In its first comment on the row over disparaging remarks of two Bharatiya Janata Party spokespersons on Prophet Muhammad, China on Monday said it was important to “abandon arrogance and prejudice”, PTI reported.

Chinese spokesperson Wang Wenbin made the comment at a press briefing.

“...[It is] important to deepen recognition and understanding of one’s own civilisation and differences from other civilisations and promote dialogue and harmonious co-existence,” he said. “China believes that different civilisations and different religions should respect each other and co-exist on an equal footing.”

BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma had made controversial remarks about the Prophet during a debate on the Times Now television channel on May 26. Naveen Jindal, who was media head of the party’s Delhi unit, had also posted a tweet on June 1 about the Prophet, which he later deleted.

The BJP took no action against the leaders until June 5, when several Muslim-majority countriessummoned Indian envoys to officially condemn the statements. The BJP then suspended Sharma and expelled Jindal.

On Friday, protests broke out in several parts of India against the comments. The demonstrations turned violent and some places and hundreds of protestors have been arrested since then.

On Monday, Wang said that Beijing has taken note of the diplomatic outrage against New Delhi and the protests in India. “We hope that the relevant incident can be properly managed,” he said at the press briefing.