The research and development of adaptive optics in China began in 1979. In 1980 the first laboratory of adaptive optics was established at the Institute of Optics and Electronics (IOE), Chinese Academy of Sciences. Since then, several adaptive optical systems have been built in this Laboratory. Among them are: (1) hill–climbing wave front correction system, (2) adaptive optical system using shear interferometers, and (3) experimental setup with a Hartmann–Shack wave–front sensor and a 37–element deformable mirror. In this paper the principles, structures, and experimental results will be briefly reported.