On 26 May in Asian history


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Updated on May 26, 2019

552: General Hou Jing who had proclaimed himself emperor of Han in January is killed by one of his aids

1234: The Mongols take Kaifeng and destroy the Jin (Jurchen) dynasty

1264: Birth of Prince Koreyasu, 7th shogun (1266-1289) of the Kamakura shogunate, who died on November 25, 1326

1877: Death of Kido Takayoshi, Japanese statesman born on August 11, 1833

1879: Russia and the United Kingdom sign the Treaty of Gandamak establishing an Afghan state

1904: After two days of bitter fighting, the Japanese Army soundly defeats the Russians at Kinchan and captures the forts at Nanshan

1904-05-26 Battle of Nanshan

1905: Birth of Seni Pramoj, three times Thailand’s prime minister, who died on July 28, 1997

1908: Death of Mirza Gulam Ahmad, Indian Muslim figure, founder of the Amadiyya Movement, born on February 13, 1835

1908: Birth of Nguyen Ngoc Tho, first Prime Minister of South Vietnam

1942: Birth of Ganapathi Sachchidananda, Indian spiritual leader

1945: Birth of Vilasrao Deshmukh, Indian politician

1961: Birth of Tarsem Singh, Indian film director

1964: China rejects an United Kingdom asking it to intervene for an end of fights in Laos

1965: Australian troops depart for Vietnam

1967: China’s first successful launch of a ground-to-ground medium-range missiles

1967-05-26 1er sol-sol

1970: Birth of Nobuhiro Watsuki, Japanese cartoonist

1971: North Vietnamese troops seize strategic Snoul city in Cambodia

1971-05-26 Viet prennent Snuol

1971: The Pakistan Army massacres at least 71 Hindus in Burunga, Sylhet, Bangladesh.

1972: Chiang Ching-kuo becomes premier of Taiwan

1987: Birth of Valerie Garcia, Filipina actress

1988: Vietnam announces that 50,000 soldiers will be withdrew from Cambodia before the end of the year and that the remained ones will be under the command of the Kampuchea’s armed forces

1998: British veterans reject Japanese emperor “sorrow”

1999: For the first time since 20 years, Indian air force intervenes in Kargill area of Kashmir where Indian military positions have been occupied by rebels supported by Pakistani soldiers

2006: The May 2006 Java earthquake kills over 5,700 people, leaves 200,000 homeless

2009: North Korea fires two more missiles, hours after the UN Security Council unanimously condemned its nuclear test

2009: Pakistan’s Supreme Court overturns a ban that prevented opposition leader Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz from running for political office

2011: Death of Arisen Ahubudu, Sri Lankan scholar, author, and playwright, born on March 18, 1920

2014: Narendra Modi takes the oath of office as 15th India’s prime minister at the start of a new era hailed by his Pakistani counterpart as an opportunity to end decades of regional instability

2015 : China issues its first white paper on military strategy. The white paper, « China’s Military Strategy », issued by the State Council Information Office, outlined a strategy unifying strategic defense and operational and tactical offense. Here is full text

2018: China, Burkina Faso resume diplomatic ties

2018: North and South Korean leaders meet as US indicates summit may yet happen

On 25 May in Asian history

1900-05-25 Wedding of Yoshihito


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Updated on May 25, 2019

675: Birth of Li Hong, prince of the Tang Dynasty, born in 652

967: Death of Murakami, 62nd Japanese emperor (946-967), born on June 2, 926

1048: Birth of Shenzong, the 6th emperor (1067-1087) of the Chinese Song dynasty, who died on April 1st 1087

1334: Birth of Japanese Emperor Suko (1348-1351) who died in 1398

1458: Mahmud Begada becomes Sultan of Gujarat up to his death on November 23 1511

1592: The First Japanese Division arrives at Dongnae eupseong (Korea) starting the Japanese invasion

1644: Ming general Wu Sangui forms an alliance with the invading Manchus and will open the gates of the Great Wall of China at Shanhaiguan pass, letting the Manchus through towards the capital Beijing

1791: Birth of Minh Mạng, Vietnamese emperor who died on January 20, 1841

1886: Birth of Rash Behari Bose, Indian leader against the British Raj, who died in exile on January 21, 1945

1895: In Taiwan, pro-Qing Tang Ching-sung (Tang Qingsong) is elected president of The Republic of Formosa, capital Tinan

1899: Birth of Kazi Nazrul Islam, Bengali poet, musician, revolutionary and philosopher who died on August 29, 1976

1900: Crown Prince Yoshihito marries then 16-year-old Sadako, the daughter of Prince Kujo Mitchitaka [peer], the head of the five senior branches of the Fujiwara clan

1900-05-25 Wedding of Yoshihito

1907: Birth of U Nu, First and three times Burmese Prime Minister between 1948 and 1962, who died on February 14, 1995

1912: Birth of Princess Deokhye of Korea, who died on 21 April 1989

1940: Birth of Nobuyoshi Araki, Japanese photographer

1941: 5,000 drown in a storm at Ganges Delta region in India 

1942: Birth of Angela Yu Chien, Chinese actress who died from cancer on April 10, 2000

