STORY: When Taiwan's new president Lai Ching-te takes office on Monday, he faces a China that calls him a "dangerous separatist" as well as a fractured parliament at home, where no party has a majority.

Lai, who also goes by William, has been vice president for the past four years.

He succeeds President Tsai Ing-wen as Beijing increases military and political pressure to assert sovereignty over democratically-governed Taiwan - a claim he and Tsai reject.

Beijing officials will be closely watching Lai's inaugural speech.

Puma Shen, a lawmaker for Lai's Democratic Progressive Party, says the new president wants to deliver the message that Taiwan is a peacemaker.

"He wants to show that Taiwan is not a troublemaker, and that we're actually looking for peace. But no matter what he says, I mean, during the inauguration, I think China would always disagree (with) what he said."

During the election campaign period, Beijing repeatedly framed the vote as a choice between war and peace.

Ahead of Lai's inauguration, China has escalated its daily military activities, including staging mock attacks on foreign vessels near Taiwan, according to sources.

While Chinese state-backed media have slammed a Reuters report this week about joint navy drills between the U.S. and Taiwan held in April, calling it "media hype" over a "political stunt".

Former U.S. officials sent by President Joe Biden are among the high-level foreign delegates Taipei is expecting for the inauguration.

But diplomatic ties are another headache for Lai.

Only 12 countries now formally recognize Taiwan diplomatically, mostly poorer developing nations, as more turn to work with Beijing.

Here's Chen Yi-fan, an assistant professor of international relations at Taiwan's Tamkang University:

"Probably China will cut off Taiwan's diplomatic allies in the very short term and then give more international pressure as well, just like they launched the military drill along the Kinmen and also, you know, the sorties approaching Taiwan these days."

Meanwhile, Lai also faces problems at home after his party lost its parliamentary majority in the last election.

He has pledged to keep boosting Taiwan's defense modernization with big-ticket items like submarines.

But it'll be a challenge now to get those spending plans passed.

"He has to learn the compromise, the art of compromise with the opposition party.

Though Chen, who advised the biggest opposition party KMT's presidential campaign, acknowledged KMT lawmakers will also have to oppose responsibly - especially on issues like defense spending - if they want to win power back next term.