Climates for rice production in China were classified according to a series of indices. A temperature index was used to divide China into two parts, potential and unsuitable rice production regions. Potential rice regions were further divided into humid, subhumid, and arid regions, using a rice aridity index based on a modified Penman equation. Based on modeling of rice growth duration and assessment of rice growing season, a compound index was established. With cross-reference to supplementary indices, such as topography, etc., China was finally delineated into 6 rice major climatic belts with 22 subbelts. This rice climatic classification was an effort to provide guidelines for utilizing land and water resources and for choosing suitable cropping systems and rice varieties.