For more than two thousand years the government of China exhibited, in the main, the elements which characterized it when, in the reign of Ch'in Shih Huang Ti (221–209 B.C.), feudalism was abolished and a centralized system inaugurated. Through successive dynasties the changes introduced were in matters of detail. These facts admonish to unusual caution in the accepttance of the present system at its face value. “Republic,” “president,” “cabinet,” “parliament,” “courts,” “democracy,” —these are titles of Western institutions which continued to stand for the corresponding institutions in China when the latter were established upon the model of the former. Even in Western states the meaning of these terms varies, as does their application in actual government. It would be strange if a decade of republicanism in China had evolved a political organization which still remains largely an ideal among nations which have spent centuries of effort toward its attainment. New terms are applied more readily than old ways are altered. Different clothes may be a disguise, not a sure gauge of habitat or occupation. The more one strives to understand present political forces in China, the more is he driven to study the old régime.