Tuesday, January 1, 2019

China Contemporary Period

On October 1st, 1949, from the magnificent Tiananmen Rostrum, Chairman Mao Zedong solemnly declared to the world: “The People’s Republic of China is founded! The Chinese people have stood up!” That day, which became the National Day, marked the beginning of contemporary Chinese history. After the founding of New China, under the direction of the CPC and the People’s Republic’s first-generation of leadership under Mao Zedong, the war-torn national economy was recovered, a socialist system established and people’s living standard improved. Meanwhile, with the unity of all ethnic groups being strengthened within the country, China developed relations with foreign countries and resumed her legal status in the United Nations and that of the permanent membership of the UN Security Council. China took on an entirely new look, both politically and economically.
In 1978, under the direction of the CPC and New China’s second-generation leadership under Deng Xiaoping, with the influence and boosting of the third wave of technological revolution worldwide, China entered a new period of reform, opening-up and socialist modernization, with her economy developing rapidly, her undertakings in the fields of scientific, educational, cultural, sports and health making constant progress and her international status increasing by leaps and bounds. Using the policy of “one country, two systems”, China successfully settled the issues of Hong Kong and Macao.
The third-generation leadership of the Central Committee with Jiang Zemin at the core stuck to the policy of reforms and opening-up to the outside world. China entered the WTO in 2001, which has exerted a positive influence on China’s socialist construction.
At the present time, under the direction of the CPC Central Committee headed by General Secretary Hu Jintao, China is continuing to advance steadily to build a harmonious socialist society with the well-off living standard.

Mao Zedong and the Founding of New China
In September 1949, the First Plenary Session of the Chinese Peopled Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) was held in Beiping. The Session decided to found the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and elected Mao Zedong chairman of the Central Peopled Government of the PRC, and Zhu De, Liu Shaoqi and others vice-chairmen. The Session also decided to change the name of Beiping to Beijing and make it the capital of the PRC and decided to adopt March of the Volunteers as the national anthem, and the five-starred red flag as the national flag.
At 2 pm on October 1 st, the state leaders were sworn into office, and Zhou Enlai was appointed Premier of the Government Administration Council of the Central People’s Government.
At 3 pm, the founding ceremony of the PRC was held. In Beijing, 300 000 people gathered in Tiananmen Square. Standing on
the Tiananmen Rostrum, Mao Zedong solemnly declared to the world, “The Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China is founded!” He raised in person the first five-starred red flag to the accompaniment of an artillery salute. This was followed by a grand military review, and fireworks display in the evening.
The founding of the PRC marked the end of a 100-year-old history of semi-colonial, semi-feudal society in the old China, and opened a new chapter in Chinese history. Since then, China, with nearly a quarter of the world’s population within her territory, has been an independent country, and her people have become their own masters.

The Heroic Death of Mao Anying
When the Korean War broke out, Mao Anying, the eldest son of Mao Zedong volunteered to join the Chinese People’s Volunteers to fight in Korea. He became an interpreter of Russian and secretary in the headquarters. On November 25th, 1950, US bombers raided the headquarters of the Chinese People’s Volunteers and dropped napalm. Mao Anying died a heroic death at his working post in the campaign room. He sleeps eternally on the Korean soil.

The War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea
On June 25, 1950, a civil war broke out on the Korean Peninsula. The US immediately sent troops to interfere in the internal affairs of Korea. At the same time, it sent warships into the Taiwan Straits. On July 7th, the US manipulated the UN Security Council to pass a resolution to organize a UN Command, consisting mainly of US troops in order to enlarge the aggression against Korea. US President H. S. Truman appointed General Douglas MacArthur Commander-in-Chief of the UN Command.
China insisted on a peaceful solution to the Korean issue and strongly protested against the US armed interference in Korea’s internal affairs as well as intrusion into China’s territory.
On September 15, US troops landed on the west coast of the Korean Peninsula and began attacking the Korean People’s Army. In early October 1950, US troops crossed the 38 degrees of north latitude (the 38th Parallel), attempting to seize the whole of Korea. At the same time, the US air force bombed Chinese villages and towns near the Chinese-Korean border, and the US navy bombarded Chinese ships. Chinese national security was thus endangered.
In early October, upon the request of the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Chinese government made the decision to resist the US and aid Korea, and protect our motherland. On October 19th, 1950, under Commander-in-Chief Peng Dehuai, the Chinese People’s Volunteers crossed the Yalu River and marched to the Korean battlefield to fight side by side with the Korean People’s Army against the US invaders. From October 1950 to June 1951, they launched five strategic campaigns in succession, which forced the UN forces back beyond the 38th Parallel, turning the tide of the Korean War. In July 1951, the two belligerent parties began armistice talks. On July 27th, 195S, they signed the armistice agreement, and the Korean War ended.
The war to resist US aggression and aid Korea crushed the imperialists’ aggressive ambitions, helped to safeguard Asian and global peace, enhanced China’s international prestige and won a peaceful environment of relative stability for the construction of New China.

