The study aims to investigate the spatio-temporal changes in crop patterns in China since 1980. In doing so, the analysis methods of time-series trend and spatial cluster were used to cover the major eleven crops at county scale. The results indicate that (1) There are 16 kinds of crop combinations ranking in the China's top 10 during the past 30 years. Yet since 2002, the simplified cropping structure has been gradually replaced by the multiple cropping structure, which suggests an increase in the diversity index of crop patterns. In 1980, about 82.7% of China's counties have a similar crop pattern which is composed of rice, wheat, corn and their combinations, however, this pattern largely changed after 2002 due to the increase in the planting area of fruit and vegetables. (2) In the same period, rice planting area of 47% of the counties, wheat planting area of 61% of the counties of and corn area of 29.6% of the counties experience a significant decrease, while other crops show an increasing trend. As a result, rice-dominated cereal crops in China are slightly adjusted to the coexistence of rice, wheat and maize crops. In particular, maize area proportion shows a significant change, which forms a so-called "corn decreased belt” spanning from northeast to southwest of China. Urbanization had an important impact on crop patterns as fruit and vegetable planting areas rapidly grow so as to meet the increasing demands in urbanized areas. (3) Crop patterns also show an obvious spatial cluster effect in China's 1300 counties. The proportion of high cluster accounts for 2.86%, 5.64%, 6.11%, 4.53%, 1.62%, 7.77%, 8.24%, 12%, 10%, 1.41% and 9.35% of China's counties for rice, wheat, maize, soybean, fibers, cotton, vegetables, potatoes, fruits, sugars and oils, respectively. These crops are distributed in Northeast China, Xinjiang, Northern Shaanxi Plateau, Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and the metropolis areas. This finding of this study can support the decision making in agricultural restructuring and adaptation to climate change.