Schistosomiasis in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) can be traced back to antiquity. In the past 60 years, the Chinese government has made great efforts to control this persistent disease with elimination slated by 2020 through the implementation of a comprehensive control strategy. This strategy aims to reduce the role of bovines and humans as sources of infection as a pre-requisite for elimination through transmission interruption. The goal of elimination will be achievable only by the implementation of a sustainable surveillance and control system, with sensitive diagnosis a key feature so that the true disease burden is not underestimated. Currently used diagnostics lack the necessary sensitivity to accurately determine the prevalence of Schistosoma japonicum infection in areas with low infection intensities. It is of critical importance to find and treat people and to identify animals with low-level infections if the National Control Programme for China is to achieve schistosomiasis elimination.