The responsibilities and structure of public security agencies in China include: the prevention, suppression and investigations of criminal activities; fight against terrorist activities; maintenance of social security and order; fight against behaviors jeopardizing social order; control over traffic, fire and dangerous objects; administration of household registration, identification cards, nationality, exit-and-entry, stay and travel of foreigners in China; maintenance of border security; protection of state assigned persons, venues and facilities; management of gatherings, parades and demonstrations; security inspection on public information networks; supervision and instruction of security work in state organizations, mass organizations, enterprises and important construction sites; and instruction of crime prevention work of community security commissions.
The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) is a functional organization under the State Council in charge of public security work nationwide. Public security departments are set in provinces and autonomous regions; metropolitan public security bureaus are set in direct municipalities; public security bureaus or divisions are assigned to cities and prefectures; sub-bureaus are set in sub-regions of cities, under the direct leadership of their superior public security agencies; public security bureaus are set in counties and banners, under the leadership of their respective local government and superior public security agencies. Dispatched police stations are directly subordinate to their superior public security bureaus and sub-bureaus in counties and banners.
Within the MPS, there are such departments as Central Office, Supervision, Personnel & Training, Public Relations, Economic Crime Investigation, Public Order Administration, Border Control, Criminal Investigation, Exit & Entry Administration, Fire Control, Security Protection, Public Information Network Security Supervision, Penitentiary Administration, Traffic Control, Legal Affairs, International Cooperation, Logistics and Finance, Drug Control, Science & Technology, Counter-terrorism and Info-communications, assuming respective functions. Railway, navigation, civil aviation, forestry and anti-smuggling public security departments are under the dual leadership of their superior administration and the MPS.