The Shanghai Composite was up by 156.3 points to 3,083.59.
But the turnaround does little to make up for the sharp losses seen so far this week.
Shares elsewhere in Asia also made gains after a jump on Wall Street on Wednesday, which saw its biggest rise in four years.
In Europe, stock markets also rose. By midday, the FTSE 100 was up more than 2%, as were the main indexes in Paris and Frankfurt.
The mood was lifted by remarks by US Federal Reserve official William Dudley, who said the case for a rate rise, which had seemingly been on the cards for September, now seemed “less compelling”.
In other Asian markets on Thursday:
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed up by 3.6% at 21,838.54 points
The region’s biggest stock market, Japan’s Nikkei 225, finished trading 1.1% up at 18,574.44, building on strong gains made the previous session
South Korea’s Kospi also notched up gains for a second day. The index closed 0.7% higher at 1,908.0 points
In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 wrapped up the day 1.2% higher at 5,238.70 points.
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