The collapse of the Imperial system of government brought a period of civil disruption in the form of rogue military entities each claiming legitimate governance over China. For 50 days, from the date of the Wuchang Uprising until Li Yuan-hung established the Central Military Government of the Republic of China, there was no single government authority in control of all of China.

Contents


Military Governments (1911)
Beginning with the Wuchang Uprising on October 11, 1911 and in the following two months, provincial military governments declared their independence from the Qing Empire under the name "Republic of China." On November 30, 1911, the "Central Military Government of the Republic of China" was established under the leadership of Li Yuan-hung.

Provisional President of the Provisional Government of the Republic of China (Nanjing, 1912; Beijing, 1912- 1913)
Sun Yat-sen January 1, 1912- March 10, 1912
Yuan Shi-kai March 10, 1912- October 10, 1913

Government of the Republic of China (Beijing, 1913 -1928)
Yuan Shi-kai1 October 10, 1913- December 22, 1915
Yuan Shi-kai March 22, 1916- June 6, 1916
Li Yuan-hung2 June 7, 1916- July 1, 1917
Li Yuan-hung July 12, 1917- July 17, 1917
Feng Kuo-Chang July 17, 1917- October 10, 1918
Hsu Shih-Chang October 10, 1918- June 2, 1922
Zhou Ziqi (acting) June 2, 1922- June 11, 1922
Li Yuan-hung June 11, 1922- June 13, 1923
Zhang Shaozeng (acting) June 13, 1923- September 9, 1923
Gao Lingwei (acting) September 9, 1923- October 10, 1923
Tsao Kun October 10, 1923- November 2, 1924
Huang Fu (acting) November 2, 1924- November 24, 1924
Tuan Chi-Jui November 24, 1924- April 20, 1926
Hu Weide (acting) April 20, 1926- May 13, 1926
Yan Huiqing (acting) May 13, 1926- June 22, 1926
Du Xigui (acting) June 22, 1926- October 1, 1926
Gu Weijun (acting) October 1, 1926- June 18, 1927
Chang Tso-Lin June 18, 1927- June 2, 1928

Generalissimo of the Military Government (Guangzhou, 1917-1925)
The Chinese Revolutionary Party established a rival government in Guangzhou and declared legitimacy over the "warlord" government in Beijing (which they renamed Beiping since jing means "capital").
Sun Yat-sen September 10, 1917- July 5, 1918
The Military Government was headed collectively by the Governing Committee of the Military Government (July 5, 1918- August 21, 1918)
  • Sun Yat-sen
  • Tang Shao-yi
  • Wu Ting-fang
  • Cen Chunxuan
  • Lu Rongting
  • Tang Ji-yao
  • Lin Baoyi
In 1918, Sun Yat-sen and his government was forced out of Guangdong by warlords. The Military Government was consolidated by Chairman of the Governing Committee.
Cen Chunxuan August 21, 1918- October 24, 1920
Sun Yat-sen and his supporters were restored in Guangzhou with the help of local warlord Chen Jiongming in 1920. On October 24, 1920 to May 4, 1921, figurehead duties were again given collectively to the Governing Committee of the Military Government.
  • Sun Yat-sen
  • Tang Shao-yi
  • Wu Ting-fang
  • Tang Ji-yao.
Sun Yat-sen was elected "President" by remnants of the 1912 National Assembly, but since this parliament lacked the quorum established by the 1912 Constitution, he took the title of Extraordinary President.
Sun Yat-sen May 5, 1921- March 12, 1925
Hu Han-min (acting) March 12, 1925- July 1, 1925

Chairmen of the National Government (Guangzhou, 1925- 1927)
Wang Ching-wei3 July 1, 1925- April 15, 1926
Tan Yan-kai4 April 16, 1926- March 29, 1927

Chairmen of the Standing Committee of the National Government (Wuhan, 1927)5
Wang Ching-wei3 March 20, 1927- September 13, 1927

