The President of the Republic of China is the head of state of the Republic of China, commonly known as Taiwan. Since 1996, the President is directly elected by plurality voting to a four-year term, with at most one re-election. The incumbent, Tsai Ing-Wen, succeeded Ma Ying-jeou on 20 May 2016 as the first female president in the nation's history. Originally established in Nanking in 1912, the Republic of China and its president relocated to Taiwan in 1949 after losing the Chinese Civil War.
|President of the Republic of China
since 20 May 2016
|Style||Her Excellency (閣下)|
|Seat||Presidential Palace, Nanking (1947–1949)|
Presidential Office Building, Taipei (1949–present)
|Term length||Two consecutive 4-year terms|
Section 6 of Article 2 of the Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China
|Constituting instrument||Constitution of the Republic of China|
|Formation||1 January 1912 as the Provisional President|
10 October 1913 as the President (Peiyang Government)
10 October 1928 as the Chairman of the Nationalist Government
5 August 1948 as the Chairman of the Nationalist Government
20 May 1996 as the first directly elected President
|First holder||Sun Yat-sen as the first Provisional President in 1912|
Chiang Kai-shek as the first President under the 1947 Constitution Lee Teng-Hui as the first directly elected President
|President of the|
Republic of China
|Dungan||җунхуа мингуй зунтун|
|Romanization||Ⱬunhua minguj zuntun|
|Mongolian Cyrillic||Бүгд Найрамдах Хятад Улсын Ерөнхийлөгч|
|Mongolian script||ᠪᠦᠭᠦᠳᠡ ᠨᠠᠶᠢᠷᠠᠮᠳᠠᠬᠤ ᠬᠢᠲᠠᠳ ᠤᠯᠤᠰ ᠤᠨ ᠶᠡᠷᠦᠩᠬᠡᠶᠢᠯᠡᠭᠴᠢ|
|Uyghur||جۇڭخۇا مىنگو پرېزىدېنت|
The president is currently elected by a plurality voting direct election of the areas administered by the Republic of China 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 six years.
The Constitution names the president as head of state and commander-in-chief of the Republic of China Armed Forces (formerly known as the National Revolutionary Army). The president is responsible for conducting foreign relations, such as concluding treaties, declaring war, and making peace. The president must promulgate all laws and has no right to veto. Other powers of the president include granting amnesty, pardon or clemency, declaring martial law, and conferring honors and decorations.
The Constitution does not clearly define whether the president is more powerful than the premier, as it names the Executive Yuan (headed by the premier) as the "highest administrative authority" with oversight over domestic matters while giving the president powers as commander-in-chief of the military and authority over foreign affairs. Prior to his election as president in 1948, Chiang Kai-shek had insisted that he be premier under the new Constitution, while allowing the president (to which Chiang nominated Hu Shih) be a mere figurehead. However, the National Assembly overwhelmingly supported Chiang as president and once in this position, Chiang continued to exercise vast prerogatives as leader and the premiership served to execute policy, not make it. Thus, 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 Premier Chiang Ching-Kuo, and power switched back to the presidency when Chiang became president. After President Lee Teng-hui succeeded Chiang as president in 1988, the power struggle within the KMT extended to the constitutional debate over the relationship between the president and the premier. The first three premiers under Lee, Yu Kuo-hwa, Lee Huan, and Hau Pei-tsun were mainlanders who had initially opposed Lee's ascension to power. The appointment of Lee and Hau were compromises by President Lee to placate conservatives in the KMT. The subsequent appointment of the first native Taiwanese premier Lien Chan was taken as a sign of Lee's consolidation of power. Moreover, during this time, the power of the premier to approve the president's appointments and the power of the Legislative Yuan to confirm the president's choice of premier was removed establishing the president as the more powerful position of the two.
After the 2000 election of Chen Shui-bian as president, the presidency and the Legislative Yuan were controlled by different parties which brought forth a number of latent constitutional issues such as the role of the legislature in appointing and dismissing a premier, the right of the president to call a special session of the legislature, and who has the power to call a referendum. Most of these issues have been resolved through inter-party negotiations.
The Constitution of the Republic of China gives a short list of persons who will succeed to the presidency if the office were to fall vacant. According to the Additional Articles of the Constitution, Article 2:
Should the office of the vice president become vacant, the president shall nominate a candidate(s) within three months, and the Legislative Yuan shall elect a new vice president, who shall serve the remainder of the original term until its expiration.
