List of leaders of the Republic of China

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This is a list of Heads of State of the Republic of China:

Military Governments (1911)[edit]

Li Yuanhong
Sun yat-sen
Yuan Shikai
Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Ching-kuo
Lee Teng-hui
Chen Shui-bian
Ma Ying-jeou

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 Yuanhong.

Provisional Government of the Republic of China (Nanjing, 1912; Beijing, 1912-1913)[edit]

Provisional President of the Republic of China (臨時大總統):

The "Republic of China" was formally proclaimed on January 1, 1912 and Sun Yat-sen took office in Nanking (now Nanjing) as the first provisional president. Sun resigned on March 10 and was succeeded by Qing Empire Prime Minister Yuan Shikai. This moved the government to Beijing.

Government of the Republic of China (Beijing, 1913-1928)[edit]

Yuan Shikai enacted a new Constitution to greatly expand his powers as president and abolish the National Assembly. Sun Yat-sen and his supporters responded with the failed Second Revolution and were subsequently exiled. The later ROC governments under the KMT (and the current People's Republic of China government) considers the Beiyang Government after this point to be illegitimate.

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

Yuan died in 1916 and was succeeded by Vice President Li Yuan-hung. Warlord Zhang Xun restored 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.

The Beiyang Government was extinguished by the Northern Expedition led by the Kuomintang.

Military Government (Guangzhou, 1917-1925)[edit]

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").

Generalissimo of the Military Government (海陸軍大元帥):

The Military Government was headed collectively by the Governing Committee of the Military Government (July 5, 1918 - August 21, 1918), viz.,

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 (主席總裁):

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, viz.,

  • Sun Yat-sen
  • Tang Shaoyi
  • Wu Tingfang
  • Tang Jiyao.

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 (非常大總統):

In 1922, Sun was expelled from Guangdong by Chen Jiongming.

Sun Yat-sen was restored in Guangdong in 1923 and established the National Government with the help of the Comitern.

Generalissimo of the Military Government (海陸軍大元帥):

Sun died in 1925 and was succeeded as acting Generalissimo of the National Government by Hu Hanmin.

  • Hu Hanmin (12 March 1925 - 1 July 1925) (acting)

National Government (Guangzhou, 1925-1927)[edit]

Chairmen of the National Government (國民政府主席):

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

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

National Government (Wuhan, 1927)[edit]

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.

Chairmen of the Standing Committee of the National Government:

National Government (Nanjing, 1927-1937; Chongqing, 1937-1945; Nanjing, 1945-1948)[edit]

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.

Chairmen of the Standing Committee of the National Government:

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

Chairmen of the National Government (國民政府主席):

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

Provisional National Government (Beijing, 1937-1940)[edit]

The Provisional National Government was established as a Japanese collaborationist government established under occupation. Acting Chairman of the Provisional National Government:

Reformed National Government (Nanjing, 1938-1940)[edit]

The Reformed National Government was established as a Japanese collaborationist government established under occupation. Acting Chairman of the Reformed National Government:

National Government (Nanjing, 1940-1945)[edit]

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. Chairmen of the National Government (國民政府主席):

Government of the Republic of China (Nanjing, 1948-1949; Taipei, 1949-present)[edit]

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

President of the Republic of China (中華民國總統):

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.

  • Chiang Kai-shek (March 1, 1950 - April 5, 1975) (first to fifth terms)
  • Yen Chia-kan (April 6, 1975 - May 20, 1978) (fifth term)
  • Chiang Ching-kuo (May 20, 1978 - January 13, 1988) (sixth and seventh terms)
  • Lee Teng-hui (January 13, 1988 - May 20, 1996) (seventh and eighth terms)

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.

  • Lee Teng-hui (May 20, 1996 - May 20, 2000) (ninth term)
  • Chen Shui-bian (May 20, 2000 - May 20, 2008) (tenth and eleventh terms)
  • Ma Ying-Jeou (May 20, 2008–present) (twelfth and thirteenth terms)

See also[edit]