China's Communist Revolution

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  • Mao Zedong's Rise to Power

    Mao Zedong's Rise to Power
    Mao Zedong proclaimed the establishment of the People's Republic of China after Mao's Communist forces defeated the People's Republic of China led by Chiang Kai-Shek in the Chinese Civil War after World War II. The Republic of China retreated to the island of Taiwan and the People's Republic of China controlled most of mainland China.
  • Period: to

    Chinese Revolution

  • Treaty of Friendship

    Treaty of Friendship
    The USSR was China's model for development. China had no experience or resources to modernize. The treaty provided $300 million in loans and hundreds of technical experts. The loans were to be paid to the USSR at high interest rates and the USSR also was given mineral rights in Xinjang, China.
  • Korean War

    Korean War
    The People's Republic of China entered the Korean War. Mao Zedong's involvement in the war was not to save North Korea but to make China a military world power with Stalin's help, improve his standing with Communists internationally and to weaken any anti-Communist feelings within China itself.
  • First Five Year Plan

    First Five Year Plan
    With help from Russia the First Five Year Plan tried to increase steel, coal, iron production, and industrial growth. It also tried to increase agricultural production through cooperatives and collective ownership copying the Soviet model. It was successful.
  • Stalin Dies

    Stalin Dies
    When Stalin died in 1953, Mao Zedong felt he was now the senior leader and was resentful when the new Soviet leader, Khrushchev, did not recognize this. Mao did not support many of Stalin's requests but he respected him as a world leader.
  • Paper Tiger

    Paper Tiger
    This became well known as a slogan used by Mao Zedong against opponents especially the U.S. He said, "In appearance it is very powerful but in reality it is nothing to be afraid of; it is a paper tiger. It is made of paper, unable to withstand wind and rain. I believe that it is nothing but a paper tiger." In Mao's view, the U.S. seems powerful but it actually is not.
  • Khrushchev's Secret Speech

    Khrushchev's Secret Speech
    In 1956 Khrushchev denounced Stalin during his Secret Speech which angered Mao Zedong because of the respect that he had for Stalin.
  • Hundred Flowers Campaign

    Hundred Flowers Campaign
    This movement lifted the restrictions on thought and speech. It allowed citizens to share their thoughts and concerns. Mao thought this would have a positive effect but it didn't. He was surprised by the negative feedback from the citizens. Mao didn't want to lose control so he imprisoned hundreds of thousands of people who disagreed with his policies. He also sent thousands of people to re-education camps to work alongside the peasants. He labeled these people "rightests."
  • Hundred Flowers Campaign Ends

    Hundred Flowers Campaign Ends
    This movement was also called the "anti-rightests" campaign.
  • The Great Leap Forward Begins

    The Great Leap Forward Begins
    An econonic and social campaign started by China's Communists led by Mao Zedong. He tried to change the country's economy into a Communist society by rapid industrialization. Backyard furnaces were used to produce steel but it was poor quality. Farming led to crop failures and erosion. Flooding of the Yellow River followed by the Great Famine led to 40 million people dying of starvation. The plan was a horrible failure and was stopped after 3 years. Mao also lost respect.
  • Chinese Split With Soviet Union Begins

    Chinese Split With Soviet Union Begins
    The Sino- Soviet split began in the late 1950's It was a major conflict between China' s leader , Mao Zedong, and the Soviet's leader, Nikita Khrushchev.
  • Summit Meeting

    Summit Meeting
    Khrushchev held a summit meeting with President Eisenhower. Soviets were alarmed by developments within China. They refused to honor their commitment to help China develop nuclear weapons and to support Mao in his border dispute with India. Mao was offended by this. Soviets knew that the US could match them in nuclear weapons so they wanted to work with them to avoid a war.
  • The Great Leap Forward Ends

    The Great Leap Forward Ends
    This was supposed to last 5 years but was stopped in 1960. Cost an estimated 20 to 48 million lives as a result of catastrophic economic policy, adverse weather conditions including a flood that killed 2 million people and subsequent crop failures and a drought that led to starvation.
  • Split Becomes Public

    Split Becomes Public
    Spilt between Russia and China becames public when Khrushchev and Peng Zhen from China clash.
  • Final Split

    Final Split
    International events caused the final split between the Soviet Union and China. Mao Zedong criticized Nikita Khrushchev for backing down in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Khrushchev responded by declaring that Mao's policies would lead to nuclear war.
  • Sino-Soviet Split

    Sino-Soviet Split
    The Sino-Soviet split was an established fact. The start of Mao's Cultural Revolution cut all contact between China and the Soviet Union and also between China and most of the rest of the world.
  • Cultural Revolution Begins

    Cultural Revolution Begins
    A political and social movement started by Mao Zedong. It was supposed to preserve "true" Communist ideology by destroying all remnants of capitalistic elements. Many young people and students formed "Red Guards" along with the People's Liberation Army to rid the country of its old customs, culture, habits and ideas using violence and public humiliation. Millions of people died or committed suicide. Much of China's art, religious and ancient cultural objects were destroyed.
  • Mao Opens Talks With America

    Mao Opens Talks With America
    Mao Zedong realized that he could not confront the Soviet Union, the United States and stop internal disorder. Mao decided that because of their geographical proximity the Soviets were a great threat so he decided to open a dialogue with America so they could confront the USSR.
  • Summit With Nixon

    Summit With Nixon
    Henry Kissinger , Security Adviser to President Nixon, made a secret visit to Beijing to make arrangements for a visit by President Nixon the following year. The Soviets retaliated by organizing their own summit with Nixon. This created a triangular relationship between the US, Beijing and Moscow and ended the worst period of confrontation between the USSR and China.
  • Mao Zedong Dies

    Mao Zedong Dies
    Mao Zedong was 82 years old at the time of his death. He had been a heavy smoker for most of his life. He had many lung and heart ailments, There were also reports that he had Parkinson's Disease and ALS. He had a third heart attack on September 5, 1976 and died 4 days later.
  • Cultural Revolution Ends

    Cultural Revolution Ends
    After Mao Zedong''s death, Hua Guofeng orders the arrest of the Gang of Four ending the Cultural Revolution.