China from the beginning to the 17th century was under the Imperial rule of dynastic emperors, with wars in between the end of one dynasty and the start of another. It was a monarchial government. China changed though, when Europeans came. European countries established unequal trade deals and could get what they wanted. This was due to the Chinese not having the military strength to keep Europeans from doing what they wanted. Also China was under the rule of emperors who had mismanaged the country, which caused rebellions and uprisings. Pretty soon, the European countries had taken much Chinese land away and controlled some areas of China. One Chinese ruler tried to reform the country, after seeing how it had helped Japan. He was easily disposed, due to lack of Chinese support. Then a revolution broke out in 1911, under Sun Yat-sen, which ended the rule of the Emperors. The first President however, tried to bring back the monarchy but failed. China was plunged into a time of political strife between warlords. Sun Yat-sen's successor, Chiang Kaishek, fought for democracy and by 1928 his government controlled most of China. He began modernizing the entire country and brought in Western reforms. When Japan began conquering China, Kaishek ended his war with the Chinese Communists and allied with them for a short time to fight the Japanese. After World War 2 the Communists warred with Nationalist China, as it was then called, and won very easily because the Nationalists had lost their support. The Nationalists fled to Taiwan and proclaimed Taipei the capital of China, while the Communists established the People's Republic of China. The world recognized the communist government as the true government, and it is the government that currently is in power in China.
Today, China has a communist government, which means that the country is controlled by a central government, which is under the rule of the communist party.