Republic of China (1912–49)
|Republic of China|
|File:Republic of China (orthographic projection historical).svg
Location and maximum extent of the territory claimed by the Republic of China.
|Government||Unitary semi-presidential republic|
|•||1912||Sun Yat-sen (first)|
|•||1949||Li Tsung-jen (last)|
|•||1912||Tang Shaoyi (first)|
|•||1949||He Yingqin (last)|
|•||Upper house||National Assembly|
|•||Lower house||Legislative Yuan|
|Historical era||20th century|
|•||Xinhai Revolution||10 October 1911|
|•||Republic established||1 January 1912|
|•||Nationalist rule from Nanking||18 April 1927|
|•||Start of Second Sino-Japanese War||7 July 1937|
|•||Constitution adopted||25 December 1947|
|•||Battle of Huaihai||December 1948|
|•||Seat of government moved to Taipei||1949|
|•||1912||11,077,380 km2 (4,277,000 sq mi)|
|Density||39/km2 (101/sq mi)|
|Density||43/km2 (110/sq mi)|
|Density||44/km2 (114/sq mi)|
|Density||44/km2 (114/sq mi)|
|Density||49/km2 (127/sq mi)|
|Today part of|
|a.||1912 and 1927–49 (although see footnote c immediately below).|
|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|
The Republic of China was a state in East Asia from 1912 to 1949. It included the present-day territories of mainland China, and, for some of its history, Mongolia and Taiwan. As an era of Chinese history, the Republic of China was preceded by the last imperial dynasty of China, the Qing dynasty and its end was marked by the end of the Chinese Civil War, in which the losing Kuomintang retreated to the Island of Taiwan to found the modern Republic of China, while the victorious Communist Party of China proclaimed 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.
There was industrialization and modernization, but also conflict between the Nationalist government in Nanjing, the Communist Party of China, remnant warlords, and the Empire of Japan. Nation-building took a backseat to war with Imperial Japan when the Imperial Japanese military launched a full-scale invasion of China in 1937. The Nationalists' Y Force drove back the Japanese in Yunnan during a May–June 1944 offensive, but otherwise military results were disappointing. With the Japanese unconditional surrender in 1945, the Allies had finally achieved total victory, but the Cold War between the U.S. and Soviet Union led to renewed fighting between the KMT and the communists. 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 Nationalists on the mainland, many of whom retreated to Taiwan.
|History of China|
|Neolithic c. 8500 – c. 2070 BCE|
|Xia dynasty c. 2070 – c. 1600 BCE|
|Shang dynasty c. 1600 – c. 1046 BCE|
|Zhou dynasty c. 1046 – 256 BCE|
|Spring and Autumn|
|Qin dynasty 221–206 BCE|
|Han dynasty 206 BCE – 220 CE|
|Three Kingdoms 220–280|
|Wei, Shu and Wu|
|Jin dynasty 265–420|
|Eastern Jin||Sixteen Kingdoms|
|Northern and Southern dynasties
|Sui dynasty 581–618|
|Tang dynasty 618–907|
|(Wu Zhou interregnum 690–705)|
|Five Dynasties and
|Northern Song||W. Xia|
|Yuan dynasty 1271–1368|
|Ming dynasty 1368–1644|
|Qing dynasty 1644–1911|
|Republic of China 1912–1949|
China on Taiwan
A republic was formally established on 1 January 1912 following the Xinhai Revolution, which itself began with the Wuchang Uprising on 10 October 1911, replacing the Qing Dynasty and ending over two thousand years of imperial rule in China. From its founding until 1949 it was based on mainland China. Central authority waxed and waned in response to warlordism (1915–28), Japanese invasion (1937–45), and the Chinese Civil War (1927–49), with central authority strongest during the Nanjing Decade (1927–37), when most of China came under the control of the Kuomintang (KMT) under an authoritarian one-party state. At the end of World War II in 1945, the Empire of Japan surrendered control of Taiwan and its island groups to the Allied Forces, and Taiwan was placed under the Republic of China's administrative control. The legitimacy of this transfer is disputed and is another aspect of the disputed political status of Taiwan.
