Taiwan, the Republic of China, is by and large a successful nascent democracy. Since it embarked on democratization in the late 1980s, the country has successfully conducted regular multi-party elections to choose its representatives and leaders at both the central and local levels. The authoritarian ruling party, the Kuomintang (KMT, the Chinese Nationalist Party) was able to keep its power in the early stage of democratization owing to its organizational strength, astute campaign strategy, and above all, its impressive track record in managing Taiwan’s economy. The gradual but consistent expansion of electoral support for the main opposition, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), however, ultimately unseated the KMT in the 2000 presidential election. Power changed hands smoothly. In the society, there was the growth of an independent mass media that was often highly critical of the government, both under the KMT’s and the DPP’s rule. Interest groups and political parties mushroomed on the island. Demonstrations organized by the unions and the environmentalists became commonplace. All these phenomena are worlds apart from the regimentation under the authoritarian regime between 1949 and 1991. Although there remain sticky problems in Taiwan’s nascent democracy, such as the emergence of sub-ethnic strife, the confused national identity, the tense relationship with mainland China, the bitter conflict between the ruling and the opposition parties over the controversial 2004 presidential election, and the dispute over whether to amend or to rewrite the constitution, among others, it is fair to say that in comparative terms Taiwan is a reasonably successful nascent democracy, particularly in view of its difficult international position and the overwhelming military threat from mainland China.