Taiwan Politics Database

Secessionist states before 1945

  1. Yuan Shikai's "Empire of China" (1915–1916)
  2. Chinese Soviet Republic (1931–1937)
  3. Manchukuo (1932–1945)
  4. Chinese Republic (1933–1934)
  5. Mengkiang (1936–1945)
  6. Wang Ching-wei Regime (1940–1945)

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Much of the first four decades of the ROC was marked by instability, unrest and rebellion, civil war and foreign invasion. While ROC President Yuan Shikai had briefly tried to revive monarchy, the ROC central government had little control over most of its territory during the period of the warlords (junfa 軍閥) between 1916 and 1928 which followed Yuan's death. After Japanese forces began invading Manchuria on Sept. 18, 1931, independent states were declared on ROC territory on five occasions—the Chinese Soviet Republic (Zhonghua suweiai gongheguo 中華蘇維埃共和國) in 1931, Manchukuo (Manzhouguo 滿洲國) in the following year, the short-lived Chinese Republic (Zhonghua gongheguo 中華共和國) in 1933, the Mengkiang United Autonomous Government (mengjiang lianhe zizhi zhengfu 蒙疆聯合自治政府) in 1936, and the so-called "Wang Ching-wei Regime" (Wang Jingwei zhengquan 汪精衛政權) in 1940.


◆ Yuan Shikai's "Empire of China" (1915–1916)

Empire of China
(Zhonghua diguo 中華帝國)

Yuan Shikai 袁世凱 (1859-1916, Henan) had himself declared emperor of the "Empire of China" on Dec. 12, 1915, and adopted the reign motto "Hongxian" 洪憲. After his actions met strong resistance, he delayed the accession ceremony and finally abandoned the throne on March 22, 1916. The ROC was restored the following day, ending a 102-day hiatus.

A summary explaining the political history of the ROC between 1912 and 1916 can be found here.


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◆ Chinese Soviet Republic (1931–1937)

Chinese Soviet Republic
(Zhonghua suweiai gongheguo 中華蘇維埃共和國)

The Chinese Soviet Republic was founded on Nov. 7, 1931 by members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with Ruijin 瑞金 (Jiangxi Province) as its capital. It was forced to withdraw from its territory by advancing ROC troops—a move known as the "Long March" (changzheng 長征)—in October 1934 and retreated to a CPP-controlled area around Yan'an 延安 (Shaanxi Province), arriving there in October 1935. The Chinese Soviet Republic was officially disbanded on Sept. 22, 1937.

Chairman of the Central Executive Commission (zhongyang zhixing weiyuanhui 中央執行委員會) was Mao Zedong 毛澤東 (1893-1976, Hunan), Vice Chairmen were Xiang Ying 項英 (1898-1941, Hubei) and Zhang Guotao 張國燾 (1897-1979, Jiangxi). Head of the Central Revolutionary Military Commission (zhongyang geming junshi weiyuanhui 中央革命軍事委員會) was Zhu De 朱德 (1885-1976, Sichuan) although that post was taken over by Mao Zedong in December 1936.


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◆ Manchukuo (1932–1945)

(Manzhouguo 滿洲國)

Manchukuo was a puppet state set up by Japan on occupied ROC territory in northeast China with Changchun 長春 (today's Jilin Province) as its capital. It officially declared its independence on Feb. 18, 1932. The name of the state was changed to Great Manchu Empire (da Manzhou diguo 大滿洲帝國) on March 1, 1934.

The nominal head of state was Aisin Gioro Puyi 愛新覺羅 • 溥儀 (1906-1967, former Qing Emperor Xuantong 宣統) who held office from March 1932 to March 1934 as Chief Executive (yuanshou 元首) under the reign motto Datong 大同 and from March 1934 to August 1945 with the official title Emperor (huangdi 皇帝) under the reign motto Kangde 康德.


Tenure Name Born/Died Native Province
3/1932—5/1935 Zheng Xiaoxu 鄭孝胥 1860-1938 Fujian
5/1935—8/1945 Zhang Jinghui 張景惠 1871-1959 Liaoning


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◆ Chinese Republic (1933–1934)

Chinese Republic
(Zhonghua gongheguo 中華共和國)

The Chinese Republic was declared after the Fujian Rebellion (Min bian 閩變) on Nov. 22, 1933. The capital was Fuzhou 福州 (Fujian Province), and the chairman was Li Jishen 李濟深 (1885-1959, Guangxi/Jiangsu), formerly a leftist KMT leader and ROC military commander who had reached an agreement with the Communist rebels he was supposed to suppress. The state collapsed after another offensive of ROC forces on Jan. 13, 1934, having lasted a mere 53 days. Li Jishen later held the post of vice president of the PRC from 1949 to 1954.


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◆ Mengkiang (1936–1945)

Mengkiang United Autonomous Government
(mengjiang lianhe zizhi zhengfu 蒙疆聯合自治政府)

The Mengkiang United Autonomous Government was founded on May 12, 1936 as a Japanese puppet state. Its chairman was Demchugdongrub 德王 (1902-1966, Chahar/Inner Mongolia), capital was Kalgan 張垣 (today's Zhangjiakou 張家口, Hebei Province). It collapsed with the defeat of Japan at the end of WWII in 1945.


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◆ Wang Ching-wei Regime (1940–1945)

"Wang Ching-wei Regime"
(Wang Jingwei zhengquan 汪精衛政權)

In March 1940, the Japanese set up a puppet regime in the Chinese territory they had occupied since invading China in July 1937. It officially called itself "Republic of China" (Zhonghua minguo 中華民國) but was also referred to as "Reorganized National Government of China" (Zhonghua minguo guomin zhengfu 中華民國國民政府) and popularly mostly known as the "Wang Ching-wei Regime" (after its first leader Wang Ching-wei aka Wang Chao-ming 汪兆銘). Today it is sometimes called "Nanjing Nationalist Government" (Nanjing guomin zhengfu 南京國民政府). Its capital was Nanjing, the territory under its actual jurisdiction consisted of areas in the provinces of Jiangsu, Anhui, and Zhejiang.


Tenure Name Born/Died Native Province
1940–1944 Wang Ching-wei 汪精衛 1883-1944 Guangdong/Zhejiang
1944–1945 Chen Kung-po 陳公博 1892-1946 Guangdong

Vice President

Tenure Name Born/Died Native Province
1940–1945Chou Fo-hai 周佛海1897-1948Hunan


Wang Ching-wei's government was preceded by two puppet regimes installed by Japan—the "Provisional Government of the Republic of China" (Zhonghua minguo linshi zhengfu 中華民國臨時政府) in Beijing 北京 under the leadership of Wang K'o-min 王克敏 (1879-1945, Zhejiang) between December 1937 and March 1940, and the "Reformed Government of the Republic of China" (Zhonghua minguo weixin zhengfu 中華民國維新政府) in Nanjing headed by Liang Hung-chih 梁鴻志 (1882-1946 , Fujian) between March 1938 and March 1940. Another short-lived political entity controlled by the Japanese was the "Dadao Municipal Government of Shanghai" (Shanghaishi dadao zhengfu上海市大道政府) between December 1937 and May 1938, led by Su Hsi-wen 蘇錫文 (1889-1945, Fujian).


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