China says it won't get involved in Taiwan's upcoming elections, despite an expected strong showing by the opposition that favors formal independence for the island, which Beijing claims as its own territory.

Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman An Fengshan told reporters Wednesday that Beijing hoped for continued peace and stability between the sides.

He defined relations, however, in terms of those between China's ruling Communist Party and Taiwan's Nationalists, who face an uphill battle in the January elections.

Surveys show the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party's candidate, Tsai Ing-wen, is favored to win the presidency.

The Nationalists fled to Taiwan during the Chinese civil war in 1949, but later reconciled with the Communists over their shared conviction that Taiwan remains a part of Chinese territory despite its separate political status.