Surface ozone is a major pollutant in eastern China, especially during the summer season. The formation of surface ozone pollution highly depends on meteorological conditions largely controlled by regional circulation patterns which can modulate ozone concentrations by influencing the emission of the precursors, the chemical production rates, and regional transport. Here we show that summertime ozone pollution over eastern China is distinctly modulated by the variability of the western Pacific subtropical high (WPSH), a major synoptic system that controls the summertime weather conditions of East Asia. Composite and regression analyses indicate that a positive WPSH anomaly is associated with higher than normal surface ozone concentration over northern China but lower ozone over southern China. Stronger than normal WPSH leads to higher temperatures, stronger solar radiation at the land surface, lower relative humidity, and less precipitation in northern China, favoring the production and accumulation of surface ozone. In contrast, all meteorological variables show reverse changes in southern China under a stronger WPSH. GEOS-Chem simulations reasonably reproduce the observed ozone changes associated with the WPSH and support the statistical analyses. We further conduct a budget diagnosis to quantify the detailed contributions of chemistry, transport, mixing, and convection processes. The result shows that chemistry plays a decisive role in leading the ozone changes among these processes. Results show that the changes in ozone are primarily attributed to chemical processes. Moreover, the natural emission of precursors from biogenic and soil sources, a major component influencing the chemical production, accounts for â¼ 30 % of the total surface ozone changes.