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Police Arrest 17 Anti-Lockdown Protesters In Melbourne

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Over a dozen of anti-lockdown protesters were arrested Saturday in Melbourne, as those deliberately flouting stay-at-home orders clashed with Australian police.

Ignoring official warnings and public health orders, several hundred people gathered at an illegal protest — promoted by several virus-related conspiracy theory groups online — calling for an end to lockdown measures.

A huge police presence responded, arresting 17 as the crowd chanted “freedom” and “scam” towards lines of officers who repeatedly attempted to move people on.

Two protesters were seen raising their arms in a Nazi salute at officers and yelling “Heil Dan”, comparing the state of Victoria’s premier Daniel Andrews to Adolf Hitler, while standing on the forecourt of the Shrine of Remembrance — a war memorial which partly commemorates Australians killed fighting in World War II.

Demonstrators moved to a nearby park before being surrounded by police and eventually dispersing.

Officers said they issued 160 fines for breaching health orders and were expecting to hand out more in the coming days.

Several attendees told AFP they were protesting the government’s response to the pandemic, which has killed more than 865,000 people around the world, labelling it overblown or an outright “scam”.

“We are in a city where the cure from Daniel Andrews is actually worse than what’s happening,” protester Fiona Kat said.

The “Freedom Day” events were largely promoted by several loosely-connected groups online that espouse anti-vaccination and virus-related conspiracy theories.

Rallies were also held around the country, with 14 people arrested at protests in Sydney and Byron Bay.

Despite Victoria’s second wave, Australia has dealt relatively well with the virus allowing the rest of the country to roll back restrictions.

The nation has recorded over 26,200 cases and 748 deaths in a population of 25 million.

Before the protest, Victorian premier Andrews told people to stay home and warned the gathering could jeopardise a path out of lockdown, which is expected to be outlined on Sunday.

“It is not safe, it is not smart, it is not lawful,” he told media.

“In fact, it is absolutely selfish.”

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Xi Says CPC is the ‘Strong Force’ to Lead Chinese People Forward

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The past 110 years have proven that the Communist Party of China (CPC) is the “strong force” to lead the Chinese people to realize national rejuvenation, President Xi Jinping said at a meeting in Beijing on Saturday marking the 110th anniversary of the 1911 Revolution.

“The Party was chosen to lead by history and by the people… Without the Communist Party there would be no new China and no national rejuvenation,” said Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

The 1911 Revolution, or Xinhai Revolution, overthrew the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and put an end to the absolute monarchy in China.

The history of the Xinhai Revolution began with the Wuchang Uprising, an armed rebellion against the Qing Dynasty rulers that broke out on October 10, 1911 in what is today’s Wuchang District, Wuhan City, in central China’s Hubei Province.

The Revolution marked a historic step, leading to the establishment of the Republic of China (1912-1949) and ensuing social changes in the country.

The People’s Republic of China was then founded in 1949.

On Saturday, Xi said that “socialism with Chinese characteristics has proven to be the only correct path” to realize national rejuvenation.

“On the journey ahead, we must uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, keep adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of our times, remain firmly committed to our aspiration and our path, and make sure the future of China’s development remains firmly in our own hands,” he said.

Xi added that “the Chinese people must rely on our own heroic efforts” to achieve national rejuvenation. “Never has history taken a peaceful or tranquil course; it has always advanced amid setbacks and difficulties.”

He quoted late Chinese leader Mao Zedong, who said: “Our forefathers never stopped waging unyielding struggles against domestic and foreign oppressors… By our own indomitable efforts, we the Chinese people will unswervingly reach our goal.”

Xi called on China to “seize the opportunities that the era has offered” in a world that is “undergoing momentous changes of a kind not seen in a century.”

“Through courage and skill, we will overcome all major risks and challenges that may impede our path to national rejuvenation and resolutely safeguard our national sovereignty, security and development interests.”

Xi urged that “the Chinese people and the nation must stick together through good times and bad and rely on our strong unity to overcome all risks and challenges on the road ahead.”

He noted that a united people with a great spirit of patriotism has always been “an important instrument that has allowed the CPC to rally the people’s support and pool their strength” for all endeavors.

He also pointed out that both “a stable and united domestic environment” and “a peaceful and stable international environment” are required to achieve national rejuvenation. “Our people hope to successfully realize national development, but they also hope to see all peoples of the world leading happy and peaceful lives,” he said.

“On the journey ahead, China will always fly the flag of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, strive to promote the building of a human community with a shared future, and endeavor to improve the global governance system,” Xi said.

In his speech, Xi also reiterated that the Taiwan question will be resolved as national rejuvenation becomes a reality. “This is determined by the general trend of Chinese history, but more importantly, it is the common will of all Chinese people.”

“National reunification by peaceful means best serves the interests of the Chinese nation as a whole, including our compatriots in Taiwan,” he said.

Xi called on compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits to “stand on the right side of history and join hands to achieve China’s complete reunification and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”

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CMG: Continue to Support Taiwan Entertainers to Perform on the Chinese Mainland

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The gala celebrating the National Day of China broadcast by China Media Group (CMG) has received a warm response at home and abroad. Many entertainers from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan regions performed on stage with their mainland counterparts, presenting a high quality gala.

In response to the recent threats against actors and actresses by some media in Taiwan, the spokesperson for the Culture and Art Program Center of the China Media Group has replied as follows:

“At every major festival of China, the China Media Group will produce special programs and invite entertainer from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan to join with those in the mainland to participate in the performances and share the glory of the festival.

Taiwan entertainers participating in the variety shows and other activities are well received by the audience.

In disregard of the facts, some media have frequently threatened, intimidated, and slandered Taiwan entertainers who have contacts with the mainland. We are firmly opposed to this. We reiterate that we welcome entertainers from Taiwan to participate in our programs.”

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Latest Round of Talks Between China and U.S. Concludes in Switzerland

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The latest round of talks between China and the U.S. concluded in Zurich on October 6. Chinese delegates are departing after talks with U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

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