Hong Kong leader John Lee said Wednesday that the semiautonomous city would create its own national security law in 2024, four years after Beijing imposed sweeping legislation aimed at silencing dissent.

Massive pro-democracy protests rocked the finance hub in 2019, bringing hundreds of thousands of people to the streets to call for greater freedoms and more autonomy from mainland China.

In response, Beijing imposed a national security law to punish four major crimes — secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces — with sentences ranging up to life in prison.