The pair of lions that stand at these gates are famous guardians in china for warding off evil. They are mostly placed at imperial gates and palaces like The Forbidden City (below). It is said that if you break these you will have very bad luck. A lot of these chinese sculptures always have a meaning or purpose e.g. the lucky chinese cats which are supposed to bring prosperity and luck (mainly for businesses).
I love these sculptures of the chinese lions, they can look quite scary but also they can bring out the culture of china.