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Asia Timeline

Year Events
1839 - 1842 Opium Wars between China and Britain begin; Treaty of Nanking concludes them, with several ports in China forced to open trade with British; Hong Kong becomes a colony of the British Empire
1850 - 1864 Taiping Rebellion (from Guangxi Province northeast to Nanjing)
1851 - 1868 Nian Rebellion (northeast Henan & Anhui provinces)
1854 - 1860 Treaty Ports established in 12 coastal cities in China, giving foreigners pursuing commercial & religious interests special protection from Chinese laws
1855 - 1873 Muslim Revolts (northwest provinces, Xinjiang, Qinghai, Sichuan)
1856 Treaty of Paris concludes Crimean War, where British & French help Ottomans defeat Russians
1856 - 1857 British - Iranian War forces Nasiruddin Shah of Iran to evacuate Herat (Afghanistan)
1858 French troops invade Vietnam
1859 The Convention of Peking: British and French force China to concede the Kowloon Peninsula to foreign rule
1861 Qing Dynasty Empress Dowager Cixi comes to power as regent for boy Emperor Tongzhi
1861 Qing Administration establishes the Zongli Yamen, Office for the Management of the Business of All Foreign Countries -- government office that negotiated with foreign governments & individuals, and oversaw emigration of Chinese to the rest of the world
1867 Qing government hires Anson Burlingame to advocate for trade relations with the United States and for better treatment of emigrating Chinese laborers
1868 Full ambassador in the United States representing China; Burlingame Treaty signed b/w U.S. & China to recognize right to migrate to one another's country
1872-1875 As part of modernization effort, groups of Chinese boys sent to Hartford, Connecticut as an official Qing educational mission; U.S. prevents them from entering Annapolis and West Point Academies, so all students return to China in 1881
1873 The Zongli Yamen office commissions report on status of Chinese workers in Peru and Cuba who had been shipped out as indentured servants or slave labor -- "coolie" trade -- via British ships leaving China's southern ports; reforms conditions and practices of shipping procedures in Macao and Hong Kong; Nasiruddin Shah gives Baron de Reuter, a British subject, the rights to operate an industrial monopoly in Persia for railroads, mines, and a national bank
1876 Japan forces Korea to sign a treaty to open up to Japanese trade; Ottoman Reformists ratify and implement the Empire's first Constitution with a constitutional monarchy under Sultan Abdulhamid II and provisions for a representative Parliament
1877-1878 Russian - Turkish War
1878 Sultan Abdulhamid II suspends the Ottoman Constitution and rules as a dictator for 30 years
1882 US and Korea sign trade treaty
1884 France establishes full control over all of Indo-China
1887 Chiang Kai-shek born in Zhejiang
1892 Tobacco Boycott in Iran; Iranians protest the Shah's selling of the country's natural resources to foreign-owned industries after a British firm is given the right to process and market all Iranian tobacco
1893 Mao Zedong born in Hunan
1894 - 1895 First Chinese - Japanese War; China loses Taiwan and Pescadores Islands to Japan; Russia, Britain, Germany, and France step up efforts to secure "spheres of influence" in China
1898 British win a 99-year lease on The New Territories (next to Hong Kong and the Kowloon Peninsula, all of which were finally given back to China in 1997)
1900 Boxer Rebellion; grassroots movement opposing foreign occupation and Qing Dynasty; Empress Cixi and Emperor Guangxu authorize troops from Japan, Russia, Britain, the U.S., France, and Germany to crush the rebellion.
1901 The Boxer Protocol is signed, severely penalizing China for the losses of property and lives by foreigners with high indemnities and further concessions to allow foreign commercial access to China. Supporters of the Boxers are executed.
1904 Russian - Japanese War in Manchuria
1904 Chinese delegates to the St. Louis Exposition are harassed and abused
1905 Qing Ministry of Foreign Affairs refuses to renew the immigration treaty with the U.S.; Chinese merchants organize a widespread boycott of American goods
1906 Empress Cixi sends a commission of delegates to Western countries and Japan to study constitutional government; Iranian nationalists force Nasiruddin Shah to accept a constitution with a representative assembly
1907 Yuan Shikai, governor of Tianjin, holds a local election to form a council
1908 Puyi becomes Emperor of Qing Dynasty as an infant, advised by a council of regents. The Committee of Union and Progress mount a successful coup against Sultan Abdulhamid II's dictatorship and re-instate the Ottoman Constitution of 1876. Backed by Russia, whose troops occupy Azerbaijan, Nasiruddin Shah closes Iran's national assembly. British discover oil in Iran.
1909 First meetings of provincial assemblies across the country
1910 Japan annexes Korea
1911 Violence breaks out between Qing and revolutionary forces in Wuhan; Li Yuanhong appointed leader of the Revolutionary Alliance. Anti-Qing violence and army mutinies spread throughout the country, leading to a joint petition from New Army officers to demand full constitutional reforms and the establishment of a national parliament
November 1911 Yuan Shikai is elected as Premier of China by a provisional national assembly
January 1912 Sun Yat Sen returns to China and is elected as provisional President of the Republic of China with its new capital in Nanjing.