The communist takeover of mainland China in the Chinese Civil War in 1949 and later Hainan, Dachen and other outlying islands in the early 1950s left the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) with control over only Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and other minor islands. With the 1949 loss of mainland China in the civil war, the ROC government retreated to Taiwan and the KMT declared Taipei the provisional capital. The Communist Party of China took over all of mainland China and founded the People's Republic of China (PRC) in Beijing, which claimed to be the successor of the Republic of China and the sole legitimate government of all of "China" – a claim also nominally made by the Republic of China government which still rules from Taipei, although it no longer actively challenges the PRC's rule of mainland China. The ROC on Taiwan is currently officially recognized by 22 countries and enjoys informal relations with many more, but it is not currently a member of the United Nations.
In 1911, after over two thousand years of imperial rule, a republic was established in China and the monarchy overthrown by a group of revolutionaries. The Qing Dynasty, having just experienced a century of instability, suffered from both internal rebellion and foreign imperialism. The Neo-Confucian principles that had, at the time, sustained the dynastic system were now called into question. The Boxer Rebellion erupted in 1900 after foreign concession grabbing, and due to the refusal of major Qing officials like Yuan Shikai, Zhang Zhidong, and Li Hongzhang to fight the Eight Nation Alliance, China signed the Boxer Protocol and paid a large indemnity to the foreign powers: 450 million taels of fine silver (around $333 million or £67 million at the then current exchange rates). Disconnected from the population and unable to face the challenges of modern China, the Qing government was in its final throes. Only the lack of an alternative regime prolonged its existence until 1912.
The establishment of Republican China developed out of the Wuchang Uprising against the Qing on 10 October 1911. That date is now celebrated annually as the ROC's national day, also known as the "Double Ten Day". On 29 December 1911, Sun Yat-Sen was elected president by the Nanjing assembly representing seventeen provinces. On 1 January 1912, he was officially inaugurated and pledged "to overthrow the despotic Manchu government, consolidate the Republic of China and plan for the welfare of the people".
Some advocated that a Han be installed as Emperor, either the descendant of Confucius, who was the Duke Yansheng, or the Ming dynasty Imperial family descendant, the Marquis of Extended Grace.
Sun, however, lacked the military support to overthrow the Qing Dynasty. Realizing this, he handed over the presidency to Yuan Shikai, the imperial general, who then forced the last emperor, Puyi, to abdicate. Yuan was officially elected president in 1913. He ruled by military power and ignored the republican institutions established by his predecessor, threatening to execute Senate members who disagreed with his decisions. He soon dissolved the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party, banned "secret organizations" (which implicitly included the KMT), and ignored the provisional constitution. An attempt at a democratic election in 1911 ended with the assassination of the elected candidate by a man recruited by Yuan. Ultimately, Yuan declared himself Emperor of China in 1915. The new ruler of China tried to increase centralization by abolishing the provincial system; however, this move angered the gentry along with the provincial governors, usually military men. Many provinces declared independence and became warlord states. Increasingly unpopular and deserted by his supporters, Yuan gave up being Emperor in 1916 and died of natural causes shortly after.
Devoid of a strong, unified government, China was thrust into another period of warlordism. Sun, forced into exile, returned to Guangdong province in the south with the help of warlords in 1917 and 1922, and set up successive rival governments to the Beiyang government in Beijing; he re-established the KMT in October 1919. Sun's dream was to unify China by launching an expedition to the north. However, he lacked military support and funding to make it a reality.
Meanwhile, the Beiyang government struggled to hold on to power, and an open and wide-ranging debate evolved regarding how China should confront the West. In 1919, a student protest against the government's weak response to the Treaty of Versailles, considered unfair by Chinese intellectuals, led to the May Fourth movement. These demonstrations were aimed at spreading Western influence to replace Chinese culture. It is also in this intellectual climate that the influence of Marxism spread and became more popular. It eventually led to the founding of the Communist Party of China in 1920.
