ai accepted the surrender of the Shu Han emperor Liu Shan outside the capital Chengdu.
Liu Hui published a revised version of The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art.
264 3 September Sun Xiu died.
Sun Quan's grandson Sun Hao was made emperor of Eastern Wu.
265 Cao Wei instituted the nine-rank system of civil servants.
Sima Zhao's son, the regent Emperor Wu of Jin, forced Cao Huan to abdicate in his favor.
Pei Xiu introduced the grid reference and the concept of scale to Chinese mapmaking.
280 15 March Conquest of Wu by Jin: Sun Hao presented himself as a prisoner to the Jin general Wang Jun.
Chen Shou compiled the Records of the Three Kingdoms.
290 17 May Wu died. He was succeeded by his developmentally disabled son Emperor Hui of Jin, with Yang Jun acting as regent.
291 War of the Eight Princes: Hui's wife Jia Nanfeng invited troops loyal to his brother Sima Wei into the Jin capital Luoyang to imprison the empress dowager Empress Yang Zhi and her relatives.

4th century[edit]

Year Date Event
304 The Xiongnu noble Liu Yuan declared himself prince of Former Zhao.
The Di warlord Li Xiong declared himself prince of Cheng Han.
307 8 January Hui was poisoned, probably by the regent Sima Yue.
Hui's brother Emperor Huai of Jin became emperor of the Jin dynasty.
311 Huai was kidnapped from the capital Luoyang by Former Zhao forces.
313 Goguryeo conquered and annexed the Lelang Commandery.
14 March Huai was executed.
Huai's nephew Emperor Min of Jin became emperor of the Jin dynasty.
316 Min surrendered to the Former Zhao general Liu Yao during a siege of the Jin capital Chang'an.
317 Emperor Yuan of Jin declared himself prince of Jin, with his capital at Jiankang.
318 Min was executed.
319 The Jie warlord Shi Le declared himself prince of Later Zhao.
320 Zhang Mao issued a general pardon to the people of Former Liang.
322 The first accurate tomb depiction of stirrups appeared.
323 3 January Yuan died. He was succeeded by his son Emperor Ming of Jin.
324 The rebel Wang Dun died.
325 18 October Ming died. He was succeeded by his young son Emperor Cheng of Jin.
328 The rebel Su Jun was defeated by the Jin generals Tao Kan and Wen Jiao.
329 The Later Zhao general Shi Hu captured Shanggui in modern Tianshui and killed the Former Zhao emperor Liu Xi and his nobility.
337 23 November The Xianbei Murong Huang declared himself prince of Former Yan.
342 26 June Cheng died. He was succeeded by his brother Emperor Kang of Jin.
344 17 November Kang died. He was succeeded by his infant son Emperor Mu of Jin.
347 The Jin general Huan Wen captured the Cheng Han capital Chengdu.
351 The Jin general and Di chief Fu Jian declared himself Tian Wang of Former Qin.
The Later Zhao emperor Shi Zhi and his court were killed by one of his generals on the orders of the warlord Ran Min.
353 Wang Xizhi wrote the Lantingji Xu.
361 10 July Mu died.
Mu's cousin Emperor Ai of Jin became emperor of the Jin dynasty.
365 30 March Ai died. He was succeeded by his brother Emperor Fei of Jin.
366 Gu Kaizhi became a Jin officer.
369 A Jin army led by Huan Wen was annihilated as it retreated from the Former Yan capital Ye by the general Murong Chui.
370 The Former Yan emperor Murong Wei was captured by the Former Qin prime minister Wang Meng.
372 6 January Huan Wen deposed Fei in favor of his granduncle Emperor Jianwen of Jin.
12 September Jianwen died. He was succeeded by his young son Emperor Xiaowu of Jin.
376 26 September Duke Zhang Tianxi of Former Liang surrendered to Former Qin.
383 November Battle of Fei River: A Jin army defeated a massively larger Former Qin force, inflicting some seven hundred thousand casualties and expanding Jin territory north to the Yellow River.
384 The Xianbei Former Qin general Murong Chui declared himself prince of Later Yan.
The Former Qin general Yao Chang declared himself prince of Later Qin.
385 The Xianbei chief and Former Qin vassal Qifu Guoren joined an active rebellion and declared the independence of Western Qin.
386 20 February Emperor Daowu of Northern Wei declared himself prince of Northern Wei.
The Former Qin general Lü Guang declared himself Tian Wang of the majority-Di Later Liang.
394 The Former Qin emperor Fu Chong was killed and his territory annexed by Western Qin forces.
396 Xiaowu was suffocated by one of his concubines. He was succeeded by his young and severely disabled son Emperor An of Jin.
397 Xiongnu rebels established the Northern Liang, with the Han Duan Ye as king.
The Xianbei chief Tufa Wugu declared the independence of Southern Liang from Later Liang.
398 Murong Chui's brother Murong De declared himself prince of Southern Yan.
399 Faxian left for India to acquire Buddhist texts.
400 Six commanderies of Northern Liang seceded as Western Liang, under the kingship of the Han Li Gao.

5th century[edit]

Year Date Event
403 Under military pressure from Southern Liang and Northern Liang, the Later Liang emperor Lü Long surrendered his capital Guzang, in modern Wuwei, to the Later Qin emperor Yao Xing.
404 Huiyuan wrote On Why Monks Do Not Bow Down Before Kings, arguing for the independence of Buddhist clergy from the monarchy.
405 Tao Yuanming retired.
407 The Later Yan emperor Murong Xi was beheaded by his adoptive nephew, the Korean Gao Yun, who became emperor of the successor state of Northern Yan.
The Later Qin general Helian Bobo declared himself Tian Wang of the majority-Xiongnu Xia.
410 25 March The Southern Yan emperor Murong Chao was executed by Jin along with his court and nobility.
414 Western Qin conquered the Southern Liang capital Ledu, in modern Haidong.
417 The Later Qin emperor Yao Hong surrendered to the Jin general Emperor Wu of Liu Song.
419 28 January An was strangled on Wu's orders and succeeded by his brother Emperor Gong of Jin.
420 Wu deposed Gong.
421 The Western Liang prince Li Xun committed suicide during the siege of his capital Dunhuang by Northern Liang.
431 Summer The Western Qin prince Qifu Mumo was executed along with his nobility by the Xia emperor Helian Ding.
Helian Ding was captured by the khan of Tuyuhun.
436 4 June The Northern Yan emperor Feng Hong fled the capital Helong in the face of an attack by Northern Wei.
460 Juqu Anzhou, the prince of Northern Liang in exile in Gaochang, was killed with his family by the Rouran Khaganate.
475 Bodhidharma arrived in China.
477 The oldest known painted depiction of a horse collar was made in the Mogao Caves.
479 The Liu Song emperor Emperor Shun of Liu Song was deposed by his general Emperor Gao of Southern Qi.
485 The Northern Wei emperor Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei introduced the equal-field system.
496 Change of Xianbei names to Han names: The forced conversion of Xianbei names to Han names reached its peak in Northern Wei.

