Taiwan is a stable democracy that has allowed three peaceful transfers of power between rival parties since 2000, and that has enshrined fundamental freedoms into its constitution. The authorities respect and protect freedom of expression and the media environment is relatively open. However, legislation from the martial law period (1949-1987), restricting freedom of assembly and association, still remain, such as the Assembly and Parade Act and the Civil Associations Act.

The 2014 Anti-black Box movement and the Occupy Parliament Movement - more familiarly known as the Sunflower Movement - have played a key role in the democratisation process and have deterred the People’s Republic of China from using its vast economic power to interfere with civic freedoms in Taiwan. However China’s influence has produced a level of self-censorship on the island.