Nation improves in Transparency International corruption index


BERLIN — Taiwan has moved up one notch to 35th in the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) rankings that were released Wednesday by Transparency International (TI), a Germany-based organization that fights corruption worldwide. In the TI report on 175 countries and regions, Taiwan ranked fourth in East Asia, after Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong.

Taiwan obtained a score of 61 out of 100 for the third consecutive year, but its ranking still improved by one notch, as it had the previous two years. Liao Ran, a senior executive of TI East Asia and South Asia, said in an interview with CNA that Taiwan has made progress in combating corruption because the media dares to expose irregularities and prosecutors are doing their jobs.

He said the CPIs of China and some Southeast Asian countries tend to be low because corruption at the senior official level is very serious and the media has been pressured or bribed not to report malfeasance.

The CPI report said corruption tends to be more serious in economies experiencing rapid economic growth, noting that China and Turkey, whose scores fell markedly this year, have averaged better than 4 percent growth over the past four years. China was ranked 100th, with a score of 36 (after finishing 80th with a score of 40 last year), while Turkey ranked 63rd with a score of 45 (53rd with a score of 50 last year.)

Denmark maintained its top ranking with a score of 92, and was followed by New Zealand (91), Finland (89), Sweden (87) and Norway (86.)

Rounding out the top 10 were Switzerland (86), Singapore (84), the Netherlands (83), Luxembourg (82), and Canada (81).

Most West European countries scored higher than 50.

Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Great Britain, Belgium and Austria all scored over 70. Australia scored 80 and the United States 70. Those at the bottom of the rankings were mostly African or Central Asian countries. Two-thirds of the 175 countries or regions in the survey had scores lower than 50.

Somalia and North Korea were tied at the bottom with a score of eight.