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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on June 19, 2015

At the invitation of Vice Chairman Ricardo Cabrisas of the Cuban Council of Ministers and Vice President Michel Temer of Brazil, Vice Premier Wang Yang of the State Council will visit Cuba and Brazil from June 25 to 27, and chair the fourth meeting of China-Brazil High-level Coordination and Cooperation Committee.

Q: On June 18, the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong SAR voted down the proposed electoral reform package for Hong Kong. What is the Foreign Ministry's comment on that? How will it affect the external exchanges of the Hong Kong SAR?

A: The spokesperson of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council has stated fully and clearly the stance of the central government of China on this.

I want to reaffirm that to unswervingly advance Hong Kong's democracy in accordance with the Basic Law and the relevant decision of the NPC Standing Committee and work for the goal of electing its Chief Executive through universal suffrage is not only the longstanding position of the central government of China, but also the common aspiration of Hong Kong compatriots. Both the central government and the SAR government have made tremendous efforts for that. The universal sufferage proposal made by the Hong Kong SAR government is constitutional, lawful, rational and down-to-earth. It has won the support of the majority of Hong Kong residents. Aiming at obstructing the development of democracy in Hong Kong, some legislators voted against the proposal. They should take the historical responsibility for depriving Hong Kong of the important opportunity to elect its Chief Executive through universal suffrage.

"One country, two systems" is a basic state policy of the Chinese government that will be upheld for a long time. The Chinese government will continue to unswervingly adhere to the principles of "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy, support the law-based governance of the Chief Executive and the SAR government, support the gradual and orderly development of democracy in Hong Kong in accordance with the Law and the realization of universal suffrage. We are fully confident about the future of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is an international financial, trade and shipping center. To maintain prosperity and stability of Hong Kong does not only serve China's interests, but the interests of foreign investors as well. The central government of China will continue to support Hong Kong SAR in conducting exchanges and cooperation with foreign countries, and protect foreign countries' interests in Hong Kong according to law. Foreign countries are welcome to maintain and develop their relations with Hong Kong in economy and trade, culture, tourism and other areas. I also want to stress that Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China, the affairs of Hong Kong belong to China's domestic affairs, and no foreign country can interfere.

Q: Given the territorial disputes in the South China Sea, what's China's expectation for the Strategic and Economic Dialogue with the US next week?

A: The seventh round of Strategic and Economic Dialogue and the sixth High-level Consultation on People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges will be held in the US. This is an important event in building a new type of major-country relations between China and the US. We stand ready to work with the US to promote strategic communication, win-win cooperation and people-to-people exchanges through the Dialogue and Consultation so as to furhter advance China-US relations.

We have recently informed the US on multiple occasions of the development regarding China's construction activities on islands and reefs in the South China Sea. I would like to point out that construction activities on some of the Nansha islands and reefs fall within China's sovereignty. The main objective is to better fulfill China's international responsibilities and obligations, provide better services and guarantee in maritime search and rescue, disaster prevention and mitigation and navigation safety. As the Chinese saying goes, just as distance tests a horse's strength, time will prove a person's sincerity. China has been and will always be an important force for regional peace and stability.

Q: During Vice Premier Wang Yang's visit to Cuba and Brazil, which leaders will he meet? What are the major purposes of the visit?

A: Vice Premier Wang Yang will pay a visit to Cuba on June 25. He will hold talks with Vice Chairman Ricardo Cabrisas of the Cuban Council of Ministers, meet other Cuban leaders and exchange views with them on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest. The visit coincides with the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Cuba. We hope this visit will help further strengthen friendship, deepen mutual trust, promote mutually-beneficial cooperation and inject new impetus to the development of China-Cuba relations.

Vice Premier Wang Yang will pay a visit to Brazil from June 26 to 27. During his visit, Vice Premier Wang Yang will co-host the fourth meeting of China-Brazil High-level Coordination and Cooperation Committee with Vice President Michel Temer of Brazil. We hope this visit will intensify high-level exchanges, deepen political mutual trust and advance bilateral practical cooperation in various areas.

Last July, President Xi Jinping paid a successful historic visit to Brazil. This May, Premier Li Keqiang also paid an official visit to Brazil. China stands ready to work with Brazil to fully implement the important consensus reached between leaders of the two countries on the development of China-Brazil relations, and continue to enrich the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Brazil.

The regular press conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be adjourned on Monday, June 22 for the Dragon Boat Festival and resumed on Tuesday, June 23. During the adjournment, correspondents may raise questions to the Spokesperson's Office by telephone.

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