In mid-1987 Taiwanese president Chiang Ching-kuo announced the end of martial law and the legalization of a political opposition. These two changes, in addition to the orderly elections held at the end of 1986, underscored the political development that has occurred in the Republic of China on Taiwan. John Copper argues that the country's economic success has obscured-and sometimes been placed in false opposition to-its political progress. Despite the many internal difficulties it faces and the external threat from mainland China, says Copper, the Taiwanese government has handled challenges so well that it might serve as a model for other developing states. He traces the history of Taiwan through developments in governmental structure, the economic system, and political strategies. The 1986 elections, which demonstrated both basic confidence in the Taiwanese government as a whole and an openness to opposition candidates in some areas, showed an emerging if not yet fully operational democratic process. Like Japan, says Copper, Taiwan will probably continue to be dominated by one party, but it will also make further political changes conducive to social stability and economic growth.