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Taiwan ranked Asia's 2nd freest country on Freedom House index

World has seen 14-year decline in global freedom: report

2020 Global Freedom Status (Freedom House screenshot)

2020 Global Freedom Status (Freedom House screenshot)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan remains Asia’s second freest country on Freedom House’s latest report on global freedom.

Scoring 93 out of 100, the island nation holds 29th place in the global rankings issued by the U.S. non-profit organization on Wednesday (Mar. 4). In the report, which claims that democracy and pluralism are under assault, Freedom House issues a warning about the 14 consecutive years of decline in freedom around the world, concluding that it is being threatened by leaders of both authoritarian and democratic governments.

Referring to the report, which ranked Taiwan as Asia’s second freest nation after Japan, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said via Facebook on Thursday (Mar. 5) that Taiwan would continue to share its “democratic experience” with the international community and make contributions to the world.

“The unchecked brutality of autocratic regimes and the ethical decay of democratic powers are combining to make the world increasingly hostile to fresh demands for better governance,” the report said. In particular, it called out China, which inhabits the very bottom of the rankings, for its persecution of ethnic and religious minorities and its encroachment on Hong Kong’s autonomy.

The report also noted a lack of collective efforts from democratic governments around the world to pressure China to cease its atrocities in Xinjiang, where a large number of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities are being suppressed by the Chinese authorities. “The pattern of de facto impunity bolsters China’s broader efforts to demand recognition as a global leader and aides its relentless campaign to replace existing international norms with its own authoritarian vision.”

In addition, the report designated Hong Kong as only a partly free society, occupying the 55th spot in the global ranking of 195 countries and 15 territories. The report highlights the Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests against the erosion of civil liberties by Beijing as well as the pro-democracy camp’s landslide victory in the local district elections last year.