1953: Birth of Stan Sakai, American Japanese-born comic writer

1954: Birth of Kee Thuan Chye, Malaysian journalist and playwriter

Kee Thuan Chye

1954: Birth of Murali, Indian actor, who died on August 6, 2009

1965: India and Pakistan borders fights

1966: In China, the first prominent dazibao of the Cultural Revolution is posted at Beijing University by Nie Yuanzi

1966-05-25 Nie Yuanzi poster

1968: In South Vietnam, Communist launch a new offensive on Saigon

1969: In South Vietnam, the National Democratic Front is formed in Saigon, led by President Nguyen Van Thieu

1970: Birth of Satsuki Yukino, Seiyuu

1972: Birth of Karan Johar, Indian director, producer, writer, and actor

1977: Chinese government removes a 10 years ban on Shakespeare works

1978: Birth of Lee Jeong-jin, Korean actor and model

1980: Birth of Jae Hee, South Korean actor

1983: Birth of Kunal Khemu, Indian actor

1985: Bangladesh is hit by a tropical cyclone and storm surge which kills approximately 10,000 people

1993: Death of Buddhadasa, Thai philosopher, born on May 27, 1906

1999: The United States House of Representatives releases the Cox Report which details the People’s Republic of China’s nuclear espionage against the U.S. over the prior two decades

2005: Death of Sunil Dutt, Indian actor and politician, born on June 6, 1930

2005: Death of Ismail Merchant, Indian born film producer, born on December 25, 1936

2007: In spite of international pressures, the Myanmar’s military junta extends for one year Aung San Suu Kyi house arrest

2008: For the first time, the chairman of a Taiwanese ruling party, Wu Po-Hsiung, starts a visit to China

2009: North Korea announces it has conducted a successful nuclear test (second one), as it steps up what it says are moves to strengthen its nuclear déterrent

2010: China refuses to publicly criticise North Korea over the sinking of a South Korean naval ship. During a three-way summit, both South Korea and Japan pressed China to hold Pyongyang responsible for the sinking of the Cheonan in March

2011: North Korean leader Kim Jong-il arrives in Beijing for a meeting with Chinese president Hu Jintao, highlighting the influence the economic powerhouse has with the isolated regime struggling to feed its people

2013: Indian Maoists killed 32 Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh

2013: Death of T. M. Soundararajan, Indian singer, born on March 24, 1922

2014: Thailand Junta chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha, who is also the acting prime minister, dissolves the Senate, the only remaining legislative body

2014: Japan and China trade accusations after China scrambled fighter jets when Japanese military aircraft entered an air defence zone declared by Beijing over the East China Sea.

2016: In a statement issued by the Taliban, the group confirms the death of Mullah Mansour and added that Taliban’s Shura has selected Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada as their new leader

On 24 May in Asian history


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Updated on May 24, 2019

1408: Death of Yi Seong-gye, founder of the Joseon (Yi) Korean dynasty, born on October 11, 1335

1839: Death in jail of Anna Pak Agi, one of the Korean martyrs, born in 1782

1899: During the war against Americans, Filipinos attack San Fernando

1911: Birth of Ne Win, Burmese dictator (1962-1988) who died in on December 5, 2002

 1917: Vyner Brooke, becomes the third and last White Rajah of Sarawak (Borneo) till 15 April 1946, and died on 9 May 1963

1923: Birth of Seijun Suzuki, Japanese director

1931: In India, Sister Teresa took her initial vows as a nun

1942: Birth of Ichiro Ozawa, Japanese politician

1947: Katayama Tetsu replaces Shigeru Yoshida as prime minister of Japan until March 1948

1947: Birth of Mike De Leon, Filipino film director, cinematographer, scriptwriter and film Producer

1956: Conclusion in Yangon of the Sixth Buddhist Council on Vesak Day, marking the 2,500 year anniversary after the Lord Buddha’s Parinibbana

1964: Senator Goldwater, running Republican Party candidate to presidency, suggests using atomic weapons in North Vietnam

1965: Birth of Shinichiro Watanabe, Japanese anime director

1970 : Birth of Jia Zhangke, Chinese filmmaker

1974: Ban on political parties is lifted in Portuguese Timor. Five political parties emerge

1975: A group of 80 reporters and cameramen are allowed to fly out of Saigon

1980: Birth of Cecilia Cheung, Hong Kong actress and singer

1981: Birth of Sayaka Ando, Japanese gravure idol

1983: Birth of Woo Seung-yeon, South Korean model and actress who committed suicide on April 27, 2009

1985: A cyclone devastates Bangladesh causing at least 10,000 dead and  250,000 homeless

1988: Thai Porntip Nakhirunkanok, 19, is crowned 37th Miss Universe

1992: Thai dictator, General Suchinda Kraprayoon, resigns following pro-democracy protest

1997: Shohei Imamura’s movie “The Eel” (Unagi) wins the Palme d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival

2000: Death of Majrooh Sultanpuri, Indian poet and lyricist, born in 1919

2001: 15-year-old Sherpa Temba Tsheri becomes the youngest person to climb to the to of Mount Everest

