This review involved 60 articles chosen from 336 empirical studies identified in five leading journals on the learning and teaching of Chinese as a second or foreign language in mainland China during the period 2014–2018. The selected studies document Chinese researchers' efforts to improve the teaching and learning of the Chinese language in terms of language pedagogy, language learning and teacher development. We contend that these studies on the teaching and learning of Chinese as a second or foreign language (CSL/CFL) can contribute to the advancement of second/foreign language education theories even though they were largely conducted to address local needs and interests in the Chinese context. Unfortunately, the impact of these studies on international language education research and pedagogical development remains limited and peripheral. For this reason, this review concludes with recommendations for Chinese researchers and journal editors in the field of Chinese language teaching and learning research on how to promote quality empirical research and enhance their contributions to second/foreign language education research.