Former Spain coach Jose Antonio Camacho has been appointed boss of China until the 2014 World Cup.
Camacho has been assigned with preparing China's players for the tournament and putting a new coaching structure in place to deliver long-term development, the Chinese Football Association said.
The 56-year-old, who had a long and successful playing career with Real Madrid, has gone on to coach several Spanish teams, including a short spell in charge at the Bernabeu in 2004, and Portuguese giants Benfica.
He led Spain from 1998 to 2002, with his team beaten in quarter-finals at Euro 2000 and the 2002 World Cup.
His main task with China will be steering the team through qualifying and into the next World Cup, which will be held in Brazil.
China, the world's most populous nation, have only reached the World Cup finals once, in 2002, when the team lost all three of their group games without scoring a goal. They are currently ranked 73rd in the world by FIFA.