New Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te has pledged to build on the foreign policy legacy of his predecessor, Tsai ing-wen, ramping up cooperation with partners such as the U.S. and Japan while trying to maintain a fragile status quo with China — but this is sure to prove challenging.

For Lai to follow through on his promises, he will not only need to tame an increasingly hostile Chinese government, but also work within the confines of the intensifying Sino-U.S. rivalry, all the while balancing this with a strong, more Beijing-friendly opposition in the legislature.

Lai has framed himself as “Tsai Ing-wen 2.0” on both cross-strait and foreign policy issues, and in his inaugural speech on Monday he even extended an olive branch to China, offering to pursue "peace and mutual prosperity."