The ability of seven state-of-the-art chemistry–aerosol models to reproduce distributions of tropospheric ozone and its precursors, as well as aerosols over eastern Asia in summer 2008, is evaluated. The study focuses on the performance of models used to assess impacts of pollutants on climate and air quality as part of the EU ECLIPSE project. Models, run using the same ECLIPSE emissions, are compared over different spatial scales to in situ surface, vertical profiles and satellite data.