This Month in History
June 18, 618
Li Yuan (566-635) deposed the last Sui (581-617) emperor by force and founded the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The new empire, with its capital in Chang’an (present-day Xi’an), enjoyed great prosperity and stability for much of its time, bringing the national power of China to an unprecedented height. All aspects of the society flourished during the period, including science, politics, agriculture, literature, art and diplomacy. The dynasty saw the succession of 21 emperors, including Empress Wu Zetian (625-705), the only woman in the history of China who assumed the title of Empress Regnant.
June 3, 1839
At the order of Lin Zexu (1785-1850), the imperial envoy of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), more than 1 million kilograms of opium confiscated from English and American opium smugglers were destroyed on the beach of Humen, Guangdong Province. During the late Qing period, British merchants were wrecking the Chinese economy and poisoning national ethos by shipping large amounts of opium into China. The opium-destroying campaign led by Lin Zexu was cheered by the Chinese people, but was used as an excuse by the UK to start the First Opium War (1840-1842), in which the Qing were defeated and forced to concede Hong Kong to the UK.
June 11, 1898
The short-lived 100-Day Reform commenced after inspiration from the Japanese success with modernization. Some Qing officials began advocating Western-style reforms to boost the Chinese economy and politics, and won the support of the young emperor Guangxu (1871-1908). Over a period of 103 days dozens of imperial orders were signed to revamp the government structure and encourage modern industry. But the movement soon fizzled out at fierce resistance by conservative opponents led by Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908). Six leading reformers were executed, and two fled abroad.
June 15, 1948
The People’s Daily, the most influential and authoritative newspaper in China, was established. The newspaper was designed to be an outlet for the latest policy information and resolutions of the Chinese government as well as a source for major domestic and international news. Today it is published worldwide with a circulation of 3 million.
June 3, 1953
The Buddhist Association of China (BAC) was founded in Beijing. Headquartered in the Guangji Temple in Beijing, the organization serves as the official supervisory organ of Buddhism in the PRC. In the 50 years since its founding, it has played an active role in promoting the development of Buddhism in China, including the renovation of temples, organizing religious activities, establishing Buddhist academies and promoting international Buddhist exchanges. Buddhism, Islam and Christianity are considered to be the three major religions in the world. According to historical accounts, Buddhist teaching was first introduced into China around AD 100 as Emperor Mingdi (AD 28-75) of the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25-220) sent an envoy to Southern India to inquire about the teachings of the Buddha. The first Buddhist temple in China, the White Horse Temple, was built in Luoyang City, Henan Province. Buddhism in China reached its zenith during the Tang Dynasty, when it produced numerous spiritual masters.
June 17, 1967
China successfully exploded its first hydrogen bomb, marking a breakthrough in the nation’s nuclear development. Chinese scientists began to explore the principles of hydrogen bomb technology in late 1960. On October 16, 1964, China conducted its first nuclear test, which means that it took only two years from its first atomic bomb test to its first hydrogen bomb test.
June 7, 1974
Over 4,000 bamboo slips of both Sun Wu’s and Sun Bin’s works on military strategy were excavated from the Yinque Hills in Linyi, Shandong Province. Sun Wu was a famous Chinese military commander, strategist and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and Sun Bin was his descendant. The Art of War was traditionally believed to be authored by Sun Wu. It is one of the oldest and most successful books on military strategy and has exerted far-reaching influence around the world in the military field, and even to modern managerial and business circles. Studies of the unearthed bamboo slips proved that the current edition of The Art of War was written by Sun Wu, and completed by Sun Bin.
June 3, 1980
China was officially admitted as a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Over the past 30 years China has made remarkable progress in the field of intellectual property rights. It has so far signed and adhered to all IPR treaties administrated by the WIPO. The number of applications for international patents in the country now ranks fifth in the world, with last year’s trademark applications numbering over 800,000. In 2000 China selected April 26 as the International Day of Intellectual Property Rights, to promote awareness of IPR protections among its people. This year for the 10th anniversary of this event Francis Gurry, director-general of the WIPO, presented a special video greeting.
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