After Sun's death in March 1925, Chiang Kai-shek became the leader of the KMT. In 1926, Chiang led the Northern Expedition through China with the intention of defeating the Beiyang warlords and unifying the country. Chiang received the help of the Soviet Union and the Chinese Communists; however, he soon dismissed his Soviet advisers. He was convinced, not without reason, that they wanted to get rid of the KMT (also known as the Nationalists) and take over control. Chiang decided to strike first and purged the Communists, killing thousands of them. At the same time, other violent conflicts were taking place in China; in the South, where the Communists had superior numbers, Nationalist supporters were being massacred. These events eventually led to the Chinese Civil War between the Nationalists and Communists. Chiang Kai-shek pushed the Communists into the interior as he sought to destroy them, and established a government with Nanking as its capital in 1927. By 1928, Chiang's army overturned the Beiyang government and unified the entire nation, at least nominally, beginning the so-called Nanjing Decade.
According to Sun Yat-sen's theory, the KMT was to rebuild China in three phases: a phase of military rule through which the KMT would take over power and reunite China by force; a phase of political tutelage; and finally a constitutional democratic phase. In 1930, the Nationalists, having taken over power militarily and reunified China, started the second phase, promulgating a provisional constitution and beginning the period of so-called "tutelage". The KMT was criticized as instituting totalitarianism, but claimed it was attempting to establish a modern democratic society. Among other things, it created at that time the Academia Sinica, the Central Bank of China, and other agencies. In 1932, China sent a team for the first time to the Olympic Games. Laws were passed and campaigns mounted to promote the rights of women. The ease and speed of communication also allowed a focus on social problems, including those of the villages. The Rural Reconstruction Movement was one of many which took advantage of the new freedom to raise social consciousness.
Historians such as Edmund Fung argue that establishing a democracy in China at that time was not possible. The nation was at war and divided between Communists and Nationalists. Corruption within the government and lack of direction also prevented any significant reform from taking place. Chiang realized the lack of real work being done within his administration and told the State Council: "Our organization becomes worse and worse... many staff members just sit at their desks and gaze into space, others read newspapers and still others sleep." The Nationalist government wrote a draft of the constitution on 5 May 1936.
During this time a series of massive wars took place in western China, including the Kumul Rebellion, the Sino-Tibetan War and the Soviet Invasion of Xinjiang. Although the central government was nominally in control of the entire country during this period, large areas of China remained under the semi-autonomous rule of local warlords, provincial military leaders or warlord coalitions. Nationalist rule was strongest in the eastern regions around the capital Nanjing, but regional militarists such as Feng Yuxiang and Yan Xishan retained considerable local authority. The Central Plains War in 1930, the Japanese aggression in 1931 and the Red Army's Long March in 1934 led to more power for the central government, but there continued to be foot-dragging and even outright defiance, as in the Fujian Rebellion of 1933–34.
Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–45)
Few Chinese had any illusions about Japanese desires on China. Hungry for raw materials and pressed by a growing population, Japan initiated the seizure of Manchuria in September 1931 and established ex-Qing emperor Puyi as head of the puppet state of Manchukuo in 1932. The loss of Manchuria, and its vast potential for industrial development and war industries, was a blow to the Kuomintang economy. The League of Nations, established at the end of World War I, was unable to act in the face of the Japanese defiance.
The Japanese began to push from south of the Great Wall into northern China and the coastal provinces. Chinese fury against Japan was predictable, but anger was also directed against Chiang and the Nanking government, which at the time was more preoccupied with anti-Communist extermination campaigns than with resisting the Japanese invaders. The importance of "internal unity before external danger" was forcefully brought home in December 1936, when Chiang Kai-shek, in an event now known as the Xi'an Incident, was kidnapped by Zhang Xueliang and forced to ally with the Communists against the Japanese in the Second Kuomintang-CCP United Front against Japan.
The Chinese resistance stiffened after 7 July 1937, when a clash occurred between Chinese and Japanese troops outside Beijing (then named Beiping) near the Marco Polo Bridge. This skirmish led to open, though undeclared, warfare between China and Japan. Shanghai fell after a three-month battle during which Japan suffered extensive casualties, both in its army and navy. The capital of Nanjing fell in December 1937. It was followed by an orgy of mass murders and rapes known as the Nanjing Massacre. The national capital was briefly at Wuhan, then removed in an epic retreat to Chongqing, the seat of government until 1945. In 1940 the collaborationist Wang Jingwei regime was set up with its capital in Nanjing, proclaiming itself the legitimate "Republic of China" in opposition to Chiang Kai-shek's government, though its claims were significantly hampered due to its nature as a Japanese puppet state controlling limited amounts of territory, along with its subsequent defeat at the end of the war.
