Taiwan is a free country which provides the highest degree of freedom in terms of both political rights and civil liberties, according to the results of the 2006 Freedom in the World survey released recently by the US-based Freedom House.
The survey uses a scale of 1 to 7 to determine the freedom ratings of 192 countries and 14 territories in the categories of political rights and civil liberties.
A rating of 1 indicates the highest degree of freedom and 7 the least amount of freedom. These ratings determine whether a country is classified as "free," "partly free" or "not free."
Taiwan received a rating of 1 in terms of both political rights and civil liberties.
On a detailed assessment of political rights based on a 40-point scale consisting of three sub-categories, Taiwan received a score of 36, with 11 points for electoral process, 15 for political pluralism and participation and 10 for functioning of government.
On a detailed assessment of civil liberties based on a 60-point scale consisting of four sub-categories, Taiwan received an aggregate score of 55, with 16 points for freedom of expression and belief, 11 for associational and organizational rights, 15 for rule of law and 13 for personal autonomy and individual rights.
Among other Asian countries, Japan, South Korea and India were rated as "free," while Singapore and Thailand were rated as "partly free."
Meanwhile, China was rated as "not free," scoring 7 in terms of political rights and 6 in terms of civil liberties.