6th century[edit]

Year Date Event
501 Compilation began of the Spring and Autumn Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms.
502 The young Southern Qi emperor Emperor He of Southern Qi was deposed by his general Emperor Wu of Liang.
523 The Songyue Pagoda was built.
534 The Northern Wei emperor Emperor Xiaowu of Northern Wei fled the capital Luoyang to Chang'an at the advance of his general Gao Huan.
Gao Huan appointed Emperor Xiaojing of Eastern Wei emperor of Eastern Wei with his capital at Ye.
543 The Yupian was completed.
550 5 June The Eastern Wei general Emperor Wenxuan of Northern Qi deposed Xiaojing and established the state of Northern Qi.
557 The Liang general Emperor Wu of Chen deposed the emperor Emperor Jing of Liang, establishing the Chen dynasty.
15 February The Western Wei general Yuwen Hu deposed the emperor Emperor Gong of Western Wei in favor of his own cousin Emperor Xiaomin of Northern Zhou, establishing the successor state of Northern Zhou.
577 4 February The Northern Qi emperor Gao Heng and his father, the Taishang Huang Gao Wei, were executed with their family by Northern Zhou.
581 The Northern Zhou emperor Emperor Jing of Northern Zhou was forced to abdicate in favor of his regent Emperor Wen of Sui, initiating the Sui dynasty.
582 Compilation began of the Jingdian Shiwen.
589 Yan Zhitui first referred to toilet paper.
10 February Sui forces captured the Chen capital Jiankang and its emperor Chen Shubao.
598 Goguryeo–Sui War: A Sui army of some three hundred thousand, led by the general Yang Liang, invaded Goguryeo.

7th century[edit]

Year Date Event
601 The Qieyun was published.
602 Sui–Former Lý War: Sui conquered and annexed the Early Lý dynasty.
604 13 August Wen died. He was succeeded by his son Emperor Yang of Sui.
605 The imperial examination was first used as the sole criterion for appointing local officials in Sui.
The Zhaozhou Bridge was completed.
607 Japanese missions to Sui China: The Wa emissary Ono no Imoko arrived in Sui.
609 The Grand Canal was completed.
610 Engineers Geng Xun and Yuwen Kai invented an improved water clock.
Yang ordered his commanderies to submit maps and gazetteers to the central government.
611 The Four Gates Pagoda was completed.
612 Battle of Salsu: Goguryeo routed a Sui invasion force at the Chongchon River, inflicting some three hundred thousand casualties.
616 Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas first visited China.
617 18 December The rebel Emperor Gaozu of Tang, in control of the Sui capital Chang'an, declared Yang Taishang Huang and his grandson Emperor Gong of Sui emperor.
618 12 June Transition from Sui to Tang: Gaozu deposed Gong.
621 28 May Battle of Hulao: Tang forces defeated and captured the warlord Dou Jiande at Hulao Pass.
624 Ouyang Xun completed the Yiwen Leiju.
626 2 July Xuanwu Gate Incident: Gaozu's son Emperor Taizong of Tang assassinated his brothers Li Yuanji and the crown prince Li Jiancheng.
4 September Gaozu retired. Taizong succeeded him.
630 Tang campaign against the Eastern Turks: Tang forces captured the khan of the Eastern Turkic Khaganate in the Yin Mountains.
635 The first Christian missionaries arrivd in China.
Nestorian monks from Anatolia and the Sasanian Empire built the Daqin Pagoda.
Alopen wrote the Jesus Sutras.
Emperor Taizong's campaign against Tuyuhun: The Tuyuhun khan Murong Fuyun, in flight from Tang forces and with much of his army destroyed, was killed by his officers.
The Book of Liang was published.
636 The Xumi Pagoda was completed.
The Book of Chen, Book of Northern Qi, Book of Zhou, and Book of Sui were compiled.
638 Tibetan attack on Songzhou: Tibetan forces raided the city of Songzhou, in modern Songpan County.
640 The Protectorate General to Pacify the West was established.
Tang campaign against Karakhoja: Tang defeated and annexed Gaochang.
641 Emperor Taizong's campaign against Xueyantuo: Taizong sent his general Li Shiji to support the restoration of the Eastern Turkic Khaganate under Qilibi Khan against Xueyantuo.
643 Taizong commissioned Yan Liben to paint portraits of his officials at Lingyan Pavilion.
644 Tang campaigns against Karasahr: A Tang army captured Karasahr and installed a friendly king.
645 20 July First campaign in the Goguryeo–Tang War: Tang forces dispersed a Goguryeo army which had arrived in defense of Ansi City.
646 Bianji compiled the Great Tang Records on the Western Regions.
647 The Protectorate General to Pacify the North was established.
648 The Book of Jin was compiled.
Tang campaigns against Karasahr: Tang forces captured the king of Karasahr.
649 The four arts were first written of as skills required of a Chinese scholar-official.
19 January Tang campaign against Kucha: Kucha surrendered to Tang forces.
10 July Taizong died.
15 July Taizong's son Emperor Gaozong of Tang became emperor of the Tang dynasty.
657 Gaozong commissioned the compilation of a materia medica.
Battle of Irtysh River: Tang forces ambushed and largely destroyed the army of the Western Turkic Khaganate at the Irtysh River.
659 The History of the Southern Dynasties and the History of the Northern Dynasties were completed.
663 Battle of Baekgang: The allied navies of Silla and the Tang dynasty defeated a combined Baekje restorationist and Japanese force in the lower reaches of the Geum River.
666 The Chinese Buddhist monks Zhiyu and Zhiyou crafted a mechanical south-pointing chariot for the Japanese emperor Emperor Tenji.
668 The Protectorate General to Pacify the East was established.
683 27 December Gaozong died.
684 The Qianling Mausoleum was completed.
Luo Binwang died.
690 16 October Gaozong's wife Wu Zetian became emperor of the Tang dynasty.
692 Tang forces reconquered the Four Garrisons of Anxi from Tibet.
700 The Dunhuang map was created.

8th century[edit]

Year Date Event
704 The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda was rebuilt.
705 22 February Wu Zetian was forced to abdicate the throne in favor of her son Emperor Zhongzong of Tang.
23 February Zhongzong became emperor of Tang.
709 The Small Wild Goose Pagoda was completed.
710 Liu Zhiji compiled the Shitong.
Shangguan Wan'er died.
3 July Zhongzong died after being poisoned, probably by his wife Empress Wei.
8 July Zhongzong's son Emperor Shang of Tang became emperor of Tang, with Wei acting as regent.
25 July A coup led by Gaozong's daughter Princess Taiping and grandson Emperor Xuanzong of Tang killed Wei and deposed Shang in favor of his uncle, Gaozong's son Emperor Ruizong of Tang.
712 8 September Ruizong abdicated the throne to Xuanzong.
The Pear Garden was established.
713 The Kaiyuan Za Bao was first published.
725 Yi Xing invented a water-powered armillary sphere.
729 Gautama Siddha completed the compilation of the Treatise on Astrology of the Kaiyuan Era.
740 Wu Daozi died.
Meng Haoran died.
744 Du Fu and Li Bai first met.
751 July Battle of Talas: After the defection of their Karluk mercenaries, a Tang force was defeated by a vastly superior Abbasid-Tibetan allied army on the Talas River, probably near modern Talas.
755 16 December An Lushan Rebellion: The Tang general An Lushan declared himself emperor of Yan.
Zhang Xuan died.
756 Spring Battle of Yongqiu: Yan forces retreated from their siege of a Tang fortress in Yongqiu, in modern Kaifeng.
12 August The Tang army declared Xuanzong's sonEmperor Suzong of Tang emperor at Lingwu.
10 September Xuanzong recognized Suzong as emperor.
757 Battle of Suiyang: Yan forces finally conquered Suiyang, in modern Suiyang District, after a siege that cost the lives of some sixty thousand Yan soldiers and thirty thousand Tang civilians were lost to starvation and cannibalism.
758 Arab and Persian pirates looted and burned the Tang seaport of Guangzhou.
759 Wang Wei died.
760 Lu Yu composed The Classic of Tea.
762 16 May Suzong died of a heart attack.
18 May Suzong's son Emperor Daizong of Tang became emperor of the Tang dynasty.
Du Huan wrote the Jingxingji.
763 An Lushan Rebellion: The Yan emperor Shi Chaoyi committed suicide in flight from Tang forces.
Emperor Daizong ended his reign as emperor of the Tang dynasty
779 23 May Daizong died.
12 June Daizong's son Emperor Dezong of Tang became emperor of the Tang dynasty.
781 The Nestorian Stele was composed.
783 Han Gan died.
785 The Tang official Jia Dan began work on a map of Tang and its former colonies.
794 Prince Li Gao ordered the construction of the first Chinese paddle-wheel ships.

