Various analytical approaches to performance-based seismic design are in development. Based on the current Chinese seismic codes，elastic capacity calculation under frequent earthquake and ductile details of seismic design shall be performed for whether seismic design of new buildings or seismic evaluation of existing buildings to satisfy the seismic fortification criterion “no damage under frequent earthquake, repairable under fortification earthquake, no collapse under severe earthquake”. However, for some special buildings which dissatisfy with the requirements of current building codes, elastic capacity calculation under frequent earthquake is obviously not enough. In this paper, the advanced performance-based seismic theory is introduced to solve the problems of seismic evaluation and strengthening for existing reinforced concrete structures, in which story drift ratio and deformation of components are used as performance targets. By combining the features of Chinese seismic codes, a set of performance-based seismic design method is established for reinforced concrete structures. Different calculation methods relevant to different seismic fortification criterions are adopted in the proposed method, which solve the problems of seismic evaluation for reinforced concrete structures.