TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan was ranked 10th overall in the Human Freedom Index 2018 report, co-written by think tanks the Cato Institute, the Fraser Institute, and the Liberales Institut at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.
New Zealand received top honors, while China was ranked 135th and Syria last (162nd).
The report is the world's most comprehensive freedom index, according to the Fraser Institute, and incorporates a broad range of civil, economic, and social freedom rankings. The report includes separate rankings for personal and economic freedom, as well as an overall rank comprised of the two.
Taiwan was ranked 10th overall, 15th for personal freedom, 12th for economic freedom.
Most notably, Taiwan scored high marks in security and safety, association and assembly, religious freedom, and expression categories.
This year’s ranking caps off a decade of improvement for Taiwan, which has risen up the table from 43rd to 10th .
Taiwan was ranked second in East Asia, behind Hong Kong (3rd overall), and in front of South Korea (27th), Japan (31st), Mongolia (45th), and China (135th).
Singapore was ranked best in south Asia (25th overall), and followed by Cambodia (61st) and the Philippines (73rd).
More broadly, Australia was ranked 4th overall, loosely followed by the U.K. (8th), the U.S. (17th), and France (32nd).
The report was particularly scathing of China’s efforts to undermine and diminish freedom domestically and internationally, and ranked the country 135th out of 162.
“The Chinese Communist Party has grown increasingly despotic and imperialistic in recent years,” wrote Fred McMahon of the Fraser Institute in the Foreword of the report.
“The range of China’s efforts to suppress freedom domestically and internationally is breathtaking.”