China on Tuesday underlined its role in South Asia, saying that as an "important member" of Asia it is willing to work with India for peace and stability in the sub-continent.
Seeking to downplay the purported remarks of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that Beijing "would like to have a
foothold in South Asia," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu said China is committed to safeguarding peace and stability of Asia, including South Asia.
"I would like to say that China is one of the important members of Asia and we are committed to safeguarding peace and
stability of Asia, including South Asia, with other countries to seek common development and this is in the common
interest of all of us," she told a media briefing here.
Her remarks came in response to a question on Singh's purported remarks in New Delhi yesterday.
Jiang also said China and India as emerging powers could work together for the common development of both the
"China and India as neighbours and newly emerging powers, good neighbourliness and friendship in pursuit of common
development serve the common interests of both the parties," she said.
"We are willing to see a peaceful, stable and prosperous South Asia and we are willing to work on the basis of the five principles of peaceful coexistence to work along with South Asian countries, including India, to develop good
neighbourliness and cooperation," she said.