Temba Tsheri Sherpa

2002: Death of Xi Zhongxun, Chinese moderate leader, father of Xi Jinping, born on October 15, 1913

2004: North Korea bans mobile phones

2009: Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels have admitted for the first time that their leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is dead

2010: South Korea decides to halt all trade with North Korea over sinking of Cheonan warship

2010: Death of Tapen Chatterjee, Bengali actor from India, born in 1937

Tapen Chatterjee

2012: More than 120 schoolgirls and three teachers are poisoned by the Taliban who are opposed to education of women and girls, using an unidentified toxic powder to contaminate the air in classrooms

2012: The US cut $33 million from the aid it sends Pakistan over the jailing of the doctor who helped the CIA hunt for Osama bin Laden, in a fresh blow to the battered relations between the two states.

2013: Abe start the 1st trip to Burma by Japan PM in 36 years, aiming to show Japanese support for reforms in Burma after decades of military rule and to boost economic ties

2015 : Prominent Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢) wins the best director award at the Cannes Film Festival in France on Sunday with his first martial arts film « The Assassin » (聶隱娘)

2018: North Korea blows up tunnels at nuclear test site

2018: Burkina Faso breaks ties with Taiwan in fresh blow to island

Holidays and observances

Anna Pak Agi (one of The Korean Martyrs)

On 23 May in Asian history

1958-05-23 The great Leap Forward


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Updated on May 23, 2019

779: Death of Dai Zong, Chinese emperor, born on January 1, 727

1100: Birth of Qinzong, ninth emperor of the Song dynasty (1126-1127) who died on June 14, 1161

1370: Death of Toghon Temür, last Khagan of the Mongol Empire, born on May 25, 1320

1523: Death of Ashikaga Yoshitane, 10th shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate, born on September 9, 1466

1592: Beginning of the invasion of Korea by the Japanese

1638: Kandyan treaty between the Dutch and the king of Kandy

1859: The new royal palace of Mandalay, the new capital of Burma, is inaugurated

1895: Some pro-Qing proclaim the short lived Republic of Formosa after the Shimonoseki Treaty giving the Island to Japan (up to October 1895)

1898: First US Philippine Expeditionary Troops sail from San Francisco

1919: Birth of Gayatri Devi Indian politician, who died on July 29, 2009

1942: Birth of K. Raghavendra Rao, Indian film director

1944: Chinese counter offensive against the Japanese at Hunan front

1945: Birth of Padmarajan, Indian film director, who died on 24 January 1991

1947: Birth of Ann Hui, Hong Kong film film director

1951: Signature of the 17 points agreement imposed by Beijing to Tibetan Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama which recognize Chine sovereignty on Tibet

1951-05-23 Signature 17 points

1958: Mao Zedong launches the « Great leap forward » movement

1958-05-23 The great Leap Forward

1966: Death of Demchugdongrub, Mongolian politician, born on February 2, 1902

1967: In Hong Kong, end of the fights between Police and Maoist demonstrators which started on May 17

1974: Birth of Charlie Yeung, Hong Kong actress and singer

1975: Birth of Kim Sung-soo, South Korean actor

1993: In Cambodia, beginning of the first free elections under United Nations control, till May 28

1997: In Banjarmasin city, Borneo island of Indonesia, fights between Muslim party PPP and Suharto party Golkar cause 123 casualties in the arson of a mall

2001: « Private » meeting between US president George Bush and the Dalai Lama at the White House

2003: Ong Ka Ting is elected chairman of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA)

2008: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) awards Middle Rocks to Malaysia and Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh) to Singapore, ending a 29-year territorial dispute between the two countries

2009: Former South Korea President Roh Moo-hyun plunges to his death off a mountainside near his home, sending shockwaves throughout the nation

2009: Madhav Kumar Nepal, former general secretary of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) is elected the new Prime Minister of Nepal

2011: Pakistani security forces clear a major Pakistani naval base of heavily armed insurgents after a 17-hour gun battle, finally quashing a coordinated attack that destroyed two American-made aircraft and left at least 12 security officers dead

2012: A Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find Osama Bin Laden is jailed for at least 30 years

2013: Malaysian police arrest three prominent opposition figures, including Keadilan party vice-President Tian Chua, under the Sedition Act

2014: US President Barack Obama assures Japan that islands at the centre of its territorial dispute with China are covered by a bilateral defence treaty

2014: Death of Anand Modak, Indian composer, born on May 13, 1951

2016: The United States has fully lifted its ban on weapons sales to Vietnam, President Barack Obama announces during a visit to Hanoi, unpicking a decades-old embargo on the one-time enemy

2016: India successfully launches the first technology demonstrator of indigenously made Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV), capable of launching satellites into orbit around earth and reentering the atmosphere, from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh

2017: Former South Korean president Park Geun-hye on trial for corruption

On 22 May in Asian history


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Updated on May 22, 2019

192: Death of Dong Zhuo, Chancellor of Han (slain by his adoptive son Lü Bu), born in 138

