Chinese authorities see U.S. consulates as “hostile forces” that conduct “infiltration and sabotage” activities on Chinese soil and have ordered officials to monitor key U.S. diplomats, according to a leaked document obtained by The Epoch Times. At a time when bilateral relations hit a historical low, the document from Leizhou city of China’s southeastern Guangdong Province offers a rare glimpse into how the Chinese regime deals with American diplomats. In a four-page “work plan” dated April 2018, the Leizhou Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Bureau described the “U.S. and other Western consulates in China” as key targets that could threaten the region’s political and social stability. All departments and units within the bureau must work to counter such influences, by effectively “blocking [the consulates] from establishing connections with key [Chinese]…
The city’s retail, hospitality and personal care traders may have to wait another two weeks before opening their doors.
Under the state government’s latest plan, all metropolitan Melbourne retailers can resume trading from 11.59pm on Nov. 1.
Hospitality venues will be able to seat up to 20 indoor customers and up to 50 outdoor patrons subject to density limits, while beauty and personal care services can also open.
But Andrews also dangled a carrot, flagging that the changes might be brought forward to next Sunday if case numbers remain low.
“If we enjoy these freedoms but do it in a COVIDSafe way, the things I have announced today … there is every chance that we are able to bring the first of November deadline forward,” he told reporters on Sunday.
Even so, Melbourne’s Chapel Street Precinct traders reacted in “a cloud of anger” at the prospect of being left waiting.
“We call on Dan to lift restrictions now and not make us wait for more harrowing days,”聽the association’s chair Justin O’Donnell said in a statement.
“We are below the recommended national number for easing restrictions and are now below the NSW (New South Wales) daily numbers and they are open for business and we are not.
“Our businesses should not be forced to suffer one more day of forced closures.”
Victoria Tourism Industry Council chief executive Felicia Mariani said聽the industry was on track to lose $23 billion (US$16.2 billion) in visitor spending at a cost of 165,000 jobs.
“Businesses large and small were hoping for a lifeline of income from the upcoming (AFL) grand final and Melbourne Cup long weekends,” she said.
“These are peak periods that, yet again, the industry will lose.”
Melbourne’s pubs and hotels were also left bitterly disappointed at the further delays.
Australian Hotels Association’s Victorian branch president David Canny labelled the indoor patron limit “unrealistic and unviable” for Melbourne publicans.
“Pubs are accumulating debt at an alarming rate under ongoing forced COVID shutdown of the industry,” he said.
“I fear a number of local pubs might not survive with costs amounting to almost $10,000 per week ($250,000 over the lockdown period), and up to $25,000 per week for larger pubs.”
Modelling has previously estimated the聽lockdown costs Victoria’s economy about $1 billion a week.
The premier said the upcoming state budget would outline the scale of the damage to businesses and how the government intends fixing it.
By Callum Godde
Focus News: Melbourne Businesses Disappointed by Ongoing Delay to Reopen
While the COVID-19 pandemic is still ravaging the world, a series of tuberculosis (TB) outbreaks at a major Chinese university was revealed via social media posts and local media reports. The Epoch Times has also interviewed a few students and obtained internal government documents that indicate local authorities attempted to cover up the TB epidemic. Tuberculosis is a respiratory infectious disease that usually causes lung infection. Those with latent TB infection do not have symptoms. Without proper treatment in time, 10 percent of patients with latent infection will progress to active TB, with a fatality rate of 50 percent, according to the World Health Organization. Jiangsu Normal University Conceals TB Cases Jiangsu Normal University issued a notice on the evening of Oct. 14, stating that from Oct. 10 to 11,…