As a type of promising renewable energy, marine renewable energy is expected to contribute to a global optimization of the energy mix. Research, development, and deployment of marine renewable energy in China have been very robust during recent years. Firm policies have been established, and great progress has been made in renewable energy sectors, including ocean wave energy. The purpose of this study is to synthesize the main achievements of the past several decades, present relevant policies and projects that have been conducted in China, and address what has been achieved in marine renewable energy in terms of mainly resource distribution, governmental strategies and policies, and financial support, particularly in the ocean wave energy field. In addition, indigenous and international cooperation and activities and perspectives and barriers to the adoption of ocean wave energy in China are discussed. Some targeted suggestions are given in the conclusion section to accelerate the advancement of the marine renewable energy industry in China.