Taiwan rank stays same in global freedom report

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Taipei: Taiwan was ranked the second freest country in Asia with a total score of 93 points, the same as 2019, in the latest edition of the "Freedom in the World" report by U.S. based non governmental organization Freedom House.

According to the democracy watchdog's website, Taiwan garnered 37 points (out of a maximum score of 40) in political rights and 56 (out of a maximum of 60) in civil liberties in the report, and continued to be rated "free."

The report is scheduled to be published on March 11 in Washington D.C.

Taiwan's overall score placed it second in Asia behind Japan's 96 points and 25th among 195 countries and 15 territories assessed, according to the website.

In response to the rating, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a statement that this proves Taiwan's adherence to the values of democracy, freedom and human rights is recognized by the international community.

The ministry said it will continue to work with like minded countries to promote these values and contribute to democracy and prosperity in the Asia Pacific and the whole world.

In 2019, Taiwan also received a score of 93 in the report which designates countries and territories into three statuses free, partly free and not free based on indicators in political rights and civil liberties categories.

The latest narrative on Taiwan is not yet available, but based on last year's report, Taiwan was described as a "vibrant and competitive" democracy that has allowed peaceful transfers of power between rival parties since 2000.

In a pre launch press release Thursday, Freedom House pointed out that the state of political rights and civil liberties around the world is deteriorating.

"Countries that suffered setbacks in 2019 outnumbered those making gains by nearly two to one, marking the 14th consecutive year of deterioration in global freedom," the press release said.

The report also found an alarming global erosion in government commitment to pluralism, with ethnic, religious, and other minority groups bearing the brunt of state abuses in both democracies and authoritarian countries.

It mentioned China's campaign of cultural annihilation against the Uighur minority and other predominantly Muslim groups, and India's adoption of a discriminatory citizenship law and suppression of protests, as examples.

"Left unchecked, such violations threaten the freedom of entire societies," the Freedom House warned.

China received a total score of 10 and was rated "not free" while India got a score of 71 and remained a "free" country despite a huge fall in its ranking.

Hong Kong's score slipped by four points to 55, partly due to acts of repression by police and pro government thugs against mass protests, and was rated "partly free," the press release said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel