Aug 10, 2021 - World

Hong Kong's largest teachers' union disbands amid crackdown on dissent

President of the Hong Kong Professional Teachers Union Fung Wai-wah (C) speaks at a press conference in Hong Kong on August 10, 2021,
President of the Hong Kong Professional Teachers Union Fung Wai-wah (C) speaks at a press conference in Hong Kong on Aug. 10, 2021,

Hong Kong's largest teachers' union said Tuesday it had disbanded amid the government's crackdown on dissent in the city, AP reported.

Why it matters: The union's split is the latest pro-democracy group to close its doors amid concerns that it would be targeted under the sweeping security law passed in Beijing last year.

  • Over 100 pro-democracy individuals have been arrested under the security law, per AP.

The big picture: Hong Kong's government distanced itself from the pro-democracy teachers' union last week and alleged that it spread anti-Beijing and anti-government sentiment, per AP.

  • Hours before the split, Chinese state media called the union a "malignant tumor" that should be eliminated.

Driving the news: "Regrettably, the changes in the social and political environment in recent years have forced us to think about the way forward, and some recent rapid developments have also put us under tremendous pressure," the Professional Teachers’ Union said in a statement Tuesday, per AP.

  • The union — the city's largest single industry trade union with 95,000 members — will stop accepting new members and issue refunds for current members.
  • Additionally, the union will lay off 200 staff members and eventually stop offering medical services and will close its welfare centers.

Go deeper: Beijing's national security law takes a toll in Hong Kong

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