Asia Pacific Economic and Historical

Timeline of Events


1945          US bombs Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Soviet Union declares war on Japan under Potsdam agreement. Emperor Hirohito surrenders, gives up divine status. Japan placed under US military government with Gen. MacArthur installed as Supreme Commander Allied Powers (SCAP) in Japan.

1945     United Nations founded; World Bank and International Monetary Fund established following Bretton Woods meetings in US.

1945-49:numerous Third World countries, incl. India (1947), Burma (1948), Indonesia (1949), gain independence from colonial rule.

1945-46:Ho Chi Minh issues Vietnam’s declaration of independence from France. Vietnam war begins.

1945-52 :US occupation of Japan. US-Japan Peace Treaty ratified.

1949          CCP “liberates” Taiwan; KMT government flees to Taiwan.

1950-53:Korean War, as North Korea invades the South; war ends in Armistice Agreement

1954           Vietnam War against France ends; Geneva Conference promises elections for unified country.

1955           Bandung (Indonesia) First Conference of Non-Aligned Countries.

1960     US-Japan Security Treaty

1967     ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) founded: Original members: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand; then Brunei (1984), Vietnam (1995), Laos and Burma (1997) and Cambodia (1998).

1971     PRC enters UN & Taiwan expelled.

1972     Nixon visits China; US-PRC joint communiqué accepts “one China

1975     Taiwan leader and founder Chiang Kai-shek dies; succeeded by Chiang Ching-kuo.

1979          US severs relations with Taiwan, abrogates defense treaty, withdraws forces, US-PRC diplomatic relations and unofficial relations w/ Taiwan are established.

1979     Taiwan Relations Act passed by US Congress.

1981     Ye Jianying gives 9 principles for settling Taiwan question “one country, two systems”

1982     3rd US-PRC communiqué pledges US restraints on arms to Taiwan.

1988     Lee Teng-hui becomes president of Taiwan.

1989     APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) founded.

1989     “Tiananmen Incident” (June 4) 

1990     Taiwan formally ends state of war with People’s Republic of China.

1990’s   China’s zhoubian diplomacy

1991          President Bush announces US withdrawal of nuclear weapons. Both Koreas become UN members.

1992          President Roh Tae Woo issues declaration on nuclear-free S. Korea.

1994     KEDO (Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization): ROK, US, Japan, EU (non-confrontational, efforts link gov’t to private sector).

1994     ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA): Trade liberalization

1994     ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) founded.

1996     Lee Teng-hui is elected in first direct vote for Taiwan president.

1997           Jiang Zemin, PRC’s new leader after Deng Xiaoping dies.

1997        Asian financial crisis begins in Thailand.

2000            Chen Shui-bian elected president of Taiwan (reelected in 2004)

2000            Kim Dae Jung-Kim Jong Il summit meeting in Pyongyang.

2001            9/11 terrorist attacks on US; Bush inaugurates “war on terror”

2003        US invasion and occupation of Iraq

2003        New PRC leadership of Pres. Hu Jintao and Prem. Wen Jiabao

2003        Six Party Talks on North Korea held in Beijing after N. Korea reveals nuclear-weapons program


Originally developed by MIM/1999 student Sydney Dugan