In democratic nations, there are consequential elections that alter the trajectory of politics.

The December 2012 general election in Japan, which gave Shinzo Abe his second term, and the 2016 U.S. presidential election that saw Donald Trump win are recent examples.

In the presidential election held on Jan. 13, Taiwanese voters chose to continue with a pro-autonomy Democratic Progressive Party administration, which wants to continue the status quo with China while maintaining a healthy distance from Beijing. Will this election change the future course of East Asia?