In a move reminiscent of the Nazi practice to “Heil Hitler”, Zhao Kezhi, Minister of Public Security of China, delivered a speech on 27 July at the video conference of the National Public Security Agency, stressing that “in the face of a profoundly changing external environment and severe and complex situations, public security organs at all levels must resolutely implement the decisions and deployment of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core. We must… carry forward the fighting spirit, make preparations, be on guard against different risks and challenges, and strive to achieve the ‘two safeguards’ in the actions of maintaining the nation’s political security and social stability.”
Here the “two safeguards” is a new slogan coined during Xi Jinping’s regime, meaning to safeguard the position of Xi Jinping as the core of the CCP Central Committee and the core of the whole party, and to safeguard the authoritative and centralised leadership of the CCP Central Committee.
Zhao asked people “strictly to guard against and crack down on the disruptive sabotage activities of hostile forces at home and abroad, carry out anti-infiltration, anti-subversion, anti-separatism and anti-evil religion struggles, and resolutely safeguard national political security.” “It is necessary … further to step up social control, strengthen warnings and early assessment, strengthen overall prevention and control … eliminate hidden risks, and severely crack down on different types of illegal and criminal activities in accordance with the law.”
However, since the creation, in 1983, of the Ministry of State Security (MSS), which took over responsibility for many national security issues such as domestic and foreign intelligence-gathering and fighting espionage and subversion, the MPS has focused its efforts on regular law enforcement. Hong Kong and Macau have their own security bureaus or agencies and police forces. As of November 2017, the minister of public security is Zhao Kezhi.
The Ministry of Public Security was among the very first government organs of China. It superseded the Ministry of Public Security of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China. The commission was a transitional body created in July 1949 by removing the security service remit from the CCP Central Department of Social Affairs (CDSA). The ministry began operations on 1 November 1949, at the end of a two-week-long National Conference of Senior Public Security Cadres.
Most of its initial staff of fewer than 500 cadres came from the (former) regional CCP North China Department of Social Affairs. At the national level, its creation marked the formal abolition of the CDSA. The ministry moved to its present location, in the heart of the one-time foreign legation quarters in Beijing, in the spring of 1950.