The core functions of China’s MPS include intelligence, public order, border management, cybersecurity, and international security cooperation. These efforts align closely with national security priorities, ensuring both internal stability and global partnerships.

Intelligence and Counterintelligence

The Ministry of Public Security of China is in charge of the country’s national security. The Ministry’s functions in the realm of intelligence and counterintelligence are crucial because they focus on serving the final goal of identifying and neutralizing the threats to the state’s stability and security.

Gathering Intelligence on Security Threats

One measure is the undertaking extensive intelligence and counterintelligence operations using all means and opportunities offered by its vast network. This network is supported by cutting-edge technology and specialists. For example, it has become known that MPS employs several advanced technologies in the surveillance of public areas and cyber spaces. According to reports, of particularly high value in controlling the public is AI in combination with facial recognition to identify and collect data important to MPS and possibly the Communist party.

An example of MPS’s intelligence and surveillance activity can be seen in its operations surrounding the Shanghai Cooperation Organization held last June. The deployed measures included thorough monitoring and intelligence gathering and sharing that resulted in no attacks on the high ranked national figures that attended the event.

Counterintelligence Activities to Protect National Security

Counterintelligence remains another side of MPS’s responsibilities. It deploys counterespionage efforts to not only neutralize foreign reach of Chinese intelligence information but also to prevent foreign espionage agents from ever getting that deep into the country’s security perimeter. According to official sources, MPS has successfully conducted several costly arrests of foreign such agents, including one successful attempt in 2016. The 2016 operation was complicated by the agents using cybersurveillance to control MPS’s counter-surveillance efforts.

Cyber Intelligence to Prevent Cyberattacks

Not only can the targets of MPS cyberintelligence efforts include foreign countries and criminal organizations that direct their efforts against China from abroad. An example of these efforts is the country’s involvement in the successful case of the takedown of a cybercrime ring called APT10 or Red Apollo that tried to penetrate Chinese government servers. After a tip from MPS was received by other international stakeholders, the network was disabled.

International Surveillance and Intelligence Exchange

Nevertheless, there exists a need and willingness to practice cooperation with foreign intelligence and security agencies. Law enforcement officers enroll in training programs that teach modern surveillance methods that often are developed by international instructors. Several multi-national crime groups were dismantled after joint work with MPS, facilitating intelligence travel flows.

Crime Control

China’s Ministry of public security (MPS) has always been deeply involved in crime control. Indeed, this function is critical to any major country that aims to ensure social order and citizens’ overall security. Generally, the MPS’s crime control strategies are multi-faceted and include the prevention, detection, reduction of crime as well as access to and initial investigation of crimes. This paper provides an overview of how the MPS’ comprehensive crime control works.

Prevention Strategies

One of the most successful comprehensive prevention strategies is the use of community policing. Community officers are required to establish long-lasting relationships with members of the community. In this way, Chinese citizens can trust their local community officers and report crime prevention measures even when they only have suspicions. Moreover, strong relationships with members of the community allow to address minor disputes and disagreements before they escalate into full-blown crime offenses. Moreover this cooperation guarantees that the MPS will quickly show up at the crime sight even before the report is officially made.

Crime Detection and Response

In case a crime occurs, the response is immediate. First, the rapid response teams are sent to the crime sight. These MPS forces are fully trained in dealing with an array of situations and are always the first to arrive at the scene. They are also stationed at local police stations across the nation and combine forces with the police station’s forces is managing the situation.

Another important comprehensive crime control measure that leads to a significant MPS’ success is its extensive use of modern surveillance technology. There is a total of 20 million CCTVs installed in China, 3 million of which are equipped with the facial recognition system. Consequently, Chinese MPS officers can legally engage in a real-time monitoring of public places and prevent crime from occurring using their massive control system. In case a physical description of a suspect is delivered to the authorities further investigations are quick to identify the criminal through the system.

