Taiwan is third in Asia and 32nd among 167 countries and territories around the world in the Democracy Index 2018 released Jan. 9 by London-based Economist Intelligence Unit.
Climbing one spot from the previous edition, Taiwan received an overall score of 7.73 out of 10 to finish ahead of regional neighbors Malaysia, 52nd; Singapore, 66th; and Hong Kong, 73rd, and trail South Korea, 21st; and Japan, 22nd. Norway, Iceland and Sweden topped the list, in that order.
The report assesses countries and territories based on 60 indicators grouped into five main categories: civil liberties; electoral process and pluralism; functioning of government; political participation; and political culture.
Taiwan received high scores of 9.58 and 9.12 for electoral process and pluralism and civil liberties, respectively.
In response to the survey, President Tsai Ing-wen wrote on her official Twitter account the following day that as the leader of a young and vibrant democracy, she was honored to work with the 23 million people of Taiwan in safeguarding the values that shape the national identity.
Taiwan is widely recognized as a beacon of freedom, democracy and human rights in the Asia-Pacific. It was the highest-ranked Asian nation for the sixth consecutive year in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index released last April by Paris-headquartered Reporters Without Borders, and was listed as “free” for the 20th consecutive year in the annual Freedom in the World report by U.S.-based nongovernmental organization Freedom House last January. (KWS-E)
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