Timeline of Humanity
in focus: China
Timeline: China in Focus | BeingBlackToday.com
Where is China?
China World's Largest Population with Nearly 1-1/2 Billion
China, officially the People's Republic of China, has the world's largest population, around 1.4 billion. It is the world's second-largest by surface area. China is governed by the Communist Party of China.

Republic of China Defeats Qing Dynasty (Last Dynasty of China)
For thousands of years, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties. In 1912, the Republic of China replaced the Qing Dynasty.

Republic of China Defeated by Communist People's Liberation Army
The communist People's Liberation Army defeated the Republic of China at the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. The Communist Party then established the People's Republic of China.

Nuclear Weapon State
China is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states, that includes the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, and France.

As of 2015, China possesses the second smallest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, at about 260 total warheads.

Hongwu Emperor
1368 - 1398
Ming Dynasty Becomes Ruling Dynasty of China and Last Dynasty Ruled by the Han Chinese
Following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty, the Ming dynasty -- the Empire of the Great Ming -- became the ruling dynasty of China, that would rule for nearly 300 years, from 1368 to 1644.  This dynasty became the last imperial dynasty in China ruled by the ethnic Han Chinese.

Hongwu was the first emperor of the Ming dynasty, ruling for 30 years.  He was a former commander of one of the many rebel forces that rose in rebellion against the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. 

Emperor Hongwu Builds a Million Strong Standing Army and the Largest Navy in the World
Hongwu attempted to create a society of self-sufficient communities that would guarantee and support a permament class of soldiers for his dynasty.  Eventually, he had a standing army of more than one million troops and the largest navy in the world.

Trusting only his family, Hongwu provided much of the land throughout China to his many sons, installing them as feudal princes.

Zhu Yunwen Succeeds Emperor Hongwu
The natural successor of Hongwu died before he did, so Hongwu passed the throne to his grandson, Zhu Yunwen, who became the second emperor of the Ming dynasty in 1389, after Hongwu's death.

The Jianwen Emperor, Zhu Yunwen, Overthrown
Zhu Yunwen's reign did not last very long.  After four years, in 1402, he was overthrown by one of his uncles, a son of Hongwu and feudal prince, after making an attempt to reduce the power and influence of all of his uncles by taking back the territories that they were granted by their father.  By his second year on the thrown, Zhu Yunwen had demoted or arrested several of his uncles.  It was Hongwu's fourth son, Zhu Di, Prince of Yan, who overthrew him.

Zhu Di Assumes Throne as the Yongle Emperor
After personally leading forces in revolt against Zhu Yunwen to overthrown his nephew, Zhu Di assumed the throne as the Yonge Emperor in 1402.

Beijing Becomes the Capital
The Imperial City is Built
The Yongle Emperor moved the capital from Nanjing to Beijing, constructing a new city there, pver a four mile area, taking over 13 years to complete.  The Imperial City was built at its center, and the Forbidden City, the palatial residence of the emperor and his family was built at the center of the Imperial City.

China Increases in Power and Wealth Becoming the Great Naval Power of the 15th Century
The Yongle Emperor built a gigantic fleet of militarized ships, designated for making expeditions and "treasure hunting", which provided China with notoriety as a power nation with great wealth, throughout the known world.

Trade Begins Between Imperialist Europe and China
While at the verge of European imperialism reaching its height, Europe and China began a trade relationship in 1557, when the Portuguese lease an outpost at Macau.

Other European nations soon followed the Portugese, in direct competition with the Arab, Chinese, Indian, and Japanese merchants.

The trade between China and Europe quickly accelerated at the Spanish imperialist conquered the Philippines.

China was the primary destination of silver that was being mined in South America, as the Chinese would only sell their goods for silver.  From the mid-17th century onward around 28 million kilograms of silver were received by China, principally from European powers, in exchange for Chinese products.

The British tried to circumvent establishing formal relations with China, and were only allowed to trade at three China ports.

Canton became the center of China's sea trade.  Goods such as tea, porcelain, and silk were highly valued in Europe and the trade system, known as the "Canton System", was highly regulated by the Qing government.

Foreign traders...
  • were only permitted to do business through a body of Chinese merchants known as the Cohong
  • were forbidden to learn Chinese
  • could only live in one of the Thirteen Factories
  • were not allowed to enter or trade in any other part of China, a policy the Qing called the Yī kŏu tōngshāng, or the "Single port commerce system"
  • could only deal with low level government officials
  • could not lobby the imperial court for any reason excepting official diplomatic missions.
The Imperial laws that upheld the system were collectively known as the Prevention Barbarian Ordinances.

The Chinese Civil War Begins
In 1927, the rivalry between the Kuomintang (KMT) and Chinese Communist Party (CPC) evolved into a civil war that was to span nearly 25 years.  (see 1911 and 1923 ASIA)

The conflict eventually results in two separate, unofficial states, the Kuomintang's Republic of China (ROC), located in Taiwan, and the communist People's Republic of China (PRC) in mainland China, each claiming to be the legitimate government of China.

Second United Front:
Conflict Temporarily Halts 
to Fight Japanese Invasion
In 1937, the two parties came together, to take a stand against a Japanse invasion, forming the Second United Front.  However, as soon as the conflict ended with Japan, the civil war resumed in 1946.

1950: Major Conflict Ends
with Communists Winning War
All major military action ended between the two political factions in 1950, resulting in the communist People's Republic of China maintaining control of mainland China and the nationalist Republic of China being restricted to Taiwan, Penghu, Quemoy, Matsu and severaly outlying islands.

Xi Jinping, President People's Republic of China
Jinping President for Life:? China Abolishes Presidential Term Limits
According to the current Constitution of the People's Republic of China, the President's term of office is the same as the term of the National People's Congress (currently five years), and the president and vice-president were both limited to two consecutive terms.

China's Road to a
New De facto Monarchy
However, on February 25, 2018, an amendment by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China to the 13th National People's Congress abolished presidential term limits. After the vote in favor by the National People's Congress, it is now possible for China's current leader, Xi Jinping, to serve in office for life. The two-term limit had been in effect since the 1990s.

On paper, the National People's Congress is the most powerful legislative body in China, similar to the parliament in other nations, and the presidency is largely a ceremonial office with limited powers that serves at the pleasure of the National Peple's Congress. But, while serving in office, Xi Jinping has amassed a lot of power, infuence and respect.

U.S. vs China
Donald J. Trump, US President
and Xi Jinping, President People's Republic of China
Trade Diplomacy Falters U.S. President Imposes Steep Trade Tariffs Against China
Less than two weeks after U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, announced that the issue of Chinese trade tariffs was on hold, and just days after China’s top economic advisor, Vice Premier Liu He, led a delegation to the U.S, President Donald Trump announced that he will proceed with its proposal to impose 25% tariffs on $50 billion worth of goods from China, and put into place new limits on Chinese investments in U.S. high-tech industries.

China’s Commerce Ministry said in an announcement that Trump’s acts were “obviously in violation” of their recent agreement, and urged the U.S. to move in the direction of the spirit of their joint communication.

The Trump administration said that it is moving forward with tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods as punishment for intellectual property theft.