Should the offices of both the president and the vice president become vacant, the president of the Executive Yuan shall exercise the official powers of the president and the vice president. A new president and a new vice president shall be elected in accordance with Paragraph 1 of this article and shall serve out each respective original term until its expiration. The pertinent provisions of Article 49 of the Constitution shall not apply.
As no president of the Executive Yuan (also known as the Premier) has ever succeeded to the presidency under these provisions (or their predecessors, under Article 49), it is untested whether, should the office of the premier be vacant as well, whether, pursuant to the Additional Articles, Article 3, the vice president of the Executive Yuan (vice premier), who would be acting premier, would act as president. There is currently no constitutional provision for a succession list beyond the possibility that the vice president of the Executive Yuan might succeed to the presidency.
Assuming that the vice president of the Executive Yuan would be third in line for the presidency, the current line of succession is:
Presidential succession has occurred three times under the 1947 Constitution:
The diplomatic protocol regarding the President of the ROC is rather complex because of the political status of Taiwan. In the 16 nations which recognize the ROC as the legitimate government of China, she is accorded the standard treatment that is given to a head of state. In other nations, she is formally a private citizen, although even in these cases, travel usually meets with strong objections from the People's Republic of China.
The President of ROC has traveled several times to the United States, formally in transit to and from Central America, where a number of countries do recognize the ROC. This system allows the President to visit the United States without the U.S. State Department having to issue a visa. During these trips, the President is not formally treated as a head of state, does not meet U.S. government officials in their official capacities and does not visit Washington, D.C. However, in these visits, the ROC President invariably meets with staff members from the US government, although these visits are with lower-ranking officials in non-governmental surroundings.
In the area of Southeast Asia, the ROC President was able to arrange visits in the early 1990s which were formally private tourist visits, however these have become increasingly infrequent as a result of PRC pressure.
The Government of the People's Republic of China uses the terms Leader of the Taiwan Area, Leader of the Taiwan Region (traditional Chinese: 台灣地區領導人; simplified Chinese: 台湾地区领导人; pinyin: Táiwān dìqū lǐngdǎorén) and Leader of the Taiwanese Authorities (台灣當局領導人; 台湾当局领导人; Táiwān dāngjú lǐngdǎo rén) to describe the head of state of the Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan. These terms are used by PRC media to reflect the PRC's official stance of not recognizing the ROC as an independent state.
The PRC media does not use the terms "President of Taiwan" nor "President of the Republic of China", which could be inferred as implying recognition of Taiwan as a country, or of Two Chinas. Hence, the term "Leader of the Taiwan Area" is used- with "Area" to show that Taiwan is not a country; while "Leader" does not equal "President". According to criteria set by the authorities in Beijing, media in mainland China generally are not allowed to use terms related to the Republic of China to describe the Taiwan authorities. But if the official title cannot be avoided in a news article, quotation marks would be used around terms for all official ROC positions and organisations, e.g. "President of the Republic of China"; "Presidential Office Building" to imply non-recognition.
As of January 2019, there are three living former Presidents:
|Name||Term of office||Date of birth|
|Lee Teng-hui||1988–2000||15 January 1923|
|Chen Shui-bian||2000–2008||12 October 1950|
|Ma Ying-jeou||2008–2016||13 July 1950|
The Secretary-General to the President is the highest-ranking official in the Office of the President and supervises the staff of the Office. The current Secretary-General is Chen Chu.
After the outbreak of the Wuchang Uprising against Qing rule in 1911, the revolutionaries elected Sun Yat-sen as the "provisional president" (臨時大總統) of the transitional government, with the Republic of China officially established on January 1, 1912. But Sun soon resigned from the provisional presidency in favor of Yuan Shikai, who assumed the title "Great President" (大總統) in March 1912. Yuan induced the Last Emperor to abdicate, ending thousands of years of imperial rule in China. The 1913 Constitution called for a strong presidential system with notable checks on the president by the National Assembly. However, Yuan soon began to assert dictatorial power, ignoring the National Assembly and later abolishing it altogether. In 1915, Yuan proclaimed himself Emperor of China in a largely unpopular move and was forced to retract his declaration shortly before his death in 1916.
