The Englishman survived the challenge of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.
Lewis Hamilton produced a record lap to take pole position at the Chinese GP in Shanghai.
The Mercedes driver clocked up a time of just under one minute and 32 seconds, to edge out the challenge of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who captured the Australian Grand Prix last month by almost 10 seconds.
The Ferrari team were in the lead during all of Saturday's track sessions, before Hamilton responded in Q3 to produce the impressive lap time.
Vettel will start alongside Hamilton in the front-row, after edging out Valtteri Bottas by just 0.001 seconds at the end of Q3.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Hamilton said that these tight contests are the essence of what racing is about:
"The Ferraris have looked so fast. We knew it was going to be close and we had to pull out all the stops. I managed to chip away at it. It's more exciting than ever for me because we are really fighting these guys. That's what racing is all about and it pushes you on."
Overnight rain is expected to threaten for race day tomorrow, where Hamilton is chasing a fifth victory in China.
Chinese Grand Prix Qualifying results
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:31.678
2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) + 0.186
3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) + 0.187
4. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) + 0.462
5. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) + 1.355
6. Felipe Massa (Williams) + 1.829
7. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) + 1.902
8. Sergio Perez (Force India) + 2.028
9. Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) + 2.041
10. Lance Stroll (Williams) + 2.542