The Beijing Heart Lung and Blood Vessel Medical Center has participated in the World Health Organisation MONICA project since 1981. Our study, named Sino-MONICA-Beijing, has been carried out in Beijing and covers a population approximately of 700,000. After a 2-year pilot study, the project started formally January 1, 1984. This paper presents the organization and methodology of the study, with emphasis on the monitoring system and on how events were found. The main results of the cardiovascular disease (CVD) event monitoring are as follows: average annual mortality from all causes, for the 3-year period of 1984-86 was 319/100,000 for men and 238/100,000 for women aged 25-64; from CVD 119/100,000 for men and 101/100,000 for women; from ischemic heart disease 29/100,000 for men and 14/100,000 for women; and from cerebrovascular disease 59/100,000 for men and 52/100,000 for women. Preliminary experience has shown that Sino-MONICA-Beijing is a well-standardized project of long-term surveillance of CVD in the communities of Beijing.