748: Death of Empress Gensho, 44th ruler of Japan (715-724), born in 680ō

1068: Death of Go-Reizei, 70th emperor of Japan (1045-1068), born on 28 August 1025

1408: Birth of Annamacharya, Hindu saint who died on February 14, 1503

1545 : Death of Sher Shah Suri, founder of the short lived Suri Dynasty in India, born in 1486

1772: Birth of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Hindu reformer who died on 27 September 1833

1834: Birth of Niwa Nagakuni, Japanese daimyo who died on January 15, 1904

1867: Birth of Julio Nakpil, filipino composer and freedom fighter, composer of the first national anthem, who died on November 2, 1960

1885: Birth of Japanese Admiral Soemu Toyoda who died on 22 September 1957

1895: Birth of Pan Yuliang, Chinese female painter, who died on July 22, 1977

1908: Birth of Rattana Pestonji, Thai film director, who died on August 17, 1970

1927: In Xining (China) an earthquake causes more than 200,000 casualties

1946: Shigeru Yoshida replaces Kijuro Shidera as prime minister of Japan till May 24, 1947

1948: Birth of Nedumudi Venu, Indian actor and screenwriter

1958: Start of Sri Lankan riots of 1958 (end on May 27). This riot was a watershed event in the race relationship of the various ethnic communities of Sri Lanka. The total number of deaths is estimated to be 300, mostly Sri Lankan Tamils

1960: Birth of Hideaki Anno, Japanese director

1966: Birth of Wang Xiaoshuai, Chinese film director

1969: Bejing reasserts its hostility on unequal treaties which establish the borders with Russia

1971: Birth of Raimund Marasigan, Filipino Musician

1972: Birth of Annabel Chong, Singaporian actress

1972: Ceylon adopts a new constitution becoming a republic, changes its name for Sri Lanka and joins the Commonwealth of Nations

1973: Birth of Madhureeta Anand, Indian director, producer, screenwriter

1987: Hashimpura massacre in Meerut city of India

1989: Seven retired military leaders in China denounce the imposition of martial law

1991: Death of Shripad Amrit Dange, Indian politician, a founding member of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and a stalwart of Indian trade union movement, born on October 10, 1899

2002: Khmer Rouge leader Sam Bith, 69, is arrested. He is responsible for the kidnapping and murder of three western tourists in 1994

2004: In India, Manmohan Singh forms his cabinet after Sonia Gandhi renounced to be Prime Minister

2006: Death of Lee Jong-wook, Korean Director-General of the World Health Organization

2009: India’s new government, with Manmohan Singh as prime minister, takes the oath of office in the capital, Delhi. Mr Singh is taking charge for a second time, only the second PM after Jawaharlal Nehru to be returned to power following a full five-year term

2012: Muzafar Bhutto, Pakistani missing general secretary of J.S.M.M is found dead, born on August 23, 1970

2012: A Malaysian court charges opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in relation to his role in a street protest calling for electoral reform last month at which the police fired tear gas at demonstrators

2014: Thailand’s army chief announces a coup d’état declaring that it was “necessary” to restore stability and order after six months of political deadlock and turmoil

2014: An explosion occurs in the city of Ürümqi, the capital of China’s far-western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, resulting in at least 43 deaths and 91 injuries

2014: Russia, China Veto UN Move to Refer Syria to International Criminal Court

2015 : Armed separatists in Indonesia’s Papua province declare open war on the military and non-Papuan civilians, insisting that their decades-long struggle for independence is not over and denouncing as a lie President Joko Widodo’s reassurances that the region is peaceful

2016: Taliban supremo Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in a US drone attack in Pakistan, senior militant sources told, adding that an insurgent assembly was underway to decide on his successor

2018: Tibetan language activist Tashi Wangchuk sentenced to 5 years by China over New York Times video

Holidays and observances

Sri Lanka: Republic Day


On 21 May in Asian history


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Updated on May 21, 2019

1086: Death of Wang Anshi (王安石) Chinese economist, statesman, chancellor and poet of the Song Dynasty, born on December 8, 1021

1260: The Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan sends his envoy Hao Jing to the Chinese Song Emperor Lizong, but Hao Jing is kept in prison

1792: In Japan, Mount Unzen (in Kyushu island) erupts causing a big tsunami and the death of more than 14,500 people

1837: Birth of Itagaki Taisuke, Japanese soldier and politician, founder of the Liberal Party, who died on July 16, 1919

1903: Birth of Ali Sastroamidjojo, Indonesian diplomat and premier (1953-1955) who died on Mach 13, 1976

1912: Birth of Chen Dayu, Chinese painter and sculptor who died on June 1, 2001

Chen Dayu

1936: Sada Abe is arrested after wandering the streets of Tokyo for days with her dead lover’s severed genitals in her hand. Her story soon becomes one of Japan’s most notorious scandals

1951: In Korea, the United Nations forces repel Communist forces that have cross the 38th parallel

1951: China and Pakistan established diplomatic relations

1958: Indonesian paratroopers reconquer Morotai Island (Mollucas) from anti-Sukarno Permesta rebellion supported and trained by CIA