9th century[edit]

Year Date Event
801 Du You completed the Tongdian.
805 25 February Dezong died.
28 February Dezong's son Emperor Shunzong of Tang became emperor of the Tang dynasty.
31 August Shunzong abdicated in favor of his son Emperor Xianzong of Tang.
806 Xianzong launched the first of a series of military campaigns against the provinces.
820 14 February Xianzong died, possibly after being poisoned by one of his eunuch officers.
20 February Xianzong's son Emperor Muzong of Tang became emperor of the Tang dynasty.
824 25 February Muzong died.
29 February Muzong's young son Emperor Jingzong of Tang became emperor of the Tang dynasty.
Han Yu died.
827 9 January Jingzong was assassinated.
13 January Jingzong's brother Emperor Wenzong of Tang became emperor of the Tang dynasty.
831 An Uyghur sued the son of a Tang general for failure to repay a debt.
840 10 February Wenzong died.
20 February Wenzong's brother Emperor Wuzong of Tang became emperor of the Tang dynasty.
843 A large fire consumed four thousand buildings in an eastern neighborhood of the Tang capital Chang'an.
845 Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution: Wuzong abolished Buddhist monasteries as well as establishments of Zoroastrianism and Christianity, which were thought to be Buddhist heresies.
846 22 April Wuzong died.
25 April Wuzong's uncle, Xianzong's son Emperor Xuānzong of Tang became emperor of the Tang dynasty.
Bai Juyi died.
851 The Arab merchant Sulaiman al-Tajir visited Guangzhou.
852 Du Mu died.
853 Duan Chengshi published the Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang.
858 An flood along the Grand Canal and on the North China Plain killed tens of thousands.
859 7 September Xuānzong died.
13 September Xuānzong's son Emperor Yizong of Tang became emperor of the Tang dynasty.
863 Duan Chengshi published a work describing the slave trade, ivory trade and ambergris trade in Bobali, probably modern Berbera.
868 11 May The Diamond Sutra was printed.
873 15 August Yizong died.
16 August Yizong's son Emperor Xizong of Tang became emperor of the Tang dynasty.
874 Wang Xianzhi launched a rebellion against the Tang government.
879 Guangzhou massacre: The rebel Huang Chao burned and looted Guangzhou and killed as many as two hundred thousand foreigners.
884 13 July Huang Chao was murdered with his immediate family while in flight from Tang forces.
888 20 April Xizong died. He was succeeded by his brother Emperor Zhaozong of Tang.

10th century[edit]

Year Date Event
904 22 September Zhaozong was killed on the orders of the warlord Zhu Wen, then in control of the Tang capital Chang'an.
26 September Zhu Wen appointed Zhaozong's young son Emperor Ai of Tang emperor of the Tang dynasty.
907 27 February The Khitan chieftain Abaoji became emperor of the Liao dynasty.
12 May Zhu Wen deposed Ai and declared himself emperor of Later Liang. The princes Yang Wo and Wang Jian, who did not recognize Zhu Wen, became de facto independent, as did their states Wu and Former Shu, respectively.
Zhu Wen created Qian Liu the prince of Wuyue.
Zhu Wen created Ma Yin, the governor of the Wu'an Circuit, prince of Chu.
909 27 April Zhu Wen created Wang Shenzhi prince of Min.
917 The earliest Chinese reference to Greek fire appeared.
5 September Liu Yan declared himself emperor of Southern Han.
919 The flamethrower was first described in China.
923 13 May Prince Li Cunxu of Jin declared himself emperor of Later Tang.
18 November The Later Liang emperor Zhu Youzhen was killed by one of his generals at the approach of Li Cunxu to his capital Daliang.
924 14 April Gao Jixing declared himself king of Jingnan.
925 15 December The Former Shu emperor Wang Yan surrendered to the Later Tang army at his capital Chengdu.
926 6 September Abaoji died.
927 11 December Abaoji's son Emperor Taizong of Liao became emperor of the Liao dynasty.
934 16 March Meng Zhixiang, the Later Tang governor of the territory of the defunct Former Shu, declared himself emperor of Later Shu.
936 28 November Taizong recognized the Shatuo Later Tang general Shi Jingtang emperor of Later Jin in exchange for the promised cession of the Sixteen Prefectures that formed a natural border around the North China Plain.
937 11 January The Later Tang emperor Li Congke burned himself to death with his family and servants as the joint armies of Liao and Later Jin approached his capital Luoyang.
10 November The Wu emperor Yang Pu was deposed by his general Li Bian, who declared himself emperor of the Wu successor state of Southern Tang.
945 2 October Min was conquered and annexed by Southern Tang.
947 11 January The Later Jin emperor Shi Chonggui was deposed and his territory annexed by the Liao dynasty.
10 March The Shatuo Liu Zhiyuan, a jiedushi of the defunct Later Jin, declared himself emperor of Later Han.
15 May Taizong died.
16 May Taizong's nephew Emperor Shizong of Liao, whom he had raised, became emperor of the Liao dynasty.
950 The earliest known depiction of a fire lance and lobbed grenade appeared.
951 2 January The Later Han emperor Liu Chengyou was killed by one of his officers while attempting to escape the siege of the capital Ye by his general Guo Wei.
13 February Guo Wei declared himself emperor of Later Zhou.
7 October Shizong was murdered by one of his officers.
11 October Shizong's cousin, Taizong's son Emperor Muzong of Liao became emperor of the Liao dynasty.
Southern Tang conquered and annexed Chu.
Liu Zhiyuan's brother Liu Chong declared himself declared himself emperor of Northern Han.
960 Gu Hongzhong painted the Night Revels of Han Xizai.
3 February Emperor Guo Zongxun of Later Zhou was overthrown by his general Emperor Taizu of Song.
4 February Taizu became emperor of the Song dynasty.
Taizu was presented with gunpowder-impregnated fire arrows.
The Hundred Family Surnames was composed.
961 The Huqiu Tower was built.
963 The Song dynasty conquered and annexed Jingnan.
965 23 February The Later Shu emperor Meng Chang surrendered to the Song army at his capital Chengdu.
969 12 March Muzong was murdered by his servants on a hunting trip.
13 March Shizong's son Emperor Jingzong of Liao became emperor of the Liao dynasty.
971 Southern Han was conquered and annexed by the Song dynasty.
974 Song troops constructed a floating pontoon bridge across the Yangtze River in order to secure supply lines while fighting against the Southern Tang.
976 1 January Song forces conquered and annexed Southern Tang.
14 November Taizu died.
15 November Taizu's brother Emperor Taizong of Song became emperor of the Song dynasty.
The Yuelu Academy was founded.
977 The pagoda of the Longhua Temple was built.
978 The Taiping Guangji was completed.
The Wuyue king Qian Chu surrendered his territory to Taizong.
979 The Northern Han emperor Liu Jiyuan surrendered to Song.
981 Battle of Bạch Đằng (981): A Song naval invasion of the Early Lê dynasty via the Bạch Đằng River was aborted after the land invasion was stalled.
982 13 October Jingzong died.
14 October Jingzong's young son Emperor Shengzong of Liao became emperor, with his widow Empress Xiao Yanyan acting as regent.
983 The Taiping Yulan was completed.
984 Qiao Weiyo invented the canal pound lock.
986 The Wenyuan Yinghua was completed.
990 Fan Kuan was born.
993 November First conflict in the Goryeo–Khitan War: Liao forces invaded Goryeo.
997 The Longkan Shoujian was completed.
8 May Taizong died. He was succeeded by his son Emperor Zhenzong.
1000 The Chinese first used coke in place of charcoal for blast furnaces.

