Sequences of lacustrine sediments developed in intermontane basins in the middle-eastern Shanxi Plateau of China have been investigated in order to reconstruct the paleovegetation and paleoclimate for the middle–late Pliocene. According to the magnetostratigraphy and the fossil assemblages, the lacustrine sediments of Yushe and Taigu Basins were deposited between 5.5 and 2.5 Ma BP. The Zhangcun and Xiaobai Formations are considered to cover a similar period, ranging from 3.5 to 2.5 Ma BP. An increase of Picea and Abies shows that the climate began to become cold after about 4.4 Ma BP. A cold–wet episode, with relatively warm–dry and warm–humid intervals, occurred between 3.6 and 2.5 Ma BP in the Yushe and Taigu Basins. An increase Artemisia, Chenopodiaceae and Ephedra shows that the climate became drier after 2.5 Ma BP. The climate changes of this period probably reflect variations of the East Asian winter and summer monsoons, with an increase winter monsoon activity during the early Pleistocene.