Largest Hong Kong teachers’ union disbands amid crackdown

Aug 9, 2021, 11:39 AM | Updated: Aug 10, 2021, 6:12 pm
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during a press conference in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Aug. 1...

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during a press conference in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021. Lam said Tuesday she supports implementing an anti-foreign sanctions law in the semi-autonomous city, calling the law a “countermeasure” against the sanctioning of national organizations and Hong Kong officials. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

(AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

              Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during a press conference in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021. Lam said Tuesday she supports implementing an anti-foreign sanctions law in the semi-autonomous city, calling the law a “countermeasure” against the sanctioning of national organizations and Hong Kong officials. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
            
              People walk past the entrance of the Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021. The pro-democracy Professional Teachers' Union, the city's largest single-industry trade union comprising of 95,000 members, said it had disbanded as the "social and political environment has changed in recent years." (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s largest teachers’ union said it disbanded Tuesday due to the changing political climate, as the government continues its crackdown on dissent in the city.

The Hong Kong government cut ties with the pro-democracy union last week and accused it of spreading anti-Beijing and anti-government sentiment. The split came hours after Chinese state media called the union a “malignant tumor” that should be eradicated.

The Professional Teachers’ Union is the city’s largest single-industry trade union, with 95,000 members.

“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 union said in a statement Tuesday.

It said it would stop accepting new members and refund renewals submitted by current members. It will also lay off 200 staff members and dispose of its assets, and will soon halt its medical center services and welfare centers that sold discounted goods to members.

The closure of the teachers’ union is the latest fallout from efforts by Hong Kong authorities to stamp out dissent in the city. Over the past two years, numerous political groups and the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily have ceased operations over concerns that they would be targeted under a sweeping national security law imposed by Beijing last year following months of anti-government protests that at times descended into violence. Over 100 pro-democracy figures have been arrested under the law.

Critics have slammed the crackdown on dissent, saying the former British colony is losing the freedoms it was promised when it was handed over to Chinese control in 1997.

This year, Hong Kong changed its election laws to reduce the number of directly elected lawmakers and give a largely pro-Beijing committee the leeway to nominate lawmakers aligned with Beijing.

Separately, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam expressed support Tuesday for legislation allowing retaliatory sanctions after the U.S. and other Western governments punished city officials over the crackdown on democracy activists.

Lam said the anti-foreign sanctions law should be adopted in Hong Kong via local legislation, rather than imposed by Beijing, and that she has told the Chinese government about her views.

Lam’s support for the adoption of the anti-sanctions law in Hong Kong came after China implemented a broad anti-sanctions law in June. Anyone hit with retaliatory sanctions could be subject to visa restrictions, have their assets seized or frozen and be banned from doing business with any Chinese company or individual in China.

The law comes after the U.S. slapped sanctions on dozens of Chinese and Hong Kong officials — including Lam — over their role in suppressing Hong Kong’s autonomy.

“There are external forces, or foreign governments or Western media, which would make use of the opportunity to weaken our international financial center status as well as a weakening confidence in Hong Kong,” Lam said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron stand on the stage during a State Arrival ...
Associated Press

To boost Georgia’s Warnock, Biden heads to Massachusetts

WASHINGTON (AP) — To help Democrats win their 51st Senate seat in a Georgia runoff election, President Joe Biden is headed to … Massachusetts? Days before polls close on Tuesday, Biden still has no plans to visit Georgia. Instead he’ll aim to help Sen. Raphael Warnock’s reelection campaign from afar with appearances Friday at a […]
22 hours ago
An emciated sheep walks on the dry bed of the Cconchaccota lagoon in the Apurimac region of Peru, F...
Associated Press

Lagoon dries up as drought grips Peru’s southern Andes

CCONCHACCOTA, Peru (AP) — From her home under the baking sun of Peru’s southern Andes, Vilma Huamaní can see the small Cconchaccota lagoon, the axis of her community’s life. It has been a source of trout, fun for children eager to swim, beauty as flamingos flew from over the mountains and water for thirsty sheep. […]
22 hours ago
File - Construction continues on a new wing of the American Museum of Natural History, the Richard ...
Associated Press

Jobs report to show whether hiring is slowing as Fed wants

WASHINGTON (AP) — When the government issues the November jobs report on Friday, it could provide clarity on whether hiring and pay growth are gradually cooling — a trend that the Federal Reserve sees as vital in its fight against high inflation. In a closely watched speech Wednesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell pointed to a […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

Today in History: December 2, Senate condemns McCarthy

Today in History Today is Friday, Dec. 2, the 336th day of 2022. There are 29 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Dec. 2, 1954, the U.S. Senate passed, 67-22, a resolution condemning Republican Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin, saying he had “acted contrary to senatorial ethics and tended to […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

UN: Iraq Christians were victims of Islamic State war crimes

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Evidence collected in Iraq strengthens preliminary findings that Islamic State extremists committed crimes against humanity and war crimes against the Christian community after it seized about a third of the country in 2014, a U.N. investigative team said in a report circulated Thursday. The report to the U.N. Security Council said […]
22 hours ago
A flyer seeking information about the killings of four University of Idaho students who were found ...
Rebecca Boone, Associated Press

Victims’ families urge love, kindness as Idaho campus mourns

As hundreds of students mourned together inside the University of Idaho’s stadium Wednesday night, family members of four slain classmates urged them to raise their eyes from grief and focus on love and the future.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Largest Hong Kong teachers’ union disbands amid crackdown