TAIPEI: Taiwan has been classified as a free nation by US-based Freedom House in its 2017 Freedom in the World report released on January 31, achieving perfect scores in the survey’s two categories of political rights and civil liberties for the first time in 11 years. In the 2017 edition, Taiwan retained the No. 1 rating in political rights while improving from No. 2 to No. 1 in civil liberties. For the annual report, nations are ranked on a scale of 1 to 7 in the two categories, with 1 being the freest and 7 the least free. “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,” the report said. Of the 195 countries and territories assessed in the 2017 report, 45 percent, including Taiwan, were rated as free, while 30 percent were classified as partly free and the remainder as not free.