11th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1005 Song signed the Chanyuan Treaty, under which it agreed to pay Liao an annual tribute in silk and silver.
1008 The Guangyun was completed.
1010 Second conflict in the Goryeo–Khitan War: Liao captured the Goryeo general Gang Jo and burned the capital Kaesong.
An atlas of China was completed.
1013 Cefu Yuangui was completed.
1018 Third conflict in the Goryeo–Khitan War: Liao invaded Goryeo.
1019 10 March Battle of Kuju: Goryeo forces decisively defeated a retreating Liao army at Kuju, near modern Kusong.
1022 23 March Zhenzong died.
24 March Zhenzong's son Emperor Renzong of Song became emperor of the Song dynasty.
1031 25 June Shengzong died. He was succeeded by his son Emperor Xingzong of Liao.
1037 The Jiyun was published.
1038 10 November The Tangut chieftain Emperor Jingzong of Western Xia declared himself emperor of Western Xia.
1041 Bi Sheng invented movable type.
1043 Ouyang Xiu and the vice chancellor Fan Zhongyan drafted the Qingli Reforms in Song.
1044 The Wujing Zongyao was completed.
1045 The Lingxiao Pagoda was completed.
1048 19 January Jingzong died. He was succeeded by his infant son Emperor Yizong of Western Xia.
1049 The Iron Pagoda was completed.
1055 The Liaodi Pagoda was completed.
28 August Xingzong died. He was succeeded by his son Emperor Daozong of Liao.
1056 The Pagoda of Fogong Temple was completed.
1060 Ouyang Xiu completed the New Book of Tang.
1063 30 April Renzong died.
1 May Emperor Yingzong of Song became emperor of the Song dynasty.
The Pizhi Pagoda was completed.
1067 Yizong died. He was succeeded by his young son Emperor Huizong of Western Xia.
25 January Yingzong died. He was succeeded by his son Emperor Shenzong of Song.
1068 The dry dock was first used in China.
1069 The Song chancellor Wang Anshi ordered an extensive government reform including the introduction of the baojia system of community-based law enforcement.
1070 Su Song published the Bencao Tujing.
1072 Guo Xi painted Early Spring.
1075 The Song diplomat Shen Kuo used court archives to reject Daozong's territorial claims.
A proto-Bessemer process was first observed in Cizhou.
1076 Wang Anshi resigned.
1077 The Song ambassador Su Song was sent on a mission to Liao.
1080 Shen Kuo was appointed to defend Yan'an.
1081 A Song army was dealt some sixty thousand casualties defending Yan'an against an attempted invasion of Song by Western Xia forces..
Su Song published a 200-volume work on Song-Liao relations.
1084 Sima Guang completed the Zizhi Tongjian.
Li Qingzhao was born.
1085 1 April Shenzong died. He was succeeded by his young son Emperor Zhezong, with his widow Empress Xiang acting as regent.
Xiang ousted the court faction affiliated with the reforms of Wang Anshi at the urging of Sima Guang.
1086 Huizong died.
Huizong's son Emperor Chongzong of Western Xia became emperor of Western Xia.
1088 Shen Kuo published the Dream Pool Essays.
1090 The earliest known description of the mechanical belt appeared.
1094 Su Song completed a clock tower in Kaifeng.
The Dongpo Academy was established on Hainan.
1100 23 February Zhezong died. He was succeeded by his younger brother Emperor Huizong of Song.

12th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1101 12 February Daozong was murdered. He was succeeded by his grandson Emperor Tianzuo of Liao.
1103 The Yingzao Fashi was published.
1107 Mi Fu died.
1111 The Donglin Academy was founded.
1115 28 January The Wanyan chieftain Emperor Taizu of Jin declared himself emperor of the Jin dynasty.
August Taizu conquered the Liao city of Huanglongfu.
1119 Zhu Yu published the Pingzhou Table Talks.
1120 The pagoda of Tianning Temple was completed.
1123 19 September Taizu died.
27 September Taizu's brother Emperor Taizong of Jin became emperor of the Jin dynasty.
1124 The Liao general Yelü Dashi established the Khitan Qara Khitai in the Liao northwest.
1125 26 March Jin dynasty forces captured Tianzuo.
November Jin–Song Wars: The Jin army invaded Song.
1126 18 January Huizong abdicated in favor of his son Emperor Qinzong.
19 January Emperor Qinzong became emperor of the Song dynasty.
1127 9 January Jingkang Incident: The Song capital Kaifeng fell to a Jin siege. Huizong and Qinzong were captured with much of their court.
12 June Huizong's son Emperor Gaozong of Song became emperor of the Song dynasty at Lin'an City.
1132 Song established a standing navy headquartered at Dinghai in modern Dinghai District.
A fire destroyed some thirteen thousand homes in the Song capital Lin'an City.
1135 The Song general Yue Fei defeated the bandit Yang Yao at Dongting Lake.
9 February Taizong died.
10 February Emperor Xizong of Jin became emperor of the Jin dynasty.
1139 Chongzong died.
Chongzong's son Emperor Renzong of Western Xia became emperor of Western Xia.
1141 Song signed the Treaty of Shaoxing, under which it relinquished all claims to its former territories north of the Huai River and agreed to pay Jin an annual tribute in silk and silver.
1142 27 January Yue Fei was executed on false charges of treason spurred by the Song chancellor Qin Hui.
1150 9 January Xizong was murdered in a coup by Prince Hailing of Jin, who succeeded him as emperor of Jin.
1153 The Jin capital was moved from Huining Fu to Zhongdu.
1157 The Jin capital was moved to Kaifeng.
1161 27 October Hailing's cousin Emperor Shizong of Jin was declared emperor of Jin in the capital Kaifeng.
16 November Battle of Tangdao: The Jin navy suffered heavy losses in an attempted invasion of Song near the Shandong Peninsula.
27 November Battle of Caishi: Jin forces suffered as many as four thousand casualties at the hands of the Song dynasty in a naval battle which stalled their invasion across the Yangtze.
15 December Hailing was assassinated by one of his officers near the Yangtze battlefront.
The Yunjing was compiled.
1162 24 July Gaozong abdicated in favor of Emperor Xiaozong of Song.
The Beisi Pagoda was completed.
1164 Song and Jin concluded the Treaty of Longxing.
1165 The Liuhe Pagoda was completed.
1179 Zhu Xi rebuilt the White Deer Grotto Academy.
1189 20 January Shizong died. He was succeeded by his grandson Emperor Zhangzong of Jin.
18 February Xiaozong abdicated in favor of his son Emperor Guangzong of Song.
The Chengling Pagoda was built.
1193 Renzong died.
Renzong's son Emperor Huanzong of Western Xia became emperor of Western Xia.
1194 24 July Guangzong was forced to abdicate in favor of his son Emperor Ningzong.

