Plasmodium rhoptry neck protein 2 (RON2), which is released from the neck portion of the merozoite rhoptries and interacts with the microneme protein Apical Membrane Antigen 1 (AMA1), plays a crucial role in erythrocyte invasion. In this study, we sequenced the Plasmodium vivax RON2 gene from 19 P. vivax isolates collected in central China in order to establish whether this protein is under positive diversifying selection, which may occur as a result of protective host immune pressure†. In comparison with the P. vivax Sal-1 reference line, we found 10 amino acid substitutions dispersed throughout the open reading frame as well as indels caused by polymorphism in a repeat unit (21–23 repeats of (Q/E/K/N/H)(G/D)G(H/L/Y/P)G) in the second tandem repeat region located at amino acid positions 541–650. A McDonald-Kreitman test with RON2 sequences from the primate malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi, detected significant departure from neutrality in the PvRON2 3′ region (nucleotide positions 2668–6609). These results suggest that the PvRON2 gene has evolved under positive diversifying selection.