1959: Birth of Abdulla Yameen, Maldivian politician, 6th President of the Maldives 2013-2018

1960: Birth of Mohanlal, Indian actor

1964: US begin intelligence flights above Laos

1990: Moelvi Mohammed Farouk, Indian spiritual leader, is murdered

1991: Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is assassinated by a female LTTE suicide bomber near Madras

1991: Death in a car accident of Lino Brocka, Filipino director and screenwriter, born on April 3, 1939

1991-05-21 Lino Brocka killed in Car Accident

1998: Indonesian president Suharto resigns, succeeded by vice-president B.J. Habibie

2005: In Indonesia, Nazaruddin Sjamsuddin, chairman of the Election National Election, is arrested on charges of corruption

2006: Death of Cherd Songsri, Thai film director, born on September 20, 1931

2007: Chang Chun-hsiung becomes Taiwan prime minister for a second time replacing Su Tseng-chang

2011: Singapore’s new Cabinet is sworn into office, with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pledging that the government will evolve in tandem with the aspirations of a new generation of Singaporeans

2012: Sarath Fonseka, Sri Lanka’s former army chief, is released from prison after President Mahinda Rajapaksa granted him a pardon to coincide with the third anniversary of the government’s victory over Tamil separatists.

2013: A Chinese boat and 16 fishermen seized for ransom by armed North Koreans two weeks ago is released, easing the latest irritant in relations between the traditional allies

2014:  China and Russia sign a long-awaited natural gas supply deal, which will see Moscow supply 38 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas to Beijing each year for 30 years under a contract valued in excess of $400bn overall

2015 : President Park Geun-hye nominates Justice Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn as the new prime minister, calling him “the right man” to achieve political reforms proposed in the wake of a high-profile graft scandal involving her close confidants.

2016: Death of Top North Korean diplomat Kang Sok-ju who forged 1994 nuclear deal with the U.S.

On 20 May in Asian history


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Updated on May 20, 2019

1293: An earthquake strikes Kamakura, Japan, leaving 30,000 killed

1498: Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama arrives at Kozhikode (previously known as Calicut), India

1498-05-20 Vasco de Gama Calicut

1550: Death of Ashikaga Yoshiharu, Japanese shogun, born on 21 April 1511

1619: Coen, backed by a force of nineteen ships, storms the Jayakarta driving out the Banten forces, and from the ashes of Jayakarta, establishes Batavia (now Jakarta) as the VOC headquarters,_Dutch_East_Indies

1645: The Manchurian Qing army occupies the city of Yangzhou. Chinese general Shi Kefa refuses to summit. Start of a for 10 days long massacre. Hundred thousands of people get killed by the Qing troops

1784: In a Treaty signed in Paris, Netherlands cedes to Britain the port city of Nagappattinam in India and allows the British free navigation rights in the Duch-held Mollucas

1894: Birth of Chandrashekarendra Saraswati, Indian Hindu sage, who died on January 8, 1994

1900: Birth of Sumitranandan Pant, Indian poet who died on December 28, 1977

Sumitranandan Pant (1900-1977)

1908: In Netherlands Indies, Foundation of the Boedi Oetomo (Noble Conduct), organization led by Dr Soetomo.  Educational movement which turned to politics

1939: Birth of Balu Mahendra, Sri Lankan-Indian director, cinematographer, and screenwriter who died on February 13, 2014

1941: Birth of Goh Chok Tong, former Singaporian Premier and later Senior Minister

1942: Japan completed the conquest of Burma

1946: Birth of Xanana Gusmao, former president of East-Timor (2002-2007) then Prime Minister up to February 2015

1946: In Japan, formation of Yoshida cabinet

1947: Ho Chi Minh and Hoang Minh Giam reject France’s stringent cease-fire conditions

1948: Chiang Kai-shek is formally elected President of the Republic of China

1950: Birth of Wei Jingsheng, the best known Chinese dissident

1954: Chiang Kai-shek is reelected president of the Republic of China (Taiwan)

1957: Birth of Yoshihiko Noda, Prime Minister of Japan (2011-2012)

1959: Japanese-Americans regain their citizenship

1963: Sukarno is reelected president of Indonesia

1967: In USA, 10,000 demonstrate against Vietnam War

1967: Birth of Ramzi Yousef, Kuwaiti-born Pakistani terrorist

1969: End of the ten days Battle of Hamburger Hill (Aptia Mountain) one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War (see on May 10)

1970: 100,000 march in New York supporting US policy in Vietnam

1978: Chiang Ching-kuo, son of Chiang Kai-shek, is elected president of the Republic of China (Taiwan), till his death on January 13, 1988

1982: In the Afghanistan war, first exchange of prisoners closed of the Pakistani border

1982: Sir Edward Youde takes office as Governor of Hong Kong

1983: Birth of Jr. NTR, Indian film actor

1986: In a joint communiqué Lisbon and Beijing announce the beginning of talks on Macao

1988: Birth of Carla Humphries, Filipina actress

1989: Chinese Premier Li Peng proclaims the Martial Law in Beijing

1989-05- Li Peng Martial Law


1990: In Taiwan, Lee Teng-hui, elected on March 21, is sworn in as the eighth president,29,31,45&post=4599

