Taiwan received the highest ranking for its political rights and civil liberties from Freedom House in its special report,"Worst of the Worst: The World's Most Repressive Societies 2006," which was released on Wednesday.
The special report was an excerpt from the upcoming 2006 edition of Freedom in the World, in which the US-based Freedom House surveyed the progress and decline of political rights and civil liberties in 192 nations and 14 se-lect related and disputed territories.
The survey rates each country and territory on a scale of one to seven with "one" representing the most free and "seven" the least free.
Taiwan received a "one" in both categories, while China was categorized "seven" for political rights and "six" for civil liberties.
"Taiwan being recognized as the `most free' country in terms of political rights and civil liberties is an affirmation of Taiwan's democracy," said Government Information Office Minister and Cabinet Spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (
Cheng said that Taiwanese citizens should be proud of themselves because the Freedom House continued to recognize Taiwan's democracy through its surveys while China continued to be categorized as a "not free" country, along with Belarus, Equatorial Guinea, Haiti and Laos.
"The gap between China and us has further deepened. We should be proud of our democratic achievements and cherish what we have," Cheng said.
Freedom House is a nongovernment organization that supports the expansion of freedom in the world.
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