China intends to impose new national security laws on Hong Kong, an official confirmed on Thursday.
Potentially sparking new anti-Beijing protests following last year's often violent unrest, Which plunged Hong Kong into its deepest turmoil since it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
Hong Kong media outlets reported the new laws would ban secession and terrorism... And all seditious activities aimed at toppling the central government or foreign interference in the former British colony.
Attempts to impose similar laws in the past have met strong resistance.
Opposition lawmakers said this was the end of Hong Kong as they knew it.
This was Tanya Chan: "Today, I think that it's the saddest day in Hong Kong's history.
It confirms One Country, One System.
It's so clear that it's a huge setback." Activists argue it would erode the city's freedoms and high level of autonomy, guaranteed under its 'one country, two systems' formula.
The official was speaking at a late-night briefing ahead of China's annual parliamentary session, which starts on Friday.
Online posts urged people to gather in protest before parliament meets.
Dozens of people have already been seen shouting pro-democracy slogans in shopping malls.
The legislation could also prompt Washington to remove Hong Kong's 'special status'.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has delayed a report assessing whether Hong Kong is still autonomous enough to qualify for that status... To await the outcome of the parliamentary session.