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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on September 5, 2014

Q: On September 4, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office responded to the decision made by the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress on the selection of the Hong Kong Chief Executive by universal suffrage. What is China's comment on that?

A: We have clarified our principles and positions on the issue of Hong Kong's constitutional reform on multiple occasions. The British side also pledged that they had no intention of interfering in Hong Kong's constitutional reform. However, the statement contains something that obviously run counter to their pledge, with the attempt to exert influence on the process of Hong Kong's constitutional reform, with which China expresses strong dissatisfaction.

I want to stress again that Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China. Hong Kong's affairs, including its constitutional reform, fall within China's domestic affairs. No foreign country has the right to make improper comments or interfere in any way. We hope the British side can truly respect China's sovereignty and relevant positions, stick to their commitment and immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong's affairs.

Q: An aide to Dalai said that the South Africa government will not issue visa to Dalai because it would disturb relations between China and South Africa. What is China's comment on that?

A: Dalai is a political exile that has long been engaged in activities overseas that undermine China's sovereignty, territorial integrity and sabotage China's national unity under the guise of religion. China firmly opposes Dalai's separatist activities overseas in any capacity and under any pretext.

China highly commends the firm support that the government of South Africa has shown to China on issues regarding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, which we believe is implied in the comprehensive and strategic partnership between China and South Africa. We believe that South Africa will stick with their right stance on these matters.

Q: Media reports said that China has cancelled President Xi Jinping's visit to Pakistan out of security concerns. Can you confirm that?

A: China and Pakistan are friendly neighbors enjoying all-weather friendship and comprehensive cooperation. We have maintained close high-level exchanges. Both sides are in close communication on the next step of such exchanges. It is worth pointing out that we have never released any information about President Xi's visit to Pakistan officially. So, there is no basis to say we are about to cancel anything.

As for the current security situation in Pakistan, we hope relevant parties in Pakistan can work together while bearing in mind the fundamental interests of the state and the people, and jointly safeguard national security.

Q: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit is due shortly. The resolution adopted earlier shows that the SCO can open its membership to new members, especially observer states. Does China believe that the SCO will expand its membership during this summit?

A: The SCO is playing an increasingly important role in safeguarding regional security and stability, promoting regional cooperation, especially that among member states, and common development. The international community attaches great importance to this organization, and some countries have expressed their willingness to join it, or enhance their contact, engagement and cooperation with it, which we believe gives full proof to the vitality and appeal of the SCO. The SCO needs further development, and member states will have serious discussions on this during the Dushanbe summit in Tajikistan. We hope these discussions, especially on setting relevant rules and regulations and absorbing new members, can make positive progress. The SCO also stands ready to continue to enhance its exchanges and cooperation with other international organizations and relevant countries.

Q: The European Central Bank has announced its decision on September 4 to cut the euro-zone interest rate and purchase securities. What is China's reaction to that?

A: I would refer you to competent authorities on relevant specifics. What I want to say is that the European Union is an important global economic entity. It shoulders important responsibility in driving global economic recovery and growth. We hope the EU can bear in mind global sustainable growth and adopt responsible and correct monetary policies .

I also want to point out that when the EU was hit by sovereign debt crisis, other countries offered support and help to the EU. Such a spirit of pulling together in times of trouble should be passed on.

Qin Gang announced at the end of the press conference:

In accordance with the holiday arrangements for the Mid-Autumn Day, the regular press conference of the Foreign Ministry will be adjourned on September 8 (Monday), and resumed on September 9 (Tuesday). During the recess, journalists can raise questions to the Foreign Ministry's Spokesperson's Office by phone. I wish everyone a happy holiday.

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