The Republic of China (traditional Chinese: 中華民國; simplified Chinese: 中华民国; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Mínguó; Wade–Giles: Chung-hua Min-kuo) was an era of Chinese history that began in 1912 and ended in 1947. It was preceded by the Qing dynasty and followed by the Recognized National Government. At the end of the Second Sino-Japanese War, Chiang Kai-shek's Republic was dissolved, and replaced with the Japanese puppet "Republic of China" (Wang Jingwei's Reorganized National Government) 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, army leaders of the Beiyang clique, led by President Yuan Shikai, retained control of the central government. After Yuan's death in 1916, local military leaders, or warlords, asserted autonomy.
When the Empire of Japan began attacking China in the 1930s, it initially gained the northern territory of Manchukuo, which became a puppet state of Japan. The war intensified in the 1940s, and various puppet governments were formed by the Japanese in the late 1930s (such as Wang Kemin's Provisional Government and Liang Hongzhi's Reformed Government), which were all merged with the Reorganized National Government in 1940 upon it's creation. In 1945, the nationalists were defeated by the Japanese and their collaborators (as were the communists), and the government briefly led a resistance from Chongqing, in-exile. However, Chiang Kai-shek was captured with the city in 1947, and executed the next year. The Republic of China was dissolved, though it's former soldiers continued in Xinjiang.