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This paper introduces research work on the development of high-voltage (HV) vacuum circuit breakers (VCBs) in China from its starting point in 1989 to 2006. In this period, a 126-kV two-breaks VCB prototype and a 126-kV single-break VCB prototype were developed. A latest 252-kV single-break interrupter prototype is introduced. Five HV VCBs technologies are discussed, which include HV vacuum insulation, high current interrupting technology with long contact gaps, increasing nominal current, operating mechanism characteristics, and contact bouncing damping. In vacuum insulation, adding a metal ring at the electrode back can decrease breakdown possibilities in the gap between the electrode back and the main shield. A surface melting layer of contact material could have an influence on voltage withstanding capability of a vacuum gap. For interrupting high current with long contact gaps, a strong axial magnetic field (AMF) is needed for better vacuum arc control. Therefore, a single coil AMF electrode is introduced. Heat radiators are effective to increase the nominal current of VCBs. Thermal analysis can help to give appropriate design parameters. There is an optimum opening characteristic that is helpful to improve the interrupting performance of VCBs. Permanent magnet operating mechanism and spring-type operating mechanism are suitable for HV VCBs. Contact bouncing in HV VCBs can be damped by installing contact spring and bellows on the stationary end of VCBs.