The First Bureau, the Domestic Bureau, which resembles the First General Bureau of the KGB, mainly operates within China. Its duties include recruiting people with overseas connections to work for the Ministry of State Security. The First Bureau recruits persons going abroad for study, business, pleasure, residence, inheritance or other purposes.
The First Bureau expedites procedures applying for exit documents in the event of troubles or difficulties with other agencies. It also offers travellers payment in exchange for intelligence ollection. The Bureau is also responsible for receiving Chinese secret agents from abroad who are returning to mainland China every few years for holidays, or to receive medical treatment, awards and citations, and to meet their superiors. To conceal the identity of its agents, the First Bureau may require its agents to enter China through one or more third countries, or [in the past] through Hong Kong using home visit permits to avoid visa stamps on their foreign passports indicating that they had entered China. The Ministry of State Security has special guest-houses in the suburbs of Beijing to provide accommodation for returning agents. These guest-houses have many small compounds, and the agents would move into units with their own courtyards and would not have to meet their neighbors.
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