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The War in Brief


September 18
Japanese troops provocatively destroyed a section of railway in north Shenyang and attacked the Chinese garrison at Beidaying, Shenyang, on the same night, this led to the "September 18th incident."

September 19
In the morning, the Japanese army occupied Shenyang. Because the Kuomintang government ordered "nonresistance," the Japanese forces occupied major cities and towns in Liaoning Province in few days.

September 23
Chiang Kai-shek gave a speech in which he went so far as to order the army and the people to "take the rough with the smooth and wait for the judgment of the League of Nations."


January 23
Jinzhou fell. It took just over three months for the Japanese army to occupy Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning provinces in northeast China.

January 28
The Japanese army attacked Shanghai. The 19th Route army stationed in Shanghai rose in resistance.

March 9
The "Manchoukuo" was set up under the aegis of the Japanese aggressors, with the abdicated emperor of the Qing Dynasty, Pu Yi, as the chief executive.


The Chinese army stationed along the Great Wall rose in resistance in Xifengkou, Gubeikou, and Lengkou in east Hebei Province.

May 31
Xiong Bing, the delegate of the Kuomintang government, signed the traitorous "Tanggu Agreement" with the commander-in-chief of the Japanese army, Yasuji Okamura. Chinese troops had to withdraw from the strategic passes along the Great Wall.


November 7
The First Army of the Northeast People's Revolutionary Army was set up, with Yang Jingyu as the commander.


June 9
Umezu Yoshijiro, the commander-in-chief of the Japanese forces in north China, raised three demands with He Yingqin, the acting chairman of the KMT Peiping Military Subcommittee, one being that the Chinese army should leave Hebei. On July 6, He Yingqin addressed a written reply to Umezu accepting all the unreasonable demands.

June 27
Qin Dechun, the delegate of the Kuomintang government, concluded through exchange of notes the "Qin-Toihara Agreement" with Japanese army chieftain Toihara Kenji. By that time, the Kuomintang had withdrawn from Heber and Chahar provinces.

August 1
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China published a "Letter to the People of Resistance Against Japan and Salvation of the Nation." It appealed for an end to the civil war and the arming of the people to defeat the Japanese imperialists.

December 9
A patriotic student movement broke out in Peiping (now Beijing). The Kuomintang army and police suppressed the gathering of 2,000 to 3,000 students in the famous "December 9th Movement." Since December 10, students in large and medium cities and patriotic compatriots all over the country supported the students. On December 16, more than 10,000 Peiping students again hold a demonstration. More than 20,000 people participated in a citizens' meeting in which a resolution, "Oppose Japanese Imperialism's aggression against China," was passed. The "December 9th Movement" set off a new upsurge in the nationwide movement for resistance against Japan.


September 1
The CPC Central Committee issued a "Directive on Forcing Chiang Kai-shek to Resist the Japanese" to the whole Party.

Japanese troops conducted war exercises in Fengtai in the suburbs of Peiping, for provocation purposes. A conflict with the Chinese troops then occurred. After that, the Japanese brought in reinforcements and occupied Fengtai in order to hold the key transportation lines between Peiping and Tianjin.

December 12
Zhang Xueliang and Yang Hucheng, the patriotic generals of the Kuomintang in Xi'an, detained Chiang Kai-shek, who was there making arrangements for an encirclement and suppression campaign against the Communists. They then forced him to resist the Japanese. This is historically known as the "Xi'an Incident."


July 7
The Lugouqiao Incident occurred, and the nationwide War of Resistance Against Japan started.

July 8
The CPC Central Committee published an open telegram to the nation after the Lugouqiao Incident, calling on the people to resist Japanese aggression.

July 11
The Japanese Government decided to bring reinforcements into China.

July 15
The Chinese Communist Party delivered to the Kuomintang the "Declaration of the CPC Central Committee on Publishing the Cooperation Between the Communist Party and the Kuomintang" and asked the latter to publicize it immediately. On July 23, Chiang Kai-shek gave a talk in which he promised to publish the declaration on cooperation between the Chinese Communist Party and the Kuomintang. At the same time, he recognized the Chinese Communist Party and cooperation between the two parties for resisting the Japanese.

July 29
Peiping fell.

July 30
Tianjin fell.

August 13
The Japanese army attacked Shanghai and bombarded the center of the city. The army and the people in Shanghai rose in resistance.

