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China’s Ministry of Public Security’s Bureau No. 1 Changes Name to Emphasize Priority

Hong Kong based Sing Tao Daily reported that the Domestic Security Bureau (DSB), code-named Bureau No. 1 under China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS), was renamed to “Political Security Bureau (PSB).” The name change may have to do with the Ministry’s recent priority on “maintaining political security,” and carrying out “anti-penetration, anti-subversion, and anti-secession” battles.

As early as May 2019, at a National Public Security Work Conference held in Beijing, DSB director Chen Siyuan mentioned that “defending political security” is the “primary responsibility” of public security organs. Chen said that it is necessary to have a profound understanding of the severe and complex situation of the job of maintaining political security. He ordered that activities that “endanger political security,” should be strictly prevented in order to strengthen prevention and control measures, and to detect and dissolve different political security risks in a prompt and effective manner.

The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) state security authorities can be traced back to the Chinese Soviet Republic, established in Jiangxi in November 1931. At the time, the CCP borrowed the name from the Soviet Union’s State Political Directorate and set up the “State Political Bureau (SPB),” which essentially performed the same function as the Soviet counterpart. After the CCP took over China in 1949, the SPB moved under the MPS. In 1957, the MPS merged the functions of “enemy reconnaissance” and “KMT spy reconnaissance” into the “political security police.” At the same time the MPS set up a “Political Security Bureau (PSB),” code-named Bureau No. 1.

In the 1980s, the anti-spy reconnaissance function in the PSB under the MPS was transferred to the newly established Ministry of State Security (MSS). Since then, the PSB was renamed several times. In 1998, it was renamed to the current Domestic Security Bureau (DSB). Sun Lijun, the former MPS deputy minister, who was sacked not long ago, once served as the director of DSB and was succeeded by Chen Siyuan in early 2019.

Source: Central News Agency, June 3, 2020