The interaction of the Palaeo-Pacific and Palaeo-Asian Oceans is an enigmatic issue as their temporal and spatial features are controversial. To address this issue, we present a systematic study of large volumes of early Permian volcanic rocks and intrusions developed in the East Tianshan. The represented samples of basaltic andesites and rhyolites yield zircon crystallization ages of 285.1 ± 5.9 Ma and 275.3 ± 1.8 Ma, respectively. The basalts have normal mid-ocean ridge basalt (N-MORB) and arc-related geochemical signatures with high TiO2 contents, negative Rb, Th, U, Nb and Ta anomalies and positive Eu anomalies. Basaltic andesites and andesites have arc-related geochemical characteristics with moderate TiO2 contents and relatively negative Nb, Ta and Ti anomalies, together with slightly negative to positive Eu anomalies. The rhyolites show an affinity with A2-type granite with high SiO2, K2O + Na2O, Fe/Mg, Ga, Zr, Nb, Y, HFSE, REE and Y/Nb levels (>1.2). These geochemical data suggest that the rocks formed in a supra-subduction zone. The presence of high ϵNd(t) values of +4.6 to +8.2 and low (87Sr/86Sr)
(0.70342–0.70591) values indicates that the volcanic rocks originated from a depleted mantle. We propose that oblique subduction with slabs breaking off gave rise to transtension and to the emplacement of large volumes of mantle-derived melts in the early Permian in the East Tianshan, serving as an important record of the subduction zone of the Palaeo-Pacific Ocean.