III. System Governing Investigations
This system governs investigations and other mandatory measures taken in accordance with law by public security authorities and procuratorates in handling cases. It consists of provisions regarding the nature and mission, organizational structure, principles of activities and working procedures of investigation authorities.

Status and Nature of Public Security Authorities

Public security authorities are an important part of the government. They are both an administrative arm and a judicial organ since they are in charge of criminal investigations, playing a unique role in cracking down on crimes and maintaining social security.

Criminal Police

Criminal police are a major force of the police.

1. Qualification Requirements for Investigative Officers

Article 26 of the People's Police Law provides that investigative officers should meet the following conditions:

  • Citizens at least 18 years of age;

  • Support the Constitution of the People's Republic of China;

  • In good political, professional and moral standing;

  • In good health;

  • Have at least a senior high school education;

  • Willing to be a policeman.

    Persons who have the following records should not be a member of the police:

  • Having received criminal penalty for committing a crime;

  • Having been dismissed from public office.

    2. Promotions

    Police are divided into 13 ranks in five categories:

  • Police Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner;

  • Police Superintendent Level 1, 2 and 3;

  • Police Inspector Level 1, 2 and 3;

  • Police Sergeant Level 1, 2 and 3;

  • Police Constable Level 1 and 2.

    The Ministry of Public Security supervises the ranking and promotions of the police.


    1. Acceptance and Establishment of Cases

    Public security authorities should immediately accept, inquire about, take notes of and hear cases of suspects turned in, reported or brought to the police by citizens or suspects who turn themselves in. Those that meet conditions should be accepted and filed as a case and for complicated and material cases, an investigation plan and, if necessary, necessary measures have to be taken.

    2. Procedures for Criminal Investigations

    For criminal cases that already been filed with the police, investigations should be launched for a thorough and impartial collection of evidence that may determine whether the suspect is guilty or innocent and, if guilty, whether it is a felon or a misdemeanor. Depending on actual needs, various detective means and measures will be taken in strict compliance with statutory procedures.

    3. Procedures for Detentions and Arrests

    Public security authorities may proceed to detain criminals caught in the act or material suspects in accordance with statutory procedures; they may also seek approval from procuratorates for an arrest warrant for suspects for whom sufficient evidence of incrimination exists and a sentence is likely, and for whom measures such as obtaining a guarantor in anticipation of trial out of custody and surveillance of residence is insufficient for ensuring social security and order.

    4.Procedures for Case Transfer and Prosecution

    Cases concluded by public security authorities for which the facts are clearly established, evidence is verified and sufficient, the nature of crime and name of felony correctly defined, legal procedures completed and for which criminal liabilities should be prosecuted, should be transferred to the procuratorate at the same level to determine whether public prosecution is warranted.

    5. Procedures for Evidence Gathering

    Detectives should strictly follow statutory procedures in collecting all kinds of evidence that can prove whether a suspect is guilty or not, or how serious the felony is. Extortion of confession through torture and collecting evidence through threat, inducement, deception or other illegal means are strictly forbidden.

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