August 22
The CPC Central Committee held the Luochuan Meeting, in which it passed a "Ten-point Program for Resisting Japan and Saving the Country."

August 25
According to the agreement of the Chinese Communist Party and the Kuomintang, Mao Zedong, chairman of the Revolutionary Commission of the CPC Central Committee, and vice-chairmen Zhu De and Zhou Enlai ordered the Red Army to be changed to the Eighth Route Army of the National Revolutionary Army. Zhu De was the commander-in-chief, Peng Dehuai, deputy commander-in-chief, Ye Jianying, chief of staff, Zou Quan, deputy chief of staff, Ren Bishi, director of the Political Department, and Deng Diaoping, vice-director.

August 31
The Eighth Route Army crossed the Yellow River to march to the frontlines.

September 6
The Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region Government was set up.

September 25
The 115th Division of the Eighth Route Army ambushed the Fifth Division of the Japanese army in Pingxingguan, wiping out more than 1,000 of the enemy troops and logistic personnel. The battle marked the first victory in the War of Resistance Against Japan.

October 2
The Kuomintang government declared that the guerrilla forces of the Red Army in 13 areas of eight southern provinces should be reorganized into the New Fourth Army.

October 6
The U.S. published a statement against the Japanese invasion of China.

October 26
The Japanese army occupied Niangziguan, which wiped out the big obstacle to attacking Taiyuan.

November 8
The Japanese army occupied Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi.

November 12
Shanghai fell.

December 13
Nanjing fell. The Japanese army was ferocious. Chinese people killed or buried alive totaled more than 300,000. These deaths and more than 20,000 rape cases made up the world-shocking "Nanjing Massacre."


January 6
The headquarters of the New Fourth Army was set up in the capital of Jiangxi Province, Nanchang, with Ye Ting as army commander, Xiang Ying, vice-commander, and Zhang Yunyi, chief of staff.

March 23-April 6
The Chinese army won a big victory in Taierzhuang in Shandong Province, in which it wiped out more than 20,000 of the enemy.

May 19
The Japanese army occupied Xuzhou, followed by Kaifeng and Xinzheng of Henan Province.

June 9
In order to stop the Japanese army from attacking Zhengzhou, Kuomintang army authorities went to far as to order the dike in Huayuankou north of Zhengzhou to be breached. This resulted in 3,000 square kilometers to be inundated and the death of innumerable people. Many others became destitute and homeless.

September 29-November 6
The Central Committee of the CPC held its Sixth Plenary Session of the Sixth Central Committee in Yanan. During the meeting, attendees discussed the major political and military tasks of the Party at the stalemate stage in the war.

October 25
Wuhan fell. After Guangzhou and Wuhan fell, the War of Resistance Against Japan entered the stage of strategic stalemate.

December 29
Wang Jingwei published a circular telegram in Hanoi, Viet Nam, openly betraying his country.


The Japanese army occupied Hainan Island and enforced a naval blockade against China.

Early May
In order to consolidate its occupation of Wuhan, the Japanese army attacked Suixian and Zaoyang.

September 25
The First Changsha Campaign occurred, an important campaign in the frontline battlefield during the early period of the stalemate stage.

October 24
The Japanese army occupied Nanning.


March 29
A puppet "National Government" was set up in Nanjing, with Wang Jingwei as its acting president.

March 30
The Foreign Ministry of the Kuomintang government addressed a note to diplomatic envoys in China, announcing that Nanjing's Wang Jingwei puppet government was invalid.

August 20-December 5
The Eighth Route Army launched 100 regiments of 400,000 men in a battle in north China. This battle, popularly called "Hundred-Regiment Campaign," was the biggest attack led by the Chinese Communist Party against the enemy during the war. The campaign included 1,824 battles. It wiped out 20,645 Japanese troops and 5,155 puppet soldiers. This campaign played an important role in the anti-Japanese war. It proved that the Chinese Communist Party and the anti-Japanese army led by it represented the backbone of the struggle against the invaders.

September 27
Japan, Germany and Italy formally signed a military alliance treaty.

December 29
U.S. President Roosevelt, in a radio "Fireside Chat," said China, Britain and the United States should throw in their lot together.


January 6
Kuomintang troops attacked the New Fourth Army with seven divisions in south Anhui in order to start a civil war. The event is called the "South Anhui Incident."

