Many coastal countries are concerned with sustainable energy generation to meet their current and future energy needs. Tidal energy is an attractive resource as in-stream turbines can generate electricity even at moderate flow velocities. However, not all coastal areas are equally well-suited for tidal energy development. The survey of potential locations and their power densities is a crucial step in evaluating the potential cost-benefit of tidal energy. This research surveys the intensity and distribution of offshore tidal energy along whole coastline of China based on a high-resolution numerical simulation with a minimum mesh spacing of 80 m. The Finite Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM) has been used to carry out the numerical simulation work. Since FVCOM uses an unstructured mesh, it can accurately identify complex coastlines, such as those along islands, waterways, and estuaries. The simulation period for this numerical survey is 30 days. The accuracy of the simulation results is validated using 8-days in-situ measurements obtained at 17 coastal stations in the region of study. Research results indicate that the total mean tidal energy is 1.19 × 1014 J along the coastline of China. The tidal energy is mainly distributed in the south and southeast of the coastline of China. This study also identifies 45, 23 and 9 top sites, where the averaged tidal energy density is greater than 500, 1000, and 1500 W/m2, respectively, suitable for tidal energy extraction and utilization. Considering the long development cycle of tidal energy and global climate change, this study also investigates the impact of sea-level rise (SLR) on tidal energy distribution in the region of study using a 50-year (0.5 m) and 100-year (1.0 m) SLR scenarios. It is found that the total mean tidal energy increases by 3.0% and 6.5% for 50-year and 100-year SLR scenarios, respectively. It is believed that the findings drawn from this study could be instructive for future utilization of tidal energy along the coastline of China.