STORY: :: Lai Ching-te takes office as Taiwan's new president

:: Taipei, Taiwan

:: May 20, 2024

Lai was sworn in at the Japanese-colonial-era presidential office in central Taipei, taking over from Tsai Ing-wen, having served as her vice president for the past four years.

Lai will express goodwill towards China in his inauguration speech at the Japanese-colonial era presidential office in central Taipei, and call for both sides of the Taiwan Strait to pursue peace, according to a senior official briefed on the matter.

Beijing views proudly democratic Taiwan as its own territory, and has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control. Lai has offered talks, which have been rebuffed, and says only Taiwan's people can decide their future.

Taiwan has faced on-going pressure from China, including regular air force and navy activities close to the island, since January's election victory by Lai, who is 64 and widely known by his English name William.