Information about the changing epidemiology of drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) in hospitals in China over the past decade remains largely unknown. This study examined the susceptibility patterns and trends of drug-resistant TB cases in the 309 Hospital in Beijing, China. Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates were retrospectively identified, drug susceptibility test (DST) results and clinical data were analysed for the period 1997–2009. Of the 5523 culture-positive TB patients, 47·1% had resistance to any anti-TB drug, 14·8% had mono-resistant TB, 19·8% had poly-resistant TB, 19·4% had multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), and 1·3% had extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB). Drug-resistant TB was significantly associated with age group, residential situation, and TB treatment history (P<0·001). During 1997–2000, the percentage of TB patients with any resistance, mono-resistant TB, poly-resistant TB, MDR-TB and XDR-TB all increased significantly (P<0·001). During 2000–2003, the increasing trends of MDR-TB and XDR-TB cases were reversed. During 2004–2009, the percentage of TB patients with any resistance, mono-resistant TB, poly-resistant TB, MDR-TB and XDR-TB all declined significantly (P<0·001), but the prevalence of MDR-TB and poly-resistant TB cases remained high. Our study provides evidence demonstrating that intensive TB control measures have helped reverse the increasing trends of drug-resistant TB in China, but continuous surveillance of drug-resistant TB and better case management are still needed to further reduce the remaining high prevalence of drug-resistant TB.