13th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1206 Huanzong was overthrown in a coup.
Emperor Xiangzong of Western Xia became emperor of Western Xia.
1208 29 December Zhangzong died. He was succeeded by his brother Prince Shao of Wei.
1211 Emperor Shenzong of Western Xia deposed and replaced Xiangzong as emperor of Western Xia.
August Battle of the Badger Mouth: The army of the Mongol Empire captured or killed over four hundred thousand Jin soldiers defending an important mountain pass at Zhangjiakou.
1213 11 September Shao was assassinated.
22 September Emperor Xuanzong of Jin became emperor of the Jin dynasty.
1214 The Jin dynasty signed a treaty under which it became a vassal state paying tribute to the Mongol Empire.
1215 1 June Battle of Zhongdu: Mongol forces breached the walls of Zhongdu and massacred its inhabitants.
1217 Jin–Song Wars: A Song army captured the Jin city of Xihezhou in modern Xihe County.
1223 Shenzong abdicated in favor of his son Emperor Xianzong of Western Xia.
1224 14 January Xuanzong died.
15 January Xuanzong's son Emperor Aizong of Jin became emperor of the Jin dynasty.
17 September Ningzong died. He was succeeded by Emperor Lizong.
1226 Xianzong died.
Emperor Mozhu of Western Xia became emperor of Western Xia.
1227 18 August The Mongol khagan Genghis Khan died.
Mozhu surrendered to the Mongol Empire during the siege of the Western Xia capital Zhongxing.
1233 26 February Mongol siege of Kaifeng: The Jin general in charge of the defense of the capital Kaifeng surrendered to besieging Mongol army. Aizong had fled during the siege; his family members still in the city were executed.
1234 9 February Siege of Caizhou: Aizong passed the throne to his general Emperor Mo of Jin and hanged himself in the face of a Mongol siege of Caizhou. The Mongols breached the city.
10 February Siege of Caizhou: Mo died fighting the Mongols at Caizhou.
1247 Qin Jiushao wrote the Mathematical Treatise in Nine Sections.
1259 11 August The Mongol khagan Möngke Khan died during a siege of Diaoyu Fortress.
1260 Toluid Civil War: Möngke Khan's brother Ariq Böke declared himself khagan of the Mongol Empire.
5 May Toluid Civil War: Kublai Khan, brother to Möngke Khan and Ariq Böke, was crowned khagan of the Mongol Empire.
Kublai Khan appointed the Sakya lama Drogön Chögyal Phagpa Imperial Preceptor.
1261 Yang Hui first drew Pascal's triangle.
1264 16 November Lizong died. He was succeeded by his nephew Emperor Duzong.
1265 Mongol conquest of the Song dynasty: The Mongol Empire invaded Song.
1267 Battle of Xiangyang: Kublai Khan ordered his general Aju to take Xiangyang.
1270 Sambyeolcho Rebellion: The Sambyeolcho rebelled against Wonjong of Goryeo, the Mongol-allied king of Goryeo.
1271 Marco Polo left Venice.
Kublai Khan declared himself emperor of the Yuan dynasty.
1273 14 March Battle of Xiangyang: The Yuan army breached and captured Xiangyang.
1274 12 August Duzong died. He was succeeded by his young son Emperor Gong of Song.
5 October Mongol invasions of Japan: A Yuan fleet landed at Tsushima Island.
1275 Emperor Gong
Turkish general Bayan defeats the Song army of 130,000 troops; The Song chancellor Jia Sidao is impeached from the imperial court and killed by one of his own guards.
1276 Emperor Duanzong became emperor of the Southern Song dynasty
Unlike his contemporary and fellow painter Zhao Mengfu, the scholar-official Qian Xuan declines the offer to serve the Yuan government and spends the rest of his life creating works of art.
Gaocheng Astronomical Observatory is built.
1278 Wen Tianxiang leads Song forces to resist the Mongol invaders. He is captured and refuses to surrender to the Yuan government. He spends four years in prison before being executed by Kublai Khan in 1283.
Emperor Duanzong ended his reign as emperor of the Southern Song dynasty
1279 Emperor Bing
Battle of Yamen; the Yuan general Zhang Hongfan crushes the last resistance of Southern Song.
Battle of Yamen
1287 Rabban Bar Sauma, a Nestorian Uyghur Turk from Beijing, travels to Europe in this year and hosted by Andronikos II Palaiologos of the Byzantine Empire, Philip IV of France, and Edward I of England in hopes of forming an alliance to seize Jerusalem, then under the Muslim Mamluk Bahri dynasty.
Battle of Pagan, end of Pagan Kingdom
1288 Battle of Bạch Đằng
1289 Franciscan friars begin missionary work in China
Emperor Shizu (Kublai Khan) ended his reign as emperor of the Yuan dynasty
1298 Emperor Chengzong
Wang Zhen improves the movable type printing of Bi Sheng by introducing the first successful wooden type characters; he also experiments with tin metal type characters.

14th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1307 Emperor Wuzong
1316 Emperor Renzong
Guo Shoujing dies; among his life achievements were fixing the calendar year at 365.2425 (same as the Gregorian calendar), building upon Shen Kuo's mathematical work on trigonometry by introducing spherical trigonometry, and engineered an artificial Kunming Lake in Beijing.
1320 Emperor Yingzong
1324 Emperor Taiding
The rime dictionary Zhongyuan Yinyun is published by Zhou Deqing.
1328 Emperor Tianshun
1329 Emperor Mingzong
1330 Emperor Wenzong
The Pagoda of Bailin Temple is completed
1332 Emperor Ningzong
1334 Emperor Huizong became emperor of the Yuan dynasty
Wang Dayuan ventures to North Africa.
1352 Zhu Yuanzhang joins the Red Turban Rebellion
1356 Zhu Yuanzhang's rebel force captures Nanjing.
1363 Battle of Lake Poyang
1368 Rebel general Xu Da defeats Yuan forces, while Emperor Huizong flees from Dadu (present-day Beijing). Zhu Yuanzhang establishes the Ming dynasty.
The Hongwu Emperor became emperor of the Ming dynasty
Zhu Yuanzhang (the Hongwu Emperor) overthrows the Yuan dynasty and founds the Ming dynasty.
Emperor Huizong ended his reign as emperor of the Yuan dynasty
1371 The Ming government initiates the haijin (maritime trade ban) policy.
1373 The Hongwu Emperor bans the imperial examinations in favor of a recommendation system.
The Temple of the Six Banyan Trees is rebuilt.
1375 Latest possible date for the writing of the Huolongjing treatise on gunpowder weapons, as its co-editor Liu Bowen dies on May 16.
1380 The Hongwu Emperor abolishes the office of the chancellor and takes over direct responsibility of the Three Departments and Six Ministries, although the later Grand Secretariat would aid the emperor in managing the state.
1381 The Ming Empire annexes land from the Dali Kingdom in present-day Yunnan and Guizhou, spurring a migration of hundreds of thousands.
1382 The jinyiwei (secret police) is established.
1384 Imperial examinations are reinstated by Hongwu, but he had the chief examiner executed on charges of corruption.
1397 The Ming Code (of Law) is completed, yet drawing much of its clauses from the earlier Tang Code of 653.
The Hongwu Emperor ended his reign as emperor of the Ming dynasty
1398 Jianwen Emperor

