The Kuomintang of China, also spelled as Guomindang and often alternatively translated as the Nationalist Party of China (NPC) or the Chinese Nationalist Party (CNP), is a major political party in the Republic of China based in Taipei that was founded in 1911. The KMT was formerly the sole ruling party of the Republic of China from 1928 to 2000 and is currently an opposition political party in the Legislative Yuan.
Taiwan ceased to be a single-party state in 1986 and political reforms beginning in the 1990s loosened the KMT's grip on power. Nevertheless, the KMT remains one of Taiwan's main political parties, with Ma Ying-jeou, elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012, being the seventh KMT member to hold the office of the presidency. In the 2016 general and presidential election, the KMT was defeated in both elections and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) gained control of both the Legislative Yuan and the presidency, Tsai Ing-wen being elected President.
The group planned and supported the Xinhai Revolution of 1911 and the founding of the Republic of China on 1 January 1912. However, Sun did not have military power and ceded the provisional presidency of the republic to Yuan Shikai, who arranged for the abdication of Puyi, the last Emperor, on 12 February.
However, Yuan soon began to ignore the parliament in making presidential decisions. Song Jiaoren was assassinated in Shanghai in 1913. Members of the Nationalists led by Sun Yat-sen suspected that Yuan was behind the plot and thus staged the Second Revolution in July 1913, a poorly planned and ill-supported armed rising to overthrow Yuan, and failed. Yuan, claiming subversiveness and betrayal, expelled adherents of the KMT from the parliament. Yuan dissolved the Nationalists in November (whose members had largely fled into exile in Japan) and dismissed the parliament early in 1914.
Soviet advisers also helped the KMT to set up a political institute to train propagandists in mass mobilization techniques, and in 1923 Chiang Kai-shek, one of Sun's lieutenants from the Tongmenghui days, was sent to Moscow for several months' military and political study. At the first party congress in 1924 in Kwangchow, Kwangtung, (Guanzhou, Guangdong) which included non-KMT delegates such as members of the CPC, they adopted Sun's political theory, which included the Three Principles of the People - nationalism, democracy and people's livelihood.
Chiang assumed leadership of the KMT on 6 July 1926. Unlike Sun Yat-sen, whom he admired greatly and who forged all his political, economic, and revolutionary ideas primarily from what he had learned in Hawaii and indirectly through British Hong Kong and Empire of Japan under Meiji Restoration, Chiang knew relatively little about the West. He also studied in Japan, but he was firmly rooted in his ancient Han Chinese identity and was steeped in Chinese culture. As his life progressed, he became increasingly attached to ancient Chinese culture and traditions. His few trips to the West confirmed his pro-ancient Chinese outlook and he studied the ancient Chinese classics and ancient Chinese history assiduously. In 1924, Sun Yat-sen sent Chiang to spend three months in Moscow studying the political and military system of the Soviet Union. Chiang met Leon Trotsky and other Soviet leaders, but quickly came to the conclusion that the Soviet communist, Marxist and socialist model of government was not suitable for China. This laid the beginning of his lifelong antagonism against communism.
NRA took Peking in 1928. The city was the internationally recognized capital, even when it was previously controlled by warlords. This event allowed the KMT to receive widespread diplomatic recognition in the same year. The capital was moved from Peking to Nanking, the original capital of the Ming Dynasty, and thus a symbolic purge of the final Qing elements. This period of KMT rule in China between 1927 and 1937 was relatively stable and prosperous and is still known as the Nanjing decade.
After Japan surrendered in 1945, Taiwan was returned to the Republic of China on 25 October 1945. The brief period of celebration was soon shadowed by the possibility of a civil war between the KMT and CPC. The Soviet Union declared war on Japan just before it surrendered and occupied Manchuria, the north eastern part of China. The Soviet Union denied the KMT army the right to enter the region and allowed the CPC to take control of the Japanese factories and their supplies.
After 2000, the KMT's financial holdings appeared to be more of a liability than a benefit, and the KMT started to divest itself of its assets. However, the transactions were not disclosed and the whereabouts of the money earned from selling assets (if it has gone anywhere) is unknown. There were accusations in the 2004 presidential election that the KMT retained assets that were illegally acquired. During the 2000-2008 DPP presidency, a law was proposed by the DPP in the Legislative Yuan to recover illegally acquired party assets and return them to the government. However, due to the DPP's lack of control of the legislative chamber at the time, it never materialised.
The KMT had several influences upon its ideology by revolutionary thinking. The KMT and Chiang Kai-shek used the words feudal and counterrevolutionary as synonyms for evil and backwardness, and they proudly proclaimed themselves to be revolutionaries. Chiang called the warlords feudalists, and he also called for feudalism and counterrevolutionaries to be stamped out by the KMT. Chiang showed extreme rage when he was called a warlord, because of the words negative and feudal connotations. Ma Bufang was forced to defend himself against the accusations, and stated to the news media that his army was a part of "National army, people's power".