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Republic of China (1912–1949)

Republic of China
Chunghwa Minkuo

Top: Flag (1912–28)
Bottom: Flag (1928–49)
Top: National Emblem (1912–28)
Bottom: National Emblem (1928–49)
Location and maximum extent of the territory claimed by the Republic of China.
Demonym Chinese
Government Unitary semi-presidential republic
 •  1912 Sun Yat-sen (provisional) (first)
 •  1949 Li Zongren (acting) (last)
 •  1912 Tang Shaoyi (first)
 •  1949 He Yingqin (last)
Historical era 20th century
 •  Monarchy abolished 10 October 1911
 •  Republic proclaimed 1 January 1912
 •  Nationalist rule from Nanking 18 April 1927
 •  Second Sino-Japanese War 7 July 1937
 •  UN admission 25 October 1945
 •  New constitution 25 December 1947
 •  Fall of Nanjing 21 April 1949
 •  PRC proclaimed 1 October 1949
 •  Kuomintang flee to Taipei 7 December 1949
 •  1912 11,077,380 km² (4,277,000 sq mi)
 •  1912 est. 432,375,000 
     Density 39 /km²  (101.1 /sq mi)
 •  1920 est. 472,000,000 
     Density 42.6 /km²  (110.4 /sq mi)
 •  1930 est. 489,000,000 
     Density 44.1 /km²  (114.3 /sq mi)
 •  1948 est. 489,000,000 
     Density 44.1 /km²  (114.3 /sq mi)
 •  1949 est. 541,670,000 
     Density 48.9 /km²  (126.6 /sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Qing dynasty
Mongolia (1911–24) Mongolia
Taiwan under Japanese rule
People's Republic of China
Mongolian People's Republic
Republic of China (Taiwan)
a. 1912 and 1927–49 (although see footnote c immediately below).
b. 1912–27.
c. Chongqing served as capital during the Second Sino-Japanese and Pacific Wars (1937–46).
Populations from http://www.populstat.info/Asia/chinac.htm
Republic of China
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Postal Chunghwa Minkuo
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Literal meaning Middle or Central State

The Republic of China was a state in East Asia from 1912 to 1949. It largely occupied the present-day territories of China, Taiwan, and, for some of its history, Mongolia. As an era of Chinese history, it was preceded by the last imperial dynasty of China, the Qing dynasty, and ended with the Chinese Civil War. After the war, the losing Kuomintang retreated to the island of Taiwan to found the modern Republic of China, while the victorious Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China on the Mainland.

The Republic's first president, Sun Yat-sen, served only briefly. His party, then led by Song Jiaoren, won a parliamentary election held in December 1912. However the army led by President Yuan Shikai retained control of the national government in Beijing. After Yuan's death in 1916, local military leaders, or warlords, asserted autonomy.

In 1925, the Kuomintang started establishing a rival government in the southern city of Guangzhou. The economy of the north, overtaxed to support warlord adventurism, collapsed in 1927–28. General Chiang Kai-shek, who became KMT leader after Sun's death, started his military Northern Expedition campaign in order to overthrow the central government in Beijing. The government was overthrown in 1928 and Chiang established a new nationalist government in Nanjing. He later cut his ties with the communists and expelled them from the KMT.


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