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20 November 2006

A sends:

The 'Front Office', at least for legal affairs for the MSS, appears to be

BEIJING 100741


Thanks for the pointer. The address appears to be that of the Ministry of Public Security [see below] which may serve as a public face for the MSS. There is also a State Security Bureau at that location, one of the dozens of domestic offices of MSS throughout the country. One online source claimed that MSS HQ was located there as well, but no other source made that claim.

Up-to-date detailed Beijing maps are hard to come by online. One of the best is here:

I had hoped that Falun Gong would have demonstrated at MSS and published photos but so far nothing has turned up except protests at State Security Bureaus, police stations and the MPS.

The lack of public acknowledgement by the PRC of the location of MSS, while locations of many other departments are readily identified, suggests that the spooks prefer to remain in the shadows, appropriately. MSS, MPS and the State Security Bureaus get commingled by commentators, and perhaps the PRC favors that.

This mirrors the practice of cloaking the many locations of CIA and other intelligence agency offices in the US and elsewhere, compared to the relative openness about the FBI offices, well, those not hiding behind false fronts.

19 November 2006

Ministry of State Security Headquarters

Xiyuan [Western Garden]

The main headquarters of the Ministry of State Security remains at Xiyuan, situated next to the Summer Palace. Route 332 of the Beijing public bus service, which runs between the Beijing Zoo and the Summer Palace, has a stop at Xiyuan. About 500 meters to the south of this bus-stop is a road junction. To the east of this junction is the Beijing Chinese Medicine Hospital, and to the west is the Ministry of State Security. The stop after Xiyuan is the Summer Palace.

The Ministry of State Security was formed in 1983 with the merger of the entire Central Investigation Department and the counter-intelligence department of the Ministry of Public Security. The Central Investigation Department was known as Xiyuan, or Western Garden, an organ which came directly under the CPC Central Committee.

The Xiyuan headquarters, including the living quarters for dependents in the compound of the Ministry of State Security, is closely guarded by armed police.


The FAS map above shows the Ministry of State Security located south of the location proposed here which is based on the description in the text above describing the bus route and stops, the Summer Palace, and the road south of the bus stop. And with the assumption that "Beijing Chinese Medicine Hospital" means the "Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine." (Beijing Chinese Medicine Hospital is located on the other side of Beijing.)

Cryptome has not been able to find an address for the Ministry of State Security, and most online references point to the FAS description or the source citations provided by FAS:

"Spy Headquarters Behind the Shrubs -- Supplement to `Secrets About CPC Spies'" by Tan Po Cheng Ming [Hong Kong], 01 March 1997, No 233, pp 34-37 Cheng Ming on Chinese Spy Headquarters FBIS-CHI-97-047 01 March 1997.

A correct location is invited. Send to cryptome[at]

The Ministry of State Security (MSS) is similar to the US Central Intelligence Agency for international spying, with the difference that MSS also operates within China through a network of State Security Bureaus in conjunction with the Ministry of Public Security (MPS). The MPS is similar to the US FBI. Its location, in contrast to that of the MSS, is readily available.

Fuller descriptions of the two:

PRC Ministry of State Security


1988 Map. Several highways have been added since then, as shown in the satellite photos.

Source: Columbia University, Lehman Library, Map Room

Ministry of Public Security