1984: British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and Chinese prime minister Zhao Ziyang sign an agreement to formally transfer control of Hong Kong to Chinese rule in 1997, ending a century and a half of British rule. As part of the treaty, Hong Kong retains a 50-year extension of its capitalist economic system.
Wan Li-The Anhui agricultural reforms were heralded as brilliant innovations by the central government. The system implemented by Wan was followed up with reform programs led by Zhao Ziyang in Sichuan province. Along with Xi Zhongxun, Hu Yaobang, and other reformists in charge of implementing wide-ranging reforms, Wan was seen as a pioneer who made significant contributions to the national reform programmes in the 1980s, winning praise from paramount leader Deng Xiaoping.
Once an ally of Deng Ziaoping, Chinese politician Zhao Ziyang lost his post for his handling student pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing in 1989. Learn more about his life and career at Biography.com.