Minister of State Security
Sword and Shield of the MSS
Chen Yixin
since 30 October 2022
Ministry of State Security
Member ofState Council
Reports toCentral Political and Legal Affairs Commission (CPLC)
SeatYidongyuan Compound, Xiyuan, Haidian District, Beijing, China
(chosen within the Chinese Communist Party)
with the confirmation of the National People's Congress or its Standing Committee
Term lengthNo fixed term
PrecursorDirector of the Central Investigation Department
FormationJuly 1, 1983; 40 years ago (1983-07-01)
First holderLing Yun (凌云)
Unofficial namesD/MSS
DeputyVice Minister of State Security

The minister of state security is a Chinese government position within the Constituent Departments of the State Council which functions as the head of the Ministry of State Security. The position reports directly to the head of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission (CPLC) of the Chinese Communist Party. Within the State Council, the position is ninth in order of precedence. All ministers of state security have held the position as civilians, though they are each awarded the police rank of chief superintendent.[1] Like the minister of public security, the minister holds the police badge identification number 000001.[1][2]


The position of minister of state security was established in 1983 with the creation of the ministry following the combination of counterintelligence functions of the Ministry of Public Security with the Central Investigation Department.[3]

Several ministers of state security have gone on to serve in other senior cabinet posts, including minister of public security. Jia Chunwang further advanced to Procurator–General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, a position roughly equivalent to attorney general. In 2022, Chen Wenqing became the first outgoing minister of state security to be promoted directly to leader of the CPLC, whose oversight portfolio includes the MSS, while incoming minister Chen Yixin became dual hatted, retained his previous position as the third rank position of Secretary-General of the CPLC, in addition to leading the MSS.[4][2]


Officially, the minister is nominated by the premier of the State Council, who is then approved by the National People's Congress or its Standing Committee and appointed by the president.[5] In practice, the minister is chosen within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership. New ministers of state security are selected periodically, with recent ministers each being formally elected to the CCP Central Committee during iterations of the CCP National Congress held every five years, though such decisions are normally made in secret at the Beidaihe meeting held each August in Beidaihe, Hebei to litigate and preplan the upcoming years decisions.[6][2]

List of ministers

No. Portrait Minister Took office Left office Time in office Paramount leader
Ling Yun 凌云
Yun, LingLing Yun

(born 1917)
June 1, 1983 (1983-06-01)September 1, 1985 (1985-09-01)2 years, 92 daysDeng Xiaoping
Jia Chunwang 贾春旺
Chunwang, JiaJia Chunwang

(born 1938)
September 1, 1985 (1985-09-01)March 1, 1998 (1998-03-01)12 years, 181 daysDeng Xiaoping
Jiang Zemin
Xu Yongyue 许永跃
Yongyue, XuXu Yongyue

(born 1942)
March 1, 1998 (1998-03-01)August 1, 2007 (2007-08-01)9 years, 153 daysJiang Zemin
Hu Jintao
Geng Huichang 耿惠昌
Huichang, GengGeng Huichang

(born 1951)
August 30, 2007 (2007-08-30)November 7, 2016 (2016-11-07)9 years, 96 daysHu Jintao
Xi Jinping
Chen Wenqing 陈文清
Wenqing, ChenChen Wenqing

(born 1960)
November 7, 2016 (2016-11-07)October 30, 2022 (2022-10-30)5 years, 357 daysXi Jinping
Chen Yixin 陈一新
Yixin, ChenChen Yixin

(born 1959)
October 30, 2022 (2022-10-30)Incumbent1 year, 104 daysXi Jinping


  1. ^ a b Bishop, Bill (26 August 2020). "MSS goes with "People's Leader 人民领袖"; Dual circulation; US South China Sanctions; Missile tests; TikTok". Sinocism. Retrieved 10 May 2023.
  2. ^ a b c Yao, Kevin; Tang, Ziyi; Tian, Yew Lun (30 October 2022). "China names Chen Yixin as state security minister". Reuters. Retrieved 10 May 2023.
  3. ^ Joske, Alex (2022). Spies and Lies: How China's Greatest Covert Operations Fooled the World. Melbourne: Hardie Grant Books. ISBN 9781743797990.
  4. ^ Lau, Jack (30 October 2022). "China names Chen Yixin as new state security minister in leadership shake-up". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 10 May 2023.
  5. ^ "Constitution of the People's Republic of China". National People's Congress. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  6. ^ Zheng, William (18 August 2020). "Has China's annual Beidaihe leaders' retreat already happened in secret?". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 10 May 2023.