Chinese participation in Expos dates back to the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London. Since joining the BIE in 1993, the People's Republic of China has become increasingly involved in Expos, starting with the organisation of Horticultural Expo 1999 in Kunming. Between 2003 and 2007, prominent Chinese diplomat and former President of the China Foreign Affairs University, Wu Jianmin (1939-2016) served as the President of the BIE.

China went on to organise World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, which remains the largest and most-visited Expo to date. Part of the former site of Expo 2010 Shanghai is now occupied by the World Expo Museum - the only museum in the world to be entirely dedicated to International Expos and approved by the BIE - which is set to open in 2017.

Continuing its active involvement participating in and organising Expos, China once again hosted a Horticultural Expo in 2019, in the district of Yangqing in Beijing.