Taiwan is classified as “free” for the 21st consecutive year in the latest Freedom in the World report. (CNA)
Of the 209 countries and territories included in the report, 42 percent—including Taiwan—were rated as “free,” 31 percent as “partly free” and the remainder “not free.”
With an aggregate score of 93, the same as last year, Taiwan ranked second in Asia behind Japan at 96 and “free.” It was followed by South Korea, 83, “free;” Hong Kong, 59, “partly free;” and Singapore, 51, “partly free.”
The report evaluates countries and territories on a scale of 1 to 7 in the two main categories of political rights and civil liberties, with 1 being the freest and 7 the least free. Taiwan achieved 1 in both categories for three years in a row.
Taiwan scored 37 out of 40 in political rights given its strong performances in the subcategories of electoral process, political pluralism and participation, as well as functioning of government.
The country’s head of government, chief national authority and legislative representatives are all elected through free and credible elections, while its electoral laws and framework are fairly and impartially implemented.
In addition, the people have the right to organize in different political parties, with various segments of the population—including ethnic, religious, gender and other groups—having full political rights and electoral opportunities.
Regarding civil liberties, Taiwan scored 56 out of 60 for freedom of expressions and belief, association and organization rights, rule of law and personal autonomy and individual rights.
The report also highlighted areas of concerns for Taiwan. These include “not free” China’s ongoing efforts to influence policymaking, the media and the democratic infrastructure, foreign migrant workers’ vulnerability to exploitation and disputes over the rights of LGBTQ groups. (SFC-E)