Abstract Recent research shows that bond yields are influenced by monetary policy decisions. To learn how this works in a bond market that differs significantly from those in the US and Europe, we model Chinese bond yields using the one-year deposit interest rate as a state variable. We also include the spread between the one-year market interest rate and the one-year deposit interest rate as another factor. The model is developed in an affine framework and closed-form solutions are obtained. We then test the model empirically with a Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulation procedure. The results show that the new model that incorporates the official rate in China characterizes the changing shape of the yield curve well.