Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is series of rescue measures for saving cardiac arrest patients. Early initiation and good quality of CPR is crucial for increasing chance of survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. In recent years, the CPR guidelines have changed a lot, especially in basic life support. The guideline now pays more attention on chest compression and less to ventilation. CPR with chest compression only and without mouth-to-mouth ventilation is more popular. In this article, we outline the development and recent researches of CPR. As depriving oxygen from a collapsed patient for 6 min may result in poor outcome, the average time for ambulance transport is longer (about 10 to 16 min) in China,which makes rescuers easy to feel fatigue, chest compression only CPR is not suitable in China. Though non-professional rescuers have difficulty to perform mouth-to-mouth ventilation, they generally show a willingness to do so. To strengthen public standard CPR training including mouth-to-mouth ventilation and chest compression, is most important to promote CPR in China.