January 1، 1912 – The Republic of China is established

The Republic of China was a sovereign state in East Asia, that occupied the territories of modern China, and for part of its history Mongolia and Taiwan. It was founded in 1912, after the Qing dynasty, the last imperial dynasty, was overthrown in the Xinhai Revolution. The Republic’s first president, Sun Yat-sen, served only briefly before handing over the position to Yuan Shikai, former leader of the Beiyang Army. His party, then led by Song Jiaoren, won the parliamentary election held in December 1912. Song was assassinated shortly after, and the Beiyang Army led by Yuan Shikai maintained full control of the government in Beijing. Between late 1915 and early 1916, Yuan tried to reinstate the monarchy, before resigning after popular unrest. After Yuan’s death in 1916, members of cliques in the former Beiyang Army claimed their autonomy and clashed with each other. During this period, the authority of the republican government was weakened by a restoration of the Qing government.
In 1925, Sun Yat-sen’s Kuomintang started establishing a rival government in the southern city of Guangzhou together with the fledgling Communist Party of China. 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 Kuomintang.
There was industrialization and modernization, but also conflict between the Nationalist government in Nanjing, the communists, remnant warlords, and the Empire of Japan. Nation-building took a backseat to war with Japan when the Imperial Japanese Army launched an offensive against China in 1937 that turned into a full-scale invasion. After the unconditional surrender of Japan in 1945, fighting quickly resumed between the KMT and the Communists, with both sides receiving foreign assistance due to the ongoing friction between the United States and Soviet Union. In 1947, the Constitution of the Republic of China replaced the Organic Law of 1928 as the country’s fundamental law. In 1949, the Communists established the People’s Republic of China, overthrowing the Nationalist government on the mainland, who retreated to Taiwan.

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