Chinese authorities have ruled out open nominations for elections to choose Hong Kong’s leader.
Authorities said two to three candidates will be nominated by a “broadly representative” committee.
The decision is expected to limit the selection of candidates to pro-Beijing figures.
The pro-democracy Occupy Central movement says it will launch a sit-in in the city’s central business district in protest.
The election for Hong Kong’s chief executive is due in 2017 and will be the first time the holder of the post is directly chosen by voters.
The Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress said in its decision that while the election would represent “historic progress”, “the sovereignty, security and development interests of the country are at stake,” and therefore “there is a need to proceed in a prudent and steady manner”.
The pro-democracy Occupy Central movement condemned the decision, saying it had “dashed people’s hopes for change and will intensify conflicts in the society”.
“We are very sorry to say that today all chances of dialogue have been exhausted and the occupation of Central will definitely happen,” the group said.