Zhou Enlai and New China’s Diplomacy
Zhou Enlai was an important leader of the CPC. He was an outstanding statesman and diplomat who played an important role in a series of major historical events, such as the Northern Expedition, the Nanchang Uprising, the Zunyi Conference, the Long March, the Xi’an Incident, the Chongqing Negotiations and the founding of the PRC. As the first premier and concurrently minister of foreign affairs of New China, he possessed superb diplomatic skills and personal charm. Every time he appeared on diplomatic occasions, he would bring hope to those who loved peace. He was a symbol of success and victory.
From April to July 1954, the US, the Soviet Union, China, France and other belligerent parties in the Korean War and the Indochina War held a conference in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss the armistice issue. This was the first important international conference in which New China participated as a great nation. The Chinese delegation, led by Zhou Enlai, accomplished their task at the conference with flying colors and made a great contribution to the restoration of peace.
Zhou Enlai also made exceptional contributions to the improvement of Sino-US relations. Relations between China and the US were suspended for over 20 years after the founding of New China. But in the late 1960s, the Chinese and US governments decided to improve their relations. On October 1st, 1970, during the National Day celebrations held in Tiananmen Square, at Zhou Enlai’s invitation, the US reporter Edgar Snow and his wife appeared on the Tiananmen Rostrum, sending a signal of friendship to the US.
On February 21st, 1972, US President Richard Nixon visited China, a country with no formal diplomatic relations at that time. Zhou Enlai went to the airport to welcome him, and said, as they shook hands, “You stretched out your hand across the broadest ocean in the world to shake hands with me.” From that moment on, relations between the two countries began to be orbited on to the road of normalization. Zhou Enlai played an indispensable role in this process, displaying great creativity, flexibility, and extraordinary diplomatic skills in working out and implementing China’s policy concerning the US.

The Ping-Pong Diplomacy
From April 10th to 17th, 1971, a US table tennis (Ping-Pong) delegation toured China and played matches with their Chinese counterparts. This was the first US delegation to be invited to visit China since the founding of the PRC. The visit brought about “China Craze” in the US and drew great attention internationally. From April 12th to 29th, 1972, a Chinese table tennis delegation toured the US, opening doors for the friendly communication between the two peoples. Using small balls to move the globe, this “Ping-Pong Diplomacy” named by the international media gave momentum to the process of normalizing relations between the PRC and the US.

Deng Xiaoping and the Reform and Opening-up Policies
The Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the CPC, held in late 1978, saw the introduction of China’s reform and opening-up policies. The process of the new policies was from rural reform to urban reform, from reform of the economic structure to structures in all aspects, and from internal vitalization to external opening-up. Deng Xiaoping was the major leader and chief architect of China’s reform and opening-up policies.
Deng Xiaoping initiated the theory of “building socialism with Chinese characteristics”, i.e. carrying out construction to realize modernization with economic construction as the central task, implementing the household contract responsibility system with remuneration linked to output in rural areas, practicing various economic systems of responsibility to prevent people from “eating from the same big pot” (getting the same reward or pay as everyone else regardless of one’s work performance) in urban areas, and establishing a socialist market economy based on public ownership of the means of production. At the same time, the political systems were also reformed, such as separating the functions of the Party and the Government, transferring power to lower levels, simplifying the administrative structure and developing a democratic style of work.
Deng Xiaoping advocated combining reform and opening-up and set up special economic zones (SEZs). In July 1979, the State Council decided to set up the first group of SEZs in Guangdong and Fujian provinces on a trial basis. In 1980, the four SEZs of Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shantou, and Xiamen were formally set up. Over a dozen coastal cities were opened, and open economic regions were established in the Yangtze Delta, the Pearl River Delta, southeast Fujian area and the area around the Bohai Sea. Hainan Island was made a full-fledged province and an SEZ. In January 1984, Deng Xiaoping and other leaders went on an inspection tour of the
Shenzhen and Zhuhai SEZs. In 1992, Deng inspected Wuchang, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and Shanghai, and issued instructions, emphasizing boldness in the reform and opening-up tasks, telling people to grasp opportunities, taking economic development as the key to progress.
Deng emphasized that “science and technology are the first productive forces”, and urged more respect for knowledge and talented people. He also noted the need to develop education and strengthen the construction of socialist spiritual civilization.
As for the Hong Kong and Macao issues, Deng initiated the principle of “one country, two systems” to realize the reunification of the country. This principle underlays the successful reunion of Hong Kong and Macao with the motherland.
After more than 20 years of reform and opening-up, China has made enormous achievements in the economic, political, cultural and social construction. As a result, China’s comprehensive national power and people’s living standards have increased greatly.

