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Taiwan ranked 2nd freest in Asia by Freedom House, China 81st

Taiwan received high marks for political rights, civil liberties

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(Freedom House image)

(Freedom House image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan retained its ranking as the second-freest country in Asia and seventh in the world in Freedom House’s latest report on global freedom.

Taiwan scored 94 out of 100, making it the second-freest country in Asia behind only Japan, which had a score of 96. Taiwan is tied for seventh place in the world with Germany, Chile, Estonia, and Iceland.

In Freedom House's country report on Taiwan, the nation scored 38 out of 40 for political rights and 56 out of 60 for civil liberties, yielding an overall score of 94, equaling last year's rating. It continues to be classified as a "Free" country on the list.

Norway, Finland, and Sweden tied for first place, New Zealand came in second, and Canada ranked in third. On the other end of the spectrum, China was in the bottom 10 least free countries with a score of 9, which was even lower than Afghanistan's score of 10. The communist country came in 81st place overall, with a score of -2 for political rights and 11 for civil liberties, and a classification of "Not Free."

In terms of internet freedom, Taiwan scored 80 out of 100, putting it in fourth place behind only Canada and Costa Rica, both of which tied for third. Estonia came in second and Iceland took the top spot with a score of 96.

According to the report, it is the expansion of authoritarian rule over the past 16 years that has led to the migration and refugee crisis that democracies face. However, it pointed out that this is also an "emphatic endorsement of democracy as the preferred system of government," with millions of people fleeing repressive regimes to dwell in free societies.

The report evaluates 210 countries and regions around the world, and uses local people's access to political rights and civil liberties as the key indicators. The sources for the report include on-the-ground research, local contacts, news articles, nongovernmental organizations, and governments among others.