February 1912 Emperor Puyi's mother negotiates financial settlement to abdicate and grants full government powers to Yuan Shikai
August 1912 National Revolutionary Alliance or Nationalist Party founded by Sun Yat Sen and Song Jiaoren
Jan 1913 First national elections held to elect representatives to the House and Senate of the National Parliament; KMT wins clear majority
May 1913 Song Jiaoren, leader of KMT assassinated; Yuan Shikai forces Parliament to elect him as President for a five-year term; Woodrow Wilson's administration extends full diplomatic recognition to Yuan.
Nov 1913 Sun Yat Sen escapes to Japan
Jan 1914 Yuan dissolves the National Parliament, provincial assemblies, and local governments
1914 Japan joins Allied Forces in war against Germany & Central Powers; attacks German holdings in Shantung, China
1916 Yuan Shikai dies from illness; Li Yuanhong becomes President
1917 Military coup led by General Zhang Xun, who attempts to restore Puyi as Emperor of China; Britain occupies Iraq and Palestine, issues Balfour Declaration.
1916 - 1925 China ruled by a series of warlords whose terms were short-lived
1918 Arab forces celebrate victory in winning a final decisive battle for independence from Ottoman Turkish rule
1919 May Fourth Movement in Beijing; students protest in Tiananmen Square in response to the Treaty of Versailles giving Japan control of China's Shantung Province, birthplace of Confucius and Mencius
1919 Soviet Union rejects claims of Czarist Russia upon Manchuria, cancels former secret treaties, renounces further indemnities from the Boxer Rebellion, returns Chinese Eastern Railway lines to Chinese without demand for compensation
Korean independence leaders sign a Declaration of Independence and establish a provisional Government of the Republic of Korea in Shanghai
1921 China's Communist Party is formed; Reza Khan seizes power from the Shah in Iran
1923 Sun Yat Sen returns to China, establishes the Huang-pu (Whampoa) Military Academy with Chiang Kai-shek; Kemal Mustafa Ataturk declares the Republic of Turkey
1924 Kuomintang and Communists agree to join forces; Ibn Sa'ud conquers the Hijaz from the Hashemites
1925 Sun Yat Sen dies; Chiang Kai-shek leads forces against the warlords; Emperor Puyi finds protection under Japanese
1926 Chiang Kai-shek's Northern Expedition against the warlords to unify China
1927 Vietnamese National Party founded, with support from Chinese KMT
1928 Japanese engage in armed conflict with Chinese KMT soldiers in an effort to obstruct KMT progress against the warlords
1930 Gandhi and his followers reach the coast at Dandi after their long march protesting the tax on salt production; Vietnamese revolt against French rule with an attempted coup in Tonkin and an uprising in Annam
1931-32 Fighting breaks out in Mukden, near Manchuria; Japan controls Manchuria, installs Puyi as "chief executive" of Manchukuo; anti-Japanese boycotts issued throughout China; League of Nations orders investigation; U.S. Hoover Administration refuses to recognize Manchukuo
1932 Japanese marines storm Shanghai to protect Japanese properties in response to a widespread Chinese boycott of Japanese goods. Armed confrontation with KMT soldiers results in Japan bombing residential neighborhood of Chapei in Shanghai
Ibn Sa'ud declares the Kingdom of Sa'udi Arabia
1933 League of Nations Lytton Commission Report endorses China's sovereignty in Manchuria; Japan withdraws from the League, continues its advance further into China
Standard Oil of California wins 30-year concession from Ibn Sa'ud to explore for oil
1934-1935 CCP embarks on The Long March, to escape KMT forces
1937 Full scale war breaks out with Japan after an exchange of fire between Japanese and Chinese KMT soldiers across the Marco Polo Bridge outside of Beijing; KMT and CCP forces agree to cooperate and unite against Japan; Indonesia's legislative council petitions Dutch for independence
US prohibits export of scrap metal to Japan, eventually becomes full embargo on all trade
1938 Texas Oil joins Standard Oil in forming the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco) and oil is discovered in Jabal Dhahran
1939 Japan invades Soviet territory, blocks all foreign settlements from trade with the outside world
1941 Japan occupies French Indo-China, attacks Pearl Harbor in Hawaii
1942 Japan occupies Malaysia, Burma, Singapore, the Dutch East Indies, the Philippines, and Indonesia
August 6, 1945 U.S. drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima
August 8 Russia attacks Japanese forces in Manchuria
August 9, 1945 U.S. drops atomic bomb on Nagasaki
1947 KMT and CCP fight each other in Manchuria
1947 India wins independence from Britain; Pakistan created as separate state for Muslim India; sovereignty of Kashmir ambiguous
1948 Korea divided into two states, North and South Koreas; Arab-Israeli War; State of Israel established; Burma/Myanmar achieves independence from Britain after having been occupied by Japan during WWII
1949 Kuomintang retreat to Taiwan after being defeated by Communist forces and re-establish the Republic of China on the island; Mao Tse-dong declares the People's Republic of China on the Mainland; Indonesia achieves independence from the Netherlands

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