Investigation and Prosecution

In case a crime is indeed detected, investigations are carried out. They aim are the detection of the M.O., meaning and opportunity for the crime to happen – the main aspects necessary for effective prosecution. To conduct thorough investigations the MPS employs highly trained and experienced detectives. These use both traditional and modern methods of detection and even have a forensic department, though only very limited labs offer such services practically. However, a small number of forensic scientists are also employed in the Chinese laboratories, and they use the most detailed processes of obtaining and investigations crime records, including finger print matching and DNA tracking that are pivotal to the modern judicial system.

Public Cooperation and Education

Finally, the MPS pays a significant attention to popularization campaigns and public education. Public service announcements and other informational measures are used for educating the population on how to prevent and report crime. For instance, citizens are often advised to take basic precautionary measures, such as locking their front and back doors and keeping their bicycles away from the sides of their houses. Following these procedures, Chinese MPPs’ partnership with the public works successfully and not a single case of bike robbery has been reported so far. People are also encouraged to report any suspicious movements or equipment, truly believing they can impact the Chinese crime controlling system in any way.

International Cooperation

Besides, since crime is often transnational, the MPS engages in a series of international partnerships with such agencies as the Interpol. Consequently, a considerable number of operations are carried out in different agencies all over the world. A case in point is a recent action that lead to arresting a significant number of drug traffickers across several locations in Europe and Africa. Thus, the MPS’ comprehensive crime control strategies effectively deal with crime in the country and beyond its borders.

Border and Immigration Management

The function of managing China’s borders and overseeing immigration processes is assigned to the Ministry of Public Security. This implies controlling the movement of people and goods in and out of the country, ensuring immigration laws are followed, and protecting China’s borders against potential threats. As such, the following major duties are related to the different critical issues: enhanced border security measures; streamlined immigration processes; combating illegal immigration; training and development of immigration officers.

Enhanced Border Security measures

One of the critical functions of the MPS is to ensure strict control at all border crossing points. Implementing advanced technologies related to scanning and surveillance is one of the measures. For example, in Shenzhen, a major checkpoint on the border, facial recognition systems and biometric scanners have been installed to swiftly and accurately determine the travelers’ identity. These enhanced measures allow for easier and more efficient control flow of the travelers while ensuring only those who are authorized can enter or leave the country.

Streamlined Immigration Processes

An important function of the MPS is to effectively manage immigration procedures. In order to do this, China has implemented e-visas and electronic gates at airports and border points. The procedures are far easier and faster to address, as now travelers have to spend less time and can enjoy the opportunity to travel to China without any significant waste of time for waiting to be checked by the staff. The MPS also allowed applying for visas and resident permits online, which makes it easier for foreigners to physically provide the documents and track the status of the application.

The 139th Assembly of the IPU will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, on 12 – 18 october 2018: Flags. ©IPU/Pierre Albouy

Combating Illegal Immigration

One of the critical functions of the MPS is also fighting illegal immigration. As such, not only people can be arrested for illegally crossing the border, but the entire human trafficking networks have to be dismantled. This function implies global cooperation and implies joint operations with other countries as the criminals are often trying to escape not only within China but also across different continents. Fight against international crimes is a significant function that even may require very active changes within a certain group – some police officers are being molded to fit into a certain network to eventually demolish it.

Training and Development of Immigration Officers

The function of the training and developing the police forces that are managing the immigration also belongs to the authorities. As such, it may invest a lot into the training of the staff that should possess some technical skills for mastering and managing the different operations routines and people on an everyday basis. Immigration officers have to possess good interpersonal skills as they have to communicate with people from different cultures, as well as IT skills. As such, the MPS invests in the training and development of the staff with the continuous development possibilities. Workshops and other training sessions are being organized to ensure that the staff is up to date with the technologies and practices.

