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.