With Yuan Shikai's death the Warlord Era began. Vice President Li Yuanhong succeeded Yuan as president and attempted to reassert the constitutional government, but was soon forced to resign by military strongmen. The presidency, though leading an internationally recognized government, was thereafter to be headed by a series of prominent warlords. This presidency ended in 1928 when the Northern Expedition, led by the Kuomintang (KMT), succeeded in conquering North China.
Sun Yat-sen established a rival (military, not constitutional) government in Guangzhou in 1917 and took the title of "Generalissimo of the Military Government" (海陸軍大元帥; "Grand Marshal of the Navy and Army"). He was ousted in 1918 but returned again to Guangzhou in 1921. Claiming to restore the Provisional Constitution of the Republic of China, he summoned the members of the original parliament to elect him as president, but since there lacked a quorum, he took the title of "Extraordinary President" (非常大總統). Sun, again expelled from Guangzhou in 1922, returned in 1923 to take the title of "Generalissimo of the Military Government." Sun died in 1925 with no clear successor and leadership of the government, now named the Nationalist Government, rested in a series of Leninist-style dual party and state committees, the most powerful of which was the policy-making Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang. The government was organized into five branches, with the Executive Yuan, headed by the premier, holding primary administrative authority. The "Chairman of the Nationalist Government," though not given specific presidential powers, took on the functions of a de facto head of state and its official English translation was "President of the National Government of the Republic of China". This form of government under the KMT lasted through the Northern Expedition, which moved the capital to Nanjing and gave the Nationalist Government domestic control and foreign recognition, and the Second Sino-Japanese War, during which the Japanese established puppet Nationalist Governments with almost the identical organizational structure, until the promulgation of a new Constitution in 1947.
Following the Chinese victory in the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Nationalist Government under Chiang Kai-shek was restored in Nanjing and the KMT set out to enact a liberal democratic Constitution in line with the last stage of Sun Yat-sen's three stages of national development. The new Constitution of the Republic of China, promulgated on 25 December 1947, established a five-branch government with the office of president (總統) as head of state. On 20 May 1948, Chiang Kai-shek was formally elected by the National Assembly to be the first term president.
After the KMT lost the Mainland China in the Chinese Civil War, the government was evacuated to Taiwan, where the term limits for the President specified in the 1947 constitution were suspended after 1960.[note 1] In 1954, as the term of the first National Assembly were about to expire, the Judicial Yuan ruled that the expired seats of the National Assembly would continue in power until the respective delegate region elections could be held. This largely froze the membership of the National Assembly mainland delegates and prevented local Taiwanese from widespread legislative and assembly participation in the expired mainland seats until the early 1970s. The members of the National Assembly continued in their office until 1991, and continued to elect Chiang Kai-shek as president until his death in 1975.
Presidents were elected by the National Assembly until the first direct presidential election in 1996, while the term length was shortened from six to four years.
Events in the year 1912 in China.2000 Taiwan presidential election
The election for the 10th-term President and Vice-President of the Republic of China (Chinese: 第十任中華民國總統、副總統選舉) was held on March 18, 2000, to elect the 10th-term President and Vice-President of the Republic of China under the 1947 Constitution. With a voter turnout of 82.69%, Chen Shui-bian and Annette Lu of the Democratic Progressive Party were elected president and vice president respectively with a slight plurality. This put an end to more than half a century of Kuomintang rule on Taiwan.2012 Taiwan presidential election
The election for the 13th-term President and Vice-President of the Republic of China (Chinese: 中華民國第十三任總統、副總統選舉) was held on 14 January 2012. The election was held concurrently with legislative elections. It was the fifth direct election for the President of the Republic of China. Prior to 1996, the President was elected by the ROC's National Assembly and not directly by the people.