Hong Kong-Pearl of the Orient
Situated south of the Pearl River Delta, Hong Kong is a trade, finance, transportation and tourism center both for the Asian-Pacific region and the world. Its economy is based mainly on trade. It's manufacturing, financial, real estate and tourism sectors are highly developed. Victoria Habor is one of the world’s busiest ports, and the Hong Kong International Airport on Lantau Island is one of the world’s most advanced airports.

Hong Kong’s Return to China
In June 1840, the Opium War between China and Britain broke out. On January 26th, 1841, Britain seized Hong Kong. On August 29th, 1842, the government of the Qing Dynasty was forced to sign the Treaty of Nanking with Britain, formally ceding Hong Kong.
In September 1982, Deng Xiaoping proposed the principle of “one country, two systems” to solve the Hong Kong issue when he met with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Under this principle, Hong Kong would be administered by Hong Kong people as a highly autonomous region, and Hong Kong’s capitalist system and lifestyle would not be changed for 50 years. After many rounds of consultation, on December 19th, 1984, China and Britain reached an agreement, and signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Issue of Hong Kong, which declared that “the Chinese government will resume exercise of its sovereignty over Hong Kong from July 1st, 1997, and at the same time Britain will return Hong Kong to China.”
On the midnight of June 30th, 1997, the handover ceremony was held solemnly at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. At zero hour on July 1st, the national flag of the PRC and the regional flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) were raised. Jiang Zemin, president of the PRC, solemnly declared the resumption of the exercise of China’s sovereignty over Hong Kong according to the Simo-British Joint Declaration on the Issue of Hong Kong, and the founding of the HKSAR. Then Tung Chee Hwa, the first Chief Executive of the HKSAR, took the oath of office.
The one and a half centuries of British colonial rule of Hong Kong came to an end, and Hong Kong finally returned to the motherland.

Macao’s Return to China
Macao was the first Chinese territory to fall into the hands of Western colonialists, as, starting in 1553, the Portuguese gradually asserted their power over it.
At the end of the 1970s, China and Portugal reached agreement in principle on the issue of Macao. From 1986 to 1987, after peaceful and friendly negotiations, China and Portugal signed the Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration on the Issue of Macao on April 13th, 1987, affirming that Macao is a part of China, and the Chinese government would resume the exercise of its sovereignty over the territory on December 20th, 1999.
At 23:42 on December 19th, 1999, the hand-over ceremony formally opened, in the presence of PRC President Jiang Zemin, Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio, and other leading governmental officials. At zero hour on December 20th, Jiang Zemin declared the resumption of the exercise of China’s sovereignty over Macao by the Chinese government. Then, Ho Hau-wah, the first Chief Executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) took the oath of office.

Situated on the west bank of the Pearl River Delta, Macao covers an area of 23.5 square kilometers, with a population of about 440 000. It is a place where Eastern and Western cultures converge. Macao has a free economic system. In recent years, tourism, gambling and various services and trades have gradually replaced manufacturing industry in becoming the economic mainstay.

Great Achievement in Manned Spaceflight
It is a common dream of humanity to explore the vast outer space and to utilize the common space resources of mankind. China initiated a manned spaceflight program in 1992. The program, with its peaceful nature, aims to contribute to the development of sciences and world peace by scientific and technological research and experiment in the outer space.
After launching four un-manned spaceships, on October 15th, 2003, Shenzhou-5 sent Yang Liwei, the first Chinese astronaut to the outer space, who orbited the Earth for 14 rounds and returned safely. The success of dies manned spaceship Shenzhou-5 marked a breakthrough for China to grasp the basic technology of manned spaceflight, as well as the completion of the first stage of the country’s manned space program.
Shenzhou-5 is a realization of a thousand-year-old dream of the Chinese people, putting China on the list of countries with independent development of manned spaceflight, following the former Soviet Union and the US.
On October 12th, 2005, Shenzhou-6, another spaceship developed by China independently, made its trip a success by sending two astronauts, Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng to the outer space to carry out various experiments. They came back safely on October 17th.
Shenzhou-6 became another milestone in China’s development of manned spaceflight and manned outer space experiment.
The success of manned spaceflight has a tremendous impact on boosting the international standing of China and increasing the country’s economic, scientific and technological, and national defense capacity, helping to raise the national morale and the solidarity of all ethnic groups around the CPC Central Committee in the great course of socialist development with Chinese characteristics.