The United Front between the Kuomintang and CCP took place with salutary effects for the beleaguered CCP, despite Japan's steady territorial gains in northern China, the coastal regions and the rich Yangtze River Valley in central China. After 1940 conflicts between the Kuomintang and Communists became more frequent in the areas not under Japanese control. The entrance of the United States into the Pacific War after 1941 changed the nature of their relationship. The Communists expanded their influence wherever opportunities presented themselves through mass organizations, administrative reforms and the land- and tax-reform measures favoring the peasants and the spread of their organizational network, while the Kuomintang attempted to neutralize the spread of Communist influence. Meanwhile, northern China was infiltrated politically by Japanese politicians in Manchukuo using facilities such as Wei Huang Gong.
In 1945 the Republic of China emerged from the war nominally a great military power but actually a nation economically prostrate and on the verge of all-out civil war. The economy deteriorated, sapped by the military demands of foreign war and internal strife, by spiraling inflation and by Nationalist profiteering, speculation and hoarding. Starvation came in the wake of the war, and millions were rendered homeless by floods and the unsettled conditions in many parts of the country. The situation was further complicated by an Allied agreement at the Yalta Conference in February 1945 that brought Soviet troops into Manchuria to hasten the termination of war against Japan. Although the Chinese had not been present at Yalta, they had been consulted and had agreed to have the Soviets enter the war in the belief that the Soviet Union would deal only with the Kuomintang government.
After the end of the war in August 1945, the Nationalist Government moved back to Nanjing. With American help, Nationalist troops moved to take the Japanese surrender in North China. The Soviet Union, as part of the Yalta agreement allowing a Soviet sphere of influence in Manchuria, dismantled and removed more than half the industrial equipment left there by the Japanese. The Soviet presence in northeast China enabled the Communists to move in long enough to arm themselves with the equipment surrendered by the withdrawing Japanese army. The problems of rehabilitating the formerly Japanese-occupied areas and of reconstructing the nation from the ravages of a protracted war were staggering.
Post-World War II, takeover of and retreat to Taiwan
During World War II the United States emerged as a major player in Chinese affairs. As an ally it embarked in late 1941 on a program of massive military and financial aid to the hard-pressed Nationalist Government. In January 1943 the United States and Britain led the way in revising their treaties with China, bringing to an end a century of unequal treaty relations. Within a few months a new agreement was signed between the United States and the Republic of China for the stationing of American troops in China for the common war effort against Japan. In December 1943 the Chinese Exclusion Acts of the 1880s and subsequent laws enacted by the United States Congress to restrict Chinese immigration into the United States were repealed.
The wartime policy of the United States was initially to help China become a strong ally and a stabilizing force in postwar East Asia. As the conflict between the Kuomintang and the Communists intensified, however, the United States sought unsuccessfully to reconcile the rival forces for a more effective anti-Japanese war effort. Following the Surrender of Japan, Taiwan was handed over from Japan to the Republic of China on 25 October 1945 (Retrocession Day). Toward the end of the war, United States Marines were used to hold Beiping (Beijing) and Tianjin against a possible Soviet incursion, and logistic support was given to Kuomintang forces in north and northeast China. To further this end, on 30 September 1945 the 1st Marine Division arrived in China, charged with security in the areas of the Shandong Peninsula and the eastern Hebei Province.
Through the mediating influence of the United States a military truce was arranged in January 1946, but battles between the Kuomintang and Communists soon resumed. Public opinion of the administrative incompetence of the Republic of China government was escalated and incited by the Communists in the nationwide student protest against mishandling of the Shen Chong rape case in early 1947 and another national protest against monetary reforms later that year. Realizing that no American efforts short of large-scale armed intervention could stop the coming war, the United States withdrew the American mission, headed by Gen. George C. Marshall, in early 1947. The Chinese Civil War became more widespread; battles raged not only for territories but also for the allegiance of cross-sections of the population. The United States aided the Nationalists with massive economic loans and weapons but no combat support.