15th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1402 The Yongle Emperor became emperor of the Ming dynasty
The Yongle Emperor takes the throne after a three-year-long civil war with his nephew, the Jianwen Emperor.
1405 The treasure voyages of admiral Zheng He begin, sailing around Southeast Asia, throughout the Indian Ocean, and as far as East Africa to reestablish tributary relations of foreign countries with China.
The Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum is completed.
1406 Construction of the Forbidden City and new Beijing city fortifications begins.
1407 Fourth Chinese domination of Vietnam, although Ming forces were pushed out two decades later by Lê Lợi of the Vietnamese Lê dynasty.
Deshin Shekpa, the fifth Karmapa of Tibet, visits the imperial court of the Yongle Emperor.
1408 The massive Yongle Encyclopedia is completed.
1415 Restoration work on the Grand Canal is completed.
1420 After 13 years of a massive construction project for a new capital and Forbidden City, the Yongle Emperor declares Beijing the new capital, while Nanjing is demoted.
The Ming tombs are built.
The Yongle Emperor ended his reign as emperor of the Ming dynasty
1424 Xuande Emperor
1427 The Xuande Emperor became emperor of the Ming dynasty
The painter Shen Zhou is born.
1431 The Vietnamese Lê dynasty is recognized by the Ming Empire as a tribute state.
The Xuande Emperor ended his reign as emperor of the Ming dynasty
1443 The Zhengtong Emperor became emperor of the Ming dynasty
The Zhihua Temple is built.
1446 The Precious Belt Bridge is rebuilt.
The Zhengtong Emperor ended his reign as emperor of the Ming dynasty
1449 Jingtai Emperor
Tumu Crisis; the Zhengtong Emperor is captured by the Oirat Mongols after losing the battle and is released a year later.
1457 The Tianshun Emperor became emperor of the Ming dynasty
The former Zhengtong Emperor seizes power from the Jingtai Emperor in a coup and begins his second reign as the Tianshun Emperor.
1461 Rebellion of Cao Qin
The Tianshun Emperor ended his reign as emperor of the Ming dynasty
1464 The Chenghua Emperor became emperor of the Ming dynasty
The Miao people and Yao people of Guangxi rebel against Ming authority; a combined Ming force of 190,000 (including 1,000 Mongols) crushes the rebellion within two years.
1473 The Zhenjue Temple is completed.
The Chenghua Emperor ended his reign as emperor of the Ming dynasty
1488 Hongzhi Emperor
The Korean official Choe Bu shipwrecks in Zhejiang and travels the entire length of the Grand Canal to repatriate back to Joseon Korea. He later wrote a famous book on his travels, which was printed in both Korea and Japan in the later half of the 16th century.

16th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1510 The Zhengde Emperor became emperor of the Ming dynasty
Prince of Anhua rebellion
1516 First Portuguese contact by Jorge Álvares in Macau, followed up by Rafael Perestrello in Guangzhou.
1517 Fernão Pires de Andrade and Tomé Pires are sent as ambassadors to China by Manuel I of Portugal; they land at Guangzhou.
1519 Prince of Ning rebellion
The Zhengde Emperor ended his reign as emperor of the Ming dynasty
1521 The Jiajing Emperor became emperor of the Ming dynasty
Events, such as the Portuguese conquest of Malacca, lead to the rejection of the Portuguese embassy and the new Jiajing Emperor calling upon the Portuguese to return power of Malacca to the loyal Ming vassal Mahmud Shah; Ming and Portuguese ships fight at Tuen Mun, but relations are eventually smoothed out later by Leonel de Sousa and others determined to repair the reputation that the Portuguese initially won in the Ming Empire.
1529 Death of the philosopher Wang Yangming
1530 Around this time, mechanical engineer Zhou Shuxue improves Zhan Xiyuan's 14th century sand-driven mechanical clock by adding a fourth large gear wheel, revising gear teeth ratios, and widening the orifice which collected sand in Zhan's clock, since Zhou complained that the device clogged up too often. Although lacking the essential escapement mechanism of earlier Chinese clocks, this sand-driven clock of Zhan and Zhou featured a stationary dial face over which a pointer circulated by mechanical timing.
1549 Portuguese ships make continuous annual trade stops to Shangchuan Island.
1550 Altan Khan breaches the Great Wall, besieges Beijing, and burns down its suburbs after looting them.
1553 The Beijing outer city to the south is completed, which brought the overall size of the city to 4 by 4½ miles.
1556 The Shaanxi earthquake results in 850,000 casualties.
1557 The Portuguese establish permanent settlement in Macau.
1558 Ming forces led by Qi Jiguang defeat the wokou at Cengang.
The Jiajing Emperor ended his reign as emperor of the Ming dynasty
1567 Longqing Emperor
The haijin policy is formally repealed; the Ming government allows private foreign maritime trade, although the state had conducted all foreign trade during the ban.
1573 The Wanli Emperor became emperor of the Ming dynasty
After the Spanish establish a permanent base at Manila in the Philippines, their American-mined silver trade with the Ming Empire trumps the Portuguese-Japanese silver trade.
1574 Qin Liangyu, a female Miao general, is born.
1576 The Pagoda of Cishou Temple is built.
1577 The Wanshou Temple is built.
1581 Grand Secretary Zhang Juzheng implements the Single Whip Reform, allowing the land tax to be paid entirely in silver due to inflated paper currency and widespread counterfeit coinage.
1582 Jesuits begin missionary work in China
First reference is made about the publishing of private newspapers in Beijing.
1584 Abraham Ortelius, in his atlas Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, is the first known European to feature an illustration of the Chinese invention known as the 'sailing carriage', essentially a wheelbarrow with a ship's mast and a sail.
1587 Physician and pharmacologist Li Shizhen publishes the Bencao Gangmu, detailing the use of over 1,800 medicinal drugs.
1590 Wu Cheng'en writes the novel Journey to the West.
1592 When Japan invades Korea in the Imjin War, the Ming Empire aids Korea with troops and supplies.
1593 Siege of Pyongyang
1597 Siege of Ulsan
1598 Battle of Sacheon
Battle of Noryang; the theatrical drama Peony Pavilion, written by playwright Tang Xianzu, is performed at the Pavilion of Prince Teng.

17th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1602 From this year until 1682, the Dutch East India Company ships some six million Chinese porcelain items to Europe.
1604 Donglin movement
1607 The Greek mathematical treatise Euclid's Elements is translated into Chinese by Xu Guangqi, Sabatino de Ursis, and Matteo Ricci.
1609 The encyclopedia Sancai Tuhui is published.
1610 The novel Plum in the Golden Vase is published.
1615 The Chinese dictionary Zihui is compiled by Mei Yingzuo.
1616 Nurhaci found the Later Jin dynasty in Manchuria.
The Nanjing Religious Incident begins in this year, when all foreign Jesuits were expelled from the Ming imperial court and the astronomy bureau; this was a temporary triumph of traditionalist Confucian officials who rejected Western science in favor of Chinese science; by 1622 this policy was reversed, and the astronomy burea was once again staffed by European Jesuits and Chinese supportive of Western science.
1619 Battle of Sarhu
The philosopher Wang Fuzhi is born.
The Wanli Emperor ended his reign as emperor of the Ming dynasty
1624 The Tianqi Emperor became emperor of the Ming dynasty
Headquartered in Jakarta, the Dutch East India Company establishes Dutch rule of Taiwan.
1626 Johann Adam Schall von Bell writes the first treatise on the telescope in Chinese.
Jesuit Nicolas Trigault writes the Xiru Ermu Zi, establishing the first system of romanization of Chinese.
The Tianqi Emperor ended his reign as emperor of the Ming dynasty
1627 The Chongzhen Emperor became emperor of the Ming dynasty
First Manchu invasion of Korea; downfall of the eunuch Wei Zhongxian, who controlled the Ming government for seven years; Zhang Zilie publishes the Chinese dictionary Zhengzitong.
Polish Jesuit Michał Boym first introduces the heliocentric model of the solar system into Chinese astronomy.
1628 Battle of Ningyuan
1632 The Later Jin dynasty conquered much of Inner Mongolia.
1634 The Chongzhen Emperor acquires the telescope of the late Johann Schreck.
1635 Liu Tong adds his preface to the Dijing Jingwulue, a Chinese prose classic.
1637 Second Manchu invasion of Korea
Song Yingxing publishes the encyclopedia Tiangong Kaiwu. Due to his scholarly and encyclopedic achievements, scientist and sinologist Joseph Needham calls him the "Diderot of China".
1638 The Beijing Gazette switches its production method from woodblock printing to movable type printing.
1639 The Nongzheng Quanshu agricultural treatise of Xu Guangqi is published.
The painter Chen Hongshou travels to Beijing and earns instant acclaim by the Ming imperial court.
1641 Death of Xu Xiake, whose published travel diary of some 404,000 Chinese characters includes notes on regional geography, climate, and mineralogy.
1642 Kaifeng flood
With new additional Han Chinese banners, the full Manchu Eight Banners are established.
1644 Battle of Shanhai Pass. The Chongzhen Emperor hangs himself from the Guilty Pagoda Tree, after hearing that Li Zicheng's rebel forces have breached the gates of Beijing.
The former Ming general Wu Sangui and the Manchu prince Dorgon seize Beijing from Li Zicheng.
Li Zicheng
The Shunzhi Emperor became emperor of the Qing dynasty
The Qing dynasty is established in China.
The Chongzhen Emperor ended his reign as emperor of the Ming dynasty
1645 Yangzhou massacre
1652 The 5th Dalai Lama of Tibet visits the Qing imperial court in Beijing.
1659 Jesuits Martino Martini and Ferdinand Verbiest arrive in China, the former for the second time.
1661 On the death of the Shunzhi Emperor, his confidant Johann Adam Schall von Bell is thrown into prison, eventually released, but dies shortly after.
The Shunzhi Emperor ended his reign as emperor of the Qing dynasty
1662 The Kangxi Emperor became emperor of the Qing dynasty
The Siege of Fort Zeelandia ends with the Dutch East India Company's surrender of Taiwan to the Ming loyalists led by Koxinga (Zheng Chenggong). Koxinga establishes the Kingdom of Tungning in Taiwan.
1674 Revolt of the Three Feudatories
1682 Belgian Jesuit Antoine Thomas arrives in China.
1683 The Qing Empire defeats the Kingdom of Tungning at the Battle of Penghu. Tungning's ruler, Zheng Keshuang, surrenders to the Qing Empire.
1689 The Treaty of Nerchinsk is signed between the Qing Empire and the Russian Empire.
1690 Death of Yun Shouping, a painter who was considered one of the "Six Masters" of the Qing dynasty.
1698 The Lugou Bridge is reconstructed.
1700 Thirteen Factories

