A Chinese court has ruled the country’s ban on the sale of alcohol in restaurants, bars and cinemas will be lifted.
The ruling was announced on Thursday, with Chinese President Xi Jinping calling the ban a “national catastrophe”.
The ruling by the High Court of Justice in Beijing, the latest move in a long-running battle over Chinese control over food and culture, comes as China has seen a rise in the number of incidents of violent crime in the country.
The number of reported cases of crimes against foreigners, particularly those from Hong Kong, has increased to more than a thousand a month, the countrys police chief told the state-run Xinhua news agency.
Mr Xi’s government also announced it was lifting a ban on foreign investment in state-owned companies.
In an official statement on Thursday evening, the government said the ruling was a “complete and final victory” for the government, which has had to defend its control over the economy and social behaviour.
“The ban on alcohol in public places will be relaxed in the coming days and will be carried out by the relevant authorities in accordance with the law,” the statement said.
“China has been trying to improve public order and curb the spread of crime for decades.
The ban will also be eased by the authorities in the months to come.”
In September last year, the US imposed sanctions against the Chinese government over a series of human rights violations in the Xinjiang region, including a crackdown on pro-independence protests.
The country’s government said at the time it was imposing sanctions on “the state-controlled enterprises and individuals that perpetrate human rights abuses”.
It was the latest in a series in recent years to see China impose measures on foreign companies in the face of US criticism.
The latest action comes just over a year after Mr Xi launched an “economic war” against the US over the trade disputes that are forcing the two countries to find new trade agreements.
US President Donald Trump had criticised the ban on Chinese food exports, accusing Beijing of “shifting its focus” away from food production and into its military and security operations.
The Chinese government responded by saying the ban was being used to “control the world”.
“The government’s actions have already had an impact on the country, the economy, the people and social order,” said the foreign ministry.
“It’s the first time in many years that the government has imposed restrictions on food exports.
We will continue to implement appropriate measures to combat the situation and keep the international community informed.”
China is also taking measures to stop the spread and spread of the virus, with the health ministry announcing that there had been more than 8,000 new cases of the coronavirus in the past month.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says the virus has claimed more than 5,400 lives.