In a speech marking 40 years since the improvement in ties with Taiwan, Chinese President Xi Jinping has has once again called for peaceful reunification, also warning that China reserves the the right to use force.
Although it is self-governed and de-facto independent, Taiwan has never formally declared independence. Xi also said that reunification is “an inevitable requirement for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people” and that his government “reserves the option of taking all necessary measures” against outside interference with peaceful reunification.
As Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, Xi’s comments are in line with China’s long-standing policy on the issue and it is generally regarded as one of the greatest flashpoints in relations between Beijing and Washington.
Despite the improvement in ties in recent years, China has never ruled out the possibility of invasion and it has continued acquiring the military capability to do so. Regional 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.
Even though the possibility of China taking Taiwan by force is low, the military balance in the Taiwan Strait is firmly in China’s favor…
The following infographic provides an overview of that imbalance and it is based on an annual U.S. government report.
You will find more infographics at Statista