Cybersecurity Supervision

The Ministry of Public Security holds a vital role in protecting China’s cybersecurity landscape. It is responsible for the enforcement of cyber laws, monitoring of all cyber activities and threats, and securing all critical information infrastructure from attacks. This ministry promotes cyber defense using top-notch technology and strategies. Most of the MPS activities related to cybersecurity and the roles it plays including:

Regulating and Monitoring Internet Content

MPS is responsible for all the activities that take place via the internet as it tries to prevent any cyber crime that may take place and maintain public order . It suppresses illegal cyber activities such as cyber fraud, penetration of unauthorized people into electronic systems, and other unauthorized cyber activities. It has been playing a significant role in operations centered on cybercrime that stoops any individual who steals other people’s information from the internet. It applies digital technology, often complex digital forensics. Additionally, it carries out real-time monitoring of suspect online activities.

Protecting of the Critical Infrastructure

MPS is also responsible for the cybersecurity of China’s critical information infrastructure. Critical information infrastructure refers to the basic computer systems of every state such as electricity, finance, and banking, and transportation. It performs regular cybersecurity self-assessment, cybersecurity drills, and exercise, and has a complete grasp of the operations system with the ability to respond timely and restore. An example of this initiative is the national-level cyber protection exercise, which focuses on the cyber attack scenarios of critical information infrastructure and service of the 31 provinces of China.

Countermeasure defense capabilities

MPS has developed cyber defense capabilities and continuously enhances them. For instance, it has established capabilities and proprietary technology for cybersecurity and operations. It has developed a national-level intrusion detection system to monitor government information networks, warn and handle possible cybersecurity incidents in advance. It has trained a broad group of high-quality professional and technical talents. It has also made significant investments in human resources training in the area of cybersecurity with studies of the latest global security trends, mastering international security conventions, maintenance of security through professional applications.

Global Security Cooperation

The Ministry of Public Security of China, also, is actively involved in global security cooperation. They do so because many security challenges go beyond borders and cannot be tackled by any single country alone. Thus, the part of their job, the MPS work not only when they are fighting international crime but also when they are establishing international relations and making other countries trust them.

Bilateral and Multilateral Agreements

The MPS have signed quite a lot of agreements with other countries. They concern the work of police in numerous fields, but not limited to, cybercrimes, narcotics, human trafficking, etc. For instance, the MPS, in cooperation with the EU, organized a number of operations against cybercrimes, during which networks involved in this kind of crimes were dismantled by the joint effort of two parties. Of course, the MPS also works with foreign police when it comes to capturing suspects who have fled China.

Participation in International Organizations

The MPS represents China in many international organizations and platforms that deal with the issues of security. These include INTERPOL, UNODC, etc. For China, participation in such organizations is the source of additional information and intelligence sharing with other countries. Apart from that, the MPS takes an active role in the elaboration of global policy on the issues of security and law enforcement because they cannot possibly stay out of the global community when it comes to security.

Joint Operations with Foreign Bodies

The MPS, as a part of international work, also participates in joint operations with other countries. As a rule, these are large-scaled operations of international forces against transnational crimes. The most known among them, perhaps, is an annual operation against drug traffickers. It involves five countries through which the Mekong River flows and manages to disrupt the drug trafficking network in this region every year.

Training and Exchange

The part of the job done to make international cooperation possible is training foreign police officers and maintaining exchange programs. The MPS have two training centers, one in Langfang, and another one in Chongquing. The training programs cover a wide variety of skills and knowledge, including forensic science, combating cybercrimes, etc. Relying on this strong system of international relations, the MPS also helps people who find themselves in unpleasant legal situations and need to be provided with legal help whatever country they are in. The cases of such unfortunate situations are numerous. Of course, quite many Chinese citizens get arrested in foreign countries and MPS helps in their investigation or extradition. Similarly, millions of foreign citizens, including but not limited to the members of the triads and Russian mafia, also work in China and can become subjects of arrests. Whether these people try to flee the country or return home, again, the MPS are there to handle all legal processes just in time.

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