The Second Bureau is the Foreign Bureau, responsible for operations abroad. The Second Bureau provides tasking as collection priorities, and receives, analyzes and reports to higher levels intelligence collected by its operatives and agents.
It is responsible for sending clandestine agents abroad using covers such as cadres posted to foreign trade companies, banks, insurance companies, ocean shipping companies abroad. Chinese embassies and consulates also have senior Bureau personnel working under diplomatic cover while performing intelligence functions. In the past only Renmin Ribao and Xinhua were used to provide journalist cover for agents. However this practice has recently extended to most major newspapers, including Guangming Ribao, Jingji Ribao, Zhongguo Qingnian Bao, and Gongren Ribao, which have correspondents in the United States, Japan, Europe and other countries.
The Second Bureau Second is also responsible for recruiting agents abroad. Some of these agents have worke for the Bureau for decades, while others are long-time hidden agents who are not normally assigned duties and are only activated as needed.