Based on the monthly rainfall of 160 stations over China and the sea surface temperature data in the Niño 3 region, the instability of interannual relationship between summer rainfall in China (SRC) and pre-winter sea surface temperature (WSST) in the Niño 3 region is studied by using sliding correlation, composition etc. It shows that the long-term variation of interannual relationship between SRC and WSST in the Niño3 region has obvious regionality and is more instable in northeastern and northwestern China than in eastern China. At the same time, it has a significant stage characteristic. The period from 1951－2007 can be separated into 1962－1977, 1978－1992, 1993 to present, according to the sliding correlation coefficients. Each stage has about sixteen years in length. Every turning from one stage to another is very short and is characterized by abrupt change. There are three obvious abrupt changes in the last 50 years, such as in the early 1960s, in the late 1970s, and in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Before and after the abrupt change, the correlation sign and intensity have obvious differences in some regions.
It also shows that the influences of El Niño events in different stages have different features. There are two rainbelts during 1962－1977: one was located in North China, Northeast China Plain, and eastern Inner Mongolia, and the other was located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River; there was less rainfall in the Qingling-Daba Mountains and the Yangtze River and Huaihe River valley. During 1978－1992, there was only one rainbelt located in the Qinling-Daba Mountains area and the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River; there was less rainfall in the Yellow River and Huaihe River valley, and North China to the south of Northeast China. And in the present stage (1993 to present), the spatial distribution of rainbelts is similar to that during 1962－1977, there are also two rainbelts located in southern China and northern China respectively. But the north rainbelt moves southward to the Sichuan Province, Chongqing, the Yellow River and Huaihe River valley, the lower reaches of the Yellow River, and Northeast China Plain; there is less rainfall in northern Hubei Province and the lower reaches of the Yangtze River; the feature of rainfall distribution is that there is more rainfall in northern China while less rainfall in southern China. So, not only the mean interannual relations between SRC and SST in the Niño 3 region but also their instabilities must be considered in the forecasting of flood season precipitation by using ENSO events.