Taiwan's main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) said on Wednesday it has chosen New Taipei City Mayor Hou Yu-ih to be its presidential candidate for the key vote in early 2024.

The KMT, which traditionally favors closer ties with China, said the decision was made based on unspecified "scientific data" and by senior party members.

The run up to the election on Jan. 13 is taking place at a time of increased tensions between Taipei and Beijing, which has staged regular military exercises near Taiwan to assert its sovereignty claims over the democratically governed island despite Taiwan's strong objections.