Incumbent Ma Ying-jeou was re-elected as President with 51.6% of the vote. DPP challenger Tsai Ing-wen resigned her post as chairperson of the DPP following her election defeat.2016 Taiwan general election
General elections were held in Taiwan, officially the Republic of China, on Saturday, 16 January 2016 to elect the 14th President and Vice President of the Republic of China, and all 113 members of the ninth Legislative Yuan:
2016 Taiwan presidential election
2016 Taiwan legislative election2020 Taiwan general election
General elections will be held in Taiwan, officially the Republic of China in 2020 to elect the 15th President and Vice President of the Republic of China, and all 113 members of the 10th Legislative Yuan:
2020 Taiwan presidential election
2020 Taiwan legislative electionCao Kun
General Cao Kun (simplified Chinese: 曹锟; traditional Chinese: 曹錕; pinyin: Cáo Kūn; Wade–Giles: Ts'ao K'un; Courtesy name: Zhongshan (仲珊)) (December 12, 1862 – May 15, 1938) was a Chinese warlord and politician, who served the President of the Republic of China from 1923 to 1924, as well as the military leader of the Zhili clique in the Beiyang Army; he also served as a trustee of the Catholic University of Peking.Cottered
Cottered is a village and civil parish 3 miles (4.8 km) west of Buntingford and 6 miles (9.7 km) east of Baldock in the East Hertfordshire District of Hertfordshire in England. It has a population of 634, increasing to 634 at the 2011 Census.Cottered is home to a Japanese garden designed in the early 20th century by Herbert Goode. It is listed Grade II* on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.Among those who have held the living of Cottered may be mentioned the Rev Anthony Trollope, who was grandfather of the authors Anthony Trollope and Thomas Adolphus Trollope. He was incumbent of Cottered for forty-four years and died in 1806.Cottered also has a blue plaque to first president of the Republic of China Sun Yat-sen, who stayed at The Kennels, country home of James Cantlie.It has a football club, Cottered FC.Guantian District
Guantian District (Chinese: 官田區; pinyin: Guāntián Qū; Wade–Giles: Kuan1-t'ian2 Ch'ü1; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Koaⁿ-tiān-khu) is a rural district in central Tainan, Taiwan. It is the hometown of the former President of the Republic of China, Chen Shui-bian. It hosts a population of 21,659 residents.List of Chinese Taipei Representatives to APEC
The Republic of China (Taiwan) joined APEC in 1991 together with China and British Hong Kong.The heads of government of all Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Member Economies meet annually in a summit called "APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting" rotating in location among APEC's Member Economies. However, due to the nature of the Economic Forum of APEC and One China Policy, the President of the Republic of China is not allowed to appear in APEC and President of the Republic of China appoints a special envoy every year to attend APEC Meeting under the name Chinese Taipei.List of Presidents of the Republic of China
This is a list of the Presidents of the Republic of China (1912–present). The official Chinese name of the President changes by time.
The Republic of China before 1949 controlled mainland China as well as offshore islands. In the fall of 1949 the ROC government retreated to Taiwan and surrounding islands as a result of the takeover of Mainland China by the People's Republic of China. The seat of government was moved to Taipei which retained recognition by the United Nations (to 25 October 1971), the United States (to 1 January 1979) and other Western countries in the context of the Cold War. The Republic of China since 1949, now usually known as Taiwan, has only controlled Taiwan and nearby islands. Martial law was ended in Taiwan in the 1980s and direct elections were introduced in 1996.List of spouses of the presidents of the Republic of China
This is a list of spouses of the president of the Republic of China.Morris Chang
Morris Chang (Chinese: 張忠謀; pinyin: Zhāng Zhōngmóu; born 10 July 1931), is an American businessman in Taiwan and the founder, as well as former chairman and CEO, of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world's first and largest silicon foundry. He is known as the semiconductor industry founder of Taiwan.National Chengchi University
National Chengchi University (Chinese: 國立政治大學; shortened as "政大") is a national research university, and the earliest public service training facility in modern China. First established in Nanjing in 1927, the university was subsequently relocated to Taipei in 1954. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious and prominent universities in Taiwan. The university, abbreviated as NCCU, specializes in arts and humanities, mass media, social sciences, economics, management, politics, and international affairs programs. It is the only publicly-funded university in Taiwan which provides courses in journalism, advertising, radio and television, diplomacy, and several languages which are not taught at other institutions in Taiwan. The name Chengchi (政治) means governance or politics, and refers to its founding in 1927 as a training institution for senior civil service for the Nanjing Nationalist government of China. The university has strong ties with academic institutions like Academia Sinica, National Yangming University, National Taiwan University and National Palace Museum.One Country on Each Side