18th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1705 Papal legate Charles-Thomas Maillard De Tournon arrives in China.
1711 The British East India Company establishes a trading post in Guangzhou.
The Peiwen Yunfu rime dictionary is completed.
1716 Publication of the Kangxi Dictionary
1720 In opposition to the Dzungars, Qing forces conquer and occupy Lhasa in Tibet.
1721 In a culmination of the Chinese Rites controversy, the Kangxi Emperor delivers a decree banning Jesuits preaching in China in response to a papal bull by Pope Clement XI.
The Kangxi Emperor ended his reign as emperor of the Qing dynasty
1725 The Yongzheng Emperor became emperor of the Qing dynasty
The encyclopedia Gujin Tushu Jicheng is completed.
1732 Death of Jiang Tingxi, a painter, calligrapher, and encyclopedia writer.
The Yongzheng Emperor ended his reign as emperor of the Qing dynasty
1750 The Qianlong Emperor became emperor of the Qing dynasty
French Jesuit Jean Joseph Marie Amiot is sent to China.
1755 Ten Great Campaigns
The Puning Temple is built in commemoration of the defeat of the Dzungars.
1760 Initiation of the Canton System.
1771 Putuo Zongcheng Temple is completed.
1774 The Wenjin Chamber is built.
1780 The Fragrant Hills Pagoda is built.
1782 The encyclopedia Siku Quanshu is completed.
1791 The novel Dream of the Red Chamber is published.
1793 Anglo-Chinese relations and the Macartney Embassy; Lord Macartney, the first British envoy to Beijing, is hosted by the Qianlong Emperor's confidant Heshen.
The Qianlong Emperor ended his reign as emperor of the Qing dynasty
1796 The Jiaqing Emperor became emperor of the Qing dynasty
White Lotus Rebellion

19th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1807 Robert Morrison, the first Protestant missionary, arrives in China.
The Jiaqing Emperor ended his reign as emperor of the Qing dynasty
1820 The Daoguang Emperor became emperor of the Qing dynasty
1823 The Bible is published in Chinese.
1839 First Opium War
1842 The Treaty of Nanjing is signed between the British Empire and the Qing Empire. This marks the first of a series of unequal treaties signed between the Qing Empire and the Western powers and Japan.
1844 Wei Yuan publishes his Illustrated Treatise on the Maritime Kingdoms, a gazetteer inspired by the desire to learn more of the West and the threat it posed to the Qing Empire.
The Treaty of Wanghia is signed between the Qing Empire and the United States, with the appointment of the first United States Ambassador to China.
The Daoguang Emperor ended his reign as emperor of the Qing dynasty
1850 The Xianfeng Emperor became emperor of the Qing dynasty
1851 Taiping Rebellion
Jintian Uprising
1855 Third Pandemic of Bubonic plague
Punti–Hakka Clan Wars
1856 Second Opium War
1858 Battle of Sanhe
Treaty of Aigun
Treaty of Tianjin
1860 British and French forces loot and burn down the Old Summer Palace.
Prince Gong signs the Beijing Convention with the Western powers.
1861 Prince Gong establishes the Zongli Yamen (Foreign Office).
The Xianfeng Emperor ended his reign as emperor of the Qing dynasty
1862 The Tongzhi Emperor became emperor of the Qing dynasty
Dungan revolt
The Tongwen Guan, or School of Combined Learning, is established to for Chinese students to learn European languages.
1864 After fighting the Taiping rebels for four years, the Ever Victorious Army is disbanded; it was the first Chinese army that employed a European officer corps and adopted European military tactics, strategies and techniques.
1868 Yangzhou riot
End of the Nian Rebellion
1870 Tianjin Massacre
1871 Li Hongzhang is appointed to the position of Viceroy of Zhili, an office he would hold until 1895, serving again in the same post from 1900 to 1901, until replaced by Yuan Shikai.
1873 End of the Panthay Rebellion
The Tongzhi Emperor ended his reign as emperor of the Qing dynasty
1876 The Guangxu Emperor became emperor of the Qing dynasty (to 1910)
After the murder of Augustus Raymond Margary in the 'Margary Affair', the Chefoo Convention is held to resolve the issue but turns into an excuse for the British to press for additional concessions.
1884 Sino-French War
1891 Founding of Shanghai Sharebrokers Association
1894 The First Sino-Japanese War began
1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki
The First Sino-Japanese War ended
1898 Hundred Days' Reform
Coup led by Empress Dowager Cixi
1900 Boxer Rebellion

