We report new palaeomagnetic results from a ca. 1300 to 800 Ma continental shelf succession on the southern margin of the North China Block. A total of 386 oriented core samples were subjected to stepwise demagnetisation. Two overprint components ('A' and 'B') were identified, with 'A' being a Recent geomagnetic field component and 'B' a likely Mesozoic remagnetisation related to collision of the North and South China Blocks. An interpreted primary remanence was isolated from six rock units. The most reliable results are as follow, in the order of stratigraphic ascendance. (1) Purple mudstone, muddy sandstone and andesite of the lower Yunmenshan Formation (Rb-Sr age ca. 1270 Ma) yields a high-temperature component that passes both reversal and fold tests and gives a palaeopole at (60.6 degrees S, 87.0 degrees E, A(95) = 3.7 degrees). (2) Mudstone in the overlying Baicaoping Formation yields a high-temperature component with a palaeopole at (43.0 degrees S, 143.8 degrees E, A(95) = 11.1 degrees). (3) Purple sandstone of the earliest Neoproterozoic Cuizhuang and Sanjiaotang Formations exhibits a high-temperature component that provides a palaeopole at (41.0 degrees S, 44.8 degrees E, A(95) = 11.3 degrees). Based on both our new results and a critical selection of available palaeomagnetic data, we construct a preliminary apparent polar wander path (APWP) for the North China Block between 1300 and 5 10 Ma. Regardless of alternative polarity options applicable to these poles, North China was located within equatorial latitudes for much of this interval. Comparing the North China poles with coeval poles from Laurentia suggests that the two continents were situated on the same plate between 1200 and 700 Ma. North China was thus likely part of the supercontinent Rodinia. Separation of North China and Laurentia occurred between 650 and 615 Ma. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.