Travel through our timeline of major events in China's History
Around 1600 B.C.:
The Shang dynasty, the region's first recorded dynasty, masters the production of bronze.
Around 221 B.C.:
Qin Shi Huangdi unifies China and becomes its first emperor.
During the Ming dynasty, painting, calligraphy, pottery and other arts flourish.
In the Opium Wars, China and Western nations battle over trade issues.
Japan invades the province of Manchuria. After Japan is defeated in World War II, civil war breaks out in China.
Mao Zedong, head of the Communist Party, establishes the People's Republic of China. Rivals belonging to the Nationalist Party move to Taiwan, off China's eastern coast.
Mao's plan to change China's economy and farming system fails. Millions of people die of starvation.
Richard M. Nixon becomes the first U.S. President to visit Communist China.
About 1 million students hold pro-democracy protests in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. The uprising is crushed by the army.
China regains control of Hong Kong, which had been under British rule for 99 years.
The Three Gorges River Dam across the Yangtze is completed. It took 13 years to build.
Beijing gears up to host the XXIX Olympiad, set for August 2008.