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Prominent exiled Chinese dissident Wu'er Kaixi announces bid for Taiwanese parliament seat

FILE - In this June 4, 2014, photo, former student leader in the protests of 1989, Wu'er Kaixi, speaks in front of a mock Tiananmen Square backdrop during a vigil in Taipei, Taiwan, to mark the 25th anniversary of the June 4th Chinese military crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Beijing. Prominent exiled Chinese dissident Wu'er Kaixi announced his candidacy Friday, July 24, 2015, for a seat in Taiwan's parliament, saying he wants to serve as a check on the ruling Nationalist Party and help shore up the island's global status. (AP Photo/Wally Santana, File)

FILE - In this June 4, 2014, photo, former student leader in the protests of 1989, Wu'er Kaixi, speaks in front of a mock Tiananmen Square backdrop during a vigil in Taipei, Taiwan, to mark the 25th anniversary of the June 4th Chinese military crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Beijing. Prominent exiled Chinese dissident Wu'er Kaixi announced his candidacy Friday, July 24, 2015, for a seat in Taiwan's parliament, saying he wants to serve as a check on the ruling Nationalist Party and help shore up the island's global status. (AP Photo/Wally Santana, File)  (The Associated Press)

Prominent exiled Chinese dissident Wu'er Kaixi has announced his candidacy for a seat in Taiwan's parliament.

The former co-leader of 1989 student-led pro-democracy protests centered on Beijing's Tiananmen Square said Friday he was running on a platform of social justice, environmental protection and a strengthened Taiwanese identity.

Wu'er says he would take a tougher approach to Taiwan's relations with mainland China, from which the island split in 1949 and remains locked in a tense rivalry for international recognition.

Wu'er fled China after the military crushed the 1989 protests, killing hundreds, and has been unable to return home since. He married a Taiwanese woman and settled on the island in 1996.

China's authoritarian communist government says its crackdown on the protests was necessary to maintain order and contain unrest.