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President of the Republic of China

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The President of the Republic of China (中華民國總統) is the head of state of the Republic of China, the government which administered Mainland China from 1912 to 1949 and has administered Taiwan and several outlying islands from 1945 until the present.

The President is currently selected by a first past the post direct election of the areas administered by the Republic of China (i.e., Taiwan province, and Kinmen and Lienchiang counties of Fujian province) for a term of four years. Before 1991, the President was selected by the National Assembly of the Republic of China for a term of seven years.

Until the 1980s power in the Republic of China was personalized rather than institutionalized which meant that the power of the President depended largely on who occupied the office. For example, during the tenure of Yen Chia-kan, the office was largely ceremonial with real power in the hands of the Premier of the Republic of China[?], Chiang Ching-Kuo, and power shifted back to the presidency when Chiang became President.

List of Presidents
Name Alignment Start End Remark
Provisional Constitution
Sun Yat-Sen KMT 1912 1913 Provisional gov't
Yuan Shikai 1913 1915 Declared himself Emperor in 1915, d. 1916
Warlord Government in Beijing¹
Li Yuan-Hung[?] 1916 1917
Feng Kuo-Chang[?] 1917 1918
Hsu Shih-Chang 1918 1922
Li Yuan-Hung[?] 1922 1923
Tsao Kun[?] 1923 1924
Tuan Chi-Jui[?] 1924 1926
Chang Tso-Lin[?] 1926 1928
Rival Government in Guangzhou
Sun Yat-Sen KMT 1921 1925
Chairman of National Government (Chinese Civil War)²
Chiang Kai-Shek KMT 1928 1932
Lin Sen KMT 1932 1943
Chiang Kai-Shek KMT 1943 1947
Constitution of 1947
Chiang Kai-Shek³ KMT 1947 1975
Yen Chia-kan KMT 1975 1978
Chiang Ching-kuo KMT 1978 1988
Lee Teng-hui KMT 1988 2000 First Popular Election (1996)
Chen Shui-bian DPP 2000 Present
(1) Warlord government and Yuan Shikai government after the 1913 Second revolution[?] are regarded as illegitimate by the ROC.
(2) Chiang Kai-shek assumed role of "Commander-in-chief" from 1925-1928.
(3) Li Tsung-jen assumed role of "Acting President" following Chiang Kai-shek's resignation in Jan. 1949, but Chiang reassumed presidency after the retreat to Taiwan in Dec. 1949.
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