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The Ministry of State Security (MSS or Guóānbù; Chinese: 国家安全部; pinyin: Guójiā Ānquán Bù; lit. 'State Security Ministry'; IPA: [kwǒ.tɕjá án.tɕʰɥɛ̌n pû]) is the principal civilian intelligence, security and secret police agency of the People's Republic of China, responsible for foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, and the political security of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). One of the largest and most secretive intelligence organizations in the world, it is headquartered in the Haidian District of Beijing, with powerful semi-autonomous branches at the provincial, city, municipality and township levels throughout China.
Guójiā Ānquán Bù
|1 July 1983; 40 years ago (1983-07-01)
|Constituent Department of the State Council
|People's Republic of China including Hong Kong and Macau
|Yidongyuan compound, No. 100 Xiyuan, Haidian District, Beijing, China
|"Serve the people firmly and purely, reassure the party, be willing to contribute, be able to fight hard and win"
|Deputy Ministers responsible
|Central National Security Commission
Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission
|State Security Ministry
The origins of the MSS begin with the CCP's Central Special Branch, better known as the Teke, which was replaced by the Central Social Affairs Department (SAD) in 1936, which was in turn succeeded by the Central Investigation Department (CID) – the MSS's immediate predecessor – in 1955. In 1983 CID was merged with the counterintelligence elements of the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) to create the MSS.
The MSS is active in industrial and cyber espionage, where it has replaced the People's Liberation Army (PLA) as the country's most sophisticated and prolific advanced persistent threat actor. It makes arrests through its own component of the People's Police, and maintains the authority to conduct its own extrajudicial court hearings.
The ministry is also be known to be involved in transnational repression, organized crime, surveillance and harassment of dissidents abroad and influence operations targeting overseas Chinese diaspora in collaboration with the United Front Work Department.
Today the agency is estimated to have at least 110,000 employees, with 10,000 directly attached to MSS headquarters and 100,000 spread across its dozens of provincial branches. The agency's military intelligence counterpart is the PLA Intelligence Bureau of the Joint Staff Department.
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