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Special> Noble Sacrifice, Costly Lessons> Timeline
UPDATED: July 9, 2015
Major Events in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression

September 18, 1931  September 18 Incident

Japanese troops stationed in northeast China incite the September 18 Incident near Shenyang, leading to the total occupation of the three provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang in several months.

March 9, 1932   "Manchukuo"

The "Manchukuo" is set up in northeast China under the aegis of the Japanese aggressors, with the abdicated emperor of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Pu Yi, as its puppet head of state. Pu Yi announced the destruction of the "Manchukuo" on August 17, 1945 following the defeat of Japanese forces in northeast China by the Red Army of the Soviet Union.

June 9, 1935  He-Umezu Agreement

Yoshijiro Umezu, Commander in Chief of the Japanese forces in north China, raises a number of demands with He Yingqin, acting Chairman of the Peiping (Beijing) National Military Council, one of which is that the Chinese army should leave Hebei. He later addresses a written reply to Umezu accepting all of the unreasonable demands, a de-facto renunciation of sovereignty over north China.

August 1, 1935  CPC's appeal

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which is at the time engaged in  fighting with Kuomintang (KMT) forces, publishes a letter, calling on the Chinese to resist Japanese invasion and save the nation. It appeals for an end to the civil war and proposes a united front between political parties, social classes and armies against Japan.

December 12, 1936  Xi'an Incident

Zhang Xueliang and Yang Hucheng, patriotic generals of the KMT in Xi'an, detain KMT leader Chiang Kai-shek, who is there making arrangements for an encirclement and suppression campaign against the CPC. They then force him to resist the Japanese. This is historically known as the Xi'an Incident.

July 7, 1937 Lugouqiao Incident

The Lugouqiao Incident occurs, marking the start of the nationwide War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. Lugouqiao is also known as Marco Polo Bridge, built on the Yongding River in southeast  Peiping. On the night of July 7, 1937, the Japanese army launches an attack against the KMT Army stationed in Wanping County of Peiping (Beijing) and marches across the bridge. The incident leads directly to full-scale war between China and Japan that lasted until August 1945.

August 13, 1937 Japan attacks Shanghai

Japan launches an offense against Shanghai. The KMT government dispatches 700,000 troops to fight Japanese forces. The Battle of Songhu, which lasts three months, foils Japan's plan to seize Shanghai in three days.

August 22, 1937 Founding of Eighth Route Army

The KMT government decrees that the CPC-led Red Army be changed into the Eighth Route Army of KMT's National Revolutionary Army with Zhu De as the commander in chief.

September 23, 1937 KMT-CPC cooperation

KMT leader Chiang Kai-shek announces his decision to acknowledge the legitimate position of the CPC, marking the establishment of a united front against Japanese aggression. 

September 25, 1937 Battle of Pingxingguan

The 115th Division of the Eighth Route Army led by Lin Biao ambushes the Fifth Division of the Japanese army in Pingxingguan, wiping out more than 1,000 of the enemy troops and logistic personnel. The battle marks the first victory in the War of Resistance against Japanese aggression.

October 12, 1937 Founding of New Fourth Army

The KMT and the CPC reach an agreement to reorganize the guerrilla forces of the Red Army in eight provinces situated south of the Yangtze into the New Fourth Army with Ye Ting as the commander.

November 12, 1937  Shanghai falls

Chinese forces are forced to retreat from Shanghai after suffering 250,000 casualties. Shanghai falls. Several days later, the KMT government announces its decision to move its capital from Nanjing to Chongqing.

December 13, 1937  Nanjing Massacre begins

Japanese troops seize Nanjing and commit a massacre in the city which lasts several months, killing more than 300,000 Chinese people, many of them civilians.

March-April 1938 Battle of Taierzhuang

The National Revolutionary Army wins a big victory in Taierzhuang in east China's Shandong Province, killing or injuring more than 10,000 of the enemy.

August-October 1938  Battle of Wuhan

The Battle of Wuhan is fought between over 300,000 Japanese soldiers and 1,100,000 Chinese troops. Wuhan falls on October 25, 1938.

March 29,1940  Puppet government

A puppet "National Government" is set up in Nanjing, with Wang Jingwei as its head. It was collapsed in August 1945, along with Japan's surrender.

August-December 1940  Hundred Regiments Offensive

The Eighth Route Army launches the well-known Hundred Regiments Offensive in north China, during which CPC forces led by Peng Dehuai fight a total of 1,824 battles, inflict 20,645 casualties upon Japanese troops, destroy major railways and highways, uproot 2,993 enemy strongholds, and recover 40-50 counties. This battle is the largest in scale of any attack led by the CPC against the enemy during the war.  

December 7, 1941  Attack on Pearl Harbor

Japan attacks Pearl Harbor. The strategic focus of Japan shifts from China to the United States. The next day, the United States announces war on Japan, marking the outbreak of the Pacific War.

December 1, 1943 Cairo Declaration

The Cairo Declaration is issued, requiring Japan to return the Chinese territories it occupied during the war, including Taiwan and its affiliated islands.

April-December 1944  Japan's largest offensive

In order to open a land transport line, the Japanese army attacks Henan, Hunan and Guangxi with a force of 410,000. The battle, known in Japan as Operation Number One, proves the largest offensive launched by Japan in China. Although Japan is the eventual victor, its fight with the United States in the Pacific battlefield is seriously affected.

July 26, 1945  Potsdam Proclamation

The United States, the United Kingdom and China publish the Potsdam Proclamation, urging Japan to surrender unconditionally.

August 6, 1945 Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The United States drops an atomic bomb in Hiroshima followed by one on Nagasaki three days later. Two days later, the Red Army of the Soviet Union declares war on Japan.

September 2, 1945  Japan surrenders

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

(Compiled by Beijng Review)

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