The Chinese government said on Tuesday it was placing "great emphasis" on the relationship with India and wanted ties "to move forward", when asked how it viewed the impact of the on-going elections in India on bilateral relations. Beijing also said it hoped India's elections "carry on smoothly".
"We hope the bilateral relationship can move forward and bring more benefits to peoples of the two countries and bring common development," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said at a regular press briefing, when asked how China viewed the elections in India.
"China," he added, "has put great emphasis on the China-India relationship and our relationship needs to feature peace and common development".
Mr. Hong said the Chinese government "hope[s] India's elections can carry on smoothly".
On Monday, as Assam and Tripura went to the polls, China's official Xinhua news agency said in an article that India's northeastern states were "the most neglected region". It also identified "Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland" besides the two States that voted on Monday as part of India's northeast, leaving out Arunachal Pradesh which China has territorial claims on.
Asked how China viewed the Lok Sabha elections and State Assembly polls that will be held in Arunachal Pradesh on Wednesday, Mr. Hong only said, "As for territorial disputes you mentioned, our position is clear".
This week, United States Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, who is visiting China following a trip to Japan, called on Beijing to shoulder more responsibilities as "a great power" and to refrain from intimidating its neighbours, amid a number of festering boundary disputes involving China.
While India and China have recently managed to keep boundary differences under control, with both countries earlier this year holding the 17th round of talks on the border, China's relations with Japan and the Philippines have been strained over disputes over islands in the East and South China Seas.
Mr. Hong, however, rejected Mr. Hagel's suggestion that China was intimidating its neighbours, saying it was Beijing's intention to "foster good neighbourliness and partnerships with our neighbours".
"We will never violate other countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said, "and will not allow other countries to violate China's sovereignty and territorial integrity".