Yang Liwei, Hero of Spaceflight
With the launch of the spaceship Shenzhou-5, a Chinese named Yang Liwei became world famous. Yang is among the first-generation astronauts in China. After training for a few years, he finished training tasks in dozens of subjects in eight categories, i.e. fundamental theory, adaptation in the outer space environment, specialized technologies, etc. He passed the comprehensive assessment of specialized space-flight technology with flying colors and was chosen to be a member of the first team of the first manned spaceflight of China. After becoming “the first Chinese in outer space”, he was awarded as the “Hero of Spaceflight” in the assembly celebrating the first manned spaceflight of China.

2008 Beijing Olympics
Beijing won the bid for hosting the 29th Olympic Games. This is another milestone to enhance China’s international standing and another great event in the renaissance of Chinese people.
Under the request of the International Olympic Committee, the Organization Committee of the 29th Olympic Games was established in Beijing. Chinese people began to prepare for the game with great enthusiasm.
In August 2003, the logo for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, “Chinese seal-dancing Beijing” was publicized.
In June 2005, the theme slogan of 2008 Beijing Olympics, “One World, One Dream” was announced.
In November 2005, mascots of the 2008 Beijing Olympics were unveiled. Five of them in total, they are called Fuwa, namely Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying arid Nini. When the rhyming two-syllable names are put together, they say in Chinese, “Welcome to Beijing.” The mascots embody good wishes of Chinese people for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the warm welcome to people all over the world.

China as a World Power in Sports
In 1924, the All-China Sports Association was founded, with the efforts of Zhang Boling, Wang Zhengting and others. In 1931, the International Olympic Committee formally recognized the Association as the Chinese Olympic Committee. China was represented for the first time, by runner Liu Changchun, at the Olympic Games when the 10th Olympics were held in Los Angeles in 1932.
China won its first Olympic medal when Yang Chuanguang from Taiwan won the silver medal for the decathlon at the 17th Olympics in 1960. In the 19th Olympics in 1968, Taiwan athlete Ji Zheng won the bronze medal in the women’s 80-meter hurdle, which was the first Olympic medal won by a Chinese female athlete.
In 1979, the International Olympic Committee restored the PRC’s legal seat on the committee.
In July 1984, Chinese marksman Xu Haifeng won China’s first gold medal at the 23rd Olympics held in Los Angeles. At this Olympics, China ranked fourth in the gold medal standings. The Chinese women’s volleyball team also won a gold medal, attaining three successive Championships for the sport (the other two being the World Cup and the World Championships).
China attended the Seoul (24th), Barcelona (25th) and Atlanta (26th) Olympics.
At the 27th Olympics held in Sydney in September 2000, Chinese athletes won 59 medals, ranking China third in the medal standings.
At the 28th Athens Olympics in August 2004, Chinese athletes won a record of 63 medals, among which 32 were gold. By then, China had been represented at 14 sessions of the Olympic Games.
On July 13th, 2001, China’s bid for the 2008 Olympics was successful; in September that year, China hosted the 21st Universiade, which vigorously promoted the development of China’s sports, demonstrated the increase of China’s overall national strength and enhanced China’s international status.

The Oriental Roses
The Chinese women’s national football team has achieved very good results in international matches since its founding in the 1980s. Its achievements include seven Asian Cup championships in succession-from 1986 to 1999; three Asian Games championships in succession; runner-up in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics; and runner-up in the third Women’s Football World Cup in 1999. The women players are popularly known as the “Oriental Roses”.


A Brief Chronology of Chinese History
Ancient Period
c. 1 700 000 years ago-1840 AD
Paleolithic Period
c. l 700 000 years ago-c.10 000 years ago
Neolithic Period
c. 10 000 years ago-4 000 years ago
Xia Dynasty
c. 2070 BC-1600 BC
Shang Dynasty
c. 1600 BC-1046 BC
Western Zhou Dynasty
c. 1046 BC-771 BC
Spring and Autumn Period
770 BC-476 BC
Warring States Period
475 BC-221 BC
Qin Dynasty
221 BC-206 BC
Han Dynasty (Western Han and Eastern Han)
206 BC-220 AD
Three Kingdoms (Wei, Shu, Wu)
220-280 AD
Jin Dynasty (Western Jin and Eastern Jin)
265-420 AD
Southern and Northern Dynasties
420-589 AD
Sui Dynasty
581-618 AD
Tang Dynasty
618-907 AD
Five Dynasties
907-960 AD
Liao Dynasty
907-1125 AD
Song Dynasty (Northern Song and Southern Song)
960-1279 AD
Western Xia Dynasty
1038-1227 AD
Jin Dynasty
1115-1234 AD
Yuan Dynasty
1206-1368 AD
Ming Dynasty
1368-1644 AD
Qing Dynasty (before the Opium War of 1840)
1616-1840 AD
Modem Period
1840-1949 AD
Qing Dynasty (after the Opium War of 1840)
1840-1911 AD
Republic of China
1912-1949 AD
Contemporary Period
1949 AD-
People’s Republic of China
1949 AD-

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