TAIPEI, Jan 1 (Reuters) - Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Sunday offered to provide China with "necessary assistance" to help it deal with a surge in COVID-19 cases, but said Chinese military activities near the island were not beneficial to peace and stability.
Tsai, in her traditional new year message, delivered at the presidential office, said everyone had seen the rise in cases in China, which views Taiwan as its own territory and has ramped up military pressure to assert those claims.
Taiwan and China have repeatedly sparred over their respective measures to control the spread of COVID.
China had criticised Taiwan for ineffective management of the pandemic after soaring domestic infections last year, while Taiwan has accused China of a lack of transparency and trying to interfere with vaccine supplies to Taiwan, which Beijing has denied.
Tsai reiterated a call for dialogue with China, saying war was not an option to resolve problems.
China staged war games near the island in August after then-U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei, and those military activities have continued.
Tsai has repeatedly said she wants talks and peace with China but that Taiwan will defend itself if attacked and that only its 23 million people can decide their future. »