(Death toll from Western invasion and intervention
against the Boxer Rebellion 1899-1901: 115,000)
(Death toll from U.S. intervention to stop the Chinese revolution 1945-1960s: 200,000)
Instances of Use of United States Forces Abroad 1798-1993
1843 -- China. Sailors and marines from the St. Louis were landed after a clash between Americans and Chinese
at the trading post in Canton.
1854 -- China -- April 4 to June 15 to 17. American and English ships landed forces
to protect American interests in and near Shanghai during Chinese civil strife.
1855 -- China -- May 19 to 21. U.S.
forces protected American interests in Shanghai and, from August 3 to 5 fought pirates near Hong Kong.
1856 -- China
-- October 22 to December 6. U.S. forces landed to protect American interests at Canton during hostilities between the British
and the Chinese, and to avenge an assault upon an unarmed boat displaying the United States flag.
1859 -- China --
July 31 to August 2. A naval force landed to protect American interests in Shanghai.
1866 -- China. From June 20 to
July 7, U.S. forces punished an assault on the American consul at Newchwang.
1894-95 -- China. Marines were stationed
at Tientsin and penetrated to Peking for protection purposes during the Sino--Japanese War.
1898--99 -- China -- November
5, 1898 to March 15, 1899. U.S. forces provided a guard for the legation at Peking and the consulate at Tientsin during contest
between the Dowager Empress and her son.
1900 -- China -- May 24 to September 28. American troops participated in operations
to protect foreign lives during the Boxer rising, particularly at Peking. For many years after this experience a permanent
legation guard was maintained in Peking, and was strengthened at times as trouble threatened.
1911 -- China. As the
nationalist revolution approached, in October an ensign and 10 men tried to enter Wuchang to rescue missionaries but retired
on being warned away and a small landing force guarded American private property and consulate at Hankow. A marine guard was
established in November over the cable stations at Shanghai; landing forces were sent for protection in Nanking, Chinkiang,
Taku and elsewhere.
1912 -- China -- August 24 to 26, on Kentucky Island, and August 26 to 30 at Camp Nicholson. U.S.
forces protect Americans and American interests during revolutionary activity.
1912-41 -- China. The disorders which
began with the Kuomintang rebellion in 1912, which were redirected by the invasion of China by Japan and finally ended by
war between Japan and the United States in 1941, led to demonstrations and landing parties for the protection of U.S. interests
in China continuously and at many points from 1912 on to 1941. The guard at Peking and along the route to the sea was maintained
until 1941. In 1927, the United States had 5,670 troops ashore in China and 44 naval vessels in its waters. In 1933 the United
States had 3,027 armed men ashore. The protective action was generally based on treaties with China concluded from 1858 to
1917 -- China. American troops were landed at Chungking to protect American lives during a political crisis.
-- China -- March 14. A landing force was sent ashore for a few hours to protect lives during a disturbance at Kiukiang.
-- China. Between April 1922 and November 1923 marines were landed five times to protect Americans during periods of unrest.
-- China -- September. Marines were landed to protect Americans and other foreigners in Shanghai during Chinese factional
1925 -- China -- January 15 to August 29. Fighting of Chinese factions accompanied by riots and demonstrations
in Shanghai brought the landing of American forces to protect lives and property in the International Settlement.
-- China -- August and September. The Nationalist attack on Han brought the landing of American naval forces to protect American
citizens. A small guard was maintained at the consulate general even after September 16, when the rest of the forces were
withdrawn. Likewise, when Nation forces captured Kiukiang, naval forces were landed for the protection of foreigners November
4 to 6.
1927 -- China -- February. Fighting at Shanghai caused American naval forces and marines to be increased. In
March a naval guard was stationed at American consulate at Nanking after Nationalist forces captured the city. American and
British destroyers later used shell fire to protect Americans and other foreigners. Subsequently additional forces of marines
and naval forces were stationed in the vicinity of Shanghai and Tientsin.
1932 -- China. American forces were landed
to protect American interests during the Japanese occupation of Shanghai.
1934 -- China. Marines landed at Foochow
to protect the American Consulate.
