A little tiny island nation in the south Pacific has scored higher than the United States in Freedom House’s latest report on global freedom released Tuesday.
Taiwan was ranked as the “most free” by the non-profit agency based in Washington, D.C.
China, Taiwan’s archrival, on the other socred one of the lowest score — with only 15 out of 100 (with 100 being most free).
That places the communist Asian giant on the same freedom level as Cuba, less free than Iran, but more free than Yemen. It’s also one point less than it scored last year.
Under the aggregated score category, Taiwan scored 91 out of 100, higher than the U.S.’ 89 points. Compared to the 2016 scores, Taiwan continued to rank 1 (equaling to most free as compared to the score 7, which mean least free) in terms of political rights.
Taiwan improved in civil liberties, going up from 2 to 1 in ratings. Freedom House named media independence and academic freedom as two critical factors in this category.
In terms of Freedom Rating, Taiwan moved up from 1.5 to 1, the most free.
As for regional analysis, the Freedom report considered rulers’ silencing of critics in Asia-Pacific a reigning theme, naming Thailand’s military junta, China’s new cybersecurity law, Malaysia and the Maldives’ crackdown on critics towards top politicians’ embezzlement claims, and the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s widely criticized crackdown on drug users and dealers.