Under a deal signed with Britain ahead of the 1997 handover, China agreed to let Hong Kong keep certain freedoms and autonomy for 50 years.
Protests over the last decade have been fuelled by fears those freedoms are being prematurely curtailed, something Beijing denies.
Analysts say the space for dissent has rapidly diminished in the last year.
"I don't think the passion has subsided much, but the problem is that many actions are now not allowed in the current circumstances," Leung Kai-chi, an analyst at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told AFP.
Beyond a withdrawal of the extradition bill, the protest movement's core demands -- such as universal suffrage and an inquiry into police tactics -- have been rejected by the city's leadership and Beijing.
Instead, China has unveiled plans to impose a more sweeping law -- one that will bypass the city's legislature entirely -- banning subversion, secession, terrorism and foreign interference.
China says an anti-subversion law will only target "a small minority" and will restore business confidence.
Opponents fear the law will bring mainland-style political oppression to the business hub. Anti-subversion laws are routinely used on the mainland to stamp out dissent.
"First (Beijing) loses the hearts and minds of Hong Kong's people and then it seeks to force them to be loyal," said Kong Tsung-gan, an activist who has published three books on the protest movement.
Over the last year, around 9,000 people have been arrested and more than
500 people have been charged with rioting, which would face up to 10 years in jail if convicted.
Two prominent activists had their charges upgraded to rioting on Tuesday for entering the city's legislature when it was broken into by protesters last July.
The protest movement was already on the back foot before emergency coronavirus laws banned gatherings of more than eight people.
Still, demonstrations have bubbled up again since the security law plans were announced -- including tens of thousands defying a ban on a June 4 gathering to mark the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown. (AFP)