Taiwan appoints new premier amid tense China relations

Taiwan's president has appointed a new premier seen as willing to reach out to rival China amid ongoing tense relations.

President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday named William Lai to head up the government following the resignation Monday of Lin Chuan. Lin had asked to leave the post before local elections next year added an unwanted political element to his work.

China cut off all contacts with Tsai's government more than a year ago after she refused to endorse Beijing's position that Taiwan is Chinese territory.

Over the past year, China has persuaded two of Taiwan's diplomatic allies to switch sides as it increases the diplomatic and economic pressure on Tsai's administration. China has refused to renounce using force to gain control over Taiwan if it were deemed necessary.