The risk of accidental conflict is rising because of tension in the South China Sea and around Taiwan and communication must be maintained to reduce the risk of miscalculation, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Thursday.

Democratic Taiwan, claimed by Beijing as “sacred” Chinese territory, has complained of Chinese military activities near the island, in what it says in an attempt to force Taiwan to accept Chinese sovereignty.

The United States and China have also been conducting military exercises near Taiwan and in the disputed South China Sea.

“The risk of conflict requires careful management by all the parties concerned. We expect and hope that Beijing will continue to exercise restraint consistent with their obligations as a major regional power,” Tsai told a forum organised by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Relations between China and the United States are widely seen to be at their worst point in decades, with deepening mistrust and friction over the novel coronavirus, U.S. accusations of unfair trade practices, and disputes over Hong Kong, the South China Sea and Taiwan.

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