Taiwan is taking military precautions in the face of Chinese maneuvers. Meanwhile, the new President Lai Ching-te is calling on Beijing to exercise restraint.

Taiwan mobilized its troops on Thursday and put them on heightened alert in response to China’s military exercises. As the AP news agency reports, Taiwan launched its jets and put its sea and land units and missile defense systems on alert.

The Chinese government had said the exercises were a punishment for separatist forces seeking independence. China considers Taiwan part of its national territory and allows People’s Liberation Army warships and planes to enter the Taiwan Strait and other areas around the island almost daily. The intent is to exhaust Taiwan’s defenses and intimidate its people who are defending their de facto independence.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said China’s “irrational provocations have threatened regional peace.” The agency stressed that while Taiwan does not seek conflict, it will not shy away from it.

Taiwan’s new president, Lai Ching-te, called on Beijing to end its military intimidation in his inaugural speech on Monday. He vowed to “neither give in nor provoke” the Chinese mainland’s communist leadership.

The opposition Nationalist Party, generally considered pro-China, also condemned Beijing’s actions. The nationalists called on “the opposite side of the Taiwan Strait to exercise restraint, refrain from unnecessary maneuvers, avoid conflict in the Taiwan Strait and appreciate the results of peace and development between the sides.”