1945 -- China. In October 50,000 U.S. Marines were sent to North China to assist
Chinese Nationalist authorities in disarming and repatriating the Japanese in China and in controlling ports, railroads, and
airfields. This was in addition to approximately 60,000 U.S. forces remaining in China at the end of World War II.
-- China. Marines were dispatched to Nanking to protect the American Embassy when the city fell to Communist troops, and to
Shanghai to aid in the protection and evacuation of Americans.
1950-55 -- Formosa (Taiwan). In June 1950 at the beginning
of the Korean War, President Truman ordered the U.S. Seventh Fleet to prevent Chinese Communist attacks upon Formosa and Chinese
Nationalist operations against mainland China.
1954-55 -- China. Naval units evacuated U.S. civilians and military
personnel from the Tachen Islands.
1949 - 1 October - Mao Zedong, having led the Communists to victory against the Nationalists after more
than 20 years of civil war, proclaims the founding of the People's Republic of China. The Nationalists retreat to the island
of Taiwan and set up a government there.
American involvement in the civil war
Chinese Civil War
China 1945 to 1960s: Was Mao Tse-tung Just Paranoid?
1950 - China intervenes in the Korean War on the side of North Korea.
1958 - Mao launches the "Great Leap Forward", a five-year economic plan. Farming is collectivised and labour-intensive
industry is introduced. The drive produces economic breakdown and is abandoned after two years. Disruption to agriculture
is blamed for the deaths by starvation of millions of people following poor harvests.
1959 - Chinese forces suppress large-scale revolt in Tibet.
1962 - Brief conflict with India over disputed Himalayan border.
1966-76 - "Cultural Revolution", Mao's 10-year political and ideological campaign aimed at reviving revolutionary spirit,
produces massive social, economic and political upheaval.
1972 - US President Richard Nixon vists. Both countries declare a desire to normalise relations.
From Hostility to Engagement, 1960-1998
1976 - Mao dies. "Gang of Four", including Mao's widow, jockey for power but are arrested and convicted of crimes against
the state. From 1977 Deng Xiaoping emerges as the dominant figure among pragmatists in the leadership. Under him, China undertakes
far-reaching economic reforms.
1979 - Diplomatic relations established with the US.
1986-90 - China's "Open-door policy" opens the country to foreign investment and encourages development of a market
economy and private sector.
1989 - Troops open fire on demonstrators who have camped for weeks in Tiananmen Square initially to demand the posthumous
rehabilitation of former CCP General Secretary Hu Yaobang, who was forced to resign in 1987. The official death toll is 200.
International outrage leads to sanctions.
1989 - Jiang Zemin takes over as Chinese Communist Party general secretary from Zhao Ziyang, who refused to support
martial law during the Tiananmen demonstrations.
1992 - Russia and China sign declaration restoring friendly ties.
Three Gorges project
1993 - Jiang Zemin officially replaces Yang Shangkun as president.
Preliminary construction work on the Three Gorges dam begins. It will create a lake almost 600 kilometres (375 miles) long
and submerge dozens of cultural heritage sites by the time it is completed in 2009.
1994 - China abolishes the official renminbi (RMB) currency exchange rate and fixes its first floating rate since 1949.
1995 - China tests missiles and holds military exercises in the Taiwan Strait, apparently to intimidate Taiwan during
its presidential elections.
1996 - China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan - dubbed the Shanghai Five - meet in Shanghai and agree
to cooperate to combat ethnic and religious tensions in each others' countries.
1997 - Deng Xiaoping dies, aged 92. Rioting erupts in Yining, Xinjiang and on day of Deng's funeral Xinjiang separatists
plant three bombs on buses in Urumqi, Xinjiang, killing nine and injuring 74.
1998 - Zhu Rongji succeeds Li Peng as premier, announces reforms in the wake of the Asian financial crisis and continued
deceleration of the economy. Thousands of state-owned enterprises are to be restructured through amalgamations, share flotations
and bankruptcies. About four million civil service jobs to be axed.
1999 - Nato bombs the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, souring Sino-US relations.
2000 - Crackdown on official corruption intensifies, with the execution for bribe taking of a former deputy chairman
of the National People's Congress.
2001 April - Diplomatic stand-off over the detention of an American spy plane and crew after a mid-air collision with
a Chinese fighter jet.