20th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1901 Boxer Protocol
1910 The Xuantong Emperor became emperor of the Qing dynasty
Huanghuagang Uprising
The Guangxu Emperor ended his reign as emperor of the Qing dynasty
1911 Xinhai Revolution
Wuchang Uprising
The Xuantong Emperor ended his reign as emperor of the Qing dynasty
1912 Sun Yat-sen became head of state of the Republic of China
The Provisional Government became the government of the Republic of China
Xinhai Revolution
The Kuomintang (Nationalist Party) is founded.
1913 Four big families of the Republic of China
Sun Yat-sen ended his reign as head of state of the Republic of China
The Provisional Government ended its term as the government of the Republic of China
1915 Yuan Shikai
The Beiyang Government became the government of the Republic of China
Empire of China
New Culture Movement
National Protection War
Japan's Twenty-One Demands
Chen Duxiu starts the magazine New Youth.
1916 various leaders became head of state of the Republic of China
The Warlord Era begins
1919 May Fourth Movement
Treaty of Versailles
1920 Push for written vernacular Chinese
1921 The Communist Party of China is founded.
Lu Xun writes the novella The True Story of Ah Q.
1923 Radio Corporation of China
1924 First United Front
1926 Northern Expedition
1927 Nanchang Uprising
Chinese Civil War
Kuomintang-Communist split
The Beiyang Government ended its term as the government of the Republic of China
various leaders ended their reign as head of state of the Republic of China
1928 Chiang Kai-shek became head of state of the Republic of China
The Nationalist Government became the government of the Republic of China
Nanjing decade
Zhang Zuolin
Jinan Incident
1930 Encirclement Campaign against Northeastern Jiangxi Soviet
1931 Chinese Soviet Republic
1931 China floods
Japanese invasion of Manchuria
Mukden Incident
Chiang Kai-shek ended his reign as head of state of the Republic of China
1932 Lin Sen became head of state of the Republic of China
Imperial Japanese colonialism in Manchukuo
Pacification of Manchukuo
January 28 Incident
Defense of Harbin
1934 Long March
New Life Movement
1935 December 9th Movement
First Encirclement Campaign against Hubei–Henan–Shaanxi Soviet
1936 Xi'an Incident
Japan establishes the Mengjiang
1937 The Second Sino-Japanese War (Marco Polo Bridge Incident, Battle of Shanghai, Battle of Pingxingguan, Battle of Nanjing, Battle of Tai'erzhuang, Battle of Changsha 1939, Hundred Regiments Offensive, Battle of Changsha 1941, Battle of Changsha 1942, Battle of Changsha 1944) began
Nanking Massacre
Second United Front
1938 Bombing of Chongqing
1941 Yan'an Rectification Movement
1943 Cairo Declaration
Lin Sen ended his reign as head of state of the Republic of China
1944 Chiang Kai-shek became head of state of the Republic of China
1945 Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, World War II ends
China become one of the founding members of the United Nations
The Campaign to Suppress Bandits in Northeast China
The Second Sino-Japanese War (Marco Polo Bridge Incident, Battle of Shanghai, Battle of Pingxingguan, Battle of Nanjing, Battle of Tai'erzhuang, Battle of Changsha 1939, Hundred Regiments Offensive, Battle of Changsha 1941, Battle of Changsha 1942, Battle of Changsha 1944) ended
1946 Second Chinese Civil War
1947 228 Incident in Taiwan Province
1948 Liaoshen Campaign, Pingjin Campaign and Huaihai Campaign
Constitution of the Republic of China
Nationalist Government dissolved
Establishment of the government of the Republic of China
Chiang Kai-shek ended his reign as head of state of the Republic of China
The Nationalist Government ended its term as the government of the Republic of China
1949 Fall of Nanjing, the capital of the Republic of China
Establishment of the People's Republic of China led by Communist Party of China
The Republic of China government is relocated to Guangzhou and then Taipei.
After 1 October, the history of the Republic of China continues at Timeline of Taiwanese history.
Mao Zedong (Mao Zedong Thought)
Founding of the People's Republic of China
1950 Battle of the Ch'ongch'on River, Landing Operation on Hainan Island
Korean War
Canidrome massacre
1951 Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet
1952 Three-anti/five-anti campaigns
1953 Five Year Plan
1956 Hundred Flowers campaign
1957 Anti-Rightist Movement
Asian Flu
1958 Great Leap Forward
1959 Great sparrow campaign causes famine
Three Years of Natural Disasters begins
Tibetan uprising
1960 Sino-Soviet split
1962 Sino-Indian War
1964 Destruction of Four Olds
State Council pushed for Simplified Chinese characters in the mainland
First PRC atomic bomb detonation, 596 nuclear test
1966 Cultural Revolution
Three-Self Patriotic Movement
The Down to the Countryside Movement began
The Little Red Book
1968 Deng Pufang handicap incident
The Down to the Countryside Movement ended
1969 Zhenbao Island Sino-Soviet border conflict
Beijing Subway
1970 Long March rocket, first satellite launch
1971 Henry Kissinger visits Beijing
1972 Shanghai Communiqué
Richard Nixon visits China
1974 Battle of the Paracel Islands
1975 Four Modernizations
1976 Hua Guofeng (Two Whatevers) became paramount leader of the People's Republic of China (to 1977)
Tiananmen incident following the death of Zhou Enlai
The Great Tangshan earthquake
Death of Mao Zedong
1977 Beijing Spring
Hua Guofeng (Two Whatevers) ended his reign as paramount leader of the People's Republic of China
1978 Deng Xiaoping (Deng Xiaoping Theory) became paramount leader of the People's Republic of China
Chinese economic reforms
Democracy Wall Movement
1979 One-child policy
Four cardinal principles
Sino-American relations
Border-war with Vietnam. Series of border conflicts until 1990
1980 Special Economic Zones
Trial of Gang of Four
1984 Margaret Thatcher in China, signs Sino-British Joint Declaration
1988 Johnson South Reef Skirmish with Viet Nam
1989 Tiananmen Square protests
PRC declares Martial law on Lhasa, Tibet
1991 First McDonald's restaurant in Beijing
Deng Xiaoping (Deng Xiaoping Theory) ended his reign as paramount leader of the People's Republic of China
1992 Jiang Zemin (Three Represents) became paramount leader of the People's Republic of China
1996 Karamay fire incident
1997 Hong Kong handover, becomes a Special Administrative Region
Death of Deng Xiaoping
1998 Great Firewall of China
Banning of China Democracy Party
1999 Macau handover
NATO bombing of embassy in Belgrade
Falun Gong banned by the PRC government
2000 The PRC passes Japan as the country with which the USA has the largest trade deficit

21st century[edit]

Year Date Event
2001 Tiananmen Square self-immolation incident
Accession to World Trade Organization
Hainan Island incident
2003 SARS outbreak
Shenzhou 5, PRC's first manned space mission
Jiang Zemin (Three Represents) ended his reign as paramount leader of the People's Republic of China
2004 Hu Jintao (Scientific Development Concept) became paramount leader of the People's Republic of China
Jiang Zemin retires from his post as Chairman of the Central Military Commission
2005 Anti-Secession law
Jilin Chemical plant explosions
Anti-Japanese history revisionism
2006 Structural work finished in the Three Gorges Dam
2007 Head of SFDA Zheng Xiaoyu executed
Chang'e 1 of Lunar Exploration Program
Chinese slave scandal
Reincarnation application
2008 2008 Summer Olympics/2008 Summer Paralympics
Hangzhou Bay Bridge opens
Shenzhou 7 first spacewalk
Early winter storms
Tibetan unrest
Sichuan earthquake
Milk scandal
2009 Urumqi riots
60th Anniversary of the People's Republic of China
2010 2010 Yushu earthquake
2010 Shanghai World Expo
2011 Protests of Wukan
Hu Jintao (Scientific Development Concept) ended his reign as paramount leader of the People's Republic of China
2012 Xi Jinping (Chinese Dream) became paramount leader of the People's Republic of China
Wang Lijun incident
18th National Congress of CCP
Diaoyu Islands dispute
2013 Third Plenum of 18th Party Congress
Chang'e 3 landing on the moon
Shanghai Free Trade Zone
Tiananmen Square attack
Xi Jinping (Chinese Dream) ended his reign as paramount leader of the People's Republic of China

See also[edit]

Cities in China

References[edit]

  1. ^ Xiaohong, et al. (2002).
  2. ^ a b c d e Huang et al. (2002).
  3. ^ [1]

Further reading[edit]

Published in the 19th century
Published in the 20th century
  • Charles E. Little (1900), "China", Cyclopedia of Classified Dates, New York: Funk & Wagnalls – via Internet Archive 
  • Benjamin Vincent (1910), "China", Haydn's Dictionary of Dates (25th ed.), London: Ward, Lock & Co. – via Hathi Trust 
Published in the 21st century

External links[edit]