Belatedly, the Republic of China government sought to enlist popular support through internal reforms. The effort was in vain, however, because of rampant government corruption and the accompanying political and economic chaos. By late 1948 the Kuomintang position was bleak. The demoralized and undisciplined Kuomintang troops proved to be no match for the motivated and disciplined Communist People's Liberation Army, earlier known as the Red Army. The Communists were well established in the north and northeast.
Although the Kuomintang had an advantage in numbers of men and weapons, controlled a much larger territory and population than their adversaries and enjoyed considerable international support, they were exhausted by the long war with Japan and in-fighting among various generals. They were also losing the propaganda war to the Communists, with a population weary of Kuomintang corruption and yearning for peace.
In January 1949 Beiping was taken by the Communists without a fight, and its name changed back to Beijing. Between April and November major cities passed from Kuomintang to Communist control with minimal resistance. In most cases the surrounding countryside and small towns had come under Communist influence long before the cities. Finally, on 1 October 1949, Communists founded the People's Republic of China.
After 1 October 1949 Chiang Kai-shek and a few hundred thousand Republic of China troops and two million refugees, predominantly from the government and business community, fled from mainland China to Taiwan; there remained in China itself only isolated pockets of resistance. On 7 December 1949 Chiang proclaimed Taipei, Taiwan, the temporary capital of the Republic of China.
During the civil war both the Nationalist and Communists carried out mass atrocities with millions of non-combatants killed by both sides during the civil war. Benjamin Valentino has estimated atrocities in the Chinese Civil War resulted in the death of between 1.8 million and 3.5 million people between 1927 and 1949. Atrocities include deaths from forced conscription and massacres.
The first Chinese national government was established on 1 January 1912, in Nanjing, with Sun Yat-sen as the provisional president. Provincial delegates were sent to confirm the authority of the national government, and they later also formed the first parliament. The power of this national government was limited and short-lived, with generals controlling both central and northern provinces of China. The limited acts passed by this government included the formal abdication of the Qing dynasty and some economic initiatives. The parliament's authority became nominal; violations of the Constitution by Yuan were met with half-hearted motions of censure, and Kuomintang members of the parliament that gave up their membership in the KMT were offered 1,000 pounds. Yuan maintained power locally by sending military generals to be provincial governors or by obtaining the allegiance of those already in power.
When Yuan died, the parliament of 1913 was reconvened to give legitimacy to a new government. However, the real power of the time passed to military leaders, forming the warlord period. The impotent government still had its use; when World War I began, several Western powers and Japan wanted China to declare war on Germany, in order to liquidate German holdings.
There were also several warlord governments and puppet states sharing the same name.
The government of the Republic of China was founded on the Constitution of the ROC and its Three Principles of the People, which states that "[the ROC] shall be a democratic republic of the people, to be governed by the people and for the people."
In February 1928, the Fourth Plenary Session of the 2nd Kuomintang National Congress held in Nanjing passed the Reorganization of the Nationalist Government Act. This act stipulated that the Nationalist Government was to be directed and regulated under the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang, with the Committee of the Nationalist Government being elected by KMT Central Committee. Under the Nationalist Government were seven ministries – Interior, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Transport, Justice, Agriculture and Mines, Commerce in addition institutions such as the Supreme Court, Control Yuan and the General Academy.
With the promulgation of the Organic Law of the Nationalist Government in October 1928, the government was reorganized into five different branches or Yuan, namely the Executive Yuan, Legislative Yuan, Judicial Yuan, Examination Yuan as well as the Control Yuan. The Chairman of the National Government was to be the head-of-state and commander-in-chief of the National Revolutionary Army. Chiang Kai-shek was appointed as the first Chairman of the Nationalist Government, a position he would retain until 1931. The Organic Law also stipulated that the Kuomintang, through its National Congress and Central Executive Committee, would exercise sovereign power during the period of political tutelage, and the KMT's Political Council would guide and superintend the Nationalist Government in the execution of important national affairs, and that the council has the power to interpret or amend the organic law.
