Conservation agriculture has been practised for three decades and has been spread widely. There are many nomenclatures surrounding conservation agriculture and differ to each other lightly. Conservation agriculture (CA) is a system approach to soil and water conservation, high crop productivity and profitability, in one word, it is a system approach to sustainable agriculture. Yet, because conservation agriculture is a knowledge-intensive and a complex system to learn and implement, and also because of traditions of intensive cultivation, adoption rates have been low, since to date, only about seven percent of the world's arable and permanent cropland area is farmed under conservation agriculture. The practice and wider extention of conservation agriculture thus requires a deeper understanding of its ecological underpinnings in order to manage its various elements for sustainable intensification, where the aim is to conserve soil and water and improve sustainability over the long term. This paper described terms related to conservation agriculture, presented the effects of conservation agriculture on soil and water conservation, crop productivity, progress and adoption of CA worldwide, emphasized obstacles and possible ways to increase CA adoption to accelerate sustainable development of China agriculture.