2001 June - Leaders of China, Russia and four Central Asian states launch the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)
and sign an agreement to fight ethnic and religious militancy while promoting trade and investment. The group emerges when
the Shanghai Five - China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan - are joined by Uzbekistan.
2001 June - China carries out military exercises simulating an invasion of Taiwan, at the same time as the island's
armed forces test their capability to defend Taiwan against a missile attack from China.
2001 November - China joins the World Trade Organisation.
2002 February - US President George W Bush visits, on the 30th anniversary of President Nixon's visit to China - the
first by a US president.
2002 July - The US says China is modernising its military to make possible a forcible reunification with Taiwan. Beijing
says its policy remains defensive.
2002 November - Vice-President Hu Jintao is named head of the ruling Communist Party, replacing Jiang Zemin, the outgoing
president. Jiang is re-elected head of the influential Central Military Commission, which oversees the armed forces.
2003 March - National People's Congress elects Hu Jintao as president. He replaces Jiang Zemin, who steps down after
10 years in the post.
Sars virus outbreak
2003 March-April - China and Hong Kong are hit by the pneumonia-like Sars virus, thought to have originated in Guangdong
province in November 2002. Strict quarantine measures are enforced to stop the disease spreading.
2003 June - Sluice gates on Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest hydropower scheme, are closed to allow the reservoir
to fill up.
2003 June - Hong Kong is declared free of Sars. Days later the World Health Organization lifts its Sars-related travel
warning for Beijing.
2003 June - China, India reach de facto agreement over status of Tibet and Sikkim in landmark cross-border trade agreement.
2003 July/August - Some 500,000 people march in Hong Kong against Article 23, a controversial anti-subversion bill.
Two key Hong Kong government officials resign. The government shelves the bill.
China in space
2003 October - Launch of China's first manned spacecraft: Astronaut Yang Liwei is sent into space by a Long March 2F
2004 September - Former president Jiang Zemin stands down as army chief, three years ahead of schedule.
2004 November - China signs a landmark trade agreement with 10 south-east Asian countries; the accord could eventually
unite 25% of the world's population in a free-trade zone.
2005 January - Former reformist leader Zhao Ziyang dies. He opposed violent measures to end 1989's student protests
and spent his last years under virtual house arrest.
2005 March - Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa resigns. He is succeeded in June by Donald Tsang.
2005 April - Relations with Japan deteriorate amid sometimes-violent anti-Japanese protests in Chinese cities, sparked
by a Japanese textbook which China says glosses over Japan's World War II record.
2005 August - China and Russia hold their first joint military exercises.
2005 October - China conducts its second manned space flight, with two astronauts circling Earth in the Shenzhou VI
2005 November - Explosion at a chemical plant poisons the Songhua river, cutting off water supplies to millions of
2006 May - Work on the structure of the Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest hydropower project, is completed.
2006 July - New China-Tibet railway line, the world's highest train route, begins operating.
2006 August - Official news agency says 18 million people are affected by what it describes as the country's worst
drought in 50 years.
2006 November - African heads of state gather for a China-Africa summit in Beijing. Business deals worth nearly $2bn
are signed and China promises billions of dollars in loans and credits.
Government says pollution has degraded China's environment to a critical level, threatening health and social stability.
2007 January - Reports say China has carried out a missile test in space, shooting down an old weather satellite. The
US, Japan and others express concern at China's military build-up.
2007 February - President Hu Jintao tours eight African countries to boost trade and investment. Western rights groups
criticise China for dealing with corrupt or abusive regimes.
2007 April - During a landmark visit, Wen Jiabao becomes the first Chinese prime minister to address Japan's parliament.
Both sides agree to try to iron out differences over their shared history.
2007 June - New labour law introduced after hundreds of men and boys were found working as slaves in brick factories.
2007 July - China's food and drug agency chief is executed for taking bribes. Food and drug scandals have sparked international
fears about the safety of Chinese exports.
2007 September - A new Roman Catholic bishop of Beijing is consecrated - the first for over 50 years to have the tacit
approval of the Pope.
2007 October - China launches its first moon orbiter.
2008 January - The worst snowstorms in decades are reported to have affected up to 100 million people.