January 25
Japanese troops surrounded Panjiayu in Fengrun County, Hebei Province and killed all the 1,230 people in the village. The shocking event is called the "Panjiayu Massacre."

Late October
Japanese troops launched a massive "mopping-up" campaign in the Taihang Mountains.

November 3
The Japanese army launched "mopping-up" operations in the Yimeng Mountains in Shandong Province with more than 50,000 troops.

December 7
The Japanese achieved a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, inflicting heavy losses on the American navy base. Japan declared war on the United States, the Soviet Union and the Netherlands. The Pacific war broke out.

December 9
The Kuomintang government published a formal war declaration against Japan, at the same time announcing that China was in a status of war against Germany and Italy.


January 1
Twenty-six countries, including China, Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union and the Netherlands, met in Washington D.C., U.S.A, where they signed a manifesto of war against the Axis countries of Germany, Japan and Italy, saying that none of them would make a separate peace with the enemy.

January 3
Chiang Kai-shek held the post of supreme commander of the Allied forces in the China war zone, responsible for command of the Allied forces of China, Viet Nam and Thailand.

China set up an expeditionary army and for the first time entered Burma (present-day Myanmar) to fight alongside the British army there.

May 1-June 30
With Yasuji Okamura in command, more than 50,000 Japanese troops started a "May 1st mopping-up operation" in Central Hebei Plain.


February 2
The Soviet Union defeated Germany in an astounding battle in Stalingrad.

September 6
The 11th Plenary Session of the Fifth Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang was held.

September 20-November 3
The Japanese started an "autumn mopping-up operation" against the Hebei-Shangdong-Henan base area with 30,000 troops. Fully prepared well before that, the army and people there using flexible tactics fought more than 300 battles, wiping out 11,000 enemy troops.

For the second time, the Chinese army entered Burma to fight the Japanese.

Later October
Changde Campaign occurred.

December 2
The Guangdong Dongjiang People's Anti-Japanese Guerrilla Column was set up, with Zeng Sheng as the commander.


The Guangdong Qiongya people's Anti-Japanese Independent Column was set up in Hainan Island, with Feng Baiju as the commander and political commissar.

April 17
In order to open a land transport line, the Japanese army attacked Henan, Hunan and Guangxi with a 500,000-strong force, thus starting the "Operation Number One."

April 22
The Japanese army occupied Zhengzhou.

June 18
Japanese troops occupied Changsha.

August 15
The Fourth Division of the New Fourth Army moved west.

Guerrillas fighting in the Zhujiang Delta set up the Zhujiang Column. The Central Column of the Guangdong People's Anti-Japanese Liberation Army was established in central Guangdong. The Hanjiang Column was set up in the Chaozhou-Shantou area.


Early January
The Shanxi-Chahar-Hebei Military Region army started a powerful spring offensive against the enemy.

The Taihang Military Region army started a spring offensive.

February 1
The Shandong Military Region army started a spring offensive.

February 4-11
The Yalta Conference: The leaders of the Soviet Union, Britain and the U.S.—Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt – and their foreign ministers met in Yalta, Crimea, to discuss world problems after the war.

April 20
The Shanxi-Shandong-Henan Military Region army started a spring offensive.

April 23
At the Seventh National Congress of the CPC, Mao Zedong reported "On Coalition Government," an analysis of the situation at home and abroad.

May 2
The Allied forces captured Berlin.

May 10
Germany declared surrender.

May 12
The Shanxi-Chahar-Hebei Military Region army started a summer offensive.

June 5
The Shandong Military Region army started a summer offensive.

July 26
In the form of a joint declaration by China, the U.S. and Britain, the Potsdam Proclamation was published urging Japan to surrender.

August 6
The U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. On August 9, it dropped the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki.

August 8
According to the Yalta Agreement, The Soviet Government declared war on Japan. By cover of night, the Soviet Red Army crossed the border to attack the Japanese army.

August 9
The Eighth Route Army and the New Fourth Army started their counteroffensive against the Japanese army.

August 15
The emperor of Japan addressed his nation by radio announcing acceptance of the Potsdam Proclamation and Japan's unconditional surrender to the Allies.

September 2
Japan surrendered to Allied countries. The official signing ceremony of the instrument of surrender was held on the American battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

September 9
Representing Japan, Yasuji Okamura signed the instrument of surrender to China in Nanjing.

(China.org.cn April 2, 2005)

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