Monday, October 05, 2009

Contemporary China in 60 years (1970 - 1974)

(1949 - 1954)
(1955 - 1959)
(1960 - 1964)
(1965 - 1969)

1970: Diaoyutai Islands (钓鱼台群岛)

Diaoyutai Islands (or Senkaku Islands according to Japan's naming).

In 1970, Unites States "returned" Diaoyutai Islands to Japan despite of China's claim of its ownership. This event was similar to the McMahon Line British did several decades ago between China and India. The goal was to leave a hard debate between the two near nations so that United States gained a point to leverage its impact in eastern Asia in the future. The plan worked. The Diaoyutai Islands problem has become more and more a severe debate between China and Japan. It significantly affected the relation between the two nations and more and more limits the collaboration between the two nations in exploring the East China Sea.

1971: China Return to United Nation (中国恢复联合国合法席位)

Qiao Guanhua (on the left) was laughing when United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758 was passed.

This was the beginning that China returned to the center of the world attention. Since then, China played more and more important roles in world affairs.

1972: Nixon visit to China (尼克松访华)

Zhou Enlai welcomed Nixon in Beijing Airport.

This journey broke the ice between the two long-term enemies. The Sino-American relation has been one of the most important international relations in the world.

1973: Deng Xiaoping Came Back to Power (邓小平复出)

Deng Xiaoping shook hands with Mao Zedong after he was appointed Vice Premier in 1973.

Since 1973 Deng Xiaoping had never left the center of China politics until his death. Eventually Deng led China to a new route of socialism (which was what Liu Shaoqi wanted to try but failed because of Mao's disapproval in 1960s) after the death of Mao Zedong.

1974: Invention of Artemisinin (合成青蒿素)

The chemical composition of Artemisinin.

This is another under-reported scientific achievement in contemporary China. Artemisinin was invented to treat multi-drug resistant strains of falciparum malaria. This is a great example of deriving modern-time drug from herbs used in Chinese traditional medicine. This invention saved the lives of millions of people from the threat of falciparum malaria.

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