Taiwan's president said Sunday he was still open to working with China on building "mutual understanding and reconciliation," days after Beijing launched military drills around the self-ruled island in response to his inauguration speech.

President Lai Ching-te was sworn into office on Monday, and China — which claims democratic Taiwan as part of its territory and regards Lai as a "dangerous separatist" — launched military games around the island three days later.

Fighter jets, naval vessels and coast guard ships encircled Taiwan until Friday night, which Chinese military analysts said was to practice seizing it.