1992: India launches its first satellite independently

1992: The king of Thailand ask the Prime minister Suchinda Kraprayoon and opposition leader to put an end to the brutalities in Bangkok

1993: Xanana Gusmao, leader of the East-Timor separatist insurgency (arrested in 1992) is condemned to life sentence, changed later to 20 years in prison

1997: US President Clinton signs an executive order 13047 barring new US investment in Burma (Myanmar), effective May 21 and renewable annually

2000: In Taiwan, Chen Shui-bian becomes the first non KMT president

2002: East-Timor is officially independent from Indonesia

2002: Mari Alkatiri becomes Prime Minister of East Timor up to June 26, 2006

2004: Chen Shui-bian starts his second mandate as president of the Republic of China (Taiwan)

2006: In Dhaka, a series of massive wildcat strikes begin, involving nearly 1.8 million garment workers in Bangladesh

2007: In Vietnam, legislative elections. 83 % of the candidates are members of the Vietnam Communist Party. In the final, more than 90 % of the members of the parliament are members of the CPV

2008: Ma Ying-jeou is sworn in as president of Taiwan“inaugural-address”-may-20-2008

2008: Tsai Ing-wen is elected chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party, the main opposition party in Taiwan,_2008

2008: India and Pakistan resume talks

2009: Sri Lanka celebrates victory over the Tamil Tigers with a national holiday as the army hunt down fugitive rebels

2012: Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou is sworn in for second term

2013: Myanmar President Thein Sein becomes the first leader of his country to visit the White House in nearly half a century, as Washington offers a strong symbolic gesture to back his reforms

2014: Thailand’s military declares martial law. It will stay in place until peace and order are restored, following months of sometimes deadly anti-government protests

2016: Vietnam releases prominent Catholic priest dissident Nguyen Van Ly ahead of Obama visit

2016: Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen sworn in as first female president

2017: Former Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) wins the election for chairman of Taiwan’s main opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT)

2017: Francisco ‘Lu Olo’ Guterres is formally inaugurated as Timor-Leste’s new president

Holidays and observances

East Timor: Independence Day (independence of East Timor from Indonesia in 2002)

Cambodia: Day of Remembrance (ex National Day of Hatred)

On 19 May in Asian history


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Updated on May 19, 2019

639: Ashina Jiesheshuai, a Turkish general of the Tang dynasty, and his tribesmen fail to kill Emperor Tai zong at summer Jiucheng Palace

Kursad ou Jiesheshuai

1526: Death of Go-Kashiwabara, 104th Japanese emperor (1500-1526), born on November 19, 1464

1542: As its king Minkhaung surrenders, the Prome Kingdom falls to the Taungoo Dynasty in present-day Burma

1865: Death of Sengge Rinchen, Mongol Qing Dynasty field marshal, born in 1811

1883: French Commandant Rivière is killed in the battle of Paper Bridge against the Chinese Black Flags in Tonkin

1889: Birth of Tản Đà, Vietnamese poet and author who died on June 7, 1939

1890: Birth of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnamese communist leader and first président of North Vietnam who died on 2nd September 1969

1898: Filipino nationalist Emilio Aguinaldo Returns from exile in Hongkong

1904: Death of Jamsetji Tata, Indian industrialist, born in March 1839

1908: Birth of Manik Bandopadhyay, Indian Bengali novelist who died on December 3, 1956

1910: Birth of Nathuram Godse, Indian assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, executed on November 15, 1949

1913: The California Alien Land Law, or Webb Alien Land-Holding Bill, passes, forbidding Japanese from owning land

1921: Birth of Yuri Kochiyama, Japanese American human rights activist

1925: Birth of Pol Pot, leader of the Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge, who died on April 1998

1926: Birth of Swami Kriyananda, Indian teacher and author

1929: General Feng Yu-Xiang of China declares war on Chiang Kai-shek government

1934: Birth of Ruskin Bond, Indian author

1938: Birth of Moisés da Costa Amaral, East Timorese leader who died on February 22,  1989

1938: Birth of Girish Karnad, Indian actor, director, screenwriter, and playwright

1941: Viet Minh, a communist coalition is formed at Cao Bằng Province, Vietnam

1949: Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek imposes Martial Law on Taiwan

1951: US begins counter offensive in Korea

1954: Signature of an mutual assistance treaty between USA and Pakistan

1959: The North Vietnamese Army establishes Group 559, whose responsibility is to determine how to maintain supply lines to South Vietnam; the resulting route is the Ho Chi Minh trail

1961: At Silchar Railway Station, Assam (India), 11 Bengalis die when police open fire on protesters demanding state recognition of Bengali language in the Bengali Language Movement

1964: In Laos, US Air Force begins Operation Yankee Team

1964: Birth of Murali, Indian actor who died on September 8, 2010

1964: Birth of Lawrence Ng, Hong Kong actor

1967: US bomb Hanoi

1972: South Vietnamese fight to open road to An Loc

1975: Birth of  Masanobu Ando, Japanese actor

1981: Birth of Bong Tae-gyu, South Korean actor

1989: A 4:50 am, Chinese communist Party General secretary Zhao Ziyang goes Tian’anmen Square to implore the students to leave

