Premier Su Tseng-chang noted Thursday that the U.S.-based organization Freedom House continues to list Taiwan as a "free" country, which over the past three years has consistently ranked above such democracies as the U.S. and France. Last year Taiwan was the only country in Asia rated as "open" in People Power Under Attack 2020, a report by CIVICUS, a global alliance of civil society organizations and activists. In addition, recently released Gallup polling results showed 72 percent of Americans expressed favorable views of Taiwan, making Taiwan the eighth most favorably viewed among countries surveyed.
Taiwan has the collective efforts of the people and government to thank for these accomplishments, said the premier. The nation's hard-worn success over the past year and more in the fight against the coronavirus has drawn the attention and respect of the world, and Premier Su urged everyone to keep up the fight.
Freedom House's report Freedom in the World 2021 released Wednesday evaluated 210 countries and territories and gave Taiwan a score of 94, up one from last year and maintaining the nation's classification as a "free" country behind only Japan in Asia, the premier said. Taiwan also placed ahead of such Western democracies as the U.S. and France for the third year running.
The Freedom House report highlights that the measures taken by many nations to contain the spread of COVID-19 sometimes infringe on human rights and democratic norms, leading in 2020 to the worst decline in global freedom in 15 years, and resulting in over 50 countries becoming "not free," said Premier Su. Taiwan, on the other hand, had one of the globe's strongest performances among democracies, avoiding abusive restrictions and controlling the disease with surprising effectiveness, all the while standing up without fear to China's increasingly threatening challenges to Taiwan's authority.
As cited above, the 2020 CIVICUS survey ranked Taiwan as the only "open" nation in Asia, a hard-earned achievement indeed. Taiwan's democratic pandemic-prevention efforts have made it one of the safest places on the planet. The nation proved to the world that a country and society with a democratic, free, open and transparent system can effectively contain COVID-19. Not only are the people of Taiwan satisfied with this pandemic response, but nations the world over have also applauded Taiwan for its response actions.
Americans' high 72 percent favorability rating of Taiwan in the recent Gallup poll is also high relative to other Asian countries and paints a stark contrast to China's low rating.