China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said yesterday that China hopes Afghanistan's presidential elections will be a new start for the country's unity and stability.

As Afghanistan's friendly neighbour, China respects the Afghan people' s choice, Hong said in a statement, noting that "China noticed the election is generally smooth."

China hopes relevant sides in Afghanistan will properly handle differences through dialogue so as to realize broad-based and inclusive peace and reconciliation at an early date, he said.

His comments came amid reports that yesterday's polling for Afghanistan's presidential election concluded with a wide participation of voters.


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