Shortly after the Second Sino-Japanese War, the long-delayed constitutional convention was summoned to meet in Nanking in May 1946. Amidst heated debate, this convention adopted many demands from several parties, including the KMT and the Communist Party, into the Constitution. This Constitution was promulgated on 25 December 1946 and came into effect on 25 December 1947. Under it, the Central Government was divided into the President and the five Yuans, each responsible for one power of the Government. None was responsible to the other except for certain obligations such as the President appointing the head of the Executive Yuan. Ultimately the President and the Yuans reported to the National Assembly, which represented the will of the Citizens.
The first elections for the National Assembly occurred in January 1948, and the Assembly was summoned to meet in March 1948. It elected the President of the Republic on 21 March 1948, formally bringing an end to the KMT party rule started in 1928—though the President was a member of the KMT. These elections, though praised by at least one US observer, were poorly received by the Communist Party, which would soon start an open, armed insurrection.
|Provinces and Equivalents of the Republic of China (1949)|
|Period Name (Current Name)||Traditional
|Pinyin||Abbreviation||Capital||Chinese||Modern equivalent (if applicable)|
|Antung (Andong)||安東||Āndōng||安 ān||Tunghwa (Tonghua)||通化||Now part of Jilin and Liaoning|
|Anhwei (Anhui)||安徽||Ānhuī||皖 wǎn||Hofei (Hefei)||合肥|
|Chahar (Chahar)||察哈爾||Cháhār||察 chá||Changyuan (Zhangjiakou)||張垣(張家口)||Now part of Inner Mongolia|
|Chekiang (Zhejiang)||浙江||Zhèjiāng||浙 zhè||Hangchow (Hangzhou)||杭州|
|Fukien (Fujian)||福建||Fújiàn||閩 mǐn||Foochow (Fuzhou)||福州|
|Hopeh (Hebei)||河北||Héběi||冀 jì||Tsingyuan (Baoding)||清苑(保定)|
|Heilungkiang (Heilongjiang)||黑龍江||Hēilóngjiāng||黑 hēi||Peian (Bei'an)||北安|
|Hokiang (Hejiang)||合江||Héjiāng||合 hé||Chiamussu (Jiamusi)||佳木斯||Now part of Heilongjiang|
|Honan (Henan)||河南||Hénán||豫 yù||Kaifeng (Kaifeng)||開封|
|Hupeh (Hubei)||湖北||Húběi||鄂 è||Wuchang (Wuchang)||武昌|
|Hunan (Hunan)||湖南||Húnán||湘 xiāng||Changsha (Changsha)||長沙|
|Hsingan (Xing'an)||興安||Xīng'ān||興 xīng||Hailar (Hulunbuir)||海拉爾(呼倫貝爾)||Now part of Heilongjiang and Jilin|
|Jehol (Rehe)||熱河||Rèhé||熱 rè||Chengteh (Chengde)||承德||Now part of Hebei, Liaoning, and Inner Mongolia|
|Kansu (Gansu)||甘肅||Gānsù||隴 lǒng||Lanchow (Lanzhou)||蘭州|
|Kiangsu (Jiangsu)||江蘇||Jiāngsū||蘇 sū||Chingkiang (Zhenjiang)||鎮江|
|Kiangsi (Jiangxi)||江西||Jiāngxī||贛 gàn||Nanchang (Nanchang)||南昌|
|Kirin (Jilin)||吉林||Jílín||吉 jí||Kirin (Jilin)||吉林|
|Kwangtung (Guangdong)||廣東||Guǎngdōng||粵 yuè||Canton (Guangzhou)||廣州|
|Kwangsi (Guangxi)||廣西||Guǎngxī||桂 guì||Kweilin (Guilin)||桂林|
|Kweichow (Guizhou)||貴州||Guìzhōu||黔 qián||Kweiyang (Guiyang)||貴陽|
|Liaopeh (Liaobei)||遼北||Liáoběi||洮 táo||Liaoyuan (Liaoyuan)||遼源||Now mostly part of Inner Mongolia|
