The Chinese Communist Party has ruled the country for most of last century. Here are the key dates in the party's rule, a history which encompasses power, bloodshed and recent economic prowess.
1893 -- Mao Zedong is born.
1912 -- China becomes a republic. The six-year old Emperor Puyi abdicates, ending the Qing Dynasty.
1916-1928 -- The republic disintegrates. Warlords with private armies rule the provinces.
1921 -- Mao takes part in the founding congress of the Communist Party of China in Shanghai.
1927-1928 -- General Chiang Kai-shek forms a national government and rises to become China's ruling statesman. He smashes the power of the warlords and persecutes the communists.
1934-1935 -- Four communist armies save themselves from Chiang Kai-shek's troops with the Long March, a massive military retreat into the north of the country.
1943 -- Mao becomes Chairman of the Communist Party of China. It is the onset of a personality cult.
1945-1949 -- Following the victory over Japan, Mao and Chiang unsuccessfully try to negotiate a division of power. A civil war ensues and the communists win. Chiang flees to Taiwan with his troops.
1946-1952 -- The communist party embarks on a radical land reform. Up to five million people are estimated to have been killed in the process.
1958-1961-- Between 30 and 45 million people die during the Great Leap Forward campaign. Mao loses some of his influence.
1966 -- The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution starts and millions of people are persecuted in the process. Mao is once again the country's undisputed ruler.
1969 -- Serious clashes between Soviet and Chinese troops on the Ussuri River during a seven month military conflict.
1975 -- Mao dies.
1978 -- The communist party, lead by Deng Xiaoping, kicks off far-reaching reforms. China opens itself up the world.
1984 -- The disintegration of the people's communes.
1989 -- Student protests on Tiananmen Square are brutally quashed.
Since 1993 -- Under President Jiang Zemin, the communist party finally opens up to private enterprise and the middle class. Political power remains in the hands of the communists.
2002 -- The communist party accepts private entrepreneurs as members.
2010 -- Approximately one in every three people belonging to China's super rich is a member of the communist party.
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