China's excellent community health system was seriously damaged during the early years of economic reform after 1982, and its reconstitution has become a major policy goal of the government since 1996. This article provides a brief overview of experiences in implementing the policy of community health care in a large Chinese city, Tianjin. I outline the policy setting and describe Tianjin's experiences. Some initial benefits of the new system are summarised and the difficulties and barriers are noted. I conclude with some suggestions for further improvement.