|Liaoning (Liaoning)||遼寧||Liáoníng||遼 liáo||Shenyang (Shenyang)||瀋陽|
|Ningsia (Ningxia)||寧夏||Níngxià||寧 níng||Yinchuan (Yinchuan)||銀川|
|Nunkiang (Nenjiang)||嫩江||Nènjiāng||嫩 nèn||Tsitsihar (Qiqihar)||齊齊哈爾|
|Shansi (Shanxi)||山西||Shānxī||晉 jìn||Taiyuan (Taiyuan)||太原|
|Shantung (Shandong)||山東||Shāndōng||魯 lǔ||Tsinan (Jinan)||濟南|
|Shensi (Shaanxi)||陝西||Shǎnxī||陝 shǎn||Sian (Xi'an)||西安|
|Sikang (Xikang)||西康||Xīkāng||康 kāng||Kangting (Kangding)||康定||Now part of Tibet and Sichuan|
|Sinkiang (Xinjiang)||新疆||Xīnjiāng||新 xīn||Tihwa (Ürümqi)||迪化(烏魯木齊)|
|Suiyuan (Suiyuan)||綏遠||Suīyuǎn||綏 suī||Kweisui (Hohhot)||歸綏(呼和浩特)||Now part of Inner Mongolia|
|Sungkiang (Songjiang)||松江||Sōngjiāng||松 sōng||Mutankiang (Mudanjiang)||牡丹江||Now part of Heilongjiang|
|Szechwan (Sichuan)||四川||Sìchuān||蜀 shǔ||Chengtu (Chengdu)||成都|
|Taiwan (Taiwan)||臺灣||Táiwān||臺 tái||Taipei||臺北|
|Tsinghai (Qinghai)||青海||Qīnghǎi||青 qīng||Sining (Xining)||西寧|
|Yunnan (Yunnan)||雲南||Yúnnán||滇 diān||Kunming (Kunming)||昆明|
|Special Administrative Region|
|Hainan (Hainan)||海南||Hǎinán||瓊 qióng||Haikow (Haikou)||海口|
|Mongolia Area (Outer Mongolia)||蒙古||Ménggǔ||蒙 méng||Kulun (Ulaanbaatar)||庫倫(烏蘭巴托)|
|Tibet Area (Tibet Area)||西藏||Xīzàng||藏 zàng||Lhasa||拉薩|
|Nanking (Nanjing)||南京||Nánjīng||京 jīng||(Xuanwu District)||玄武區|
|Shanghai (Shanghai)||上海||Shànghǎi||滬 hù||(Huangpu District)||黄浦區|
|Peiping or Peking (Beijing)||北平||Běipíng||平 píng||(Xicheng District)||西城區|
|Tientsin (Tianjin)||天津||Tiānjīn||津 jīn||(Heping District)||和平區|
|Chungking (Chongqing)||重慶||Chóngqìng||渝 yú||(Yuzhong District)||渝中區|
|Hankow (Hankou, Wuhan)||漢口||Hànkǒu||漢 hàn||(Jiang'an District)||江岸區|
|Canton (Guangzhou)||廣州||Guǎngzhōu||穗 suì||(Yuexiu District)||越秀區|
|Sian (Xi'an)||西安||Xī'ān||安 ān||(Weiyang District)||未央區|
|Tsingtao (Qingdao)||青島||Qīngdǎo||膠 jiāo||(Shinan District)||市南區|
|Dairen (Dalian)||大連||Dàlián||連 lián||(Xigang District)||西崗區|
|Mukden (Shenyang)||瀋陽||Shěnyáng||瀋 shěn||(Shenhe District)||瀋河區|
|Harbin (Harbin)||哈爾濱||Hā'ěrbīn||哈 hā||(Nangang District)||南崗區|
The ROC had complicated relations with Mongolia (Outer Mongolia). As the successor of the Qing dynasty, the ROC claimed Outer Mongolia, and for a short time occupied it. The ROC recognised Mongolia's independence in the 1945 Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship due to pressure from Soviet Union but the recognition was rescinded in 1953 during the Cold War.
The early republic was marked by frequent wars and factional struggles. Following the presidency of Yuan Shikai to 1927, famine, war and change of government was the norm in Chinese politics, with provinces periodically declaring "independence". The collapse of central authority caused the economic contraction that was in place since Qing to speed up, and was only reversed when Chiang reunified China in 1927 and proclaimed himself its leader.
