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Taiwan ranks 10th in Human Freedom Index

2018/12/11 15:54:50

Toronto, Dec. 10 (CNA) Taiwan took 10th place in the latest Human Freedom Index released by Canada's Fraser Institute and a network of international public policy think tanks on Monday.

Taiwan was tied with Norway and Finland at No. 10 in the 2018 Human Freedom Index which ranks 162 jurisdictions in the world.

The Human Freedom Index was co-published by the Fraser Institute, the U.S.-based Cato Institute and Germany's Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.

The index employs 79 indicators of personal, civil and economic freedoms to assess the 162 jurisdictions. These include rule of law, security and safety, religion, movement, association, assembly, civil society, expression and information, legal system and property rights, freedom of international trade and regulations on credit, labor and business, measured on a scale of 0-10.

"Taiwan -- which remains under constant military threat from China -- nonetheless continues to increase freedom and democracy for its citizens, this year entering the top 10 freest jurisdictions globally," the Fraser Institute said in a statement.

Since 2008, Taiwan has risen from 43rd position in the index, according to the Fraser Institute.

As for China, it was ranked in 135th spot on the latest Human Freedom Index.

"China is by far the least-free nation in East Asia, creating concerns for neighboring jurisdictions as it promotes its model of undemocratic governance internationally," said Fred McMahon, Dr. Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom at the Fraser Institute and editor of the report.

In the 2018 freedom rankings, New Zealand took first place ahead of Switzerland (No. 2), Hong Kong (No. 3), Australia (No. 4), Canada (No. 5), the Netherlands and Denmark (tied in 6th place), Ireland and the United Kingdom (tied in 8th place).

The Fraser Institute said Hong Kong, once the world's freest jurisdiction several years running, continues its downturn in the index.

The United States ranked No. 17 in the index, while Germany and Japan took 13th and 31st place, respectively.

At the bottom of the rankings, Iran was in 153rd spot ahead of Burundi (154th), Algeria (155th), Egypt (156th), Sudan (157th), Libya (158th), Iraq (159th), Yemen (160th), Venezuela (161st) and Syria (162nd).

Unfortunately, the Fraser Institute said, freedom has declined around the world over the past decade, adding that of the 142 jurisdictions for which there is data since 2008, 81 have declined in freedom, 58 have increased and three remain unchanged.

(By Hu Yu-li and Frances Huang)