Last week, China and Taiwan held their highest level talks in six years.
The meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Eric Chu, the leader of Taiwan’s ruling party, has raised the prospect of improved relations between the two sides. Increased economic cooperation with China may prove controversial in Taiwan where many people fear growing dependence on Beijing could prove the first step towards reunification, something that is widely opposed.
China still views Taiwan as a breakaway province and the situation is generally regarded as one of the greatest flashpoints in US-China relations. Even though ties between Taipei and Beijing have steadily improved in recent years, China has never ruled out the possibility of invasion and has continued acquiring the military capability to do so .
Tensions have also grown due to China’s territorial claims and aspirations in the South China Sea, something which has prompted Japan to cast aside its postwar pacifism. China has continued enhancing and modernizing its military. Even though the possibility of China taking Taiwan by force is extremely low, the military balance in the Taiwan Strait is now firmly in China’s favour.
This chart shows the military forces of China and Taiwan in comparison.
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