1989: Han Dongfang, a railway worker, becomes the spokesman for China’s first autonomous workers’ union, set up in the Tiananmen square

1998: Death of Sosuke Uno, 75th prime minister of Japan from June to August 1989 and obliged to resign after a sex scandal, born on 27 August 1922

2000: China signs an agreement with Europe Union for its entry in WTO

2000-05-19 Accord UE pour OMC

2001: In the Philippines, election in the senate. On the 13 seats, the People Power Coalition supporting President Arroyo wins 8 seats vs 4 for former president Estrada supporters (including his wife) and an independent

2002: East-Timor independence ceremony, effective on 20 May, 0 :am with UN general secretary Kofy Annan, Bill Clinton and Indonesian president Megawati Sukarnoputri

2002: A new Vietnamese National Assembly is elected. All the candidates have been selected by the Communist Party of Vietnam

2008: In Malaysia, Former Premier Mahathir quits UMNO

2008: Death of Vijay Tendulkar, Indian playwright, born on January 7, 1928

2010: The Royal Thai Armed Forces concludes its crackdown on protests by forcing the surrender of United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship leaders

2012: China dissident Chen Guangcheng arrives in the US
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2013: Death of Bella Flores, Filipino actress, born on February 27, 1929

2016: Two Chinese jet fighters intercept an American reconnaissance aircraft flying over the South China Sea in what U.S. defense officials characterized as a potentially unsafe maneuver

2017: Chinese fighter jets intercept US ‘sniffer’ plane over disputed territory

2018: Japanese Director Hirokazu Koreeda’s « Shoplifters » wins the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival

Holidays and observances

Vietnam: Hồ Chí Minh’s Birthday

On 18 May in Asian history


To see another date, on Internet (Google…), type “On (day + month) in Asian history »

Updated on May 18, 2019

1388: During the Battle of Buyur Lake, General Lan Yu led a Chinese army forward to crush the Mongol hordes of Tögüs Temür, the Khan of Northern Yuan

1450: Death of Sejong, 4th king (1418-1450) of the Joseon Korean dynasty, born on 7 May 1397

1584: Death of Ikeda Motosuke, samurai commander, born in 1559

1869: Surrender and dissolution of the Ezo Republic to Japan

1895: Birth of Zhang Henshui, Chinese novelist, who died on February 15, 1967

Zhang Henshui

1904: Birth of Shunryu Suzuki, Japanese-American monk and educator who died on December 4, 1971

1912: The first Indian film, Shree Pundalik by Dadasaheb Torne is released in Mumbai

1913: Birth of Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, 6th president on India (1977-1982) who died on 1st June 1996

1916: In China, Chen Qimei is assassinated. Chiang Kai-shek succeeds him as leader of the Chinese Revolutionary Party in Shanghai

1916: In Vietnam, Khai Dinh is the 12th emperor of the Nguyen dynasty, up to his death on November 6, 1925

1918: Opening of the Voksraad (People’s Council in Batavia (Dutch East Indies)

1933: Birth of Deve Gowda, Indian prime minister from June 1, 1996 to April 21, 1997

1946: Birth of Frank Hsieh, Taiwanese politician, 40th Premier of the Republic of China (2005-2006)

 Frank Hsieh 2006

1948: The First Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China officially convenes in Nanking

1948: Birth of Yi Munyol, South Korean writer

1951: United Nations adopts a resolution on the boycott of strategic goods to Communist China

1955: A security treaty is signed between Cambodia and the USA

1955: End of Operation Passage to Freedom, the evacuation of 310,000 Vietnamese civilians, soldiers and non-Vietnamese members of the French Army from communist North Vietnam to South Vietnam following the end of the First Indochina War

1955: Birth of Chow Yun-Fat, Hong Kong actor

1963: birth of Mari Iijimia, Japanese actress

1967: In Vietnam, the US troops cross the demilitarized zone

1974: India detonates its first nuclear weapon

1980: In South Korea, Gwangju uprising up to May 27

1980: China launches its first intercontinental missile, a DF-5

1988: Birth of Koji Seto Japanese actor and singer

1989: In Beijing one-million people demonstrate as members of the government meet with leaders of the student protests

1990: Birth of Heo Ga-yoon, South Korean singer, dancer, and actress

2002: Kim Hong-gul, third son of South Korea president Kim Dae-jung is arrested on charge of corruption. One of his brothers is already in jail

2002: Death in Moscow of Song Hye-rim, the former wife of Kim Jong-il, born on January 24, 1937

2006: In Nepal, the parliament, which has been restore, passes a law curtailing the power of the monarchy, making Nepal a secular country

2007: Death of Yoyoy Villame, Filipino novelty singer and movie actor, born on 18 November 1932

2009: The leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels, Velupillai Prabhakaran, is dead, the Sri Lankan military has said. May 18 will be proclaimed « Victory Day »