After the Kuomintang reunified the country in 1927, China entered a period of relative prosperity despite civil war and Japanese aggression. In 1937, the Japanese invaded and laid China to waste in eight years of war. The era also saw the first boycott of Japanese products.
Chinese industries continue to develop in the 1930s with the advent of the Nanjing decade in the 1930s, when Chiang Kai-shek unified most of the country and brought political stability. China's industries developed and grew from 1927 to 1931. Though badly hit by the Great Depression from 1931 to 1935 and Japan's occupation of Manchuria in 1931, industrial output recovered by 1936. By 1936, industrial output had recovered and surpassed its previous peak in 1931 prior to the Great Depression's effects on China. This is best shown by the trends in Chinese GDP. In 1932, China's GDP peaked at 28.8 billion, before falling to 21.3 billion by 1934 and recovering to 23.7 billion by 1935. By 1930, foreign investment in China totaled 3.5 billion, with Japan leading (1.4 billion) and the United Kingdom at 1 billion. By 1948, however, the capital stock had halted with investment dropping to only 3 billion, with the US and Britain leading.
However, the rural economy was hit hard by the Great Depression of the 1930s, in which an overproduction of agricultural goods lead to massive falling prices for China as well as an increase in foreign imports (as agricultural goods produced in western countries were "dumped" in China). In 1931, imports of rice in China amounted to 21 million bushels compared with 12 million in 1928. Other goods saw even more staggering increases. In 1932, 15 million bushels of grain were imported compared with 900,000 in 1928. This increased competition lead to a massive decline in Chinese agricultural prices (which were cheaper) and thus the income of rural farmers. In 1932, agricultural prices were 41 percent of 1921 levels. Rural incomes had fallen to 57 percent of 1931 levels by 1934 in some areas.
In 1937, Japan invaded China and the resulting warfare laid waste to China. Most of the prosperous east China coast was occupied by the Japanese, who carried out various atrocities such as the Rape of Nanjing in 1937 and random massacres of whole villages. In one anti-guerilla sweep in 1942, the Japanese killed up to 200,000 civilians in a month. The war was estimated to have killed between 20 and 25 million Chinese, and destroyed all that Chiang had built up in the preceding decade. Development of industries was severely hampered after the war by devastating conflict as well as the inflow of cheap American goods. By 1946, Chinese industries operated at 20% capacity and had 25% of the output of pre-war China.
One effect of the war was a massive increase in government control of industries. In 1936, government-owned industries were only 15% of GDP. However, the ROC government took control of many industries in order to fight the war. In 1938, the ROC established a commission for industries and mines to control and supervise firms, as well as instilling price controls. By 1942, 70% of the capital of Chinese industry were owned by the government.
Following the war with Japan, Chiang acquired Taiwan from Japan and renewed his struggle with the communists. However, the corruption of the KMT, as well as hyperinflation as a result of trying to fight the civil war, resulted in mass unrest throughout the Republic and sympathy for the communists. In addition, the communists' promise to redistribute land gained them support among the massive rural population. In 1949, the communists captured Beijing and later Nanjing as well. The People's Republic of China was proclaimed on 1 October 1949. The Republic of China relocated to Taiwan where Japan had laid an educational groundwork.
Originally organized with Soviet aid as a means for the KMT to unify China against warlordism, the National Revolutionary Army fought major engagements in the Northern Expedition against the Chinese Beiyang Army warlords, in the Second Sino-Japanese War against the Imperial Japanese Army, and in the Chinese Civil War against the People's Liberation Army.
During the Second Sino-Japanese War, the armed forces of the Communist Party of China were nominally incorporated into the National Revolutionary Army (while retaining separate commands), but broke away to form the People's Liberation Army shortly after the end of the war. With the promulgation of the Constitution of the Republic of China in 1947 and the formal end of the KMT party-state, the National Revolutionary Army was renamed the Republic of China Armed Forces, with the bulk of its forces forming the Republic of China Army, which retreated to Taiwan in 1949. Units which surrendered and remained in mainland China were either disbanded or incorporated into the People's Liberation Army.
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