Lai Ching-te sworn in as Taiwan's new president

Taiwan's new president Lai Ching-te has taken office. He is set to deliver his inaugural speech shortly. Attention is focused on what he will say about cross-strait ties with China. Beijing claims Taiwan as part of China.

Lai was sworn in at the presidential office. "I declare to all citizens. I will abide by the Constitution, fulfill my duties faithfully, promote people's welfare and protect the country," he said.

Lai won January's presidential election and will succeed Tsai Ing-wen, who has served two consecutive four-year terms. They both belong to the Democratic Progressive Party.

Lai's inauguration will mark the first time that the DPP has assumed the presidency for a third straight time.

After his election victory, Lai told a news conference that he would maintain the status quo in Taiwan's relations with China.

He also said he would seek dialogue with China on the basis of parity and dignity instead of confrontation. He pledged to promote cross-strait exchanges and cooperation.

Beijing sees Lai as a Taiwan independence separatist. China said last week the new leader of what it called the "Taiwan region" had to make a clear choice. It said he must decide whether to pursue peaceful development of the region or ''engage in provocation and confrontation."