Among 209 countries and territories around the globe that were accessed by the US-based NGO, China ranked 188th in terms of the freedom that it gives its citizens, ahead of Yemen and Libya but behind Bahrain and Cuba.
China registered an aggregate freedom score of 11 out 100 (with 100 being most free) and scored a perfect 7 out of 7 on political rights and 6 out of 7 on civil liberties (with 7 being least free), earning the “not free” label yet again from the think tank.
China’s aggregate score actually dropped three points from last year with Freedom House pointing towards the removal of the two-term limit on the presidency, increased persecution of Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, and “new heights” of internet censorship under the new cybersecurity law. The country’s summary reads:
China’s authoritarian regime has become increasingly repressive in recent years. The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is tightening its control over the state bureaucracy, the media, online speech, religious groups, universities, businesses, and civil society associations, and it has undermined its own already modest rule-of-law reforms. The CCP leader and state president, Xi Jinping, has consolidated personal power to a degree not seen in China for decades, but his actions have also triggered rising discontent among elites within and outside the party. The country’s budding human rights movements continue to seek avenues for protecting basic rights despite a multiyear crackdown.
On the other end of the rankings, you’ll find Taiwan in 32nd place with an aggregate freedom score of 93, behind the United Kingdom and Austria but ahead of Lithuania and the Czech Republic. Around the middle is Hong Kong, scoring a “partly free” rating of 59.
Meanwhile, Tibet, which was analyzed separately, was given a score of 1, ranking it 208th on the list, ahead of only Syria.