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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on April 16, 2015

Q: The US Commerce Secretary told Chinese officials today in Shanghai that a free and open Internet is essential in the 21st century. What is China's response to this?

A: China's Internet is free, open and orderly. China is home to nearly 700 million netizens, as well as Internet giants such as Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba. The Internet has injected great vitality to China's economic and social development. Meanwhile it is justifiable for China, as a sovereign state, to manage the Internet in accordance with the law, in a bid to safeguard the just and legitimate rights and interests of citizens and companies and make sure that the Internet belongs to each and all of us.

Q: With regard to a saying that it is only up to the Dalai Lama to decide his reincarnation matters, does China have anything to say on this?

A: There are the Regulations on Religious Affairs and the Rules on the Management of Reincarnation of Tibetan Living Buddhas enacted by the Chinese government. Currently matters concerning the reincarnation of the living Buddhas are handled smoothly following religious rituals and domestic laws and regulations.

The living Buddha reincarnation system of the Dalai Lama has been honored for hundreds of years with a complete set of religious rituals and historical conventions. The reincarnation of the Dalai Lama should also abide by religious rituals, historical conventions and domestic laws and regulations.

After the press conference, the following question was raised: According to media reports, violent attacks against foreigners took place in a number of cities in South Africa, and some Chinese-owned shops were looted. Please brief us on what the Chinese side has done.

Spokesperson Hong Lei said that many places in South Africa were hit by riots recently. Shops owned by foreign nationals were smashed and looted, and some Chinese-owned shops suffered damages. The Chinese diplomatic and consular missions in South Africa have visited those Chinese citizens affected and lodged representations with the local police, asking them to take prompt and effective measures to guarantee the personnel and property security of Chinese citizens there. The Chinese diplomatic and consular missions in South Africa have also repeatedly issued warnings through various channels, advising Chinese citizens and companies in South Africa to step up security precautions. The Chinese Foreign Ministry and the diplomatic and consular missions in South Africa will closely monitor the developments there and take active steps to safeguard the security and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens in South Africa.

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