1919 - He was born in Henan, China
1987 - Became head of the Chinese communist party, a strong advocate of economic modernization.
1950s-1960s - Around these years, he was a senior party official in south China, he was purged during the cultural revolution.
1970s - He returned to political life and holding party posts in inner Mongolia and then in Guangdong province.
1975-1980 - As party first secretary in Sichuan, China’s most populous province, zhao compiled a strong record of economic achievements.
1979 - He became a full member of the politburo, he quickly rose in the party hierarchy as a protégé of Deng Xiaoping.
1980 - He replaced Hua Guofeng as head or government (premier).
1987 - When Hu Yaobang was ousted a party chief, zhao became general secretary.
1987 - He was succeeded as premier by Li Peng.
1989 - Zhao was forced to resign after backing pro-democracy student demonstrator.
Page last updated: 4:52am, 13th Mar '07