2011: China has blocked the release of a UN report accusing North Korea of sharing ballistic missile technology with Iran in violation of sanctions. The report said the material passed through a third country, which was later identified by diplomats as China

2012: Death of Jai Gurudev, Indian religious leader, born in 1895

2013: Death of Nam Duck-woo, South Korean politician, 12th Prime Minister of South Korea (1080-1982), born on April 22, 1924

2017: The first ever ferry service linking Russia and North Korea is launched to serve tourists and North Korean workers


Holidays and observances

Sri Lanka: Victory Day

On 17 May in Asian history


To see another date, on Internet (Google…), type “On (day + month) in Asian history »

Updated on May 17, 2019

290: Death of Sima Yan (Jin Wudi), Chinese emperor of the Jin Dynasty, born in 236

1155: Birth of Jien, Japanese poet and historian who died on 28 October 1225

1189: Birth of Minamoto no Yoshitsune, Japanese general, born in 1159

1336: Death of Go-Fushimi, the 93rd emperor of Japan (1298-1301), born on 5 April 1288

1540: Afghan chief Sher Khan defeats Mogul Emperor Humayun at Kanauj

1551: Death of Shin Saimdang, korean writer and artist, poet, born on October 29, 1504

1782: Mahadaji Sindhia, defeated on February 16, 1781 at Sipri by Gal Camac, becomes an ally of the English by the Treaty of Salbai

1824: A Burmese force invades Chittagong and drove a mixed Sepoy and police detachment from its position at Ramu, but did not follow up its success

1857 : Birth of Pascual Poblete, Filipino writer and activist who died on February 5, 1921

1868: Death of Isami Kondo, Japanese Shinsengumi Commander, born on November 9, 1834

1869: Imperial Japanese forces defeat the remnants of the Tokugawa shogunate in the Battle of Hakodate to end the Boshin War

1900: In China, three villages within 100 miles of Peking are burned by Boxers and 60 Chinese Christians killed.

1917: Death of Charles Brooke, second White Rajah of Sarawak (Borneo) since 3 August 1868

1940: Birth of Reynato Puno, Filipino Supreme Court Chief Justice from 2006 to 2010

1944: Chinese/US arm forces take Myitkyina Airport, Burma

1953: Birth of Yoko Shimada, Kumamota Japan, author (Kir Royal)/actress (Shogun)

1954: In the Philippines, Luis Taruc, who has been excluded from the Philippine Communist Party, surrenders

1964: In Burma, all the 50 and 100 kyat banknotes are demonetized without compensation

1967: In Hong Kong, beginning of fights between police and Maoist demonstrators till December

1967: Birth of Mohamed Nasheed, Maldivian politician 4th President of the Maldives from 2008 to 2012

1980: General Chun Doo-hwan of South Korea declares martial law in order to suppress students demonstration

1981: In Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina comes back after exile in India,_Sheikh

1981-05-17 Hasina retour d'exil

1981: Birth of Lim Jeong Hee, Korean singer

1992: In Thailand, the so called Black May begins. Thai police and protestors start attacking one another. By midnight, the Thai government declares a state of emergency and military troops open fire

1993: In Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremasinghe becomes prime minister till August 1994

1995: The Chinese authorities arrest the six year old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, recognized by the Dalai Lama as the successor of the 10th Panchen Lama, and his family. Since nobody knows what happened to them

1997: In South Korea, Kim Hyung-chul, son of the President Kim Dae-jung is arrested as involved in the Hanbo scandal,1559204

2000: In Indonesia, for the first time, 24 soldiers are jailed for massacres of civilians in Aceh

2004: In Myanmar, the National Convention, in charge to write a new constitution,  convened after more than eight years of suspension

2005: Death of Keiiti Aki, Japanese seismologist, born on March 3, 1930

2007: In Thailand, the Defense National Council orders three private radio stations to be closed because they gave interviews to former premier Thaksin Shinawatra

2007: Death of T. K. Doraiswamy, Indian poet and author, born on August 21, 1921

T. K. Doraiswamy

2007: A train, for the first time since 1953, cross the border between the two Koreas on few meters

2008: Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan abducted in February is freed

2009: The Indian National Congress wins the elections,_2009

2009: Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels admit defeat in their 37-year battle for an independent ethnic homeland. « This battle has reached its bitter end, » the Tigers’ chief of international relations, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, said in a statement

2009: Death of Jung Seung-hye, South Korean film producer, born in March 1965

2010: Death of Walasse Ting, Chinese/American painter, born on October 13, 1929

Walasse Ting

2011: Myanmar’s new government releases thousands of prisoners and reduced others’ sentences in a token aimed at mending its international image. Activists said the vast majority of those released from prisons were common criminals and only a few were political prisoners

2012: In an effort to encourage reform, US President Barack Obama eases bans on investment in Burma’s financial services industry and on doing business in the country but kept sanctions against « individuals associated with the former regime ».

2014: The Chinese government has evacuated more than 3,000 of its nationals from Vietnam following a wave of anti-Chinese riots

2014: A plane crash in northern Laos kills 17 people including the minister of Defense 2014 Douangchay Phichit

2017 : Fiji closes its representative office in Taipei