The Beiyang government (北洋政府), also sometimes spelled Peiyang government (Chinese: 北洋政府; pinyin: běiyáng zhèngfǔ), refers to the government of the Republic of China, which was in place in the capital city Beijing from 1912 to 1927. It was internationally recognized as the legitimate Chinese government. The name derives from the Beiyang Army, which dominated its politics with the rise of Yuan Shikai, who was a general of the previous imperial Qing government. After his death the army fractured into competing factions. Although the government and the state were nominally under civilian control under a constitution, the Beiyang generals were effectively in charge of it, with various factions vying for power. The government however enjoyed legitimacy abroad along with diplomatic recognition, had access to the tax and customs revenue, and could apply for foreign financial loans.
Domestically, its legitimacy however was challenged by Sun Yat-sen's Guangzhou based Kuomintang (KMT) movement in 1917. His successor Chiang Kai-shek defeated the Beiyang warlords during the Northern Expedition in 1926-28 and overthrew the government. The Kuomintang installed their Nationalist government in Nanjing and China's political order became a one-party regime, and subsequently received international recognition.