One Country on Each Side (simplified Chinese: 一边一国; traditional Chinese: 一邊一國; pinyin: yī biān yī guó; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Chi̍t Pêng Chi̍t Kok) is a concept originated the Democratic Progressive Party government led by Chen Shui-bian, the former President of the Republic of China (2000–2008), regarding the political status of Taiwan. It emphasised that the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China (commonly known as "Taiwan") are two different countries, (namely "One China, one Taiwan"), as opposed to two separate political entities within the same country of "China". This is the position of the supporters of the Pan-Green coalition.President of China
President of China may refer to:
President of the People's Republic of China, head of state of China
Xi Jinping, president since 2013
President of the Republic of China, head of state of Taiwan
Tsai Ing-wen, president since 2016
Sun Yat-sen, China’s first president (1912)Republic of China on Taiwan
Republic of China on Taiwan is a political term as well as discourse regarding the present status of the Republic of China. It is proposed by former president of the Republic of China Lee Teng-hui, the first Taiwanese President. During his presidential tenure in 1995, Lee visited his alma mater Cornell University and mentioned this term for the first time when delivering an Olin Lecture.The term is one of the several terms regarding the Republic of China, and is not exactly about Taiwanese independence. The term was later included in the Four-Stage Theory of the Republic of China as the third stage from 1988 to 2000 by President Lee's successor Chen Shui-bian.Tsai Ing-wen
Tsai Ing-wen (born 31 August 1956) is a Taiwanese stateswoman, legal scholar and attorney currently serving as the President of the Republic of China, commonly known as Taiwan, since May 20, 2016. The first woman to be elected to the office, Tsai is the seventh president of the Republic of China under the 1947 Constitution and the second president from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP); part of Taiwan's Pan-Green Coalition. She is also the first president to be of both Hakka and aboriginal descent (a quarter Paiwan from her grandmother), the first unmarried president, the first to have never held an elected executive post before presidency and the first to be popularly elected without having previously served as the Mayor of Taipei (Former presidents Lee Teng-hui, Chen Shui-bian and Ma Ying-jeou all served as the Mayor of Taipei). She was the Democratic Progressive Party candidate in the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections. Tsai previously served as party chair from 2008 to 2012, and from 2014 to 2018.
Tsai studied law and international trade, and later became a law professor at Soochow University School of Law and National Chengchi University after earning an LLB from National Taiwan University, an LLM from Cornell Law School and a Ph.D. in law from the London School of Economics and Political Science. In 1993, as an independent (without party affiliation), she was appointed to a series of governmental positions, including trade negotiator for WTO affairs, by the then-ruling Kuomintang (KMT) and was one of the chief drafters of the special state-to-state relations doctrine of then President Lee Teng-hui.
After DPP President Chen Shui-bian took office in 2000, Tsai served as Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council throughout Chen's first term as a non-partisan. She joined the DPP in 2004 and served briefly as a DPP-nominated at-large member of the Legislative Yuan. From there, she was appointed Vice Premier under Premier Su Tseng-chang until the cabinet's mass resignation in 2007. She was elected and assumed DPP leadership in 2008, following her party's defeat in the 2008 presidential election. She resigned as chair after losing her 2012 presidential election bid.
Tsai ran for New Taipei City mayorship in the November 2010 municipal elections but was defeated by another former vice premier, Eric Chu (KMT). In April 2011, Tsai became the first female presidential candidate of a major party in the history of the Republic of China after defeating her former superior, Su Tseng-chang, in the DPP's primary by a slight margin. She was defeated by incumbent Kuomintang candidate Ma Ying-jeou in the 5th direct presidential election in 2012, but was elected by a landslide four years later in the sixth direct presidential election in 2016.Vice President of the Republic of China
The Vice President of the Republic of China (Chinese: 中華民國副總統; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Mínguó Fù Zǒngtǒng) is the second-highest executive official of the Republic of China. The existing office was created in 1948 under the 1947 Constitution of the Republic of China. After the Kuomintang lost mainland China to the Chinese Communists during the Chinese Civil War, the government, along with its presidency, retreated to Taiwan. The Communist Party of China has since established the People's Republic of China on the mainland side. Chen Chien-jen is the current Vice President of the Republic of China.Xiangcheng City
Xiangcheng (simplified Chinese: 项城; traditional Chinese: 項城; pinyin: Xiàngchéng) is a county-level city in Zhoukou, Henan, People's Republic of China. It borders Shenqiu to the east, Shangcai to the west, Huaiyang to the north, Pingyu to the southeast, and the province of Anhui in the southeast. It has a population of 1,169,000.Xiangcheng is known to be the birthplace of the first president of the Republic of China, Yuan Shikai.