By: Niall McCarthy, Contributor
Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping and the leader of Taiwan’s ruling party, Eric Chu, held high level talks in Beijing. Even though the meeting marks the highest level talks between the two sides in six years, the prospect of warmer relations are controversial in Taiwan where many fear growing economic cooperation with China could be the first step towards reunification, something that is widely opposed.
China views Taiwan as a breakaway province and the situation is generally seen as one of the greatest potential flashpoints in US-China relations. Even though cross-Strait relations have steadily improved in recent years, as illustrated by the talks in Beijing, China has not ruled out the possibility of invasion. It has also continued to enhance and modernize its military capabilities.
China has also continued to broaden its territorial claims in the South China Sea, prompting Japan to cast its postwar pacifism aside. Even though the possibility of China taking Taiwan by force is extremely remote, it is acquiring the capability to do so. How do the military forces of China and Taiwan measure up in 2014? The following infographic provides an overview of the military balance, or rather imbalance in the Taiwan Strait.