Chairmen of the Standing Committee of the National Government (Nanjing, 1927- 1937; Chongqing, 1937- 1945; Nanjing, 1945- 1948)6
Chiang Kai-shek April 18, 1927- August 15, 1927
Tan Yan-kai August 15, 1927- October 10, 1928

Chairmen of the National Government7, 8
Chiang Kai-shek October 10, 1928- December 15, 1931
Lin Sen December 15, 1931- August 1, 1943
Chiang Kai-shek August 1, 1943- May 20, 1948

Acting Chairman of the Provisional National Government (Beiping, 1937-1940)9
Wang Kemin December 14, 1937- March 30, 1940

Acting Chairman of the Reformed National Government (Nanjing, 1938-1940)10
Liang Hongzhi March 28, 1938- March 30, 1940

Chairmen of the National Government (Nanjing, 1940-1945)11
Wang Jingwei March 30, 1940- November 10, 1944
Chen Gongbo (acting) November 20, 1944- August 1945

Government of the Republic of China (Nanjing, 1948- 1949; Taipei, 1949- present)12
Presidents of the Republic of China
Chiang Kai-shek13 20 May 1948- 21 January 1949
Li Tsung-jen (acting) 21 January 1949- 1 March 1950
Chiang Kai-shek 1 March 1950- 5 April 1975 (1st- 6th terms)
Yen Chia-kan 5 April 1975- 20 May 1978 (6th term)
Chiang Ching-kuo 20 May 1978- 13 January 1988 (7th and 8th terms)
Lee Teng-hui14 13 January 1988- 20 May 2000 (8th and 9th terms)
Chen Shui-bian 20 May 2000- 20 May 2008 (10th and 11th terms)
Ma Ying-jeou 20 May 2008- present (12th term)

Notes

1- Yuan Shikai declared himself Emperor on December 22, 1915. Popular opposition led Yuan to retract his declaration on March 22, 1916.

2- Yuan died in 1916 and was succeeded by Vice President Li Yuan-hung. Warlord Zhang Xun restored the last Qing emperor, Xuantong (Aisin- Gioro Puyi) to the throne for twelve days from July 1 to July 12, 1917. The Republican government was soon restored, but local warlords forced Li from office.

3- Wang Ching-wei was forced out of office over the attempted kidnapping of Chiang Kai-shek in the Zhongshan Gunboat Incident.

4- In 1927, the Kuomintang embarked on the Northern Expedition and left its base in Guangzhou for Wuhan, Nanjing, and Shanghai in three separate divisions.

5- During the Northern Expedition, Wang Ching-wei declared Wuhan to be the capital of the Republic of China after the city's capture by National Revolutionary Army forces loyal to the KMT left-wing.

6- Chiang Kai-shek declared the capital of the Republic of China to be in Nanjing after the city's capture by National Revolutionary Army forces loyal to the KMT right-wing during the Northern Expedition.

7- The leftist government in Wuhan was overwhelmed by local warlords and agreed to join the Nationalist Government in Nanjing in September 1928.

8- The National Government relocated to Chongqing from 1937 to 1945 due to the Japanese invasion.

9- The Provisional National Government was established as a Japanese collaborationist government established under occupation.

10- The Reformed National Government was established as a Japanese collaborationist government established under occupation.

11- A National Government, as a challenge to the legitimacy of Chiang Kai-shek's National Government in Chongqing, was established as a Japanese collaborationist government established under occupation. As evidence of its claims to legitimacy, the government in Nanjing established the same set of institutions as the one in Chongqing and flew an almost-identical flag. This replaced the Provisional and Reformed National Governments.

12- A new constitution was promulgated on December 25, 1947 and Chiang Kai-shek was subsequently elected President by the National Assembly.

13- Chiang Kai-shek resigned amid losses in the Chinese Civil War. The government moved from Nanjing to Taipei on December 8, 1949. Li Tsung-jen had left for the United States in November 1949 and Chiang officially resumed his powers in March 1950.

14- Starting from the ninth term the president is elected by popular vote among citizens of the Republic of China in the "Free Area of the Republic of China" (area it administered), instead of by the National Assembly.