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Taiwan rated No. 1 'full democracy' in Asia, 8th in world

Taiwan received perfect 10 out of 10 for 'electoral process and pluralism'

Taiwan rated No. 1 'full democracy' in Asia, 8th in world

(AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan is ranked as the top "fully democratic" country in Asia and No. 8 in the world, according to the annual Democracy Index published by The Economist Intelligence Business Unit (EIU) on Thursday (Feb. 10).

In its report titled "Democracy Index 2021: the China challenge," the EIU listed Taiwan 8th out of 165 countries and two territories. In Asia, Taiwan came in first, ahead of its closest rivals South Korea and Japan, which were ranked 16th and 17th, respectively.

The index ranks countries based on five criteria: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation, and political culture. The ranking operates on a scale of zero to ten, with countries receiving a score of eight or higher designated “full democracies.”

With a score of 8.99, Taiwan was one of 21 countries that received the "full democracy" designation. France, Israel, Spain, Chile, and the U.S. were among notable nations to be deemed a "flawed democracy."

Taiwan received a perfect 10 out of 10 for "electoral process and pluralism" and was given high marks of 9.64 for "functioning of government" and 9.41 for "civil liberties." However, it was given slightly lower scores of 8.13 for "political culture" and 7.78 for "political participation."

Taiwan rated No. 1 'full democracy' in Asia, 8th in world
Taiwan ranked 8th among "full democracies." (EIU screenshot)

In all of Asia and Australasia, the report listed five "full democracies," including Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. However, the overall score for Asia dropped from 5.62 in 2020 to 5.46 in 2021 due to the massive decline in democratic freedoms in Afghanistan and Myanmar with scores of 0.32 and 1.02, respectively.

The report stated that 2021 saw the biggest drop global in democratic freedoms since 2010 and set "another dismal record" for the worst score since the index was first published in 2006. It found that the percentage of people living in democracies fell below 50%, while authoritarian regimes gained ground as they leveraged the pandemic to normalize emergency powers.