BEIJING, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- China on Tuesday welcomed the election of Catherine Samba-Panza as interim president of the Central African Republic (CAR), hailing it as an important opportunity to improve the country's situation.
"Under the new interim leadership, we expect concerned sides in the country to take substantial measures to safeguard social stability out of the fundamental interests of the nation and people," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular press briefing.
He called on all parties in the country to strive for national unity, improve domestic security and the humanitarian situation so as to establish a sound environment for political transition and national reconstruction.
The Central African state has suffered from coups and rebellions in the past few years, especially since March 2013, when the rebel group Seleka Alliance ousted President Francois Bozize.
"China will, within its own capability, work with the international community to assist the country in its efforts for peace, security and development," Hong said.
Samba-Panza is the first woman elected to the top post of the country since its independence in 1960.
Upon election, the new president is expected to appoint a prime minister, who is to form a government of national unity.
Criticized for their inability to end the violence that plunged the country into security and humanitarian chaos, ex-Transition President Michel Djotodia and his Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye were forced to resign on Jan. 10.