On 18 March 2000, over 12.6 million taiwanese boters cast their ballots and elected two former political prisoners, candidates of the opposition political party, as president and vice-president. This peaceful transfer of power from government to opposition marked as key stage in a thirty year history of liberalisation and transition to democracy. How did Taiwan's political system change from being one of Asia's most authoritarian regimes to one of its most democratic? This project seeks to explore and answer the many aspects raised by this question. The answers have relevance to Australia's peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.