Since the landmark volume The Search for Deliberative Democracy in China (Leib and He eds. 2006), a growing number of theoretical and empirical studies in the context of China have advanced our knowledge of deliberative democracy in comparative settings. This paper aims to discuss the recent development and prospects of deliberative democracy in China, with particular focus on the approach of a deliberative system that has not been adequately addressed in the context of China. This paper proposes an analytical framework for the concept of deliberative capacity building in the context of contemporary China. The paper analyses three dimensions of deliberative capacity building: social capacity, institutional capacity; and participatory capacity of a deliberative system. The three dimensions lay particular emphasis on the public sphere, empowered space, and deliberative actors respectively. The multi-dimensional framework considers deliberative capacity building as a process by which the three dimensions synergize and evolve with each other to produce a functional deliberative system incorporating isolated deliberative practices. The multi-dimensional analyses suggest that deliberative capacity building is critical to democratization in China, as it produces a stronger public sphere, more effective government responsiveness and improved participatory competence.