As a combination of temperature and humidity, wet-bulb temperature (WBT) is useful for assessing heat stress and its societal and economic impacts. However, spatial and temporal behaviors of summer WBT in China remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigate the dominant spatiotemporal modes of summer (June-July-August) WBT in the mainland of China during 1960-2017 by using empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis and reveal their corresponding underlying mechanisms. The leading mode (EOF1) of summer WBT in China shows a nationwide increasing WBT with a stronger magnitude in northern and western than southeastern China. The second mode (EOF2) displays a zonal pattern with anomalously increased WBT in the west and decreased WBT in the east. The third mode (EOF3) shows a meridional feature with the largest WBT trends appearing in the Yangtze River valley. Further examinations suggest that EOF1 exhibits remarkable interdecadal/long-term variations and is likely connected with global warming and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), which induce an anomalous anticyclone centering over northern China and covering nearly the whole country. This anticyclone not only plays a key role in the nationwide WBT increases, but also dominates the spatial pattern of EOF1 by modulating relative humidity. EOF2 and EOF3 reflect interannual variations and show significant correlations with the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), respectively. A zonal wavelike pattern with troughs over Balkhash and northeastern China, and Mongolia high substantially modulates the water vapor transport in China, thus playing a key role in EOF2. In the case of EOF3, an anomalous anticyclone in the middle-upper troposphere and a shallow intensified cyclone in the lower troposphere collectively format the spatial pattern of EOF3 by inducing significant increases in temperature in central-eastern China and transporting a large amount of water vapor to northeastern China, respectively. These findings are critical to improve our understanding of summer WBT in China and to mitigate the negative effects of heat stress.