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Taiwan's press freedom improves, remains 6th best in Asia
Publish Date: 2017/04/29
Update Date: 2017/04/29
Taipei, April 28 (CNA) Taiwan's global press freedom ranking improved this year, moving up six notches from 2016 to 39th place, the sixth best performance by any Asian country, according to an annual report released on Friday by Freedom House.

In Asia, Taiwan was only outranked by Palau, the freest nation in the region, followed by Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Micronesia, and Australia.

Taiwan scored 1 out of 7 for both political rights and civil liberties, achieving a "freedom rating" of 1, the highest score, according to the "Freedom in the World" report published by Freedom House, a Washington-based human rights advocacy group.

Each country's score is based on two ratings -- one for political rights and one for civil liberties -- with 1 representing the highest level of freedom and 7 the least degree of freedom. The freedom rating of a country is determined based on the average of its political rights and civil liberties.

"Taiwan's civil liberties rating improved from 2 to 1 due to demonstrations of media independence and academic freedom in recent years, including in media coverage of the 2016 elections," according to the pro-democracy watchdog group.

Meanwhile, among other notable Asian countries, Japan came in eighth on the Asian region scale, while South Korea, which was considered "partly free" by the Freedom House, ranked 15th.

China, on the other hand, was classified as not free and was ranked 39th in Asia, and 186th in the world. Reports by the Freedom House cited that investigative journalism and liberal commentary continued to shrink in 2016 under President Xi Jinping, who assumed leadership of the country in 2012. 
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