China’s ruling Communist Party signaled that it is moving swiftly to bring Hong Kong under its full control, with a top official saying Thursday that Beijing plans to alter the system that has allowed the territory to enjoy a level of autonomy for the past 23 years.

After steadily eroding Hong Kong’s political freedoms and independent legal system, the party appears to be preparing to change the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, which sets out rights unavailable in mainland China, such as freedom of assembly and the press…

Local media in Hong Kong, including the South China Morning Post, reported Thursday that Beijing will pass a comprehensive national security law in Hong Kong by fiat, bypassing the city’s legislature and chief executive.

The law, which will target subversive activity, appears to be a tailored response to last year’s pro-democracy uprising – which Beijing blamed on secessionist forces and foreign influence. The unrest was sparked by a government proposal to allow extraditions to mainland China, but grew into a broader rebellion calling for full democracy and opposing China’s efforts to chip away at Hong Kong’s firewall with the mainland.